Ken Gutmaker Architectural Photography
A sustainable household is important but it doesn’t have to be difficult or costly. Whether it’s environmentally friendly interior design improvements or maintaining good home practices, these tips will help you go green in style.
If you’ve been thinking about going green, you might be wondering where to start. Taking care of the environment is a responsibility we all share. But the logistics can be confusing. One of the best places to start is by implementing simple environmental changes in your home. The great thing is: it doesn’t have to be difficult. There are solutions we can enact in our homes that will have a big impact on our environmental footprint.
Here are five sustainable home ideas that are easy to put in place in your home and that won’t break the bank.
1. Paint your house with green paints
Conventional paints contain a lot of chemicals like formaldehyde, heavy metals, and compounds known as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). These VOCs seep out of your painted walls long after the paint has dried. Not to mention the effect that one liter of paint can produce 30 liters of toxic waste. Eco-friendly paints contain no, or significantly less, VOCs than regular paint and can be derived from plants. If you plan to paint your home, do a little research to determine if eco-friendly paint is right for you.
2. Buy quality Furniture
Buying quality products might seem expensive initially but in the long term, quality products will last longer and you won’t be throwing out as much. Most of you interior design addicts will likely have stories about cheap furniture that just hasn’t gone the distance. There's no disputing fast-furniture has merit and can look pretty darn good sometimes. But it’s better for the environment if your furniture lasts longer than a couple of years. It’s also more socially-conscious. Well-made interiors don’t have to be a thing of the past. There are many brands that are committed to providing quality products. Caesarstone, for example, endorses a strong commitment to the environment, and many other brands echo this ethos.
3. Eco-friendly lighting
Switching your lighting is an easy win in the environment improvement game. CFL lights now come in warmer whites, so there’s really no excuse to avoid environmentally friendly lighting, while LED lights are perfect for bathrooms and areas where you need bright lights. These lights will last longer than normal globes so you won’t need to replace them as often, which will save you money on light bulbs and electricity as well as saving the environment. That’s a win-win right there.
4. Recycle and reuse furniture
Recycling and reusing takes many forms. You can start by reducing the amount of waste your household produces by recycling obvious materials like newspapers, cardboard, glass, plastic containers and aluminum on a day to day basis. From an interior design point of view, think about buying a second-hand gem – by default, this is recycling – instead of a new piece of furniture. Alternately, as touched upon in #2, consider buying furniture from ethical, environmentally friendly providers, especially those that use recycled materials to construct.
The only other tip is to think before you discard a good piece of furniture. Perhaps it can be refurbished or donated to someone who’ll make good use from it.
5. Switch off
This one is super easy. Switching off is not only good for the environment, it can be good for your mental health. Go an afternoon without a nagging phone and computer. Read a book instead of watching TV. Standby mode, also known as ‘vampire power’ can waste a lot of electricity so it’s a good idea to switch off your electronics at the wall. By making these simple changes to your home, and teaching your kids the benefits, you’ll not only help the environment but most likely save money in the process. And once you’ve implemented these changes, check out this infographic for some helpful eco-friendly home ideas.
Article by: Kate Smith & Brosa
For more environmentally friendly ideas: Eco-Friendly Kitchens & Baths | Little Ways to Make Your Home Greener