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A responsible home part 4: jeanette’s easy ideas

15 June 2016

Jeanette, Peter and their daughter, Eja, rent a home surrounded by nature in the Swedish countryside. They’re dedicated to living a responsible and healthy life at home. In this post, we’ll get some of Jeanette’s easy, unexpected tips for living responsibly at home.

A bird in a birdfeeder
A family photo of a mother, father and daughter

In our series of posts, we’ve learned several of Jeanette’s philosophies about furniture, food and clothing. She’s quick to admit, however, that she doesn’t want to give anyone a bad conscience and that her family isn’t perfect. ‘But you have to start somewhere. What is most difficult sometimes is to accept you are never there, but you can always get better. That’s also fun because we can always develop.’ Check out some little things they do that save resources and help them live responsibly.

A watering can and an orchid

COLLECT COLD WATER.  Use a watering can in the bathroom to catch the water you would normally waste while waiting for it to heat up. Jeanette waters plants around the house with the water she collects.

A close-up of an hourglass in a bathroom

TIME YOUR SHOWERS. Jeanette started using Eja’s 3-minute toothbrushing hourglass to make them aware of how much water they use when they shower, too. No timer or hourglass? Sing a song instead!

A woman covered in a throw on a sofa

BE WHERE YOU ARE. When you’re not in a room, turn everything off like electronics, lighting and even heating or air conditioning if you can. At Jeanette’s, they save money and energy on heat by cosying up with lots of blankets.

“If we learn that we inspired others to rethink a bit, that makes me very happy.”  

Leftover food being scraped off a plate

SCRAPE INSTEAD. It’s tempting to rinse dishes under a steady, forceful stream of water but it’s wasteful. Jeanette and her family skip the water and scrape off their dirty plates and bowls. 

Two bins holding mobile phones and glasses

RECYCLE THE UNUSUAL. Make special spots for recycling that needs special treatment like eye glasses, mobile phones, power cords, light bulbs and batteries. You’re more likely to donate or recycle when you have dedicated bins like Jeanette’s.

A collection of packaging and papers in an open trunk

SHOW OFF YOUR PASSIONS. Jeanette uses an old suitcase to hold tissue paper, posters, newspapers and other gift wrapping that she reuses. It looks nice and gives her a chance to explain her passions for reusing, reducing and recycling.  

A close-up of a child making a present card

GIVE EXPERIENCES AND TIME. Instead of things, Jeanette gives experiences. One of Eja’s classmates got to ride the neighbour’s horses. And for another friend, Jeanette and Eja made an outdoor treasure hunt that ended with an island picnic.

empty space

Things we’ve learnt

Start small
There’s no right way to start reducing, reusing and recycling. Change to LED light bulbs. Set up a fun recycling routine. Do what works for you and helps you see the positive change you’re making.
Share stuff
Create a lending library of things you don’t need all the time but can loan from neighbours, friends or family. Does everyone need their own lawnmower? What about other tools? Could you share internet access?
Make time
Creating a more responsible and healthy life at home doesn’t happen overnight. Make time to incorporate new routines into your daily life so these steps become habits! Slow down and appreciate the changes.

Made by

Copywriter: Marissa Frayer
Photographer: Johan Månsson, Sandra Werud
Editor: Linda Harkell