Guest Blog Entry #42, Entry #396, January 24, 2011
In our everyday lives we are trying to find ways to improve the indoor and outdoor environment around us in which we live, play, and learn. Decorating your home should keep a responsibility to the Earth when choosing materials, and when selecting green practices. Decorating your home can be rewarding aesthetically and leave your home a healthy and energy efficient environment.
Today Bailey Harris, a freelance writer, for AreaRugs.com, gives us seven tips for green decorating in your home.
Everywhere you look these days you see people, businesses, and products going green, but what exactly is that? And how do you incorporate that into your lifestyle? There are many ways that you can be green, without turning your world upside down. It can be as easy as using rechargeable batteries, changing the way you eat, or making small alterations to home decorations. Here are 7 green decorating ideas to consider.
1. )Change Your Lighting
Let’s start with something simple, like changing your light bulbs. There are a couple different choices when looking for an eco-friendly light bulb. You can choose between compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) or light emitting diode (LED). Both of these will last longer and use less energy than the incandescent light bulb but still provide the lighting your home design needs.
2.) Utilize Plants and Herbs
Did you know that if you put 10 to 15 plants in your house it would freshen the air in less than 24 hours? It would take about the same amount of time to remove all the toxins and purify the air. A few great eco-friendly house plants include the Boston fern, rubber plant, bamboo palm and African violet. Also why not plant some of your favorite herbs in a window box? Fresh herbs have many uses and could enhance your home’s curb appeal.
3.) Get Crafty
Need a centerpiece for your dining room table? Why not make it! Try taking a glass baby food jar and filling it with either a soy wax or beeswax. Add a drop of essential oil and you have an eco-friendly candle. Do you need some art on your walls? Buy a nice frame and give the kids a paintbrush and homemade watercolors. You could also try weaving your own baskets. There is no limit to the designs you could come up with.
A great way to furnish or accessorize your house is to repurpose what you already have. If you don’t have what you need, you could recycle other people’s stuff. You can find decorating materials at flea markets, second hand stores, and online through sellers on eBay and Craigslist. Not only will you save money, but you may be saving something from going into a landfill.
5.) Buy Locally
When you shop locally not only are you buying sustainable products for you area, you are helping your community. Check out your local farmers market the next time you need some fruit for your fruit bowl or a new handcrafted item to add to your design. You will be just as happy with your purchase as you would be with something bought from a large supermarket or department store chain.
6.) Use Natural Materials
Are you aware that linoleum is once again appearing in houses everywhere? The main reason for this comeback is that many new types of linoleum are made from natural or 100 percent recycled materials. Other choices for an eco-friendly floor include reclaimed wood, organic cotton or wool carpet, and sustainable materials such as eucalyptus, bamboo, or cork. When it’s time to replace your old flooring, consider going with one of these greener options.
7.)Choose Products Low in VOC
Paints, stains, and similar products often contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These products emit hazardous chemicals that could cause serious health problems. If you plan on repainting or staining anything in the near future, you will definitely want to look for products that are rated as natural, Zero-VOC, or low-VOC.
Bailey Harris, a freelance writer, writes for AreaRugs.com. They offer an extensive selection of area rugs from top rug manufacturers.
For more Home Decorating ideas on Stagetecture, click here.