A beautiful and well-designed home doesn’t have to come at the expense of the environment. Fortunately, sustainability is one of the hottest trends in interior design right now. There’s a lot of focus on materials that are easily accessible and practical, without sacrificing aesthetic value.
Indeed, sustainable living is a major step to saving the environment, and you don’t have to go very far to contribute. Designing a greener home is one of the easiest things you can do — here are five tips that can help you get started:
Repurpose furniture and ornaments
As the old adage goes: One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. It’s true for home furnishings, too! An old crate can serve as a decorative piece in your living room. Or you can find ways to repurpose a shabby couch and make it look brand new.
Interior designer Lynne Lambourne suggests rifling through sales, charity shops, or even your childhood home for some vintage furniture. They’re a bargain and you never know what treasure you’re going to come across. Plus, no one else will have the same furniture, if you make it your own. With tools, some fresh fabric, and a little paint, you can find new uses out of some old but delightful pieces.
Support locally made products
Supporting local suppliers, and not just for home furniture, is one of the keys to sustainable living. Opting for locally made products cuts down on the need for transportation, and means you’ll not only get to save on money, but on fuel emissions released into the atmosphere as well. And more importantly, it’s a great way to boost the local economy.
Switch to energy-efficient appliances
Cutting down on electricity usage goes hand-in-hand with a sustainable lifestyle. That’s why experts from the Earth Day Network suggest swapping out old appliances, which tend to use more energy, for newer ones that comply with better energy efficiency standards. Your heating systems, refrigerator, and washing machines are examples of big appliances that might need an upgrade.
You can also make smaller but equally impactful changes. The energy saving tips by HomeServe recommends replacing halogen light bulbs with energy efficient ones, installing dimmers, and remembering to actually turn the lights off when a room is not in use. Using the standby mode of your other gadgets is also practical. You’ll be surprised by how much you can actually save with these simple hacks!
Let more light in
Drawing the curtains open is a simple way to reduce energy consumption. Letting natural light in is, in fact, a trend we discussed January. It’s one of the key concepts of biophilic design, which goes perfectly well with the sustainable trend.
Decorate with plants
Speaking of biophilia, you’ll want to add a touch of green to your home. We’re not talking about repainting the walls to a nice verdant hue, but instead, installing planters indoors. Many people are exercising their green thumb at home, and you can do so, too! Not only do plants brighten up a space, but they’re also good for indoor air quality.
Though they can’t really do much for purifying the air, Greatist notes that plants still reduce CO2 levels indoors, essentially serving as a natural humidifier. That means you no longer have to rely on your electronic humidifier when you have enough foliage indoors. Garden mums, spider plants, and peace lilies are a few examples of gorgeous plants that require very little upkeep.
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