So you recycle your paper and plastics, take cloth bags to the grocery store, and started a compost in the backyard. Now you are wondering what else you can do to be green. How about going green indoors?
When it comes to interior design I personally am always looking for ways to incorporate recycled items, energy efficient appliances, and alternative products into a space.
First, you should know that you don’t have to be a design guru or spend a ton of money to make green changes. Simply making wise investments that will be healthier for you and family is key. Plus, you will create long term savings all the while taking steps toward helping our precious environment. When considering going green indoors keep in mind the following.
1. Paint – One of the most impactful ways to change up a space in your home is paint. However, most traditional paints are heavy in VOC’s (volatile organic compounds). This is a class of chemicals that may cause health problems ranging from dizziness to nerve damage. So be sure to choose paints that are nontoxic natural paints. I recommend Sherwin William paints, which has zero VOC’s.
2. Flooring – The next time you smell that “new carpet smell” – don’t smile. In fact you should be frowning. Why? Well, what your smelling are chemicals. Most traditional carpets are notorious for harboring toxins and allergens. If you have an opportunity to replace your carpets with sustainable hard wood flooring such as reclaimed wood, renewable bamboo, or responsible harvest woods – make the investment. The maintenance for hard wood flooring is a lot easier to maintain and is healthier than carpet. You can always finish off the look with an all natural area rug made from wool, organic cotton or hemp. I recommend Green Building Supply Flooring.
3. Energy Star Appliances, Faucets and Toilets – Did you know the average household of 4 uses around 400 gallons of water per day! To save money and preserve our precious environment, I highly suggest replacing your leaky or water-wasting faucets with water efficient products produced by the company American Standard. Likewise, replacing your old toilet with a FloWise Dual Flush Right Height Elongated Toilet by American Standard will also help the environment and stop you from flushing money down the drain. American Standard truly have set the standard in design. Their quality of products is making it easier for all of us to do our part in living a more conscious and greener lifestyle.
4. Energy Efficient Curtains – Light plays an integral part in design and having the sun pour into a space can be heavenly. However, depending on what time of year it is a room can sometimes feel too hot or cold. To save money on heating and cooling cost – add energy efficient curtains. Simply by installing energy efficient curtains in your home you can substantially save on your electricity bill each year. So consider using energy efficient curtains to change the look of your window treatments.
5. Live Plants – Plants not only liven up a room – some are actually air cleaners. According to a study by NASA and the Associated Landscape Contractors of America, some plants such as the bamboo palm, Chinese evergreen, English ivy, gerbera daisy, chrysanthemum, and the peace lily effectively remove toxic formaldehyde, benzene, and carbon monoxide from the air. All reasons to go out this weekend and start your indoor green design makeover.
Written by Didiayer Snyder.