Are you hoping to “go green” but have no idea where to start? Or perhaps the idea of “greening up” your life is a little overwhelming, like it was for me. We have solutions! Stick with me each week as I make suggestions for slowly going green, one baby-step at a time. This week, we’ll discuss eco-friendly home redecorating tips.
When it comes to redecorating, you can do it in style and still be green. Before doing research, I had no idea how many green redecorating options existed. From furniture to paint, you can update your room with the environment in mind. Also remember that you don’t have to buy new items. Consider the following ideas to get your started.
Green paint — who knew? Actually, I’ve heard of paint that is safe for expectant moms, but I had never looked into the options because in my mind, that sort of paint only existed to keep a growing baby safe. Well, doesn’t common sense dictate that if it’s not good for a growing baby, it’s not good for anyone? Mythic Paint is a non-toxic, ultra low-odor paint that doesn’t give off VOCs and toxins. As the company states, it’s safe for people, safe for pets and safe for the earth.
Green furniture does exist! Kimberly Causey, author of The Furniture Factory Outlet Guide, recommends Trees4Trees, “an association of tree growers in Indonesia which works with furniture manufacturers to encourage use of sustainable materials.” Even better, the company creates upholstery in linen and other natural textiles, and produces a line of accessories made from reclaimed driftwood and other recycled materials.
If your furniture isn’t green, you can take steps to at least make it safer for your family. “Most new furniture is treated with chemicals containing formaldehyde, a cause of respiratory problems,” says Billee Sharp, author of Fix It, Make It, Grow It, Bake It. “The solution? Leave it outside for a day or two. The fresh air will ‘outgas’ the item, making it safe for your home.” I know that this isn’t great for the environment, but it is important to protect your family’s health if green furniture isn’t in your budget.
As you know, being green is about conserving resources. Sharp suggests using blackout curtains to keep your energy use in check — when you draw them at night, you’ll either keep the heat out or in, depending on the season and where you live. So if you’re looking to dress up your windows with new curtains, why not choose blackout curtains? At the very least, you can line your windows with them.
Additionally, Sharp recommends using a draft stopper — either a store-bought item or a homemade fabric tube that you can place against your door to minimize drafts. An added bonus of conserving energy: Lower bills.
Being green isn’t limited to purchasing green products. It’s also about keeping existing items out of the landfills. “Redecorate locally,” suggests Diana Tenes, author of 90% OFF Every Day. “Try secondhand shopping: Thrift shops, garage sales, flea markets, Craig’s List, freecycle.org. Secondhand shopping is one of the best and fun ways to get that great deal. It is a skill anyone can learn, to help reduce waste, personal and business expenses.”
Green makeover consulting services
If you’re really serious about a green room makeover but feel overwhelmed, consulting services are available. Check out The Green Mama for information about a green makeover consult.
I hope you’ll look into your green options when you’re ready to update a room in your home. I can guarantee that I will. In fact, looking at the paint is inspiring me …