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Three tips to help you make eco-friendly home DIY choices

Life in lockdown has taught us to look at our homes differently - we want more functionality, more Zen and more mindfulness. These tips can help you make more environmentally friendly decisions when renovating.

This doesn’t only apply to the layout and furniture we choose. It goes right down to the type of paint we use, the sustainability of the items we buy and the impact our home has on the environment. To get you on the right path, take a look at these tips from DIYgirls, and Universal Paints to get your home makeover going with all the right feels:

  1. Is it sustainable?

Today’s trends are tomorrow’s discards. Move away from the throw-away culture we have become used to and rather go for just a few investment pieces: items that will look as good in five years’ time as they do today. Choose quality over quantity and upcycle rather than replace.  This rule applies to every aspect of your home reno project – from the hard to the soft furnishings. If your patio furniture needs an update, look at reupholstering, but choose fabric that is UV and mildew resistant and it will stay fresh for longer. Look for eco-friendly materials that contribute to saving nature rather than harming it.

  1. Ask what’s in a product

Paint is a miracle worker when it comes to giving your home an instant update, but are you choosing paint that is not only beautiful, but also safe for you and the environment? These are the three main points you want to look out for:

  • Lead: Until January last year, most of the paint available on South African shelves contained lead, despite the fact that this is known to be a cancer-causing toxin that is hazardous to the environment. Look for lead-free options such as the Universal Paints range.
  • Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs): Look for lower volumes of VOC’s -the bad stuff- in water-based paint ranges. These chemicals not only cause irritation to the skin, eyes, mouth, and nervous system; they also contribute to global warming.
  • Recyclable packaging: Look out for containers, lids, and packaging that are recyclable.
  1. Think before you chuck

Do you just chuck the old paint peelings that come off the wall while you do your prep? Most of us do, but these paint peelings are often washed into stormwater drains, where they can cause harm. Instead, collect all old paint and place it into a container, which can be returned to a paint manufacturer who will discard it responsibly. The same goes for any leftover paint remaining from a home makeover: instead of dumping it, return it to the manufacturer to be disposed of correctly.

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