Most of you are probably pretty familiar with what it means to “be green.”
Graham & Brown Wallpaper
Green terms are being thrown at you everywhere - from the grocery to the hardware store to the boutiques to the department stores – it is almost impossible to avoid terms and phrases like, “eco-friendly,” “sustainable product,” “eliminating global warming,” “reduce your carbon footprint,” etc. While there may be much debate whether our actions are really the cause of global warming or not, one thing remains true, being conscious of our impact on our environment is certainly not a bad thing.
Wood Cut Graphic Grandelier
Purchasing “green” products for your home does not mean that you can have to buy items in brown and green earthy tones. In fact, there are thousands of design products available for your home that are eco-friendly and lovely. Companies have found ways to reduce waste and energy during the manufacturing process, making beautiful items a little less harmful to our personal and global environments.
Products from enviroglas
When remodeling or designing your home with an environmentally aware outlook, look for items that use recycled goods. For example, kitchen counters can be enhanced by using products that use recycled colored glass flecks. Buying restored furniture eliminates waste and can bring a retro vibe to your home. Those who restore furniture are also forced to be imaginative in how to make something old come to life in a contemporary way. Let your “green” attitude kick start your creative mind.
Recreate a trunk chair
If you are looking to use wallpaper, wallcoverings that are hand painted use less energy than those that are machine made. Be aware of the toxins in the adhesive used to apply the wallcovering; some adhesives are highly toxic. Several big brand paint companies are making paint that has low or zero VOCs (volatile organic compounds). These small adjustments to your purchases will make a big impact.
Since “being green” is such a current and most likely, an on-going trend, it is important to be aware of false advertising. Many companies are throwing around “green” terminology but are not really following through with what they say. Always research the companies manufacturing process – like I mentioned above, a product may be “green” but does the application process (ie: adhesive) contain highly toxic ingredients that overpower the initial “green” product? Companies might say that they are “green” but if the product needs to be replaced often, is it really? Some products may not display the best “green” practices but if it lasts for 50+ years, then you might want to consider this sustainable product over something that only lasts 3-5 years.
Being green can take a lot of research and investigating – if it is too much to take on yourself, then let your designer or contractor know that you wish to use green and sustainable products. You might also want to test their knowledge on what they know about green design before you ask. If they are not up to date on green products, then you should find someone who does.
Kossel Studios Wallpaper
The important thing is to be aware – you do not have to purchase every environmentally friendly product that you come across, but if you can start with something as small as changing your light bulbs to LEDs, you not only will be taking a step in the right direction, but you will be saving yourself some money. The initial cost of “going green” can be a bit pricier than not but in the long run, you save much more. With cost savings and a cleaner, healthier environment, there really is no reason not to make an effort to design “green.” So, despite the controversy of whether global warming is a hoax or not, we all should be onboard with the benefits that “green” design is providing.
By Christa Rose Falk, www.loveinspirecreate.com