Easy ideas for a greener home

01 January 2016

From organising your recycling, to repurposing old fabrics and hanging your washing out to dry, every little helps when it comes to looking after the planet. We loved  Hester’s denim seat cushion made from old jeans – so did Kermit, her dog (pictured below)! Here’s a selection of other fun, sustainable ideas anyone can try…

Make a seat cushion from old denim jeans Make a seat cushion from old denim jeans Make a seat cushion from old denim jeans Make a seat cushion from old denim jeans Make a seat cushion from old denim jeans Make a seat cushion from old denim jeans Make a seat cushion from old denim jeans Make a seat cushion from old denim jeans Make a seat cushion from old denim jeans Make a seat cushion from old denim jeans Make a seat cushion from old denim jeans Make a seat cushion from old denim jeans
Turn an old filing cabinet into a recycling station in the kitchen Turn an old filing cabinet into a recycling station in the kitchen Turn an old filing cabinet into a recycling station in the kitchen Turn an old filing cabinet into a recycling station in the kitchen Turn an old filing cabinet into a recycling station in the kitchen Turn an old filing cabinet into a recycling station in the kitchen Turn an old filing cabinet into a recycling station in the kitchen Turn an old filing cabinet into a recycling station in the kitchen Turn an old filing cabinet into a recycling station in the kitchen Turn an old filing cabinet into a recycling station in the kitchen Turn an old filing cabinet into a recycling station in the kitchen Turn an old filing cabinet into a recycling station in the kitchen

File your recyclables!

Find a new use for an old filing cabinet. Adam in Denmark customised one to create a recycling station in his kitchen. ‘Each locker is used to sort a different material – glass, paper, plastic, metal. And the doors are labelled to make it easy to use.’ 
Label identical recycling bins with fun homemade labels Label identical recycling bins with fun homemade labels Label identical recycling bins with fun homemade labels Label identical recycling bins with fun homemade labels Label identical recycling bins with fun homemade labels Label identical recycling bins with fun homemade labels Label identical recycling bins with fun homemade labels Label identical recycling bins with fun homemade labels Label identical recycling bins with fun homemade labels Label identical recycling bins with fun homemade labels Label identical recycling bins with fun homemade labels Label identical recycling bins with fun homemade labels

Label bins

If you have two identical bins, you’ll need to know which one’s which. Olga in the Czech Republic created her own recycling labels using PYSSLA beads ironed into the shape of a newspaper and a bottle. ‘Like the rest of my house, this idea is funtional and fun!’  
  • Dye removable sofa covers into a new shade for a seasonal update Dye removable sofa covers into a new shade for a seasonal update Dye removable sofa covers into a new shade for a seasonal update Dye removable sofa covers into a new shade for a seasonal update Dye removable sofa covers into a new shade for a seasonal update Dye removable sofa covers into a new shade for a seasonal update Dye removable sofa covers into a new shade for a seasonal update Dye removable sofa covers into a new shade for a seasonal update Dye removable sofa covers into a new shade for a seasonal update Dye removable sofa covers into a new shade for a seasonal update Dye removable sofa covers into a new shade for a seasonal update Dye removable sofa covers into a new shade for a seasonal update
    REFRESH YOUR SOFA
    Give an old sofa a new lease of life, like Hester from Kent in England. ‘I love making seasonal changes anyway, so I just dyed my white sofa cushions a new shade of blue.’ 
  • Upcycle an old chair cover with new textiles Upcycle an old chair cover with new textiles Upcycle an old chair cover with new textiles Upcycle an old chair cover with new textiles Upcycle an old chair cover with new textiles Upcycle an old chair cover with new textiles Upcycle an old chair cover with new textiles Upcycle an old chair cover with new textiles Upcycle an old chair cover with new textiles Upcycle an old chair cover with new textiles Upcycle an old chair cover with new textiles Upcycle an old chair cover with new textiles
    UPCYCLE AN OLD CHAIR
    Use textiles, paint and accessories to reinvent old furniture, like the chair that Marloes from the Netherlands inherited from her grandmother. ‘I sanded it down and covered the seat with my own fabric to give it a modern feel.’
  • Customise plain cushions with fabric paint Customise plain cushions with fabric paint Customise plain cushions with fabric paint Customise plain cushions with fabric paint Customise plain cushions with fabric paint Customise plain cushions with fabric paint Customise plain cushions with fabric paint Customise plain cushions with fabric paint Customise plain cushions with fabric paint Customise plain cushions with fabric paint Customise plain cushions with fabric paint Customise plain cushions with fabric paint
    UPDATE OLD FABRICS
    Bored of your old cushion covers? Don’t bin them, customise them. ‘I decorated mine using fabric paint and a potato stamp,’ says Valentina, who likes to get creative in her Italian apartment. 
Repurpose your old Christmas tree trunk as a pen pot Repurpose your old Christmas tree trunk as a pen pot Repurpose your old Christmas tree trunk as a pen pot Repurpose your old Christmas tree trunk as a pen pot Repurpose your old Christmas tree trunk as a pen pot Repurpose your old Christmas tree trunk as a pen pot Repurpose your old Christmas tree trunk as a pen pot Repurpose your old Christmas tree trunk as a pen pot Repurpose your old Christmas tree trunk as a pen pot Repurpose your old Christmas tree trunk as a pen pot Repurpose your old Christmas tree trunk as a pen pot Repurpose your old Christmas tree trunk as a pen pot

Recycle your Christmas tree trunk

‘Being creative is energising,’ says Kristina in Germany. We agree! When you’re finished with your Christmas tree, why not chop out a section of trunk to make a pen holder? Then, in the summer, remove the pens and put it outside to make a bee hotel. It will attract bees to your garden and give them somewhere to nest. 

A windowsill is the perfect spot for a mini indoor urban garden A windowsill is the perfect spot for a mini indoor urban garden A windowsill is the perfect spot for a mini indoor urban garden A windowsill is the perfect spot for a mini indoor urban garden A windowsill is the perfect spot for a mini indoor urban garden A windowsill is the perfect spot for a mini indoor urban garden A windowsill is the perfect spot for a mini indoor urban garden A windowsill is the perfect spot for a mini indoor urban garden A windowsill is the perfect spot for a mini indoor urban garden A windowsill is the perfect spot for a mini indoor urban garden A windowsill is the perfect spot for a mini indoor urban garden A windowsill is the perfect spot for a mini indoor urban garden
‘Living in the city, we like to make the most of our windowsill to grow our own potted herbs and plants’  
 
Ryan, New York
Add wheels to an old crate and make it into a portable magazine holder Add wheels to an old crate and make it into a portable magazine holder Add wheels to an old crate and make it into a portable magazine holder Add wheels to an old crate and make it into a portable magazine holder Add wheels to an old crate and make it into a portable magazine holder Add wheels to an old crate and make it into a portable magazine holder Add wheels to an old crate and make it into a portable magazine holder Add wheels to an old crate and make it into a portable magazine holder Add wheels to an old crate and make it into a portable magazine holder Add wheels to an old crate and make it into a portable magazine holder Add wheels to an old crate and make it into a portable magazine holder Add wheels to an old crate and make it into a portable magazine holder

Repurpose an old crate

‘I found this old beer box in my grandfather’s basement and added castors to the base. Now I keep my books and magazines in it,’ says Ryan, who likes to upcycle and repurpose old finds for his New York apartment.