The other day, as I was typing away at my laptop, the irony of my situation struck me with blinding realization. There I was, sipping coffee from a plastic cup, surrounded by scented candles and sitting on a rug that was probably made using the slave trade, and writing about sustainability!
It gave way to a rapid cleansing and redecorating process that is still underway. Many of us out there think that we can only contribute towards a green future by joining big organisations and carrying out protests. Not only is this belief false, but it would also contribute close to nothing towards environmental conservation.
The journey towards sustainability, like all other things, begins at home. Here are a few things which can be done to ensure that your home is eco-friendly.
Don’t fell trees, work around them
I remember visiting a house which had a huge tree that had grown right in the middle, and instead of taking it down, the owners had incorporated it into the design of the house, by carving benches and shelves out of its huge trunk and thick branches. It was a sight to behold.
Infrastructure developers these days axe hundreds of trees. Working with our green friends not only helps the environment but also adds a cozy and innovative touch to your home.
Use sustainable materials in construction
It would be refreshing to come to a home smelling of fresh flora, instead of that shiny granite. Using cork for floorboards has become a cost-effective alternative, and has the added benefit of being insect repellent. Linoleum, reclaimed wood and bamboo are other available green options.
Toxin-free paints, natural stone instead of baked bricks are some of the changes being seen.
Being sure of the origin of the materials used in construction would not only ensure that sub-standard materials are not being used, but also eliminate utilization of environmentally unhealthy products in building your home.
Alternative sources of energy
The conventional tube lights and sixty-watt bulbs are not popular anymore, thanks to their being heavy on nature and the pocket. An increasing number of people are using solar-powered lighting for their homes. Although expensive to set up and install, the efficiency of the source makes everybody consider using solar power. Taking natural lighting into account would save a lot of electrical energy.
LED lighting is also a cleaner energy source.
Recyclable materials used in interior design
It could be glassware made from recycled soda bottles, baskets made from bamboo or seagrass, rugs made from recycled broken glass pieces, rattan and bamboo chairs, wooden bowls made from the discarded roots of trees, chalkboards made from recycled paper to leave notes on, towels made from organic cotton (which could be expensive), or bath mats made from recycled cotton, there is no denying the fact that these products would truly make a home sustainable, while adding that extra oomph.
Top companies like Ikea and Pottery Barn have switched over to the sustainable side, so there will no longer be a compromise in design. However, buying the above-mentioned products from local artisans and craftsmen would boost their business and lend an authentic vibe to your home and turn it into a green haven.