One of the easiest ways to decorate green is to incorporate recycled or reused items. Just because it's been previously owned doesn't mean it's lost its value, so check out resale shops or garage sales and give someone else's end table a fresh coat of paint or refurbish their chair. An alternative to this is going to an eco-friendly store such as the ones HGTV recommends like VivaTerra or Branch Home. If there are no such stores in your area, you can call your local U.S. Green Building Council or building department to find them.
HGTV also suggests using modular carpet squares for your floor, as they can be made with non-toxic dyes and recycled materials. In addition, they are easy to install yourself and when you decide to change the color, they can be shipped back to the manufacturer for recycling.
A great idea HGTV offers is to create a water wall with colorful Mason jars on a window that receives a lot of light. The water will absorb the heat during the day, keeping the house cooler, and then release that heat at night. You can also fill clear glass jars with food coloring dyed water which will make your wall look even more decorative and creative.
When buying furniture, look for furnishings made with bamboo, cork, beech wood, reclaimed lumber, stainless steel and sustainable fibers like hemp, wool and jute. These materials come from renewable resources, which means they are replenished by natural processes.
As these types of improvements can be used as a tax break, making eco-friendly additions to your home are not only good for the environment, but also good for your wallet. Plus, if you donate your old materials that you replaced to organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, you can write that off as well.
If you're ready for a change, take a hard look around your home and find ways you can create the décor style you're going for in an environmentally friendly way. It may just turn out to be easier -- and more fun -- than you think!
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