5 environmentally friendly design tips
As an interior designer, I read a fair amount of trade publications, magazines and books that talk about living greener. I think vast information can be daunting and this article is dedicated to passing on simple and easy home tips to implement green practices for your everyday life.
1. Buy local.
Use suppliers, manufacturers and local products as much as possible when purchasing items for your home. The same goes for when you remodel and redecorate your home. The farther we ship, the more fuel we use. Besides, supporting your local economy is good for you and your fellow neighbors.
2. Use “low” or “no” VOC paints.
VOC stands for volatile organic compound. You know that smell that lingers for days when you paint? It isn’t good for you or the general air quality. Most paint lines now offer this option. Your painter, contractor or designer will know what to recommend.
3. Re-purpose your decorative items.
When you are looking to make decorating changes in your home, take an honest look around. What can you improve yourself or re-purpose? If you need some help seeing your items through fresh eyes, consider hiring an expert designer or scheduling an interior design consultation.
4. Consider your home electronics use.
Remember when setting up your entertainment areas that your electronics are still pulling power when they are idle. Your DVD player, stereo systems and computer running a little red or green light can add to your electricity bill and create greenhouse gases.
Even in standby or sleep mode, appliances and home computers can still be operating at 40 percent of their full running power. Buy power strips and shut them down. Also look for electronics with Energy Star that use half the electricity of regular electronics.
5. Turn off the lights.
Better yet, don’t turn them on when you don’t need them. Use natural light in your home when you can and shut off lights when you are leaving the room. When designing a particular space in your home, consider how you can arrange the room to take the most advantage of the available natural light.