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Six Ways to be More Sustainable this Summer

19 July 2023

Sustainability starts at home afterall…
loer floor light

Here at Tom Raffield, we love our surrounding environment, along with the constant inspiration it provides, so we do everything we can to protect and care for it. That's why we’ve collated our six favourite tips for living a more environmentally conscious life this summer, and beyond.

Gardening prep Chelsea flower show

Get gardening

Summer is the perfect time of the year to embrace the outdoors whilst the weather is more settled. Creating a vibrant vegetable patch or herb garden will not only save you money by minimising supermarket trips and buying plastic-wrapped produce but, bees and butterflies will thank you for the extra greenery to be pollenated.

Planting in the Green Range planter
Plant trees with plenty of room to grow and provide clean air for future generations to enjoy.

For smaller garden spaces, consider vertical gardening. Whether you opt for trailing plants (such as tomatoes) in hanging pots to bring life to a high wall, or select tall flowers like sunflowers that grow from the ground up, there is always a way to turn a small garden space into a big harvest. If you're short on space choose crops that will guarantee a large yield for your efforts such as peas, cucumbers and low maintenance 'cut and come again' lettuce.

Planting at Chlesea Flower SHow
Collect water with a thoughtfully placed container outside, so your greenery can be quenched with nutrient rich rainwater.

TR tip – Get creative and upcycle containers like toilet roll tubes and egg cartons into seedling pots to avoid buying the plastic alternative. Unusual ideas can add texture and interest to your garden, as well as saving you money and re-using items that might otherwise have been discarded.


Tom Raffield Nanskerris

Stay local

Holidaying at home is undeniably better for the environment than trips abroad and can be just as fun. Seek some ‘out of the ordinary’ experiences in your area - activities that you wouldn't usually do at the weekend - that will keep the whole family busy and entertained.

Be a tourist in your own town. We often take our local villages for granted, under appreciating what they have to offer. Plan some local activities, such as a beach day, a park picnic, or a woodland walk to get in touch with the environment that is close to home – whilst still indulging in usual holiday treats of course!

Picnic at Nanskerris
Al fresco anyone? Pack up your next family dinner and take it to your local park or beach for some quality time with your loved ones.

Take part in re-wilding your local area. Re-wilding is moving away from current forestry techniques and allowing nature to thrive. Over the past 50 years, more than half the world’s wildlife population is thought to have been lost; re-wilding helps the effort to bring some endangered species back.

Take your loved ones to a local nature area and help remove anything that is stopping nature from flourishing, and even build some stable homes for local insects and animals. If you are unsure on where to begin, get involved with Ecologi or a local tree planting group.

Log pile at Nanskerris
Create a log pile in your garden as a home for insects. A wide range of creatures can find solstice in a stable log pile, with some even acting as pollinators.

On your bike

Swap short drives in the car for a bike ride or walk – especially if you are just nipping into town for some necessities or heading to your favourite local café for some lunch.

Not only does cycling lower greenhouse gas contribution dramatically, but it decreases the noise pollution in the area too. The more we reduce our driving, the greater the need for more traffic-free, green spaces - improving wildlife and biodiversity. Cycling or walking also gives you a chance to see your area from a fresh perspective and experiment with new routes, all whilst improving your physical and mental health – win win.

Path around Nanskerris
Explore undiscovered areas and new picnic spots without leaving an environmental impact…
Picnic at Nanskerris
Picnic with reusable plates and cutlery rather than disposable to minimise waste and ensure you always have the capability for an impromptu picnic!

TR tip – Leave a reusable bag by your bike to take along on your trips in case of a spontaneous purchase, meaning you won’t have to buy any plastic bags.

Hang it out

This sounds like a simple one, but focusing on small tasks you do every day at home and introducing greener rituals is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and be more sustainable. For instance, hanging clothes outside rather than using a tumble dryer or a heated rack will save on energy consumption.

Tom Raffield grand designs home
Make your garden a beautiful and purposeful space so you enjoy spending time in it – even if you are doing chores!

Switch to eco-friendly washing detergent and cleaners that still tackle dirt and grime but are a lot safer for the planet. There is a wide offering of products that are free from any harmful chemicals or pollutants, as well as coming in a recyclable or refillable container.

Rethink your wardrobe

It might be hard to hear, but you don’t need to buy new clothes for upcoming events. Fast fashion is a mindset and part of consumer culture, with companies telling us we always need “new”. There are many worthwhile alternative options to buying new - looking after what you have better, shopping second-hand or even hiring clothes for special events. 

Weddings may be back on… but this doesn’t mean you need new clothes to attend. Why not try exchanging outfits with friends or family for upcoming events? These outfits may not be brand new, but they will be new to you and your wardrobe, which is just as good. 

Tom Raffield Seasalt Collab
Host a clothing exchange amongst your friendship group, it’s a great way to refresh your style whilst maintaining a carbon neutral impact.

Take stock of your clothing by pulling everything out of your wardrobe, down to the last pair of socks. You might discover long forgotten gems that have made their way to the bottom of the pile, but most likely you will be able to pass on those unwanted pieces onto your local charity shop.

Get handy with a sewing machine and repurpose well-worn clothing and materials to unleash your inner fashion designer.

Unplug and unwind

Stop the ‘energy vampires’ from using power when they are not in use. Many devices continue to use electricity even when they’re not turned on and can account for up to 10% of your monthly electricity bill.

To combat this, do an unplugging sweep as you head to bed for the evening, ensuring to only plug something in you will need. This includes your Wi-Fi router! plus, this will also help you stay off screen when you are in bed, in turn helping your sleeping pattern improve.

Steambending at Tom Raffield
Steam bending is a low energy practice, push the boundaries of natural materials and artisan designs, not the planet.
Tom Raffield Drift Pendant
Invest in lighting pieces that look just as striking switched off, meaning you won’t have to use electricity to create an impact on your space.

Let the daylight in and allow the warm glow of the sun to brighten your space. Natural light is a lot kinder on your eyes and provides a perfect mood boost – starting your day off right. Turn off lights when you leave a room, and only turn on task lighting when needed.


Tom Raffield Grand Designs house garden

Seeking more sustainable ideas?

We have collected five more suggestions that you can try this Summer, to be kinder to the planet.

Posted: 19.07.23
Updated: 21.07.23

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