There has been a surge of interest in eco-style / natural materials in our interiors. Various websites and blogs are competing to give the readers with the best advice. Advice for arranging their home according to the new trends. However, many forget that eco-style design doesn’t stop at just a cozy interior full of wooden furniture in natural colors. It’s much more than that. It’s a lifestyle chosen to say one’s worldview, which includes making a number of important decisions, even when purchasing such mundane objects like chairs or wall murals. After all, everything we buy and use influences on the environment. A big influence. How come? You have to consider how a given object manufacturing, how its later processed, and how long it’s going to take before it decomposes and completely disappears (if at all!) from our planet. Creating an eco-friendly interior is a complicated process that requires you to be fully committed, but it’s definitely worth the trouble. Let’s see what you should consider to create the best interior design for yourself and the environment.
Before we look at the objects you want to buy, let’s talk a bit about things you should avoid. When arranging a home, only use furniture, appliances, and housewares which are necessary. In today’s climate, it’s very easy to be caught in the wave of rampant consumerism, which tempts us to buy things only for the pleasure of buying and owning them. Is it really wrong, though? Well, depending on how you look at it. This trend can be pretty devastating for the environment. Everything we buy sooner or later finds its way to a landfill. The less garbage, the better. In addition, it’s easier and more functional to live in a space which isn’t too cluttered. But does it mean that your home should look empty? Of course not. You don’t even have to give up on the decorative aspect. But instead of many small knickknacks, use one powerful accent, for instance a nature mural. A picturesque landscape is a perfect way to complement an eco-style interior. In this case, a minimalist arrangement is not just a fashionable look, but also a way to consciously take care of our planet.
Today’s stores offer us anything we can imagine. The problem isn’t finding the correct items, it’s choosing the best ones. That’s the real challenge. When it comes to eco-friendly interiors, you normally think of natural materials and resources. However, in reality it’s much more complicated than that. Why is that? You’ll see in a second.
Only natural materials
The rule of thumb is to choose furniture and decorations made only of natural materials. You can go for wood or wicker, which has recently become very popular. As far as textiles concerning – wool, cotton, and linen. Try to avoid polyester, as it’s a synthetic material made with the use of oil, a non-renewable energy source. What’s more, as a by-product of the production process, a large amount of carbon dioxide releasing into the atmosphere. Alternatively, you can use recycled polyester.
The devil’s in the details
Finding eco-friendly furniture requires more than just choosing pieces made of natural materials. You have to be careful because oftentimes, companies use toxic glue, colorants, and bleach, as well as various preservatives or fire retardants, which are harmful for both humans and the environment. What to do to avoid buying such products? Make sure that you’ve checked the company’s ethics policy. Ideally, the producer should hold appropriate certificates to confirm that the production process doesn’t harm the environment.
This is applicable not only to furniture, but also to decorative elements like the nature wall mural. Remember to choose murals which are made using latex (not solvent) print technology – just like the ones produced by Myloview. What’s the difference? Solvent printing utilizes toxic substances, which are harmful for production workers and for the environment. In contrast, the latex print technology, patented by HP, replaces these substances with regular water, without sacrificing the quality the print. So if you wish your living room to feature a magical landscape and your bedroom to be covered in flowery patterns, you should definitely use a nature mural produced with that technology.
Second life for furniture
Instead of buying new furniture from a store, you can decide to use recycled furniture. Despite common belief, these aren’t only damaged products made of plywood. Some companies use recycled wood to create elegant, stylish, and original pieces of furniture. Purchasing these types of products, you can be sure that you’re protecting the environment. Moreover, your home arrangement is with unique history.
Other interesting places to search for furniture are garage sales and antique markets. Well-made furniture can last for decades, so instead of buying it new, look at what’s already in circulation. The internet has thousands of ideas on how to rejuvenate old chairs, cabinets, and dressers. Sometimes all you have to do is add new porcelain handles, repaint drawers, or use self-adhesive stickers to decorate the front of a piece of furniture and hide any scratches that you can’t get rid of otherwise. There are many possibilities and the only limit is your time and imagination.
We live at a time of infinite choice. We have the privilege to decide what clothes to wear, what groceries to buy, and how to arrange out homes. Every one of these decisions has an influence on our planet, which is why we have to be aware of what we’re choosing. The state of the environment affected by the small, day-to-day choices of each person. One of them is whether to buy synthetic, plastic furniture, or that made of wood from a sustainable, ecological plantation.
The Green Living Guy, Seth Leitman is a green living expert, celebrity and Editor of the McGraw-Hill, TAB Green Guru Guides. Seth is also an Author, Radio Host, Reporter, Writer and a Environmental Consultant on green living. The Green Living Guy writes about green living, green lighting, the green guru guides and more. Seth's books range from:
# Build Your Own Electric Vehicle by Bob Brant and Seth Leitman (2nd and 3rd editions)
# Build Your Own Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle by Seth Leitman
# Build Your Own Electric Motorcycle by Carl Vogel
# Green Lighting by Seth Leitman, Brian Clark Howard and Bill Brinsky
# Solar Power For Your Home by David Findley
# Renewable Energies For Your Home by Russel Gehrke
# Do-it-Yourself Home Energy Audits by David Findley
# Build Your Own Small Wind Power System by Brian Clark Howard and Kevin Shea
# and more green living books to follow.