Eco-Friendly Design Tips for the Environmentally Conscious

April 28, 2015

Eco-Friendly Design TipsLiving in a smaller home or apartment is an environmentally friendly choice that many individuals are making, and when space is utilized properly it is amazing how functional it can be. Even if you are living in a larger home, that does not mean   that you can’t go green and make your home environmentally friendly. Here are some tips for being environmentally responsible in any size living space.

Window treatments for better light control and energy efficiency

Natural light tends to be less harsh than overhead artificial light, and using natural light rather than switching on a bulb saves energy. Shutters make it possible to manipulate natural light to create a more comfortable living space. Shutters are eco friendly because they help keep your home warmer or cooler by reducing energy loss; this not only decreases your carbon footprint but saves you money on your heating and cooling bill throughout the year. Another advantage is that, in many cases, wooden shutters are made from Forestry Stewardship Council Certified materials so you can be assured that you are not contributing to the destruction of old growth forests and endangered species’ habitats.

Eco-friendly paint

Do you ever find yourself putting off a painting project due to the fumes? These days there are eco-friendly alternatives with virtually no fumes that offer a beautiful range of colors. Volatile organic compounds – or VOCs – are the source of many of the unpleasant odors you experience when painting. Purchasing paints with low VOC formulations will provide some relief, but you might also consider Milk Paint – which uses milk and natural pigments for rich colours and tones that are completely natural.

Natural and sustainable fabrics and floor coverings 

Sisal and jute make excellent and attractive floor coverings, and they are 100% renewable. Organic hemp and cotton can be excellent choices for table clothes, window sashes, and more. By choosing products made from organic materials, you help to reduce the pollution of the environment by harmful pesticides and herbicides. Buying from producers that use sustainable materials and labor may cost more but the money will ensure that workers are being paid a livable wage and work in humane conditions, and a good quality sustainably-made rug can last for a very long time.

Improve attic insulation

Poor insulation can lead to more energy being needed to heat and cool any living space. If you have an attic or crawlspace, you can use eco-friendly cellulose based blown in insulation to easily increase the energy efficiency of your home. This type of insulation is extremely efficient and cost effective. Since it is made out of recycled paper and eco-friendly fire retardants, it is a sensible choice for many types of spaces needing insulation. Most home improvement stores rent machines to blow the insulation in and will sell you the insulation itself by the bale. Even individuals with very little DIY experience can easily insulate their home this way.

Small steps add up

Making your living space more eco-friendly starts with taking on that first home improvement project. Small steps towards a more environmentally friendly and efficient home will add up over time. You don’t have to break the bank to have a green home if you take on projects one by one, and before you know it you will be saving a lot of money and helping the environment at the same time.

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