"How to reduce your carbon footprint in your home" by Localiiz x Bamboa
Written by Localiiz Magazine Hong Kong.
Sponsored by Bamboa.
While common sustainable living tips like “cut down on travel,” “get your coffee-to-go in a reusable cup,” and “carry reusable straws” were all helpful in the pre-COVID world, they are—at least temporarily—not applicable right now. But that doesn’t mean you have to let your eco-friendly habits fall by the wayside!
For tried-and-true tips on how to reduce your carbon footprint (the combined greenhouse gas emissions your lifestyle choices cause), we spoke to the eco-friendly experts at Bamboa Home. Founder Julia Washbourne—who saw first-hand the chemicals, pollution, and worker exploitation in many supply chains after working in the sourcing industry—established the brand in 2008 as a way to provide chic homewares while helping to combat climate change. The company’s hero material, bamboo, is often called “the world’s most sustainable plant” for its ability to absorb up to five times more carbon dioxide than trees and grow without fertilisation or irrigation.
Read on for a few tips from Bamboa about how to lead a simple-yet-stylish lifestyle without costing the earth!
Reduce, reuse, recycle
The gold standard in sustainability is carbon neutrality—meaning that you off-set your carbon emissions. The first step is to follow the three Rs—reduce, reuse, recycle. Some examples of how to introduce these practices into your lifestyle include:
- Avoiding single-use plastics, or reusing them where possible
- Composting your food scraps whatever food you don’t finish
- Recycle paper products like bags and cardboard boxes
- Purchase pantry ingredients and household essentials (i.e. spices, cleaning sprays, and body wash) in bulk quantities where possible
- Shop from local markets and food producers to avoid unnecessary packaging and racking up “food miles”
Photo credit: cottonbro (via Pexels)
Slow and steady wins the race
Fast fashion brands are constantly producing clothing, which means those items aren’t made with durability or longevity in mind. Instead of trend-led clothing made from non-biodegradable plastic fibres (i.e. polyester, nylon, acrylic), look for ethically-made clothing that’s built to last, a.k.a. slow fashion. If you’re new to the slow fashion movement, here are some things to look for:
- Small collections—less volume, less chance of overproduction
- Use of natural, recycled, or plant-derived manmade fabrics
- A commitment to ethical production processes (fair working conditions, clean or renewable energy, and reduced water consumption)
- Recyclable or biodegradable packaging
Get (more) houseplants
One of the best ways to offset carbon emissions is to plant trees, and while you can donate to reforestation initiatives to help the planet, you can also improve your air quality at home with houseplants. Not only are plants a rental-friendly way to add colour into your home, but they also purify the air by converting carbon dioxide into oxygen. For a better night’s sleep, look for aloe vera and snake plants, which are known for producing oxygen at night. Both are easy to propagate, so you can avoid plastic pots and “plant miles” entirely by growing them from cuttings.
Eat fewer animal products
Besides improving animal welfare, consuming fewer animal products is also good for you and the environment. Did you know:
- The largest driver for deforestation in the Amazon is cattle farming (forests are razed to accommodate ranches, farms, and crops to feed the livestock)
- Cattle accounts for 65 percent of the livestock sector’s carbon footprint (Food and Agriculture of the United Nations)
- Someone who halves their daily intake of animal products from 100 grams to 50 grams can save the equivalent of a round-trip flight from London to New York in carbon dioxide emissions a year (University of Oxford)
- Thanks to food tech advancements, you can still enjoy plant-based or lab-grown meat, fish, and “dairy”
Switch to eco-friendly household goods
An easy but effective way to reduce your carbon footprint is to replace everyday household items with eco-friendly alternatives. Take bedding, for example—cotton is one of the most common materials used for sheets. But even though it is a natural fabric, it takes an estimated 10,000 litres of water to make a king-sized set of cotton bedlinens, making it far from environmentally friendly.
Instead, consider lyocell, a silky and lightweight fabric made from organic bamboo pulp. Here are just a few reasons this has been called the “fabric of the future”:
- It is made from bamboo, which is so fast-growing and hardy that it doesn’t require any irrigation or pesticides
- Bamboo is naturally antibacterial and moisture-wicking, which keeps your clothes and sheets fresh for longer, meaning that you save water by washing them less frequently
- Lyocell is naturally thermo-regulating, so it feels cool and breathable in the summer but warm and cosy in the winter
- Pure lyocell feels like silk, but its fibres can be spun into other fabrics like flax or hemp to enhance them with bamboo’s properties while offering a wider range of textures
But it’s not just fabric—bamboo can also be used as a substitute for wood and bamboo fibres can be compressed into a plastic-like material. And since it grows fast enough to be harvested within three to four years, bamboo is a more sustainable material than traditional lumber.
For a convenient place to pick up eco-friendly homewares, check out Bamboa Home’s store in PMQ or shop their range online. Bamboa produces all manner of products made from the miracle plant, from bedsheets to clothing, kitchenware, and the ultimate accessory of our times: face masks. Don’t know where to start? Enter Bamboa Home’s competition right now for the chance to win a curated set of their eco-friendly homewares!
In 2020, Bamboa also launched its Grow Bamboo Initiative; for every $100 “Boo Coin” purchased by customers, the brand has pledged to grow one bamboo plant in rural Nepal, which will be harvested after three years and turned into any of the aforementioned bamboo products. The programme—which has already seen one hectare of bamboo planted—will, in turn, provide jobs and environmental benefits to the local community.