Everyone wants to 'do their bit' these days by helping the environment. Many people do this by recycling paper, plastics and tins and even wood and fabric wherever possible but most are not aware that there are many other ways of helping the environment, some of which can even save them money!
A large difference can be made within the home, by changing the way the home is insulated and heated. Old boilers are sometimes inefficient and draughty doors, window frames and insufficient insulation in the walls and ceiling space can all cause a house to leak warmth pushing up bills and straining resources.
These matters are easily sorted, although they may require the outlay of a biggish lump sum, but they do not do anything to enhance the interior of the house. However it is possible to make your house a beautiful and welcoming home and help the environment at the same, simply by making good choices at the planning and purchasing stage.
Eco Friendly Paint for the Walls and Points of Interest
Traditional paints are known for being unsafe to breathe during use and for a short time afterwards. This is because these paints are loaded with chemicals that include formaldehyde, heavy metals and substances known as Volatile Organic Chemicals, or VOCs for short. It is this chemical cocktail that has seen painters and decorators suffering from dramatically increased incidences of lung cancer than the rest of the population.
Producing traditional paints is also very unfriendly to resources, each litre of paint resulting in some 30 litres of toxic waste. Paint manufacturers quickly realised that their product does not have the most satisfactory makeup and set about improving and innovating methods and recipes. Eco-paints used to be only available in powder form that requiring careful measuring to produce sufficient quantities of acceptable paint before you could begin, but manufacturers are now producing ready-mixed paint in a large variety of shades and hues.
Photo From: The Green Connoisseur
There is a reduced level of VOCs in these paints, and some still contain unpleasant chemicals, but they are a decided step in the right direction. They are a little more expensive than traditional paints, but help the whole family to reduce their carbon footprint, which is well worth the extra pennies. Guardian.co.uk recommends earthBorn and Pots of Paint as some of the eco-friendly paints manufacturers in a post here.
Soft Furnishings: Making Good from Old
Curtains and carpets can and should be recycled whenever possible. If you are redoing a small bedroom, off-cuts from discarded larger carpets can sometimes fit the bill perfectly. Purchase pelmet covers, curtains and any other soft furnishings from charity shops, estate sales and auction houses.
Photo From: Jane Foster
Reusing old items saves on the resources needed to make new ones and can make a significant difference to the eco-friendliness of your home. If you do not want a carpet any more, reclaimed wooden boards can be laid to create a wonderfully textured floor. Judicious use of a hired sanding machine can make old boards look like new, at a fraction of the cost and with little negative impact on the world's forests.
Photo From: KBCulture
Furniture Choices can Save Resources
Furniture should be chosen for the wood it is made of and the way those trees are managed. Sustainable forests grow quickly and well and each tree is replaced to ensure that the resource does not dwindle away. Get rid of damaged furniture that can’t be used any longer and buy new new furniture. Purchase old pieces and reupholster or paint them to perfectly blend into your vision for the room either. Some manufacturers specialize in making beautiful pieces of furniture from reclaimed wood, which is another excellent way to get maximum usage from timber, thereby saving the need for unnecessary tree felling.
Photo From: CalFinder
So you see, it is relatively easy to make 'green' practices an integral part of your lifestyle and your home, allowing you to feel the satisfaction of having a beautiful, comfortable and warm home and knowing that you have made good progress in reducing your carbon footprint, saving essential resources and making the planet that little bit more sustainable.
Photo From: Riva Interiors