There are a lot of movements that encourage people to go green. The Internet alone offers you a wealthy amount or resources where you can read about the basics of green design and why it’s important to make the switch today. There are many environmental movements which also show you how essential going green is.
However, being convinced isn’t enough. We have to act on it! The best way to begin this eco-friendly lifestyle is in your humble abode. If you ask our Perth-based building designers in Superdraft Pty. Ltd., they will tell you that a responsible, eco-friendly home should be comfy and chic too. It will be easier to commit to green design when you don’t sacrifice style.
Here are easy tips and small choices which can help you kick start your journey towards an environmentally friendly home:
Check The Labels and Ask Questions
Going green means you have to pay close attention to the things you bring home and use at home. Mind the items you use like paint and rugs to keep a high indoor air quality that’s not polluted with volatile organic compounds (VOC). We unknowingly inhale these chemicals which come from many products we use to build and maintain our homes. These are toxic—the reasons behind many eye allergies, breathing problems, headaches, and nausea.
So the next time you buys something, read the labels. Products should have a non-toxic or low-VOC label which is backed up by notable institutions. Low-VOC paints, sealers, primers, rugs, and flooring products are already available in the market. You just have to read the labels and do a little research on the products available in your locality.
Look Up Local Manufacturers of Green Building Products
When you go green, you must be concerned about the carbon footprint of the items you are using. Imported items consume a lot of energy and produce greenhouse gasses which contribute to global warming. So instead of buying building products needs to cross the seas just to get to you, find local manufacturers of the same material. Preference to good products from local manufacturers over cheap, low quality, imported ones strengthens the local economy and your home. This is a win-win situation if you ask us.
Use Recycled Fabric for Window Treatment
Windows are great in providing natural light and accessing majestic views from indoors. However, windows are also responsible for absorption and release of heat. Without proper design, your home can get 87% hotter during summer. This results to air conditioners running 24/7, increasing the cost of power bills.
Aside from positioning the windows appropriately, you can install or hang window treatments which insulate the windows. This way, you limit the amount of heat and sunlight coming inside the house. You also protect your furniture from harsh sun exposure.
There are many kinds of window treatment available in the market. If you hang curtains in your home, try reusing tablecloths and bedsheets as curtains.
Same Old Brand New Look for Your Furniture
Many people express love for DIY projects such as re-purposing old pieces of furniture. Re-imagine a new look and a new use for the items you originally have. You can decoupage and repaint them to upgrade their look. You can also clean and restore their looks. Remember to source everything you need locally and make sure that the products you buy are low-VOC products.
Rummage for Decorative Items
Believe us, there are treasures in your own home. Check the items in the attic, cabinets, garage, and other old storage places. You might be lucky to find cash, valuables, or other items which you can display at home. Use them to get a decor that’s uniquely yours. Then, grab the ones that you don’t need anymore. Sell them and make a little fortune. You can also donate them to charity,
Check Out Antique Stores and Garage Sales
If you’re looking for certain pieces of furniture for your house, we suggest that you go to salvage houses, antique stores, or garage sales. You can score unique and sturdy items from these places. So make a shopping list of what you need and look for it patiently. Always check the quality of the items you like before making the purchase. It should be worth your money even if it’s a secondhand item.
Slipcover is Your Savior
I remember an article about wrapping pieces of furniture in plastic. There’s this woman who bought a sofa years ago and didn’t remove the plastic cover to keep the couch clean. I understand her—cleaning the stains and dirt of the sofa is a monstrous, time-consuming job. It is easier to shop for a new sofa.
Avoid throwing a huge trash like a sofa by using slipcovers. A good and well-fitted slipcover already looks upholstered. Tailor it according to the curves and edges of your couch. You should have a pair of washable slipcovers so you can easily replace one with the other. It’s clean and good as a new sofa.
When it comes to making eco-friendly changes at home, the little steps like these make a difference. Beginners must change their attitude first by asking environmentally related questions, followed by altering their environment to remind them of the cause. Yes, there are more ways to go green in your home but reserve those things as you continue on this kind of lifestyle. Step-by-step processes work better. No one goes green overnight.
Charlene Ara Gonzales is from Superdraft Pty. Ltd., a company that provides architecture and drafting services in Australia. She writes about how proper design elevates businesses and improves people’s lives. During her free time, she rides her bicycle to her favorite spot in the park.