Spending more time at home in 2020 meant that many of us started to look for ways to improve our homes and gardens, with a large percentage of Brits looking for green living ideas online. A fascinating study conducted by Boiler Guide analysing the Instagram hashtags posted alongside ‘ecohome’ and ‘greenhome’ uncovered the top ten green living trends for homeowners keen to make their homes more sustainable during lockdown. Here are the results, see if any of the search terms look familiar…
1. Vegan Recipes
With no chance of a pub lunch or a romantic restaurant meal, internet searches for interesting recipes have soared. From fried halloumi bites to homemade pizza, vegan and vegetarian recipes have continued to grow in popularity. There are plenty of tasty veggie options to tempt the tastebuds and reducing the meat in our diets also helps reduce carbon emissions.
Shop: Oh She Glows Cookbook
Continued restrictions on travel mean we’ve been looking closer to home to rest and recoup. Searches for ‘staycations’ continue to remain five times higher than this time last year amid the uncertainty around the traffic light system.
3. Indoor Plants
Searches for house plants have more than doubled during lockdown compared with the same time last year. Even those living in flats have found creative ways to maximise space for plants with ‘balcony gardens’ becoming all the rage.
Green living is all about appreciating the things that you already have and avoiding unnecessary waste. Many of us Brits struggle to get rid of even our most unwanted items so it’s perhaps unsurprising people have been busy upcycling during lockdown. From Instagram posts to YouTube tutorials there are endless amounts of inspiration out there for those looking to get creative and turn their trash into treasure.
5. LED Desk Lighting
Working from home has become the norm for many of us and there’s every chance it’ll be here to stay. Over the last few months Brits have been looking at ways to create a comfortable and efficient working environment. Buying LED lights has proved to be a popular option with many and it’s easy to see why. Not only are they far more energy efficient than conventional bulbs, they also look great and can help you save a considerable amount of money in the long run. Searches for LED lighting were up a staggering 396 per cent when compared to the same six month period last year.
6. Growing fruit and vegetables
The demand for fruit and vegetable seeds rocketed during lockdown as people searched for a new domestic hobby. Appetite for chillies, pea shoots and spinach grew as health conscious Brits became more savvy when getting their 5-a-day.
7. Eco-friendly candles
While lighting a scented candle is one of our favourite ways to de-stress after a long day – many are not good for the environment. That’s because the majority are made from paraffin wax which is derived from petroleum, coal or shale oil. With date nights, on the whole, being restricted to people’s homes over the last six months, eco-friendly candles have become a popular way of ‘setting the mood’. Not only are candles made from natural ingredients such as coconut wax much more sustainable they don’t release toxic chemicals when they burn either.
8. Eco-friendly furniture
From bedrooms being converted into offices to garden sheds being transformed into home pubs – Brits have been going DIY-crazy in lockdown. With trends such as ‘upcycling’ and ‘IKEA hacks’ inspiring us all to be that little bit more sustainable those looking to upgrade their furniture have been searching the internet for more eco-friendly items. Well-known brands including West Elm and Timothy Oulton are also playing their part with an increasing focus on sustainability, offering homeowners a wide variety of options when it comes to eco-friendly furniture.
Read: Our interview with Susan Inglis, Executive Director of the Sustainable Furnishings Council as she reveals how she became one of the key players in sustainability, cleaning up the home furnishings industry and what to look out for when shopping for sustainable furniture.
9. Natural hand soaps
Good hand hygiene has never been more important but regularly washing your hands can have a nasty impact on your skin. As a result, many of us have been experimenting with different hand soaps and moisturisers to reduce skin irritation. One of the many benefits of natural hand soaps – on top of them being environmentally-friendly – is that they are more nourishing for your skin than most commercially produced soaps.
While it’s tempting to buy the most aesthetically pleasing or strongly scented hand wash, why not try a more organic soap which is rich in vitamins, antioxidants and naturally-occurring nutrients that work wonders for the skin?
10. Making compost
While we’ve become accustomed to recycling cardboards and plastics, the majority of us aren’t good at composting. Tea bags, banana peels and vegetable skins can all be composted. Not only is compost great for aiding plant growth it also reduces the amount of waste which gets taken to landfill sites. If you’re a keen grower then composting is a must, it enriches soil and suppresses plant diseases and pests. You don’t need to have a garden either, there are a number of indoor compost bins available online or at garden centres.
Green living has never been simpler, with lots of amazing sustainable brands popping up all the time. You can find lots of fabulous eco-alternatives and it is so worth making the switch, for your health and for the planet.