August Eco Audit

eco home audit

August Eco Audit 

How to eco audit your home and business. 

As Ecofreak Interiors and personally, my mission is to be kind to earth and inspire others to do the same, while creating and encouraging sustainable design,for the benefit of a future where eco friendly is normal.
To maintain our eco credentials every August I conduct a simple eco audit. Not only do I conduct this for EcoFreak Interiors but also for my own home. I know it sounds complicated but it's really not!

So what is an Eco Audit and do I need one?
The short answer is YES you absolutely need to do an eco audit!An eco audit is a simple review of your current sustainability practices and shows you where you need to improve. Not only does this highlight where you can improve but shows you all the amazing steps you are taking to save our wonderful planet!
eco notebook

So how do I audit my own home?
Start by grabbing a notepad and pick a room.I always start with the kitchen, just take a look around your kitchen, and  list the things that you are already doing to be eco friendly. An example would be “using beeswax wraps, buying packaging free cereal and pasta, not buying bottled water, and using beeswax wraps.”

Next, list the things that aren't so eco friendly. An example would be “herbs in plastic jars, plastic straws, and fruit from foreign countries.”Now you have a comprehensive list of what you're getting right and what you can look at improving.Think about the things you can do to make eco improvements for example i’ll grow my own herbs to avoid buying the plastic jars. Id buy reusable straws to eliminate the plastic ones, and i’ll shop at local farm shops for in season fruit and veg.

Once you have done this for every room, you have the perfect reminder of all the amazing things you're doing and a list of little steps you can take to up your eco game! 

See I told you it was simple.

grow your own

Next year when you do this again you will be able to see the huge improvements that you have made in your journey to sustainability, it's so encouraging to see how many steps you've taken to be an amazing eco warrior! I’d love to see what your very own eco audits turned up for you, please share some of your results in the comments below.

eco friendly business

Now it's time to eco audit your business.  

I've shared my sustainability mission here, and I am constantly trying to rethink my processes so that i dont cause unnecessary harm to the planet. I actually audit Eco Freak Interiors more than once a year so as to make sure I'm always striving for the absolute best eco practices.

Doing an eco audit for a business can be a little more complicated as there is a lot to think more about. But again just start with a notebook and break down all the parts of your business.

Start with your raw materials, are your materials responsibly sourced, are they eco friendly can things be made even more so? Next think about how you manage your resources, this includes things like paint or whatever other materials you use to create your products. Are there wasted resources you can reduce? Resource management also covers things like your packaging, are you using the most environmentally friendly method to package and ship your products?

Next, think about conservation and ethical production. Are you doing anything that may harm the environment? Are any of the products you use toxic? Are you using up natural resources to create your products?  Maybe there is a different more sustainable way to create your product, a good example of this is the people who were creating resin products. People have become aware of the detrimental effects of resin to the planet, so many creators are now making the same items from jesmonite, which is an amazing sustainable alternative to resin and a much more ethical way of production. Are there ways to conserve the environment more within your business by changing a small thing?

Ethical production also covers employee welfare and fair wages. For example if you're printing on demand or ordering materials from abroad, do you know how much the wages the employees are getting paid? Do you know if they have fair wages and working hours?Are they covered by any scheme that ensures this? If you're unsure, ask the questions of the relevant people and if you're not happy with the answers you can research new suppliers and change things up. 

Now think about the lifecycle of your product.How big is the carbon footprint for your product from the raw materials through your creation to the point it lands on your customers doorstep?Can this be reduced or offset any further?Another consideration is what happens if your product is no longer wanted? If it ends up in landfill how long will it remain there? Can you encourage your customers to recycle, reuse or donate instead?

carbon offset

Don't forget to look at the admin side of your business too, are you printing things off, that could be just kept on the computer? Are your practices within the office eco friendly or are people leaving the lights on all the time?
Thinking about all these things individually will give you a really good overview of what you can do to improve your sustainability practices in your business. Creating a sustainability mission statement on your website and sharing it on socials is a great way to hold yourself accountable .

I feel like I've gone off on a tangent with the business audit part of this blog so if you would like another blog post on the eco home audit side, let me know in the comment section and I'll see what I can do.

  I hope everyone learnt a little something from this very long post! 

Until next time EcoFreaks xxx

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