(Image credit: http://pixabay.com/p-157112/?no_redirect)
Changing times call for making changes in our lifestyle. The way we live today is very different from the way our elders lived. The environment today is no longer as clean as it was even a decade ago, and problems such as global warming, the ozone hole, and rising pollution levels loom large over our planet.
While a lot of people do want to do something about it, many are clueless about how they can help. Charity begins at home, it is said. So, why not start with modifying the way you live? You can always start by making certain changes to your home décor in a way which is supportive of the environment.
While redecorating your home to make it more eco-friendly may seem cumbersome, it is really quite easy. Just a few additions and deletions from your home will help you make it aesthetic as well as pro-nature.
1. Get Rid of the Clutter
First and foremost you need to de-clutter your living space to make sure that it is no longer stuffed with things that you do not require, need, or can harm the environment.
Think of it as a cleansing ritual. By clearing your home of the unwanted stuff, you’re letting go of the negative, thereby making room for the positive and productive to enter your home. And by deciding to go green, you’ve already made a great start.
2. Brighten It Up
(Image credit: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/32580797278826904/)
Stark white walls may make a home look like it is in dire need of some personality and dimension. So, you might want to add a splash of color to the walls by painting them. You can do so in an eco-friendly way.
Opt for paints that are low or nil in VOC or volatile organic compounds. These compounds are nothing but harmful emissions from paints (the off-putting smell that most newly-painted homes give off). These paints are high in lead content and hence, extremely dangerous to people and the environment.
By choosing low/no VOC paints, you will protect your family, pets, and nature from their harmful effects.
Alternatively, you can also use wallpapers to add color to your walls. You can cover your floor in stone or ceramic tiles, or wooden panels as these are eco-friendly too.
3. Use Eco-friendly Art
A great way of adding character and sophistication to your home in a jiffy is by using wall paintings. These also come in eco-friendly options, so make sure you scout for those and put them up. They are, typically, made from clay or milk-based paints and are very low in chemical content.
Using eco-friendly art does not mean you will have to comprise on the colors and designs, it only means that you’re going for art that promotes a natural way of doing things.
Eco-friendly art supplies are available in plenty, so if you decide to create a masterpiece for your home yourself, make sure you use those.
4. Use Natural Fibers
(Image credit: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/7177680627509295/)
If you like to use carpets at home, make sure they’re eco-friendly too. Instead of those made from synthetic materials, choose carpets that are made of natural ones like wool. You also have the option of installing modular carpet tiles, which utilize non-toxic dyes and colors and are made from recycled materials.
Apart from being toxic-free, they are also convenient-to-maintain and easy-to-install. They can be returned to the manufacturer for recycling once their shelf-life is over.
Another area where you can make improvements is when choosing day-to-day home items such as mattresses, beddings, and pillows. Go for those stuffed with wool as that will ensure that your house stays free of allergy-causing dust mites.
On the same lines, say no to plastic, particle board, and chromed metal as well.
5. Build a Small Kitchen Garden
Even if you’re spatially-challenged at home, you can still make room for a small kitchen or an herb garden at home. You can grow useful plants and herbs like mint, basil, rosemary, and thyme on your windowsill, and something more ambitious like cherry tomatoes and lemons in your verandah, stairway, deck or roof.
By planting a kitchen garden, you will be doing your bit to increase the green cover, thereby reducing your carbon footprint. Additionally, you also get the benefit of eating fresh home-grown produce and saving money.
6. Give a Thought to Your Appliances
When buying new electronic gadgets and appliances for your home, go for ones that are the most energy-efficient. You need to look for a label with the Energy Star logo as it mentions all the information you will need when making a decision.
And while they may seem a tad expensive at the time you buy them, know that they will go a long way in bringing your energy bills down, thereby saving you a lot of money.
This also applies to light fixtures. Replace your old ones with energy-efficient or solar-powered fixtures. Use LED or CFL lights as they burn cooler, give a better glow, as well as help you cut electricity costs.
7. Old Furniture Turned New
(Image credit: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/273875221061844776/)
Thinking of giving your home a new lease of life by changing the furniture? What if we told you that you need not change the entire stuff?
More often than not, what your old furniture really needs is some sanding and re-painting to look as good as new again. Unless it is badly damaged, you can retain it and simply get it repainted and/or re-polished. This way you save a lot of trees from being cut for their wood.
If you must buy new furniture pieces, shop locally, thereby avoiding the huge carbon footprint produced by moving sofas and other furniture halfway across the world. Look for those made from sustainable materials and carry the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) logo.
You can also buy old/antique furniture to discourage the consumption of non-renewable resources. Antiques will help make your space look more sophisticated and attractive.
The next time you decide to do your home interior, think green, think environment-friendly, and think sustainability. You will do well in taking the above factors into consideration when decorating/redecorating your house. They will go a long way in providing you with a home and a lifestyle that helps save the environment as well as your money.