Creating an eco-friendly home means achieving a balance between how you live and where you live. Home decor is an important factor in creating harmony between human and environment, and a green lifestyle offers many benefits. For those who want an eco-friendly home without sacrificing the aesthetics and appeal of style, here are several recycled, renewed or reclaimed products to add flare and mindfulness to your place of residence.
Why Go Greener?
Those who practice sustainability in their decor are able to reduce their ecological footprints and simultaneously incorporate trendy design elements. The eco-friendly approach to home living can also yield lower utility costs, healthier and safer indoor environments, not to mention peace of mind. In essence, these green touches offer sustainability while limiting your impact on the environment and saving you money.
So what home products are considered eco-friendly? Products that reduce chemicals and toxins, those that are sustainable and those that reduce energy use are recycled or re-purposed.
Reduce Chemicals and Toxins
There are many small steps you can take to eliminate contaminants from your home. For instance, instead of burning wood in a fireplace and creating smoke pollutants, invest in a salt lamp that offers the same ambient lighting that a burning fire has, only without any of the contaminants.
Probably the most popular means of breathing new design life into a room is to paint it; however, many paints contain toxins, called volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs can release toxic emissions into the air in your home once you’ve applied the paint to your walls, which can harm both the environment and your family’s health. So, check for VOC-free paint even before you decide on a new color.
Sustainability is imperative to keep in mind when decorating your home to be conducive to environmental safety. If you have already decided to ditch the carpet in your home, a wise replacement for flooring would be wood. Bamboo is an excellent option for both flooring and furniture. Though bamboo is technically a grass, it exhibits properties similar to wood and can last for ages. The key to choosing quality bamboo products though is to do your research. A few bamboo manufacturers use pesticides in the growing of their bamboo, which is counter-productive when trying to go greener, so do your due Google diligence before deciding on a brand of bamboo.
Additionally, if you want to purchase wood furniture for your home, this can also be a step in the right sustainable direction, however, you will want to make sure that the furniture you purchase is not a product of deforestation. If the furniture is created from FSC-certified wood, it is an eco-friendly choice. Marked with a “tick tree” logo, these FSC-certified products are certain to be better for the environment because the wood will have been harvested to the 10 FSC principles, a guide that assures that to wood was claimed through sound techniques.
Reduce Energy, Recycle, Re-purpose
Curtains, for one, are a popular eco-friendly product that helps families to cut back on energy spending. You can replace your traditional curtains or drapes with thermal curtains that block out the sun paired with curtain tie backs, which will decrease your energy consumption. Not only are they effective, but they save you money. Second-hand, gently used, recycled curtains are another option as reusing products already in circulation cuts down on waste.
In fact, there are tons of DIY projects you can take on in order to re-purpose items you already own. Stack and bind together old books to create tables and lamp stands, use fallen tree branches from your yard to create bedroom shelving, or recycle and re-purpose old wine bottles to make tables and candle holders. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination.
Creating a balance between your home and the environment may seem like a daunting task, but by following these few suggestions of reducing toxins, using sustainable products, and cutting back on your energy use while recycling items you already own, going greener doesn’t have to be difficult. You can have a stylish and eco-friendly home at the same time.