ECO-FRIENDLY INTERIOR DECORATING!
Designed for Health!
Here are some ideas which will Save You Money and Help Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions:
Eco-friendly homes are smartly designed for health as well as beauty by choosing building products and home furnishings made from materials that sustain nature and honor the planet. The materials we use, how they are produced, and what is done with the waste all have an impact to our environment. “Green” homes are indistinguishable from traditionally built homes but save energy and money by using less natural resources and fewer toxic chemicals.
Using energy efficient appliances and water conserving fixtures like low volume toilets reduce water consumption, and water purification systems save the purchase of water. These homes also maximize the winter’s sun exposure and minimize summer heat with the use of solar panels and skylights saving energy. New methods of insulating the home improve heating efficiency.
A major cause of indoor air pollution is caused by volatile organic compounds. (VOC’s) VOC’s can be present in paints, stains and glues that get released into the air. This can cause headaches, nausea and exacerbate asthma and allergies. Using an air purifier reduces the chemicals floating around and improves the air quality in your home. But even better are houseplants which take in CO2 and releases clean, pure oxygen, adding welcome humidity to the air we breathe, filtering dust particles and absorbing certain air toxins.
Working with sustainable and reclaimed products, such as wool carpeting, bamboo flooring, and cotton insulation, and by using paints and stains with low VOC’s, will make a difference. Refurbishing older furniture is another way to maintain a healthy interior environment. Older furniture was usually made better and harmful chemicals were not used until the 50’s & 60’s. Reclaimed or sustainable wood in some nontoxic finishes with natural fabrics on the upholstery support the creation of eco-friendly homes.
Becoming more aware and making wise choices for innovative solutions in building materials and home furnishings will make for healthy and beautifully designed spaces.
BUY SUSTAINABLE FURNITURE
Almost half of the world’s original forests have been cut down, with another 40 million acres vanishing every year. Trees absorb carbon dioxide and reduce our carbon footprint on the earth. If you purchase furniture made with wood certified by the FSC (forest stewardship council), they ensure that timber is cut down and grown in a land and habitat friendly way.
Furniture can be made from FSC certified wood, which is formaldehyde free, and the inside of the furniture can be made from a product that is made from recycled plastic bottles. Sustainable furniture also has the added benefit of being made with non-toxic glues, paints and finishing treatments that won’t pollute indoor or outdoor air.
GET AN ECO-FRIENDLY MATTRESS
Instead of buying a petroleum-based mattress made of memory foam that pollutes the planet as it is manufactured and again when it is thrown away, reduce your carbon footprint by using an earth-friendly mattress. They are made with independent coils, organic cotton batting and wool from US organic sheep farmers. Wool is actually a natural dust mite repellant and fire-retardant, so no chemical fire-retardants necessary. Super soft and comfy and made domestically! Products made in the USA save fuel on transportation of goods.
USE ORGANIC COTTON BED SHEETS
Use 100% organic cotton sheets, towels, blankets, etc. Organic cotton is grown without the use of pesticides (which produce greenhouse gas emissions. 25% of all soil-contaminating insecticides go into the growing of cotton in the USA. (It takes a full pound of pesticides to make just 3 t-shirts.) Organic soils capture and store carbon dioxide (absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere).
Old carpets and rugs are reclaimed and made into new carpet backing. (So far 93 million tons of carpet has been reclaimed in this way.) This eco-friendly carpet/rug comes in carpet tiles, individual squares which can be created into any shape or pattern you’d like. If you have a stain, you don’t have replace the whole carpet. you can simply replace one square. You can even take it with you if you move. It’s great for dorms and unusual shaped areas too. Check out www.flor.com for a carpet “Return/Recycle” program.
l�al��P�printed on recycled paper using low VOC vegetable inks & dyes. It is recyclable and biodegradable. The production of this wallpaper is less chemically intensive & emits less greenhouse gasses than the production of traditional wallpapers and because it is made of recycled paper, it also saves trees (which absorb carbon dioxide).
USE ZERO “VOC” PAINT
The first way to reduce your carbon footprint is with paint. Use paint with no volatile organic compounds (or VOC’s as they’re called) which are chemicals that evaporate at room temperature. It’s what makes that bad “paint” smell. They are bad for your health and they pollute air indoors & outdoors. If you don’t have the money for major decorating/renovating, paint can do a lot. A fresh coat of paint can give a room an instant face-lift. Zero VOC paint can be less than $20 per gallon, which makes “being environmental” also “being thrifty”! About 10% of the garbage that is depleting the ozone in the US comes from paints and other surface coatings w/ VOC’s. Zero VOC paints have no harmful chemicals and can be even less expensive than some traditional paints. Now they come in wide variety of colors — today you don’t have to sacrifice style to be good to the planet.
Once you start going green around the house, you’ll see how small changes can really add up.
CALCULATE YOUR OWN CARBON FOOTPRINT
Educate yourself so that you can take action and make small changes. You can use an online calculator to get an estimate of your (or your family’s) personal greenhouse gas emissions.
For more ways to reduce your carbon footprint and eco-friendly décor ideas, check out www.dominomag.com