Sustainability and being more eco-friendly are top priorities for many of us right now. Luckily, you don’t have to spend a fortune to make your life more sustainable, including your home décor.
The following are simple, practical ways you can cultivate a more sustainable interior design concept in your home for a greener and often healthier lifestyle.
Choose the Right Materials
The materials you choose for flooring, furniture, rugs, and other key items in your home can make for more sustainable design.
For example, reclaimed wood is lovely for flooring or making furniture. When you use reclaimed wood, you’re breathing new life into old materials and recycling them.
Bamboo is an excellent material to use in home design because it’s more sustainable than traditional wood. It’s one of the fastest-growing plants we have access to, and it doesn’t require the use of a lot of fertilizers or pesticides.
Cork is a sustainable material that can be made to feel and look just like hardwood and is increasingly being used for flooring.
When it comes to fabrics and upholstery, natural options like jute are eco-friendly. Jute is a strong material that grows quickly and is renewable.
If you’re going to be painting or varnishing anything in your home, choose products that have low levels of what are called volatile organic compounds or VOCs. VOCs can evaporate when they’re at room temperature and create harmful gas for your health and pollute the environment.
As you choose paints and finishes, look for products that specifically say they’re low VOC or non-toxic. Milk paint and water-based paints can also be sustainable solutions.
Swap Your Light Bulbs
One of the easiest and quickest updates you can make to your home that’ll make it more eco-friendly is to switch out your light bulbs. Get rid of your old bulbs for LED bulbs that use at a minimum 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs. They also last much longer.
You can typically still keep your original lighting source and get the benefits of the new bulbs, so it’s not a major project.
We all tend to like finding a good deal on cheap, new furniture, but there are some advantages to shopping for vintage or antique options. First, it’s fun to find treasures, and you may actually save money over the cost of new items.
Old furniture tends to be well-made and stand the test of time, and you’re giving these items new life.
Consider Your Color Scheme
The colors you use in your décor can make a difference in your environmental impact.
If you use light colors, your home will reflect more light. That will help you need to use less artificial lighting compared to darker colors.
Plus, it may be easier to maintain a comfortable temperature in your home using excess energy if your color palette focuses on lighter options.
Use Window Treatments
Adding window coverings lets you control both heating and lighting.
Most of your heat is going to escape through your windows, and you may not have the money in your budget to upgrade your windows right now, so coverings can do the trick. You can keep the cold air out and the sun in by opening and shutting your coverings as needed.
Use Home Automation
If you use a home automation system like Nest, you can control your lighting and heating anywhere, improving your home’s efficiency.
Decorate with Plants
Having greenery in your home comes with a plethora of benefits. Plants and greenery can boost your mood and productivity. They can improve your immune system, and they’re good for the environment because they provide oxygen while filtering out harmful chemicals.
Your overall goals for sustainable design should be having a healthy environment for your family, reducing your reliance on non-renewable materials, cutting down your energy usage, and minimizing waste. You don’t have to achieve all of these at one time. Take small steps as you work toward a greener future, beginning with your home.
Article Written by Ashley Sutphin; Published in Realty Times 9/11/23
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