So you’ve already installed eco-friendly lightbulbs, added a filtering pitcher to your refrigerator in place of bottled water and picked out an energy-efficient heat system. Now it’s time to add the finishing green touches to your environmentally conscious home with sustainable decorating techniques. Good news: It’s easier than you may think to make choices that are as good for the planet as they are for your sense of style.
Whether you prefer sculptural, abstract arrangements of fresh branches or cheery blooms in terra cotta pots, using plants to add pops of color and interest to your décor lets you trade mass-produced tchotchkes for one-of-a-kind, eco-friendly decorations. Bonus: Fresh plants improve indoor air quality, making your house a healthier home.
Instead of buying build-it-yourself furniture made from materials sourced from who-knows-where, scour your local thrift stores and yard sales for pieces you can make over. A little sandpaper, some new paint or stain, bright fabrics, and a little time and energy make it possible for you to turn dingy coffee tables into pretty benches, worn-out china cabinets into dining room showpieces, and tired chairs into your family’s favorite reading nook (plus, you’re saving resources by choosing used).
If you can’t DIY a piece of furniture or décor, then check local shops before you hit the big chains. Look especially for pieces made by artists in your area – from pottery or paintings to tables or cabinetry – where you can also find out more about where the materials are sourced and what kind of processes are used to make the items. You’ll be supporting your local economy and trimming your carbon footprint at the same time, since your new pieces won’t be shipped from halfway around the world.
More Great Links
- The Green Home Made Easy with Modern Eco Homes' One-Stop Shopping
- Clean Your Carpets the Eco-Friendly Way
- Deck Your Home Out in Green Art
- “Bringing the Outside In: Decorating with Branches.” Apartment Therapy. (Mar. 18, 2013) http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/bringing-the-outside-in-decori-97541
- “How to Find the Best Local, Handmade Gifts.” TreeHugger. (Mar. 18, 2013) http://www.treehugger.com/culture/how-to-find-the-best-local-handmade-gifts.html