You’ve changed all your light bulbs to energy-saving light emitting diodes (led).
You’ve cut your shower time down by a minute and installed a low-flow shower-head.
Of course you recycle and compost and never leave your cell phone charger plugged into the wall.
Now, take the leap from eco-chores to eco-chic with these tips from top interior designers and The Early Show’s green living expert, Danny Seo.
RETHINK YOUR WALLS
Painting a wall has long been a designer’s trick for adding more oomph—without more clutter—to a room. Rachel Winokur, the founder of eTTa Designs, an eco-friendly interior design firm in Los Angeles, suggests putting down the paint brush and considering these green options instead.
American Clay Earth Plaster is a wall finish made of clay, pigment and postindustrial materials such as shell or stone crushed into sand. It’s a less expensive, very sustainable alternative to paint and will last for the life of a building. americanclay.com
DECK THE WALLS
Wallpaper is making a comeback with dozens of companies producing exquisite, fanciful and subtle designs. Madison and Grow wallpaper is made from vinyl-free recyclable paper from sustainable forests, and the patterns are hand drawn and printed with water-based ink. madisonandgrow.com
TIP! Find hundreds of eco-friendly wallpapers at wallpapercollective.com.
DON’T JUST RECYCLE, UPCYCLE
“Upcycling is transforming something from good to great or better to best,” says Danny Seo, author of the Simply Green book series and The Early Show’s environmental lifestyle contributor. “Here’s how to upcycle some items that would break your heart to throw out or donate.”
DESKTOP GLOBE: “Seems like we all have an old globe stashed away in the basement or attic. I love to pry the globe apart using a blunt knife around the Equator. The two halves of the globe become perfect global-inspired decorative bowls.”
OLD BOOKS: “Is it sacrilege to throw away old books? Sure is. I love to stack large coffee table books and use an extra-large belt to wrap around them, tightening the belt until it secures the books together. Instant side table.”
WINE CORKS: “We all save champagne and wine corks from special events, but they can sure add up in the junk drawer. Buy a metal pipe clamp at a hardware supply store and fill the entire inside with corks. With a flathead screwdriver, tighten the clamp around the corks until they are absolutely snug. Use it as a trivet in the kitchen to protect your countertops.”