What does sustainability mean for your home? - By Native

What does sustainability mean for your home?


How we live and how we live are more closely connected than we realise. As a result, important topics such as the omnipresent climate crisis and environmentally conscious behaviour are also moving into our living space. But a sustainable lifestyle at home, what does that even mean - and what does the way there look like?

Find out here how you can change your home sustainably and do something good not only for the world, but also for yourself. In this article, we show you what you should consider when choosing furniture and home decor.

Why live sustainably?

Whether shopping, eating, travelling or living: The question of responsible behaviour is becoming more and more present. But what does sustainability actually mean and how can you bring more of it into your lifestyle? 
The concept originally comes from forestry and refers to the responsible management of forests: The goal should always be not to cut down more trees than can grow back. In this way, forests remain healthy in the long term and can continue to be used well and provide habitats in the future.
However, sustainability has long since moved out of the forests and into our everyday discourse. One of the most important steps here is not to sacrifice the livelihood of other people and future generations in order to satisfy our needs. This idea also brings nature and its diverse inhabitants into focus.

Sustainability is thus in clear contrast to our consumer society, in which more value is placed on quantity than on quality. Things are bought cheaply, quickly disposed of and replaced. In a sustainable lifestyle, exactly the opposite should become the norm: quite conscious and moderate consumption, in which no more is taken than our world can cope with without problems.


Quality over quantity with durable and natural materials (Photo Credit: Lena Schreiber)


What constitutes a sustainable lifestyle

What does this mean in concrete terms for our behavior? We can't change the world single-handedly, yet we can all make a difference individually and enact change with our lifestyle. Even a few conscious behavioral changes in everyday life have a big impact here. 
We often already pay attention to where our food and even our clothes come from or under what circumstances they were produced. But for many people, relying on sustainable companies and materials is now also becoming more and more of a focus in the way we live, furnish and decorate - and rightly so: An all-round sustainable lifestyle is not only good for nature and our society, but also for ourselves. Living and consuming consciously has a positive effect on our psyche. Because when you know where your food, clothing and furnishings come from, and that neither nature nor people have suffered in their production, you can really enjoy these things.

Your sustainable home to feel good in

How can you bring this awareness into your own four walls? You don't have to sacrifice comfort to live in an environmentally conscious way. Check out our tips on how to live sustainably.

Buy sustainable home furnishings

Just as with clothing and other consumer goods, heartless mass-produced goods are often used in furniture production. Quantity before quality is on the agenda here and the result is cheap furniture that often has to be disposed of after just a few years. The true price is often not on display here, after all it is not paid by us, but by nature and the workers in the production chain. Because in large companies, resources are often used wastefully and employees work under precarious conditions for insufficient wages. 
But these companies are not the only solution. Thanks to a rethinking of society, today you can find soulless large-scale enterprises as well as sustainable companies. alternative suppliers where you can buy home decor and furniture sustainably. This is how you create a cozy atmosphere with sustainable home furnishings. 

Shopping with social responsibility

Complicated global supply chains and extremely cheap prices often mean less than fair conditions for artisans and workers in other countries. Make a conscious decision to buy from companies that work closely with their local partners and that you know treat everyone fairly and pay them fairly. How this can look exactly and in which way you can pay special attention to it, we show you in our article on sustainable materials.
In this way, your new decorative items and furniture will add value to your home and at the same time ensure greater social justice: because you are not only helping to improve the working conditions of individual people, but you are also helping to combat an imbalance in which cheap items are produced at the expense of others.
 Basket weaver from Rwanda
Fair trade Ensures the dignity of artisans


Sustainable and high-quality materials

However, sustainability is not only characterized by fair treatment of people. Therefore, when buying, pay attention to the materials used in a product. High-quality materials have a longer service life and comply with applicable environmental standards. These include, for example, guidelines on how certain materials may be obtained or processed and which special features must also be taken into account during onward transport.

In the case of furniture, for example, it is important to pay attention to the type of wood used in its manufacture. Teak, mahogany and other tropical woods are robust and can be processed aesthetically, but the deforestation of our rainforests is one of the biggest environmental problems in the world today. 

A good alternative to tropical woods are domestic woods such as maple, beech, oak or cherry. Rattan and bamboo also show themselves to be multi-talented in all kinds of utility items and are popular for furniture production.

When selecting furniture, you can use seals that certify materials from sustainable forestry, such as FSC or PEFC. The Blue Angel seal of approval can also be found on sustainable furniture, along with many other products. These seals and certifications are also often internationally valid.

When furnishing your home, it is generally better to use natural materials instead of plastic. Cushions, sofas or blankets made of wool, kapok, cotton or linen are not only environmentally friendly, but also air-permeable and thus improve the climate in your living space. They also make your home look much more inviting.


Rattan headboard

Rattan is a multi-talent in furniture production


Slow Living instead of the throwaway trend

With the above-mentioned methods, you will not only create a high-quality interior, but also a long-lasting one. Choose the objects with which you fill your own four walls with life consciously: Quality over quantity - one of the foundations of Slow Living. This philosophy of life takes you away from the hectic daily routine to which we are all accustomed, and leads you to the conscious concentration on what counts for you.

So instead of cluttering your home with superfluous decor, buy select, high-quality pieces that help preserve our environment and fair labor conditions. After all, living sustainably also means making a conscious choice and keeping furnishings for a long time - or hopefully forever.


A beautiful home with a good feeling

Whether it's sleeping, working from home or spending time with our loved ones: We spend a decisive part of our lives within our own four walls. This makes it important not only that our home is lovingly furnished and that we feel comfortable, but also that our life in it is sustainable. Conscious consumer behavior are big steps in the right direction. In this way, we not only set a positive sign for our future, but also bring objects with soul and history into our home.


Additional image credits: By Native, Indego Africa, People of The Sun