Doing your part to help the environment used to just be a passing interest.
Sure, recycle a few cans here and there. Donate to an eco-friendly charity once in a while. But other than that, most modern households weren’t too concerned with how their actions were affecting the earth.
Nowadays however, it’s absolutely essential that we each do our part because frankly, the planet has never been more fragile than it is today.
But luckily, being eco-friendly doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style when it comes to your interior design.
Below, we’ve put together nine ways to go green while still staying chic.
Seek out natural bases made of wood or stoneFew design elements scream out “nature lover” like ones that come straight from the earth like stone and wood.
Granite countertops, bamboo ceilings, and reclaimed barn-wood walls not only look amazing, they also cut down on pre-market processing where the bulk of polluting takes place.
Prioritize organic materials for your comfort needsThe same principle as above applies to the not-so-structural elements as well. Natural materials like organic cotton, wool, silk, and other natural fibers are all extremely versatile and can be used in pillows, comforters, mattresses and even floor coverings.
Keeping your distance from synthetic fibers not only takes some of the energy-intensive manufacturing out of the equation, it also reduces the use of the petroleum-based chemicals which can be required to make them.
Take advantage of sunlight as much as you canIf your home is lucky enough to get natural sunlight but you aren’t making use of it, that’s a mistake that could really be holding back your interior design.
Sunlight is bar none the best quality light you can get. It brings out colors, isn’t overwhelming, and, of course, is 100% natural.
What does that mean for your home décor’s carbon footprint? The more natural light you bring into your home, the less you have to spend on artificial lighting.
So go ahead, open up those shades up a bit.
Aim for energy-efficient light bulbsWhen you can’t bring the Sun’s radiance into your space, the next best choice for illumination is undoubtedly LED lighting. These bulbs are 75% more efficient than tradition incandescent bulbs and are even more eco-friendly than compact fluorescents.
And when you consider all the other environmental benefits of modern smart bulbs today, there are few changes you can make around the house that rival the simplicity and effectiveness of smart lighting.
Consider using multi-purpose furnitureFurniture design has changed over the years. And one of the most exciting new developments in the field is multi-purpose design.
Through creativity and ingenuity alone, furniture designers all over the world are creating couches that transform into beds, desks that morph into complete dining sets, and chairs that double as storage.
Besides being incredibly clever, these creations help to take advantage of space and cut down on production materials too.
Read your labels carefullyEnvironmentally friendly production has actually become a selling point for a lot of companies. And that means materials of all sorts will tell you whether their processes are eco-friendly.
Some even come with a VOC (volatile organic compounds) rating right on the packaging so you know if they contain harmful air pollutants.
So next time you’re picking out a new paint shade to add some character to your living room, be on the lookout for eco-friendly choices. You probably won’t have to search too hard.
Pop in a few plantsThis one shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. What’s more pro-environment than plants anyway?
In addition to adding a splash of color to your space, plants help to filter your air by removing fine particulates and absorbing carbon dioxide. If you’re looking for a fresher feel for your interior design, bring mother nature into the equation.
Secondhand furnishings are chic and eco-friendlyThere was a time when brand new furnishings were the peak of elegance. But, as you’ve probably noticed, secondhand objects are starting to take over as the pinnacle of style.
Whether it’s the story behind a driftwood-carved coffee table that was found in a thrift store or the character conveyed by the slightly-off stitching in your family room rug, the charm of secondhand furniture is putting it in first place.
Shop and ship local whenever possible
And finally, try to get as many materials as you can from vendors who source their products locally. The less fuel it takes to bring those products to you, the better.
*"9 Eco-Friendly Interior Design Tips to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint". (July 12, 2017). Flux Smart Lighting. Retrieved from, https://www.fluxsmartlighting.com/blogs/news/9-eco-friendly-interior-design-tips-to-reduce-your-carbon-footprint.