Bringing nature closer to you

Bringing nature closer to you

Bringing nature closer to you

‘Reduce, Reuse & Recycle’ is the mantra behind theeco-friendly home decor concept. So, take a step towards nature today, writes Sharmila Chand.

Environment-friendly home decor is the need of the hour.

It not only helps save our planet, it can help you save tons of money too.

All it requires is a conscious decision on our part to choose the right mix of items whose roots are from sustainable and renewable resources.

It’s just a matter of making the right choices to begin living a more sustainable lifestyle. We explore significant home decor ideas with real sustainability in mind — using less energy, less water and less non-renewable resources.

Right from flooring, furnishing, home decor accessories and lighting, live in an environmental friendly atmosphere.

So, let’s have a look at some smart and simple ways to make your home decor environment friendly.

Quality matters

Be sure of what you need and go for the best quality so that you do not create waste and make sure what you buy will last long.

This helps your budget in the long run and also reduces your junk.

Buy locally

You will support your local economy and ensure a less carbon footprint by buying directly from local craftsmen and artisans.

This also results in fewer emissions through shipping transportation. Revel in the beauty of what these artisans can produce and help in their various natural processes to produce the stuff we all need.

Reuse creatively for accessories

Think about the items you already have and try to use them in a different way.

It will certainly make any space feel more sustainable and eco-conscious.

For example, use recycled paper for making beautiful wall hangings, vases and sculptures.

Use your creativity to give innovative designs to lampshades, book cases, etc.

Saving interesting glass bottles and jars and using them throughout the house as vases and collectibles will give a different appeal. Try putting your collection of seashells in your bathroom.

Artfully displayed on bookshelves or in bowls on a coffee table, natural collections make timeless accessories.

Think pine cones, colourful stones, seashells, coral and driftwood.

Eco-friendly furniture

It may get little difficult to find eco-friendly furniture.

But antique and vintage pieces of furniture are available at select  places and they are environment friendly. Old furniture, once redesigned, could create a grand look in the house.

Instead of using plywood, switch over to eco-friendly plantation wood and reclaimed wood.

Besides recycling, think of re-arranging and re-using. Instead of buying new items, think of working on old ones.

For example, you can convert an old stool into a side table. You can also donate all old items to charity or for recycling.

Decorate with natural textiles

Try to pick up furnishings which are made of natural fibres. For example, if you are redoing your bedroom, then purchase a new bedding made from natural organic fibres such as cotton, jute or bamboo.

Select chair and sofa covers made of natural fabrics.

There are plenty of choices available in organic cotton that will render an eco-design and green lifestyle.

Forget about carpeting

Try to use rugs and wooden flooring instead of carpets, if you can. Most carpets are made from non-organic fibres and it can get dirty by holding in dust and various toxins.

These days you get rugs made of old recycled textiles, jute, and even used plastic.

Protect your pets

Your furry friends should not be neglected while making eco-friendly choices.

They should also be protected from environmental toxins, so purchase their bedding in 100 per cent organic and non-toxic materials.

These choices will be hygienic and healthy for them as well as for the entire home.

Toxin-free cleaning products

Look for all-natural and bio-degradable line of cleaning products that also include fragrant choices in lavender, floral, musk and many more.

Artificial air fresheners, strong cleaning products and other daily household items can also take a toll on your indoor air quality.

Make your home energy-efficient

Create a water wall with colourful jars on a window that gets a lot of sunlight. Water absorbs the heat during the day, keeping the house cooler, and releases it at night.

Clear glass jars filled with food-colouring dyed water is another way to make the water wall playfully decorative.

Switch to LEDs

LEDs these days are getting common in home lighting, and rightfully so.

LED bulbs are safe for the environment and for you.

They also use much less energy and emit very little heat, making them an excellent choice for your home.

Install dimmer switches

Dimmer switches can save a huge amount of energy, especially when coupled with LED lighting.

They are not  costly at all and can be fixed easily. Plus, dimmed lighting adds a lot of character in a room if co-ordinated well with some natural plants and artefacts.

Use paints with low VOC

If getting your home painted, opt for low VOC paints. VOC or the Volatile Organic Compounds found in paints are extremely bad for health and nature.

But these days, paint manufacturers are trying to make paints with low VOC. So, before buying paint, remember to check for low content of these harmful chemicals.

Nurture your outdoor spaces

The common areas which you may be sharing with your neighbours, like the entrance to the building or lifts or parking or common terraces, should be paid a lot of attention.

Start by placing planters and hang flower baskets in these areas, pick up some bird houses and feeders, create a little pond, if possible.

You will be amazed at the kind of outdoor oasis you can create for flora and fauna to sustain.

It not only infuses fresh air, but also adds charm and character to your homes.

Gifting ideas

Make a resolution to wrap all the presents in old newspapers and tie them with recycled string. You can also find elegant recycled paper in different shades of colour.

You can also make cloth bags which the recipient can reuse for shopping or their own gifts.

Jute bags are an excellent option for all your grocery shopping.

Remember, simple living is sustainable living!