Are you sure?

You still have in your basket

If you continue to our gift website, these items will not be present in your new Utility Gift basket.s in your basket won't carry over to the gift site.

However, your Utility Design shopping basket will be saved here for 30 days should you wish to return to it.

Sign Up To The Utility Newsletter For 10% OFF Your First Order

  1. Home
  2. Blog
  3. Going Green In The Home : Our Top 3 Tips

Going Green In The Home : Our Top 3 Tips

Last week, the universally admired Leonardo Decaprio  gave an inspiring Oscar-acceptance speech that has propelled the topic of climate change back into the forefront of mainstream media. Yet the actor became a champion of green living years before he stayed the night inside a horse’s carcass for Revenant, and the same goes for the  ever expanding group of eco-friendly designers  that have long been doing their part to make it easier to go green in the home.

Embracing an eco-friendly ethos can really make a difference, but what does it takes to actually live this way? A great place to start is  to take a critical look at the stuff you own. From eco-shopping to energy conservation, here’s a few tips to make sustainable living that little bit easier in the home.

1. Look out for Ecolabels

A green home can easily be a stylish home providing you know where to look. If you want to become an eco-shopper then you need to know which labels to trust. There are over 440 eco labels worldwide, but a few leading brands include :

  • GOTS  [Global Organic Textile Standard] - This is the world’s leading grade for organic fibres, and represents textiles that have been processed with the least possible environmental impact, minimal use of chemicals and good social conditions.
  • Cotton Connect - A leading social enterprise working in partnership with retailers to  create sustainable cotton supply chains in developing countries, thereby reducing water consumption, use of synthetic fertilises & pesticides.
  • FSC (Forestry Stewardship Scheme)  - FSC is a charity dedicated to promoting responsible management of the world’s forests and was established in response to global deforestation.  FSC 100% means everything in your product is sourced by FSC certified forests, FSC Recycled,  means the product contains 85% reclaimed materials, and FSC Mix combines FSC certified and reclaimed wood (at least 70%) with non-certified quality-controlled wood.
  • Greenguard - Synthetic materials, or anything treated with synthetic substances, release toxic chemicals that have been linked to serious health issues such as birth defects and cancer. Greenguard is a certification which ensures furniture is low in toxicity. Knoll, Herman Miller and Izzydesign all offer Greenguard certified furniture options.
  • C2C - Products certified by C2C (Cradle to Cradle) can be easily taken apart, sorted into their constituent parts, and recycled at the end of their  lives. They are not just efficient but essentially waste free, because they're as useful at the end of their lives as they are at the beginning.


2. Buy for the future

One of the most important but often overlooked aspects of green production is durability. Cheap mass produced goods are often tempting to buy in the short-term, but they're designed to be expendable. Just like 'fast-fashion'- low-cost clothing mimicking luxury trends, 'fast-furniture' sacrifices provenance and quality  for a cheap price tag, adding to society's growing mountain of wastage in the long-term ( The Royal Society of Arts has recently reported that 1.6 million tonnes of furniture is being slung into UK landfill each year).

If you want to purchase more ethical furniture for your home, a great place to start is to find pieces made using high-quality materials and production techniques. Products with the greatest longevity of usefulness are less likely to end up in landfill and could easily save you money in the long run, even if it's initially more expensive. They'll also be much easier to sell on if your furniture tastes change in the future.

One of our most popular brands, Carl Hansen & Son is dedicated to sustainable production, and only uses wood from Danish forests which are managed according to the 2004 Danish Forest Act, a law that promotes sustainable forestry incorporating ecological, social and economic considerations. MuutoKnoll, Empatika and Greenwoods Furniture are other leading design companies  producing enduring classic furniture designs according to the strictest quality and environmental standards.

Take a look at our top picks of our eco-friendly accessories and furniture.


3. Build or renovate with Passivhaus Principles

Going green is of course not just about buying ethically. Conserving energy is also a really important factor for living sustainably, and we're not just talking about turning the lights out when you leave the house (though that's a great place to start).  If you're building from scratch  or carrying out an extensive renovation, a growing number of designers and architects are seeing the benefits of  the Passivhaus Design Principles- a construction concept that requires houses to use very little energy for heating and cooling.

Solar panels, rainwater harvesting, green roofs and super-insulation have a huge impact on reducing energy waste, as in this Pavilion London House by E2 Architecture, which has a level five out of six on the code for sustainable homes. The winner of the Evening Standard New Homes Eco + Living Award in 2015, and voted the UK's top eco home in the Guardian online in 2014, it shows sustainable homes can be beautiful without being dominated by their eco credentials.

pavillion house



Next Working Day Delivery

View UK delivery options

Delivering to 150 Countries

View delivery options

Thank You Messages

I have rarely experienced such excellent quality advice, support and reliability. Your staff communicate effectively and helpfully. I am a truly satisfied customer. I love my String Shelving and I will not hesitate to return to Utility for my next purchase. Thank you!

Oct 24th 2019 | Sarah

Your customer service has been fantastic. I'm seriously impressed. Really pleased to be able to place the bigger order and make your time worthwhile. I think I need to send you a medal!

May 19th 2019 | Jason

I just wanted to express my thanks again for your great customer service. I ordered my items less than 24 hours ago and I’ve amended my order- yet I still have my order here with me now. You went out of your way to deliver my order and I’m very grateful. I wish more places had people like you :-)

May 14th 2019 | Louise

Thanks so much for your extraordinary service. -

Jun 19th 2019 | Maria (US)

Thanks again for such amazing customer service - I have honestly been so impressed by everything! Thank you for doing such a wonderful job

Jun 19th 2019 | Amber

Excellent customer service and immediate response to enquiry (live chat). Very happy every time used Utility both online and on high street.

Jun 28th 2019 | Jo

I couldn't be happier with the custom made sofa bought through the online store. It is perfect and made all the more enjoyable by buying it through the guys at utility. Ben and Paul who delivered the sofa were amazing, kind and really helpful in a difficult situation (of course the lift broke when I was getting something delivered). Would highly recommend!

Aug 13th 2019 | Holly

Just wanted to message and say that I'm a big fan of the Utility Stores and the types of products you guys sell. I work close by to the Manchester store at University Green, so I'm popping in a fair bit generally for cards, gifts, etc. I just nipped in again this afternoon about one product I'd bought earlier and the staff were super helpful and attentive. It made it really easy, and I was in and out in no time.

Aug 13th 2019 | Richard

Just wanted to drop you guys a quick note to say how happy I am with the service I have had. Especially the two guys who delivered/carried into an awkward space/built/then took away the packaging, not to mention then gave me a lift into town. Thank you. Plus the sofa looks amazing. I will definitely be using you guys more in the future and will highly recommend you to anyone who will listen.

Sep 13th 2019 | Luke

Thank you for all your help and customer service, the Eames Lounge Chair arrived yesterday and I love it.

Nov 1st 2019 | Ross

Comment: I just wanted to say that Esther on the checkout in the L1 store made my day today she was so friendly

Dec 9th 2019 | Katy