“What’s the use of a house if you haven’t got a tolerable planet to put it on?” Henry David Thoreau posed this question more than 150 years ago, and it becomes increasingly relevant with each decade. Today, something as simple as decorating your house can have a positive effect and make our planet more “tolerable.” But helping Mother Earth doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style. With a few tips, the right products and a few simple alterations, you can make your home a greener and more stylish place to live.
Sustainable Decor Shopping
The key to decorating conscientiously is to maintain sustainability as your primary goal. Select home features and sustainable home decor that use fewer nonrenewable resources and less energy and require less water to function. Home decor features that have been repurposed, recycled, upcycled or reused may need little maintenance and can withstand the test of time. For instance, old neckties can be fashioned into a quilt, or bulky cinder blocks can be transformed into chic, outdoor planters.
Even the smallest changes in what you buy for accent decoration in your home can make a difference. For example, standard candles are made of paraffin, a petroleum-based product, and switching to soy-made candles, which are just as decorative and alluring, can eliminate the 11 toxins emitted by paraffin candles. You can further detoxify your home with the simple addition of potted plants. We suggest one potted plant for every 100 square feet of living space. WATCH NOW to see our top 10 favorite air purifying plants:
Additionally, get rid of any traditional incandescent light bulbs you might have and opt for the more energy-efficient light-emitting diode (LED) alternative. The light produced by LED bulbs is softer and saves energy. In the bathroom, use high-efficiency shower heads to reduce your water consumption by 30 percent. Low-flow toilets offer similar water conservation results—or for a more affordable option, use the DIY method of placing a two-liter bottle of water in the tank to fill space and allow less water flow through each cycle.
Efficient Window Treatments & Floors
Window treatments are a prime opportunity to express your concern for conservation while not sacrificing personal panache. With countless colors to choose from and designs to suit any style, treatments like those from The Shade Store are stylish and keep out heat, which results in reduced use of your air conditioner.
When considering your flooring, there are many eco-friendly materials available. Bamboo, reclaimed and sustainable wood, cork, and some linoleums provide quality floor coverage in a range of designs. Bamboo, in particular, offers an elegant and earthy appearance in addition to serving its function. If you would prefer a softer surface, colorful carpet squares made from recycled materials that do not include toxic dyes, are great alternatives at no cost to the environment.
Your home is your castle and the Earth its kingdom, but the former is of little use without the latter. You do not have to resign beautiful decor to be eco-friendly. Use the right products, make the right changes and follow these tips to create a stylish and sustainable castle while safeguarding the kingdom.