Redecorating your home is an exciting time. It’s your opportunity to make your home feel like it’s all your own, in a way that reflects your personality and lifestyle. However, there are also some serious points to consider – such as what you’ll be using during the process and how you’ll be kitting out your new interior.
If you’re trying to live a greener lifestyle, these are important factors to weigh up during the process, so check out our top tips for staying green when redecorating your home.
Choose green paint where possible – and we don’t just mean the colour.
There are several paints you can choose from that are kinder to the world around us than traditional paint. Look for paints that are free of toxins, as these will have lower levels of pollution than others and will likely have used fewer resources during their manufacture.
Purchase eco-friendly, sustainable furniture.
There are plenty of furniture options that are sustainable – for example, wooden furniture made from bamboo or reclaimed wood.
Avoid materials that are bad for the environment.
As well as ensuring the materials you are using are sustainable, it’s also a good idea to avoid those that are bad for the environment. Here are a few that you may wish to stop using if you want to go green within the home.
Plastic: Plastic is notoriously bad for the environment, yet it is still used for many pieces of furniture from retailers all over the world. It’s often bought for its versatility and relatively low price, but it has some serious downsides.
Plastic is poisonous to wildlife, creating issues when littered or left in landfills.
When old plastic finds its way into the ocean, plastic can transport species into areas they should not be in – harming the natural ecosystem.
Plastic can last for hundreds of years, continuously causing these negative effects on our planet.
Plastic production is also the reason for around 10% of oil production, causing, even more, strain on the environment.
Fabrics: While there are many green fabric options, it’s important to know which ones are actually not so good for the environment. Some are not biodegradable, while others will have high levels of energy consumption during the manufacturing process. Others are less green due to the pesticides and other chemicals used throughout production.
Non-organic wool and cotton are both bad for the environment, as are nylon, rayon and polyester. It’s also best to avoid any fabrics that include certain dyes, bleach and formaldehyde during production.
If you’re looking for greener fabrics, consider organic wool and cotton, hemp or linen.
Repurpose items where you can.
If you have any items that can be repurposed, this is a much better choice than buying new replacements. If you simply want to update the look of your home, see if you can give your existing pieces a new lease of life.
This can be done by recovering chairs or other soft furnishings, painting wood or metal pieces, or even simply switching up your layout for a new look.
Choose durable items that will last a long time.
The longer the items in your home last, the longer it will be before you have to replace them. This means you won’t be having to constantly contribute to production by purchasing replacements.
Even if a durable item is a little more expensive, it will last for much longer, which actually makes it cheaper in the long run as well as being better for the environment.
Turn nature into decor.
See if there are any natural elements you can find outdoors that you might like to use as decor for your home. These are a great way to create a certain look within your home without any need for manufacturing or unnatural elements. Try seashells you’ve found on the beach or pine cones from the forest.
Buy home decor products from small, local businesses who make their products from nearby resources.
Green business love to promote themselves as such – and with good reason, so look for shops or individual sellers in your area who specialise in handcrafted home decor or furniture products made with locally sourced, environmentally friendly materials.
If you’re fitting out your home (or an individual room) from scratch, choose eco-friendly appliances.
If you’re going all out – for example, a whole new kitchen, you may be purchasing new appliances too. If that’s the case, look for energy efficient models that are better for the planet.
If there’s waste during the decorating process, make sure it’s properly recycled.
If you have anything to throw away after you’ve finished redecorating, be sure to recycle it properly. Take it to a recycling centre yourself, or get in touch with a local waste clearance or management company who can responsibly take care of it for you.
By keeping these ideas in mind, you’ll be able to take a greener approach when redecorating your home and can rest assured knowing your new home made a much smaller impact on the environment than your previous decorating projects. You should be proud of your hard work and dedication to living green!
How do you feel about decorating in a more Earth-friendly way? Will you be following these tips during your next redecorating project? Celebrating the Environment Month, share your thoughts in the comments section below!