Slap the words ‘environmentally friendly’ onto a product and it’s almost guaranteed to sell like hot cakes. This is especially true when it comes to home accessories, as people are always looking for ways to incorporate eco-friendly trends into their home accessories and decor. Of course, finding home decor that is beautiful and eco-friendly can be a challenge. Here are a few basic tips and tricks.
By far, the easiest way to be ‘eco-friendly’ is to skip the newly manufactured home accessories (even those made from recycled materials) and opt instead for reclaimed items. This includes items you may find at thrift stores, antique stores, garage and yard sales, estate sales, secondhand stores and through various online retailers, such as eBay.
If you are willing to put the effort in, you can find all kinds of reclaimed items. Note that ‘reclaimed’ does not necessarily mean the piece has been assembled using different reclaimed materials. It can also mean items that have been salvaged in their entirety. This includes furniture pieces, light fixtures, square and oval mirrors of all sizes, wall art and much, much more.
Unfortunately, reclaimed pieces can be surprisingly expensive. This is especially true of items, such as furniture, made from reclaimed wood. However, it is possible to find home accessories and decor in the stores that are made from recycled products, which can be extremely eco-friendly.
Recycled glass tends to be less expensive and easy to come-by, so there’s no reason to purchase a newly manufactured glass vase over a recycled glass vase. Plus, like many items, glass can be manipulated into new colors, shapes and sizes. The vast majority of people will be unable to tell that your new pieces are made from recycled materials, though you may want to tell them!
Finally, don’t be afraid to reuse existing items in your home. You can reupholster old furniture, or refinish old wood furniture to create a fresh, new look for less money and less harm to the environment. Reusing existing home decor can save not only money, but will put less waste and toxins into the environment.
When reupholstering furniture or simply creating new covers for your existing throw pillows, look for fabrics such as organic cotton, silk, bamboo-based fabrics and polyesters made from recycled plastics. Be sure to always choose upholstery grade fabrics for reupholstering, as these will hold up the best over ‘regular’ fabrics.’ There are other fabrics that are also environmentally friendly including hemp, soy-based fabrics, linen, cashmere, ingeo (which is made from fermented plant sugars) and alpaca fabrics.
Additional Tips and Tricks
Home decor isn’t limited to different accessories and furniture. It also includes other items in your space, such as paint or light fixtures. To create more a more environmentally friendly space, swap out your traditional incandescent light bulbs with more energy efficient options, such as the compact fluorescent (CFL) bulb.
Need to repaint? Why not use milk paint or another paint that lists low VOCs (volatile organic compounds).
Though it may sound costly, creating environmentally friendly home decor doesn’t actually have to be, thanks to these tips and tricks.