Who says you can’t decorate your home and be eco-friendly at the same time? Nowadays, there are several ways to spruce up your home in a sustainable, yet chic way. You don’t even have to search everywhere to find a variety of good options, as more and more businesses are creating environmentally conscious products.
How can you tell if a product is eco-friendly? Other than those that are tagged or certified as such, it’s important to know which materials are better options… just like checking a food’s ingredient list to know if it’s healthy for you. A few eco-friendly materials are bamboo, hemp, plastics made from plant cellulose, and anything made with a large portion of recycled or repurposed materials. Companies are aware that consumers want to have more sustainable options to choose from, so it’s in their best interest to create eco-friendly lines…and many companies do! Not to say you should simply trust a tag without evaluating what any given product is made with; instead, use it as a guide.
One of the most challenging materials to feel confident trusting is wood. With so much illegal and unsustainable logging occurring around the globe, it’s important to buy furniture and other products that commit to using sustainably sourced wood. The following types of wood are typically grown in a more responsible and sustainable fashion, though not in every part of the world: bamboo, beech, ash, pine, or oak. Try to avoid “old growth” (more endangered) and threatened types of wood such as mahogany, teak, and merbau. Bamboo is often toted as the most sustainable option, because it grows quickly, has a high yield, is incredibly durable, and can be used for several purposes.
Other than wood, try to avoid purchasing items made of plastic. Luckily, you can often find types of plastic products made from plant cellulose! Not only do they look and feel just like conventional products, but they decompose faster in landfills.
Products made from recycled materials are also ways to avoid sending useful materials directly in the trash. They’re also usually quite interesting or thought provoking, like handbags made from old car seatbelts, wallets made from plastic bottles, or model airplanes made from soda cans. Check out your local fair-trade store- they often have neat products made all across the world from recycled materials.
A fun way to redecorate your house is to shop in thrift stores or go antiquing. Not only can you often find one-of-a-kind items, but you’ll breathe new life into something that would otherwise be left unused. It might be faster to run into your local department store to buy a new rug or dresser, but handpicking a vintage piece is way more fun and rewarding. Each item has its own story and preservation of history. They are often made of better materials too, making them more durable and long lasting. It’s fun and gratifying to reuse materials in creative ways. Try using old bottles for vases, old tins for toys or crayons, vintage fabric for making beautiful curtains or hand towels, or old picture frames for family portraits.
Nothing adds a more calming and rejuvenating feel to your home than indoor plants. No matter how much care you’re interested in providing, there are several types of houseplants that will enhance your indoor space. Having more greenery in your home can increase your family’s appreciation of nature. After all, it’s not just about buying “green” products that will make you eco-friendly, but having a sense of respect and appreciation for the environment as well. If you buy sustainable products, practise energy saving tips and use friendly cleaning products then you are definitely on your way to creating an friendly household!