Choosing eco-friendly products is a great way to make your home more sustainable. Sustainable interior design is a strategy that focuses on creating a healthy and attractive space. On the other hand, they help you reduce the negative effect on the environment. Interior designers use this design principle to select eco-friendly building materials and products. The sustainable interior design considers the entire life cycle of the building and its impact on the people and environment around it.
But how do you tell that an interior design idea is sustainable? According to the Business of Sustainability Index, nearly two-thirds (64%) of Americans are willing to pay more for sustainable products, but most (74%) don’t know how to identify them. Below are some of the characteristics to check out in sustainable design products.
- They reduce waste. A sustainable interior design reduces waste by using reused, recycled, or reclaimed materials where possible. Often, this means repurposing materials with a new purpose.
- They are energy-saving. Sustainable interior designs save energy through passive solar heating, natural ventilation, and efficient lighting. They help you cut back dependence on nonrenewable resources such as fossil fuels and gas. In the end, they reduce harmful emissions that contribute to global warming and climate change.
- Eco-friendly. Sustainable interior designs consider the needs of people, planet Earth, and the surrounding environment. They use eco-friendly materials that are recyclable or biodegradable whenever possible. The manufacturing processes of the products minimize waste and pollution for a healthier planet.
- Durable. All materials in a sustainable interior design are long-lasting, durable, and stand up to daily use. Thus, help reduce costs for materials and keep waste out of landfills.
- Safe for human use. A genuinely eco-friendly home or product features non-toxic chemicals that cannot affect air quality or damage health. The design prioritizes humans’ safety and comfort in the environments where they spend their time.
7 Sustainable Interior Design Ideas for an Eco-Friendly Home
Do you want to learn how to make your living space more sustainable? Here are seven interior design ideas for eco-friendly homes.
Wood is an incredibly versatile material. You can use it to build furniture and floors or turn them into decorative pieces like picture frames or wall art. Reclaimed wood is a great way to use this environmentally friendly resource. This type of wood comes from old buildings torn down or renovated. It’s an excellent option if you want to give your home an antique look without destroying trees.
Wood products often come from new-growth forests. The problem with these products is that they require a lot of energy to produce and transport. By using reclaimed wood, you’re giving a new life to old materials, reducing the demand for other growth lumber.
Using reclaimed wood is also a great way to incorporate unique pieces into your home decorating scheme. Antique furniture or old barn doors can give any room an interesting vibe while doing something good for the environment at the same time! Reclaimed wood is typically high quality and sourced from structures that have been around for decades or centuries.
Use Bamboo Decorations
Bamboo is a fast-growing plant and an excellent alternative to wood as it is both sturdy and lightweight. It has become increasingly popular in recent years for home designs because it’s versatile and eco-friendly. It’s a completely renewable resource that doesn’t require irrigation or fertilizer to grow. You can create a beautiful rug from bamboo or even buy a lampshade made of natural material. Its uses include flooring, wall panels, furniture, curtains, and even decorations like vases and lamps.
Bring in Indoor Plants
Plants are great for the environment because they release oxygen into the air. But they also help filter pollutants from your home’s air. Indoor plants are easy on the eyes and help purify the air and maintain humidity levels within your home. Some plants can remove formaldehyde, benzene, trichloromethyl, and other toxics. Use potted indoor plants to spruce up your living room or kitchen. You can even use them as centerpieces for your dining table.
Repurpose/ Recycle Items
Think of creative ways to repurpose items from around your house instead of throwing them away. For example, you can turn old denim jeans into cushion covers, old toys make for quirky décor pieces, and you can use empty glass bottles as vases or candle holders.
Optimize on Sunlight
Sunlight is free! So why not use it to your advantage? Sunlight has a lot of benefits to the environment and for our health as well. Using natural light instead of electric lights is one of the easiest ways to reduce your carbon footprint. In addition, it can save you quite a bit on your electric bill and improve your mood, alertness, and productivity.
Make sure you use window treatments and blinds that allow sunlight when you want it but keep it out when you don’t. You might also consider installing skylights or sun tunnels, which funnel sunlight into rooms that rarely get natural light.
Use VOC Paint
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are carbon compounds found in many indoor paints. When used in color, they tend to evaporate into the air over time, causing indoor pollution. They can irritate the skin, eyes, and lungs and cause other health problems. Instead, you can opt for user-friendly paint while still minding the environment
Buy Biodegradable Materials
If you’re planning on renovating your home or doing a total makeover, you might consider buying biodegradable materials. Whether you’re replacing your Jenny Lind bed or changing the kitchenware, be environmentally conscious when purchasing. These materials decompose easily and do not take years to disintegrate into the soil. They include wood products, cotton, wool, and leather. You can use them in different places in your home, such as tables, chairs, and cabinets.
Some sustainable interior design ideas may seem trite or obvious to you, while others will seem wholly foreign. In the end, sustainable interior design is all about realizing and respecting the living world around you. It is not just a matter of improving your home but also making a sustainable difference in your local community. By doing so, you can enjoy your home more, be proud to host others in it, and even improve your neighborhood for future generations.