Need ideas on how to “greenify” your home? Not only are the options below good for the earth, they are good for you, as well, since many non-green items contain chemicals that could cause health problems down the road. Listed below are five green ways to decorate your home.
- Low or No VOC paint: What about conventional paint makes it so bad for the environment? Many things, really. According to an article written on planetgreen.com, the reason paint smells so strong is because it gives off a gas of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs can cause a wide range of problems that range from minor headaches, nausea and eye irritation to the more serious…cancer. According to the same article, darker shades of paint that say they contain no VOCs still may have them, because the added tint to create the darker shade usually contains the product. So the lighter the shade, the better the chance it truly contains no VOCs.In addition to VOCs, the production of paint can be extremely harmful to the earth. According to planetgreen.com, 10-30 tons of waste can be created by just one ton of paint. This waste must be disposed of properly or nearby soil will be contaminated.Several brands of “green” paint can now be purchased at your local home improvement store. Some brands to look out for are; Sherwin Williams Harmony paint, Yolo Colorhouses’s Little Yolo Sprout Collection, SafePaint from Old Fashioned Milk Paint Co., Modern Emulsion from Farrow and Ball. More information about these paints can be found here.
- Recycled Wallpaper: Look for wallpaper made from recycled material. Graham & Brown now claims that about 50 percent of their wallpaper is made from renewable resources. To view their products click here.
- Choose natural products when possible: If you plan on re-decorating your kitchen or bathroom, look for cabinets, countertops and flooring made from natural materials instead of petroleum-based materials. Think about where these products will eventually end up someday…a landfill. Cabinets, countertops and flooring made from natural products can be reused and will not harm to earth when disposed of. Although these products are often more expensive, they are also often crafted better and more timeless when it comes to design. Natural wood cabinets, stone countertops and real hardwood floors also increase the value of your home.
- Use restored or antique furniture or decorations: Why let beautiful furniture designs or décor accessories go to waste just because they are old? Peruse your local antique shop or flea market to find great items to use in your home and help decrease the production demand for new, petroleum-based décor.
- Carpet made from recycled plastic bottles: What a great idea?! Every year, there are millions of plastic bottles thrown away in the United States. It’s good to know that there are companies out there trying to find new uses for these materials. Visit www.GoGreenFLooring.com to learn more about this type of carpet and other green flooring options.
Sharon Harlan is an Interior Decorator and also owns the site Interior Design Degree. She likes to write articles about everything fashion and design.