The design process for a new apartment requires not just thought, time, and money, it also compels you to think in term of the impact of your decisions on the environment. We all are aware of the environmental benefits of carpooling and recycling, but how you decorate your apartment or home can also make a difference. Here you will find a few green suggestions that you will want to keep in mind when making changes in your home's decor.
Most of the mass produced furniture on the market today is not manufactured in an environmentally friendly way. Additionally, the chemicals in the furniture itself can be toxic and carcinogenic, and exude toxins into the air. Today, there is a growing variety of products on the market that are not only made from recycled materials, but manufactured in workshops or factories that do not use these harmful chemicals. And you needn't sacrifice style. You can find fashionable, comfortable, and affordable furniture that is also environmentally friendly.
Most paints on the market contain VOCs (volatile organic compounds) that are released into the environment when the paint is applied. This contributes to the deterioration of the ozone, as well as releasing carcinogenic compounds into our home environments. Make sure the paint that you are using is low-odor, low-VOC paint. Most paint lines have added these green paints to their lineup. These paints perform as well as traditional paints, and come in just as many colors.
The rugs, flooring, curtains and bedding that we bring into our homes are often made in the same conditions and with the same chemicals as furniture. Carpet and vinyl are notorious for their chemical content. When choosing flooring, curtains or any other textiles for you home, make sure they were made in an environmentally friendly manner, and that they are not going to add to the toxicity levels in your home. Many choices are available: wood, bamboo, cork, corn, hemp. Too often the working conditions of people who are creating these textiles are appalling. If you like eclectic, exotic decorations and furnishings, make sure that they are coming from a source that is socially responsible.
Most of us know by now that the appliances that we have in our homes can effect our electric bill, but it is tempting to overlook the appliances. Appliances are investments, and whether you have to replace all of the appliances, or just one, make sure that it is as energy efficient as possible.