Mother Nature supplies an abundance of wonderful resources for construction and design. From wood and stone, to cotton and clay, to gold and silver, our environment provides us with a solution for almost every need, whether that be robust materials for flooring, soft fabric for furnishings, or stylish accessories for decorating.
When obtained and processed responsibly, these natural materials are both green and sustainable, helping to lessen our carbon footprints and generate eco-friendly homes.
All of us want to create the very best home environment for our families, which is why environmentally friendly techniques continue to grow in popularity. Along with selecting organic materials over the man-made, we are spending more time looking for fair trade and recycled pieces. We realise the importance of choosing items with longevity, which will remain in our homes for years to come rather than ending up in landfill. We contemplate upcycling and repurposing, realising the potential in objects that we would previously consider as rubbish.
Eco-friendly decorating is now easier than ever
There are many environmentally conscious furniture and homeware shops nowadays, allowing homeowners to decorate sustainability whilst maintaining their own individual style. The pieces are made from material that renews rapidly, such as bamboo, along with recycled materials and those that derive from sustainable sources.
In eco-friendly design, no toxic chemicals or volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are used throughout production. Instead, items are generated in an efficient, sustainable manner, keeping the environment front of mind in all aspects. This includes packaging, which will be non-toxic (or, ideally, there’ll be no packaging at all!) These environmentally friendly methods also continue throughout the delivery process, with carbon footprints carefully considered when it comes to shipping.
“Recycle, reuse, reclaim, repurpose.”
Eco-friendly design can be achieved in a variety of ways, including repurposing old items through up cycling and a little DIY, or reclaiming materials and furniture from scrapyards or secondhand shops. This not only saves you money, but allows you create unique, bespoke items that complement your space perfectly while appealing to your personality. Search for coffee tables, headboards, dining room furniture and units made from reclaimed wood and glass, along with renewable materials like bamboo and rattan. In terms of soft furnishings, choose linen curtains or woollen throws. Environmentally friendly construction metals for inside the home will also be available, like recycled wire and steel.
Think of the trees
If eco-friendliness is especially important to you, be sure to steer clear of high density hardwood in your wooden furniture and accessories. Many hardwoods come from tropical rainforests, which means there’s a chance they’ve been sourced irresponsibly. Instead, choose an environmentally friendly option. Look for products with a Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) or similar rating, which will put your mind at ease over the origin of your wooden items. Deforestation is a massive issue and by being mindful of the wood you purchase, you’ll be contributing to a much bigger picture. After all, when deforestation wooden items are bought, the demand for even more irresponsibly sourced wood is heightened.
Support the planet & your community
Shopping locally when doing up your home has benefits on both a local and global scale. Choosing local suppliers and services contributes to the economy; 63p of every £1 spent at small and medium-sized businesses remains in the economy, compared to the 40p that remains with larger businesses. This makes for prosperous towns and successful local businesses. Shopping locally also helps the environment by lessening carbon emissions from lengthy transportation methods. Why purchase a dining table that’s been made in Asia from a huge chain store, when you can call on a local carpenter or visit an auction nearby?
Bring nature indoors
Welcoming nature indoors not only brightens up your space with lush green leaves and colourful blooms, but will make your home feel fresher. Plants can help to battle the negative effects of air conditioning and stuffy rooms with little circulation. Rather than breathing the same air over and over again, plants naturally remove pollutants and make air cleaner. Plants also control humidity levels, which help protect us against viral infections. Finally, as we all learn when we are young, plants absorb carbon dioxide and produce oxygen, which reduces the amount of carbon while freshening the air we breathe. There’s a vast range of plants available, from orchids and lilies to bamboo palms, cacti and succulents. Spend some time in the garden centre selecting the perfect plant for your home, and be sure to educate yourself on the best methods for care and upkeep!
Save things from the bin!
Keep an eye on the pieces of furniture, furnishings and ornaments that your family and friends are getting rid of. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, after all! Remember that items can be easily up cycled and refreshed for a totally new look, so be open minded when observing people’s old items. You’ll more often than not get hold of these pieces for free, as you’ll be doing them a favour by taking things off their hands, ridding them of the need for removal or a trip to the tip. At the same time, when you’re getting rid of an old piece of furniture, ask around to see if someone can make use of it. If not, pop it on eBay, or head to the charity shop. This will save the item from landfill, and in turn benefit the environment.
If you’d like to find out more about eco-friendly interior design, get in touch with one of our experts on Facebook and Twitter. You can also check out our full range of sustainable wooden blinds – perfect for completing your environmentally conscious redesign – by clicking the button below.