Image: Brown Stoner via Pinterest
Living in larger cities can make us all feel disconnected with nature, it’s hard to find a sense of calm when there’s constant activity around. When surrounded by urban landscapes and the work hustle our (often tiny, crazy expensive) apartments can become a safe haven from the busy world outside, and what better way to make your home the ultimate retreat than to find ways to reconnect with the natural world and green up your apartment, no matter how small. Here are some of my tips to make your home a little eco and a little more peaceful:
Purify your air
Don’t worry, you don’t need to do anything too crazy to do this. Living in cities often means dealing with polluted air and car fumes, but there are some simple steps you can take to keep the air in your home clean and yourself feeling healthy. House plants such as snake plants, peace lilies, spider plants and chrysanthemums are powerhouses when it comes to removing toxins from air whilst also being easy to keep alive and beautiful additions to any space. Combine this with a quick home ventilation once a day - open all the windows for about 10 minutes to renew your indoor air, you can check the Plumelabs air quality app for the perfect time to do this - and you’re good to go.
And if you’re interested in diffusing essential oils in your space, there’s no need to go electric. You can find yourself an organic cotton air diffuser that takes up less space and requires no electricity to spread the essential oil goodness in your home for life. Tiny apartment friendly, wallet friendly and earth friendly!
Switch to green cleaning products
It’s time to break up with bleach. Many conventional cleaning products can be filled with irritant substances and chemicals that pollute water and air, as well as hurting our respiratory systems. Try and find a multi-use product to avoid combining lots of irritants, and search for eco-friendly and non-toxic alternatives. Or why not try making them yourself? There are tons of recipes online, and you can replace most cleaning products with a simple mix of vinegar, water and essential oils, adding alcohol when necessary for tougher surfaces and cleaning needs, giving you a cheap alternative that’s easy on the earth.
Overheating your home uses energy, resources and money, but can also enable gas release in your home, which is pretty gross. Keep your indoor temperature between 19 and 21 degrees celsius and opt for more blankets when you get chilly, and perhaps invest in some draft stoppers too.
Switch your bulbs
LED lights are well known to be better for the environment, but their light can be very cool, which doesn’t exactly fit the hygge aesthetic we love so much in 2017. Non-harsh LED lighting does exist however! Look for warm white bulbs or LED lights with several settings to keep your home comfy and inviting, whilst keeping your electric use down at the same time.
Grow Your Own
Gardens aren’t always necessary to try your hand at growing something. Growing herbs on your counter or windowsill takes away the need to buy dried spices, avoids plastic packaging and helps you reconnect with the world outside your office. You can use smaller containers that you find in charity shops (for example old teacups) to hold herbs such as oregano, basil or parsley, but make sure not to overwater as they won’t come with drainage. If you’re growing on a balcony, produce like chard, tomatoes and strawberries can all thrive if they can get a good amount of light, and depending on the season.
It only takes a few simple steps to make your home a little more of a green haven, and there’s always an option you can find to suit any kind of lifestyle. As always, remember not to put too much pressure on yourself, just give it a try and see what might happen!