When you think about green living, what comes to mind? Living off the land? Recycling everything you touch? Wearing clothes made from potato sacks or fabric scraps? If you’re not living the lifestyle, it’s easy to have misconceptions about it. So what exactly is “green” or “sustainable” living? According to Wikipedia, sustainable living refers to a lifestyle that attempts to reduce an individual's or society's use of the Earth's natural resources*. That doesn’t sound bad at all, especially if we want to preserve our planet for generations to come.
You might not be able to single-handedly save the planet, but you can help it by making your home a little greener. You don’t need to spend a fortune just to make your home eco-friendly. Small steps can make a huge difference. Make your living space more sustainable with these helpful, green interior design tips:
Repurpose for a purpose - Don’t rush out to buy all new furniture. Green living is all about reducing, reusing and recycling, so do exactly that with your existing furniture.
You can make your old furniture new again by refurbishing or covering it. If you decide to go with all new furniture, make sure you select items that are made of non-toxic and organic materials.
Get down on the floor - Carpet can harbor allergens and pesticides that are tracked in from outside. Synthetic carpet can also contain volatile organic compounds or VOCs, a class of chemicals that can be harmful to your health. If you have hardwood floors, it’s a good idea to preserve them. If not, you can try Earth-friendly flooring options like bamboo, reclaimed wood or cork.
Paint wisely - Traditional household paints contain a number of chemicals. They also contain VOCs like benzene, formaldehyde and toluene. These VOCs can cause short- and long-term health problems like dizziness or nerve damage**. When you buy paint, look for natural, non-toxic or zero VOC paint. You don’t have to worry about color options. These paints come in a wide variety of colors, so your choices shouldn’t be limited.
Accessorize with antiques - When it’s time to accessorize your rooms, check out local antique shops, yard sales and thrift stores for key pieces. Someone’s trash could become ideal treasures for your design scheme.
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