Eco-friendly interior design aims to reduce the effects of harmful living by improving indoor air quality. It also helps to minimize the impact that our home purchases have on the environment. As a result, sustainability, energy-efficiency, and inclusion of all-natural materials are just a few themes you see throughout eco-friendly interior design. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that most Americans spend approximately 90% of their time indoors, where the concentrations of pollutants from our home decor are often two to five times higher than typical outdoor concentrations.
Eco-friendly interior design can help us reduce our carbon footprint, but this movement doesn’t only benefit the planet. A green interior design concept can also boost your health and well-being, and it’s easy to get started! Read on to learn more about eco-friendly interior design and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.
5 Tips for Eco-Friendly Interior Design
1. Shop Green
With eco-friendly interior design on the rise, there are plenty of options for safe and sustainable products. When you shop for new furniture, make a concentrated effort to research each piece before you purchase it. Any sustainable interior designer will source pieces from trusted vendors.
Another aspect of eco-friendly interior design is purchasing furniture that’s guaranteed to last for years. Choose pieces made from solid wood like oak, walnut, or maple, and upholstery made from leather, wool, and cotton. These natural materials are usually more durable and less harmful to the environment. Whenever you’re unsure of which textile to purchase, check to see if it’s made out of high-quality recycled or organic materials.
2. Harness Plant Power
One of the easiest and most affordable ways to foster eco-friendly interior design is by bringing plants into your home. Plants offer an attractive touch to any room in your house and they help to purify and filter your air by producing oxygen. This reduces the polluting effects of any harmful material in your home that you may or may not be aware of.
By including plants in your environmentally-friendly interior design, you’ll be in line with one of the hottest trends in decor. You’ll also have the chance to develop a healthy new hobby. No matter whether you have a green thumb or not, you can find the perfect plant for your home and take pride in looking after it. Take our quiz to learn which plant would be ideal for your lifestyle!
3. Try Smart Landscaping
Although it may seem contrary to the name, eco-friendly interior design focuses on the outside of your home as well. Landscaping is a huge factor when it comes to being sustainable, so one tip to follow is creating a yard that is water-conserving. Don’t let the term “water-conserving” scare you because it’s not as limiting as it may sound. There are a bunch of different approaches you can take to make it happen.
Choosing drought-tolerant plants is a great place to start. Beard Tongue, Aloe, Fountain Grass, and Pride of Madeira are just a few hardy plants that can withstand little water. In addition to plants, you can set up a drip irrigation system, reuse greywater, and reduce your lawn as much as possible. If you live in the right kind of climate, a desert-themed landscape is one of the trendiest and eco-friendliest designs right now.
4. Use Water-Based Paint
Many paints contain VOCs that evaporate at room temperature. These chemicals have been tied to health problems like headaches, throat irritation, nervous system disturbances, and even cancer. Luckily, you can include water-based paint into your eco-friendly interior design to lessen your exposure to these harmful chemicals.
Look for eco-friendly paints by reading the product labels. “Low VOC” or “low odor” lets you know that the paint is water-based and safer for you and the environment. Keep this tip in mind for other household products like furniture, wood, carpets, cleaning products, and air fresheners that are known to have VOCs, too.
5. Incorporate Efficient Lighting
Depending on what stage of design you’re in, there are multiple routes to take in order to create a space with efficient lighting. Natural light and LED light are the two main areas you should focus on.
If you’re designing your home from scratch, it’s a great idea to have your living room and kitchen face north where they will get the most exposure to natural light. If you’re past the point of construction, some easier fixes include installing energy-efficient windows and doors that reduce air leakage and provide secure insulation.
Don’t forget to take advantage of your curtains as well. Trap in heat and warmth during the winter by keeping your curtains open during the day to let in natural light. Once night hits, close the curtains to conserve that heat. Follow the opposite method during summer to keep cool. This eco-friendly interior design tip is perfect for conserving energy and lowering your utility costs.
While natural light is a simple and free way to brighten up your home and save energy, it can only get you so far once the sun goes down.
Say goodbye to incandescent light bulbs and hello to LEDs. LED lighting is the most popular energy-efficient light source on the market and for good reason. These lights don’t contain mercury vapour and they last approximately 100,000 hours. To make it even better, LED lights use 90% less energy than other light bulbs. They are slightly more costly, but the long-term benefits far outweigh the initial investment.
The first step to becoming sustainable and energy-efficient is by utilizing eco-friendly interior design. Whether you start small with energy-efficient light bulbs or go big with furniture purchases and landscape design, you are helping the planet and yourself! For more eco-friendly inspiration, take a look at 7 ways to freshen up your home with plant decor.