Eco Friendly design doesn’t have to be overwhelming and unobtainable. There are ways that you can have cleaner homes, purchase more sustainable items, and protect the environment we live in. You don’t have to do it all! You don’t have to be 100% green like an emerald green. You can start out a pastel green and do 10%. You need to ease into it and do what you can!
This blog today is going to share some ways that you can incorporate Eco Friendly design into your home.
To start out, let’s just cover what Eco Friendly Design actually is. Eco Design & Sustainable design seeks to reduce negative impacts on the environment, the health and well-being of building occupants, thereby improving building performance. The basic objectives of sustainability are to reduce the consumption of non-renewable resources, minimize waste, and create healthy, productive environments. If that sounds overwhelming, read below to some easy ways to incorporate Eco Friendly/Sustainable Design in your home.
Here are ways to be more Eco Friendly in your home’s interior
HEALTHY PRODUCTIVE ENVIRONMENTS- We all want to have safe and healthy homes. This has only intensified since 2020, but has always been an important factor in LEED building practices. Here are some ideas for having healthy indoor air quality for your family and your pets.
- TIP #1 for a healthy home – Go green literally with air purifying plants. House plants like English Ivy, Aloe Vera, Peace Lilies and many others actually remove the toxins from your home.
- Tip #2 for a healthy home- You can use low VOC paints whenever freshening up any room. This is available almost everywhere, but is very important that you aren’t brining in strong paints that off gas over a period of time.
- Tip#3 for a healthy home- Improve your air quality with this air purifier we saw at the Kitchen & Bath Industry show. Brondell Pro air sanitizing air purifier. They are the only ones that used the COVID virus in their testing and been proven by independent lab tests at MRIGlobal to eliminate ≥99.9% of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) virus within 15 minutes. So cool!
- Tip#4 for a healthy home – take your shoes off at the door. This one is so simple that most overlook it. The bottoms of shoes carry chemicals, bacteria and dirt from outside that you probably don’t want tracked around inside the house. Consider keeping a basket of slippers by the front door and a mat (and bins) to hold shoes when you get home.
- Tip #5 For a healthy home-Burn soy candles or diffuse essential oils for your home’s fragrance. Soy candles are a renewable, derived from soybeans. They are non-toxic and burn longer. And a favorite option is to diffuse essential oils. While this takes a bit of investment at first, there are a lot more fragrances, they last longer, and there are so many benefits from using essential oils.
- Tip #6 For a healthy home – open your windows! While this is simple. THIS is the best thing to flood your home with the fresh air from outside. (that is unless you live in a highly polluted city) It is good to lift those window for an hour or two at least once a week. In the chillier months this may be harder, but so good for you.
REDUCE THE CONSUMPTION OF NON-RENEWABLE MATERIALS– Look – most of us want what we want and we don’t think twice about what it took to make it or how easy it is to dispose of it when we are done with it. But all of us can agree that we don’t want to hurt the Earth our kids are growing up in. Here are some tips to reduce the amount that ends up in our landfills.
- Tip#1 for reducing our landfill – Choose natural fibers as much as possible. Linen and cotton won’t end up in a landfill and wool is recyclable, stain resistant, and is going to look good for 10-15 years.
- Tip #2 for reducing our landfill- When remodeling home, instead of demo have a deconstruction team where your cabinetry or appliances can be reused and repurposed. You could donate to a friend, an organization like Habitat for humanity, Consignment, or even a local boys and girls club.
- Tip #3 for reducing our landfill – Choose companies that are sustainable in their practices. Now, this will take some research. But we are constantly learning of companies that offer sustainable options or ways of manufacturing and we love introducing them to our clients. There are several that come to mind and we will have to write a blog JUST on that. An example, Kravet has some carpets that are made out of recycled water bottles. They feel so soft and are also pet friendly. Another great company is Sub-Zero. They use little water in their manufacturing processes. These are just some of our preferred vendors that are doing some good for our environment.
- Tip#4 for reducing our landfill – Have a well built shower that will not leak by using quality materials and systems. For this we use the Schluter shower system. It is engineered in such a way that when it is ready for tile, you could actually take a shower on it. The tile is just the “pretty”. Make sure to use plumbing faucet products that are quality items. They should include copper fittings and a ceramic disc so they will not leak. DO NOT purchase plumbing from a box store. While I love box stores, there is a reason their faucets are so cheap. They may look good but can be a silent problem and cause an unwanted remodel due to water damage.
PURCHASE LOW IMPACT & ENERGY EFFICIENT ITEMS- It goes without saying that this will save energy for our environment and lower your overall costs. Below are the best places to start.
- Tip#1 for purchasing low impact & energy efficient items – Buy Local. We all know that it is best to buy local. Not only is it important to support the people in your town, state, and country, but having a smaller carbon footprint will improve the air for us all!
- Tip #2 for purchasing low impact & energy efficient items -Buy classic items that will last a long time. This practice is at the center of Monarch Lane’s Urban Eclectic Design style. We want you to have items in your home that are durable and timeless. While they may be more expensive, they will last longer than cheaper options.
- Tip #3 for purchasing low impact & energy efficient items – install energy wise lighting. The lighting you choose makes all the difference in an interior. Thankfully, lighting design happens to be one of the most affordable areas in which to make a green difference. So, opt for energy-efficient fixtures as well as making the most of natural light.
- Tip#4 for purchasing low impact & energy efficient items – buy water saving faucets. Now hear me out. Most of my client do not want the low flow on your shower faucet. And I completely get it because it is important to get all the shampoo out. But a lot of fixtures now offer, like Kohler does an air katalyst that pushes air into the faucet helping to get the water through without so much waste. There are also eco friendly options for your sink faucets. You can reduce 70% of water consumption and a great side effect is also a smaller water bill.