When I began designing 9 years ago, being eco-friendly was not really at the forefront of my designs. As a realist, I know that I will never be able to become 100% green, unfortunately-however I do believe in some small life changes that can help our environment and turn regular design into eco-friendly design.
Here they are:
Incorporate Real Plants into your Home
Real plants are fabulous items for home decor, air circulation and air purification. They also bring a little outdoors in, which is always nice. Plants are relatively low maintenance if you get the right ones ;). Placing plants throughout your home is one way in which you can execute an eco-friendly design. Here is my list of the easy to maintain house plants.
(a) Aloe Vera
A beautiful full leafed plant that requires very little watering and maintenance.
(b) Snake Plants
Beautiful and full these plants make gorgeous table accents. Best part! They do not require a lot of light.
(c) Spider Plants
Leafy and green these low laying plants make great floor decor. Consider an elevated planter. These guys need some light and watering but are relatively easy to keep alive.
Reusable Plastic Containers
The simple lifestyle switch from disposable to reusable is quite simple. It was one of the largest decisions I have made in my own home. There are great tupperware options out there today and they are often great in the dishwasher, microwave and freezer! One thing to make sure is that they are BPA free. I am a HUGE fan of the Flat Stacks.
Choosing Renewable Household Products
Making the choice to stray away from environmentally harmful products is a great step in the right direction. There are some very simple things that are available to help make this transition.
Bamboo is used a lot for many things for the home. From waste baskets to hardwood flooring bamboo is a great and renewable resource. Some species of bamboo can grow to maturity within 5 years, which makes the growth cycle quick and renewable. Bamboo also can be trimmed off the stalk and the same stalk can regrow, making the material healthier for the soil than other naturally grown products.
This is a relatively new and amazing resource. We all wear denim and recycling your old jeans can insulate homes, be rewoven to create home textiles and so much more. For further information on recycled denim check out The Blue Jeans Go Green webpage.
Plastic is likely the item that hurts our landfills the most. Close to 72% of all plastics end up in landfills. So when you choose a recycled plastic item you are doing definitely being eco-friendly. Recycled plastics are used to create so many different household items. Recycled plastic can replace anything plastic basically.
This entire eco-friendly home was created using recycled plastic water bottles.
These three simple additions and changes to your existing lifestyle can contribute to a more eco-friendly design in your home and in your life.