With calls for action on the environment growing ever louder, we all want to do our bit to live more sustainably. By paying more attention to what we buy and how we furnish our homes we can reduce the amount of carbon that’s produced – which saves us money as well as saving the planet.

Here are our top six tips for keeping our homes stylish while protecting the environment.

  1. Choose furnishings wisely

Retailers today want us to buy cheap and replace often – but that’s not great for planet Earth. Most goods are manufactured overseas and shipped to the UK, using up lots of materials and energy. So the more we can buy things to last, the less impact we have.

With that in mind, aim to buy things that are built to last and have enduring style. Choose items you really love, that you won’t get sick of in a couple of years’ time. And always keep an eye out for things made from recycled materials rather than new, synthetic products.

  1. Love your shower

Showers use less water than a bath, and you can make your shower even more efficient with new heads that use up to 70% less water than a traditional one. If you also aim to limit each shower to around four minutes, you’ll use less water and less energy to heat it.

  1. Use energy-efficient lighting

Lighting that uses LED bulbs is far more energy-efficient than traditional versions. Replace any old bulbs with LED versions. They come in a range of shades from warm white to blue tones. Not only will your home be greener, but you’ll see a drop in your electricity bills.

  1. Upgrade your appliances

If your fridge, washing machine or dishwasher has seen better days, it could be worth replacing them now. Modern versions perform far better in terms of energy use and the savings will cover the cost of purchasing them within a year or so. If the older version is still in working order, give it away on a recycling group to keep it out of landfill a little longer.

  1. Reuse and repurpose

Most of us like to refresh our homes regularly, changing the look and feel of our rooms to match our tastes. But that doesn’t mean you have to throw things out. Find ways to reuse furniture or move items from room to room to freshen each space. If you feel the need to buy a new piece of furniture, sourcing a second-hand item is both eco-friendly and economical.

  1. Keep cozy

The biggest use of energy in most homes is our heating, so take steps to keep the heat in. Curtains and blinds help prevent the loss of warmth through our windows, while carpeting a room is thought to retain up to 10 percent more heat. A great excuse to buy a great-looking rug for your living room!

If all of us keep these principles at heart when styling our homes, the environment would really benefit. The golden rule is to avoid waste wherever you can. By shopping wisely and thinking about saving energy, you can have a beautiful home that won’t cost the earth.