Whilst we have all had a lot going on this last year, the slower pace of lockdown life has given many of us a chance to pause and rethink our daily consumption habits.
At Goldfinger, we strive to live as mindfully and sustainably as possible, as a business and as individuals. The final line of our manifesto reads:
“Our everyday choices have power. Choose as if all life depends on it.”
This serves as a valuable reminder and provides the rationale for all our decisions, and inspires us to live consciously.
So this Earth Day, we want to highlight how the small choices we make every day can, collectively, have a massive impact on protecting our environment, by sharing our top tips for living sustainably at home.
- When choosing objects for your home, opt for natural materials: solid wood furniture, house plants, linen, and cotton bedding. By applying this filter on everything that enters your home, you in turn support companies who are mindful of the environment by using materials that are easily recyclable, compostable, reusable, or even better – reclaimed. From sustainable apron and accessories brand Throw Me Down and ethical homewares from Aerende, to conscious zero waste lifestyle products from Tabitha Eve, we’re proud to work with brands that create sustainable, ethical and socially responsible products for your home.
- New furniture has a carbon footprint, for example, a new sofa has an average carbon footprint of 90kg, equivalent to driving 220 miles. The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) believes about half the wood used for furniture in the UK comes from unsustainable sources. So if you're buying new, source locally-made products, using locally-sourced or reclaimed materials.
- Try to avoid brands that promote trends and fast fashions, you might like it now but ask yourself how you will feel about a product in a year's time. Opt for timeless, well-crafted items that will stand the test of time and become future heirlooms. Shop our classic and elegant Goldfinger x Inhabit collection here, handcrafted from British grown hardwood using traditional joinery methods.
- Buy second hand - there is so much great furniture on Ebay, Facebook Marketplace and Gumtree in need of a new home - often it's in near perfect condition.
- When buying food, support local! Engage in subscriptions with your local farmers or surplus food distributors. Always consider air miles e.g. locally reared and butchered meat will almost always be more sustainable than an avocado grown in Peru. It’s also great to support local chefs offering seasonal menus and working with local produce. Visit our on-site cafe, the Sicilian sensation Panella, to enjoy their sumptuous seasonal menu, that changes daily using local British produce.
(Sumptuous seasonal food at Panella)
- Join the 'Journey to zero waste in the UK' group on Facebook or a local community Whatsapp group. You will find lots of active people there sharing tips, food and items they no longer use.
- The pandemic has inspired many of us to share resources more with our neighbours and networks. Cooking dinner? Drop a portion round for next door. Heading to the shops? Pick up someone else’s groceries too. Fancy reading something new? Start a book club with your pals.
- Support local initiatives that work in the community, donate to food banks or volunteer your time with a community kitchen. If you are looking for a place to get started why not join us in our mission to deliver 10,000 meals via our People’s Kitchen initiative, cooking and delivering meals made from surplus food to local residents, to reduce social isolation and food poverty. To find out more or donate click here.
- Learn from future generations. Young kids tend to love being in nature and making play from whatever they can find. We can learn a lot about how to maximise our resources, and imagination, from the little people that we are borrowing the earth from.
(Preparing meals for delivery at People's Kitchen: To Your Door)
Reduce waste- repair, reuse, adapt:
Learn how to get the most out of ingredients you would otherwise throw out. For example, make stocks and broths out of leftover bones from a roast, use parmesan rinds in your tomato sauce or soup to enrich them with flavour. The possibilities are endless!
Before you throw out any old furniture, consider if you can repair, repurpose or adapt it to make it work for your space. There are lots of videos online teaching different techniques and useful tricks to repair just about anything. Pinterest is an excellent source of inspiration. We offer a range of fun workshops teaching how to transform discarded objects into something beautifully new.
(Our In-House Maker and Designer Daniele in the workshop)
- Anything you can’t keep, use Freecycle or Gumtree to pass on pieces to a new home. Or if you or your business have any solid hardwood to spare, get in touch. We are always on the lookout for beautiful good-quality materials to turn into a beautiful piece of furniture. To donate, get in touch here.
To explore our range of circular products made from reclaimed materials, click here.
Happy Earth Day!