Ever since my teens I have tried to live as greener life as possible. I support vegetarianism, recycling and running an eco-friendly home. A popular perception of a green lifestyle and eco-friendly living in the home is a lack of style. How can aspects of the home look and feel stylish if the focus is all about energy saving and being kind to the environment? But it’s quite easy to implement both. I’m here to explain that running an environmentally friendly home doesn’t mean you have to slack on style. In fact, it can add something to any decor finish.
If you want to create a more eco-friendly home then here is a simple guide on how to do it.
All things lighting.
Lighting is important in any home. Natural light is fantastic for you as individuals but can add a real depth to room’s interior look and atmosphere. The best way to incorporate more natural light into your room is actually to let it in. Sounds easy but you will be surprised how difficult some people find this. If you ditch the curtains, and standard blinds in favour of beautiful window plantation shutters you can achieve just that. Allowing the natural light in, keeping rooms either cool or warm, these shutters can help on your eco-friendly journey. But on a more stylish note, they can add to your interior look. They can give a smart, clean finish to a room.
Of course, we aren’t blessed with natural light during every hour we are awake. At times, we will need to use artificial light in the way of lamps and lighting. You will save 65% more energy by replacing your standard bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs. Replacing these bulbs can have a real effect on the amount of greenhouse gas emissions. A good tip is only to use the lights you need; your whole house doesn’t need to be lit up if you are in one room. Lamps and lighting can add a real flair to the style of a room, and by using the correct bulbs, you can get the best of both worlds.
Grow some houseplants.
It’s fast become a trend to have a little more green in your home, and I don’t mean in the ecological sense, but in actual green leaves. House plants can have a real effect on the air quality in your rooms.
Think about where you sleep and relax.
We all love sheets and bed linen that look pretty. But standard cotton sheets can account for 25% of the world’s insecticide use. Switching to organic cotton sheets or bamboo can make a real difference. As times have moved on you can get some lovely stylish patterns. However, it can give off a real stylish feel to just have white sheets and add a bit of colour or interior style in other ways. If you have a thing for blankets, and let’s face it in winter we all like to use them from time to time then opt for polyester instead of wool. It’s kinder to the environment.
Although your mattress is disguised by sheets, pillows and blankets it’s also a place where you can change things. Opting for a non-toxic mattress doesn’t mean you are sacrificing comfort but just what the mattress has been treated with. This purchase is more eco-friendly.
Image sourced through Flickr
Let’s talk about furnishings.
Furnishing your home, be it new or old, is quite exciting. You have a blank canvas and you want to make it your own. This Is where you can think about being eco-friendly and have some awesome stylish pieces.
Reclaimed and upcycled furniture is fast becoming a fashionable trend for furnishing your home. Turning something old and broken, into something fresh, new and purposeful is a satisfying feeling. What you are doing is saving something from going to landfill and causing more environmental problems. There are things like pallet coffee tables and using car parts for stylish side tables. Even just giving an old piece of furniture a fresh colour with organic and non-toxic paint. All these pieces are unique and one of a kind. Who doesn’t want to be able to furnish their house full of authentic pieces?
There can be a huge saving on cost as well. Especially if you decide to create some pieces of furniture yourself. You will always find that used furniture will be cheaper than flat pack new items.
However, there is nothing wrong with buying practical furniture that can be in the form of flat pack types. Using furniture that has been made with certified sustainable wood would be a good place to start. Bamboo is also a very environmentally friendly material for furniture and can look stylish in the home.
You can buy non-toxic organic paint in most DIY stores. Keeping your finish crisp and clean will add a real style element. It’s recommended to go for a lighter colours like whites. Although can appear cooling, with the right furnishings, can create a warm and cosy space. Also, lighter shades will help with making the most from your natural light. Creating a cool, light and airy room for everyone to enjoy.
I think I have covered the basics of creating a stylish eco-friendly home. But there are a few more things you can do to your home to create a more environmentally friendly, energy efficient place to live.
Soft furnishing in the way of rugs on wooden flooring can give you up to 6% savings on energy bills. Just make sure you go for an eco-friendly flooring and fabric choice.
Solar panels are a fantastic way of creating energy in the home. Solar energy can be used to power your home’s electrical devices. Heat your water and keep your house running efficiently at a fraction of the cost. Solar panels traditionally fit on the roof of your home.
You can also be energy efficient by turning plugs off at walls, switching lights off when they are not being used, and keeping items off standby.
Water wastage is one of the biggest things a household can waste and most of the time you don’t even realise you are doing it. Avoiding things like a leaky toilet and dripping taps will help reduce your wastage. Water is the silent energy waster if you will.
If you want to be energy efficient and eco-friendly then a little goes a long way. Switching the tap off when you brush your teeth and using one cup of warm water when using a shaver. All the little things can really add up. I think we all know that taking a shower is a much more eco-friendly way of washing than running a full bath.
Finally, using low energy appliances can have an effect as well as restricting the number of times you use certain appliances. A dryer, for example, can create 2-3kg of carbon emissions for every hour it is in use. On occasions like this using the outdoors as much as possible will be a great way to be more eco-friendly. While we are on the topic of washing, there are small changes you can make to help. You can invest in a washing machine that has an energy star and switching the temperature down to 30. Purchasing concentrated washing detergent also means you are doing your bit to reduce your carbon footprint.
I hope this simple guide can help you on your way to becoming more eco-friendly and stylish in your home.