A couple of months ago, architectural resource platform, KBB Focus, published an article titled the top 5 priorities for our homes in 2022. Among these top five sat the priority for ‘Easily Sustainable Homes’, and ‘Clean Air at Home’ and ‘Quiet Homes’.
The PDF article also touched on how the growth of home offices affected these priorities due to a greater need for concentration and productivity within the home.
When it comes to making our own homes more sustainable there are five main categories to consider.
Materials and surfaces (actual construction)
If you are working with a larger budget, are a homeowner and are genuinely looking to restructure your home offices, the choice of surfaces used is a great place to start. KBB Focus noticed that with lockdown came a desire for consumers to return to nature and this lifestyle change resulted in a surge in popularity of biophilia and the need to ‘bring the outdoors in’ by means of more natural, wooden surfaces for the home.
Companies like WoodUpp manufacture Akupanel Decorative Wood Acoustic Panels which are certified to reduce noise in the home and bring a sense of nature in a decorative fashion. Platforms like NBS – a marketplace for sustainable and acoustic construction products – are great to check out and even the John Lewis website now presents ‘quiet’ and ‘sustainable’ filters when searching for products.
Second hand/vintage or sustainable furniture
It may be worth dodging companies like IKEA for the most part as they mass produce harmful materials like acrylic and bleached woods. There are many websites such as Etsy and Ebay which allow users to purchase top quality second hand household products. Another great thing to do is check out film set sales. Many TV and film productions buy vintage furniture for their production and then carry out mass sales when the filming is over. Vintage pieces also bring a lot of character and warmth to a home – just make sure they’re cleaned and steamed! Great themes to look into are 70s geometricity, 20s art deco and the warm tones, textures and natural fibers of the 1960s. Vintage markets in cities like London (Hackney and Dalston) and Manchester are also great to check out for smaller items such as vases, chairs and rails.
There are a few sustainable paint brands on the market worth checking out.
Graphenstone paint is virtually completely free of VOCs (volatile organic compounds), but it also actively improves air quality by absorbing CO2 with the organic lime in its formula. To put things in perspective, three 15-litre tins will absorb the same amount of CO2 as a fully grown tree over a year. Its pots are also made from 100 percent recycled and recyclable plastic.
Little Greene’s paint tins are made using 50 percent recycled steel and can be recycled again once you’re finished with them. It’s water based paints carry the industry’s lowest eco-rating, with almost zero VOCs. Its wallpapers, too, are made from paper which comes from FSC or PEFC certified sustainable forests.
In addition to its water-based low VOC formula, Lick is a champion of sustainable initiatives. The brand has partnered with ocean cleaning initiative 4ocean to help remove rubbish from seas, rivers and coastlines. So far in 2021 all Lick purchases have contributed to removing 11,000 kg of plastic from the sea and planting 5,112 trees.
No one likes a messy space filled with useless things. Decluttering is the first step to a sustainable and eco-focused home. Figure out what you don’t need and either donate it or make some needed cash by selling it second hand online.
Green Green Green
Plants encourage the oxygen production of a space and also have great mental health benefits. Replace your air purifiers and artificial plants with high-quality and natural pot plants to make your home office more environmentally friendly. Plants not only bring some welcome greenery into your space, but they also enhance air quality and act as a natural air purifier. Having fresh and colorful plants in your inside space will reduce your stress and create a peaceful environment that boosts productivity. You can even hire low-maintenance plants from PhsGreenLeaf and create a green and inviting home office.