Our homes should be the safest places for us to be, and we often believe that to be true. What if we tell you that indoor air is often just as polluted as the outdoor, and that, because we spend a lot more time inside, it can be more harmful? One of the reasons for this is that we are using building materials that emit various toxins including formaldehyde. But these hazardous materials can be avoided and replaced with healthier, eco-friendly options.
Another thing you should pay attention to when it comes to interior design is sustainability – you don’t want your living room to cost the world one oxygen-producing forest. Furthermore, it is imperative for your house not to waste energy. So, if you are ready to green up your home here are some steps you can take.
1. Start With Eco-Friendly Flooring
Greenovating is much easier when you start from the bottom and work your way up. If you have old wooden floors, there is a chance they are packed with formaldehyde. You can replace them with options which are not jeopardizing your health as much as the one you have now. Some of the best and most eco-friendly materials you can use for flooring are reclaimed wood, bamboo, cork, Marmoleum, and stone.
2. Use “Green” Furniture
Don’t get rid of your old furniture just yet. Remember that the most eco-friendly thing you can do is to reuse or re-purpose old pieces. And if you have to acquire new furniture, you should decide for the furniture made of natural wood or other organic materials, such as bamboo.
3. Make Your Walls Toxin-Free
Walls cover a humongous part of your house, and therefore you should be careful in choosing what you will use to cover them. A large part of paint colors on the market contains highly-polluting volatile organic compounds (VOCs), so you should make sure to choose the ones without VOC or with low VOC content. You can also use other types of eco-friendly wall coverings, such as wallpapers, wood panels, and cork.
4. Opt For Organic Textiles
So, you’ve got a natural wood bed, but you’ve covered it with synthetic fabrics? Bad decision. The textiles you are using indoor should also be organic. Wool is always a great choice for everything from carpets to mattress stuffing. Other fabrics you can use are jute, organic cotton, and sisal.
5. Clear The Air
Now that the household’s water is clean, it is time to do something about the air. There are two ways to address this issue and to achieve the best results, you can use them both. First is introducing house plants which will also improve the overall aesthetics. And the second one is getting an air purifier equipped with HEPA filter.
6. Use Energy-Efficient Windows
Getting enough light is essential for energy preservation and a beautiful interior. However, if you own single-glazed windows, there is a danger of the sunlight harming your home. Furthermore, your home can lose a substantial amount of energy. If you want to prevent that, install double or triple glazed windows.
7. Change Your Light Bulbs
Incandescent light bulbs can be true energy vampires. Although it doesn’t seem like these small items can contribute as much to energy loss, but it is true. You will save a lot of energy, and money, eventually, if you replace all the incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) or LED lights.
8. Choose Better Appliances
Speaking of energy vampires, how old is your refrigerator? Or your stove? If your appliances date back ten or more years ago, then it is probably the right time to replace them, since they are actually making your bills go sky-high. Newer appliances usually have energy star ratings, and they can use more than 50% less energy than your oldies-not-goodies.
9. Use A Programmable Thermostat
Another thing designed to prevent energy loss – programmable thermostats are a small investment compared to how useful they are. How many times did you forget to turn the air conditioner off when you were leaving the house? Or how many times did you leave your heater on maximum capacity when you went to bed?
With a programmable thermostat, you can program different settings on your AC/heater for different times of the day, and make sure it automatically turns off when you leave the house. If you decide on a smart thermostat, you can even control it from anywhere, using a smartphone app.
By greening up your home, you are not only making your home a healthier environment for your family, but you are also contributing the salvation of planet. We can actually say you’re making the world a better place.