We spend nearly 90% of our time indoors. This illuminating statistic is a big reason why we focus our efforts on sustainability and health aspects of interior spaces when we design homes with our clients. Our goal is to aid with the creation of a home that promotes well-being with spaces that both feel good and live good.
The following suggestions are a starting point to turn your home into an eco-friendly and health-conscious environment:
Green Up Your Cleaning
Choose non-toxic options for cleaning your home. Try mixing natural cleaning solutions made with baking soda, vinegar, and lemons or, if you prefer, choose manufactured products that are free from phosphates, chlorine, additives or harmful chemicals. Take great care with antibacterial cleaners, as they don’t clean any better than plain soap and water and, instead, risk the breeding of “super germs”. If you’re someone who enjoys an aromatic home, consider diffusing essential oils or boiling cinnamon, cloves, or herbs or, my personal favorite, cooking or baking up a yummy smelling dish.
Clear the Clutter
Remove things from your home that are not serving a purpose. Stop clutter before it happens by buying less to stem the flow of items coming into your home. Keep sentimental (or any) items only if you use, love and/or cherish them, not because you feel guilt or obligation to do so (they were a gift, the money you spent on it, etc). You’ll find mental relief and a more peaceful state of mind if you’re not constantly dealing with visual and/or physical clutter in your space.
If you’re feeling the need to refresh your home style, instead of purchasing new items consider rearranging or repurposing the things you already have. Don’t give up on something you love if all it would take is a little paint or reupholstering to make it work again. If it needs a more intensive makeover, search for upcycling or DIY ideas online. If you still have a need for something new, shop used to give antiques, vintage or secondhand items new-to-you life in your home.
Consider Water, Energy, and Waste
Water: Choose water saving plumbing fixtures, such as low-flow shower heads and toilets, and/or install aerators on exiting fixtures. Maintain or replace your water heater. For your yard, use native vegetation or xeric landscaping that doesn’t require as much water, fertilizer or pesticide. Practice smart irrigation by collecting rainwater, running sprinkler systems during morning or evening hours, and install rain and/or soil moisture sensors.
Energy: Conduct a home energy audit yourself or hire a company to do one for you to identify areas for energy improvement. Select energy efficient appliances when it comes time to replace. Look into renewable or clean power options in your area – whether installing solar panels or purchasing green energy through your utility provider. Leave lights off by using natural light when/where possible and make sure your light bulbs are energy efficient LED or CFL.
Waste: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Compost. Much like an energy audit, conduct a waste audit to identify what ends up in your trash and use this knowledge to make a plan to lessen your landfill-bound trash. Reduce incoming mail by enrolling in online statements and getting off of unsolicited junk mail lists. Place recycle bins in the areas where you’ll need them, like the kitchen, a home office or near the bathroom, to capture all the various recyclable items at their point-of-use. Set up a compost bin or sign up for composting to reduce food waste sent to the landfill. Choose reusable rather than disposable whenever possible, such as bags, water bottles and packaging.
Implementing these suggestions is a good start to greening your home. If you’re ready for next-level sustainability we’re always happy to delve further into our favorite topic and address your specific home needs with you. Or, if you have great, green ideas to share – we’d love to hear from you!
Contact our team at firstname.lastname@example.org
Happy World Environment Day!
Associates III Interior Design