Recycled paper placemats

I recently came across some fabulous recycled homeware products that I want to share. Made from recycled paper, these place mats are really strong, durable and stylish.

I asked Ian Carter-Brown, owner of Fair Grounds, a fair trade company in Bradford, if they were heat resistant and sturdy enough to withstand straight-from-the-oven casserole dishes and hot plates. Ian assured me they were professionally treated and used in busy restaurants. He added that one restaurateur had remarked how strong the placemats were, only replacing them only once a year!  Continue reading

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Ethical customised decor for festivals, parties & kid’s rooms

eco-bunting is stylish and customised

I was at a party the other day and noticed that the celebratory banners were cloth, not plastic, but they were still personalised. Cute red and white squares were sewn on to spell out the name. It was a lovely touch and I thought it good that someone had made time to do that.

But it turned out she was a very busy working mum, who also wished she had the time to do that.

Whether you’re kitting out your child’s bedroom with colourful name flags or dressing the house, gazebo or garden in celebratory banners and balloons or handing out party bags – you can do it with eco-chic. Some clever individuals have created all our celebratory needs using recycled fabrics and fair trade goodies.

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Eco beanbags for comfy green homes

comfy and green. Beanbags are in!

Giant beanbags are in. In fact the bigger the better as they are great for kid’s rooms, study dens, lounges and gardens.

We can relax, but feel supported by the size and weight. Strong and soft at the same time, giant beanbags add extra support for the lower back, so reading a book or surfing the net can be comfy.

And, because we are a nation of conscious people, we can cut out the sweat shop ethics and unsustainable resources, and buy beanbags from trusted sources  so we know the fabric and filling are safe for our homes and the environment.

Eco beanbags

  • Beanbags using recycled foam or recycled polystyrene beads for inner squishy comfort are essential.

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How to get free eco fuel for fires & stoves

Paper log maker transforms waste into fuel

Most of us love a good fire and while the fashion for woodburning stoves continues, so does our thirst for things to burn. So how can we stay environmentally aware and satiate our appetite for bright hot flames while not spending money, or at least very little money?

Recycling and reusing old bits of wood is an obvious first point of call, but for many of us, access to greater quantities of wood would be a bonus. So where can we find it?

Wooden pallets

Most supermarkets have vast stacks of wooden pallets that are used as part of their daily delivery systems. And these pallets have to go somewhere. It’s not unusual for one or to go missing, but many supermarkets have cottoned on to the fact that end users want them as burning fuel.

Contact your local store manager and see if there is any way you can arrange to take some pallets off their hands. You may need to hire a van, but the overall cost saving will be tremendous.

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3 eco radiators to save money & energy

reclaimed & recycled radiators make eco-sense

It’s possible the winter is far from finished and huddling by the radiator is often the warmest place in the house.

A necessary addition to most rooms, radiators come in a wide variety of shapes and colours to complement the look of most homes. And as development continue, so does the range of eco radiators.

Eco radiators

Reclaimed: Being eco involves recycling and reusing and reclaimed radiators are the ultimate in eco-chic heating.

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Olive oil lamps for safe, atmospheric lighting

olive oil lamps are easy to make & safe to burn

Olive oil lamps have been in use for centuries. Primarily the oil was a necessary burning fuel but now these lamps are in demand because olive oil is a petroleum free, sustainable lighting fuel.

As a practical form of interior lighting, olive oil lamps look good, are easy to buy or make. And, unlike petroleum fueled oil lamps, if they spill or get knocked over, the oil just goes rather than spreading the fire. Which is why they were popular on boats and Noah’s ark!

Olive oil is eco oil

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Eco home furnishings & fabrics

Eco fabrics come in a variety of colours and texturesWhatever your choice of home, your budget or taste, there's one thing interior designers all agree on - style and warmth is found in home furnishings and fabrics.

And you don’t need to spend your money on sweatshop cloth, you can choose sustainably sourced, environmentally sound textiles and materials that bring life to drab old sofas, brighten up your scatter cushions or create a touch luxury.

Fashionable materials that are healthy for the earth and your home include:

  • Hemp: either textured or fine, hemp is a plant-based fabric that dyes well so can adapt to any colour scheme. With three times the tensile strength of cotton, it also repels up to 95% UV rays when tightly woven, so is ideal for sunny rooms, curtains and clothing. As a natural fabric, hemp can show natural flaws, to learn more click here