Can a home be stylish, efficient and sustainable? Of course it can. Here’s how…
Want a laundry area that’s functional and fabulous? Even the smallest space can be given an eco-friendly makeover.
Choose plant-fibre or reed baskets, metal dustpans and wooden-handled brushes with natural bristles over their plastic counterparts. Install hooks on a wall or door for storing items. For a selection of laundry baskets try designvintage.co.uk; go to gardentrading.co.uk for a wooden clothes horse, and visit theholdingcompany.co.uk for a similar ironing board.
Made from 100 per cent cotton, knitted dishcloths are eco-friendly, as they can be washed and used again and again, providing the perfect alternative to synthetic sponges and cloths. You can make your own with cotton yarn – or buy them from urbanara.co.uk.
Most of my cleaning and beauty products come from shizenremedies.com, a small company making natural products and offering a reusable container service. Seek out shops or brands that have similar refill stations around the UK, such as ecover.com, or make your own all-purpose non-toxic cleaning spray: mix two cups of filtered water, one of distilled white vinegar and six drops each of lavender, lemon and peppermint oil in a spray bottle then label cleary.
Ditch the plastic for biodegradable fibres – they’re better-looking and longer-lasting. Try coir scourers (ecococonut.com), a fibre extracted from between the internal shell and the outer coat of the coconut. As well as being completely natural, the scourers are antibacterial, free from toxic chemicals, recyclable and biodegradable.
When plastic brushes need replacing, swap for versions made from wood and natural fibres. Choose washable, reusable bamboo wipes over plastic-wrapped kitchen roll or paper towels. Try manufactum.co.uk for a similar bucket, and go to worm.co.uk to find a wooden scrubbing brush like this.
Keep your utility space organised with a trolley. The Förhöja from Ikea pictured here (ikea.com) is made out of birch and has shelves and handy drawers for smaller bits and pieces. Galvanised metal bins are a smart option for a stylish recycling system. Try habitat.co.uk for a similar version.
Good clean fun… with no nasties
This is an edited extract from Natural Living Style by Selina Lake, which is published by Ryland, Peters & Small, price £19.99. To order a copy for £15.99 until 17 March visit mailshop.co.uk/books or call 0844 571 0640; p&p is free on orders over £15.