There comes a time when you want to give your home a makeover. Whether the project involves simply repainting of the walls of a single room or going all out and renovating the entire house, a new look is always something that you look forward to. You would love to enjoy and relax in your home with newly painted walls, new furniture pieces, or stunning decorations.
However, as you renovate your interior spaces, you also need to make sure that you’re doing it responsibly. That is, you want your renovations to be friendly to the environment and sustainable. After all, an energy-efficient, eco-friendly house is a house that is healthy, safe, economical, and helps improve the way your family lives.
According to recent recycling stats, consumer behavior and human consumption are among the major factors that cause an increase of the volume of waste materials. However, these are factors that individuals can totally control. That control transcends to all things we do, yes, including remaking your interior.
Recycle pre-loved furniture
If your plan involves replacing or adding furniture, opt for pre-loved furniture first. Pre-loved tables, chairs, shelves, and other furniture pieces come in almost limitless styles, designs, and materials, so you won’t have a hard time choosing the right ones to match your interior space. You can find a lot on eBay, Facebook Marketplace, and other online shops.
Be on the hunt for nearby garage sales because you can purchase second-hand furniture sets at very good prices. Finally, visit local stores that specialize in selling second-hand or antique furniture; they can offer you handsome, high-quality furniture without denting your wallet.
Choose the right mattress
If you’re renovating your bedroom, it’s a given that you need to be picking the right mattress. Having a high-quality mattress is the key towards a restful sleep. But do you know that the right mattress decreases your carbon footprint?
You see, a bed with the right material lets you sleep comfortably at just the right temperature. Your heater or air-conditioner doesn’t have to work doubly hard to make your room comfortable. With your room’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system running at an optimal level, you reduce your household’s energy use and consumption. Subsequently, you help conserve your local power grid’s energy expenditure and CO2 emissions.
Paint with light colors
If your renovation plan includes painting your interior, we suggest you stick to lighter colors. Pale colors reflect more light, allowing you to reduce the number of your light sources. Some interior designers also incorporate large mirrors or shiny countertops to help increase the amount of light reflecting around the room. According to a current master’s degree in product and interior design, experimenting with different approaches to design is tremendously important, as designers need to be capable not only of designing functional and comfy spaces, but also be aware of the so-called environmental economics of products.
An important thing to note: make sure you’re using paints with low or no volatile organic compounds (VOC). These are toxic chemicals that readily evaporate at room temperature. In the enclosed confines of your home, the concentration of VOCs could be several times higher than in the outdoors. VOCs can cause health problems such as eye and throat irritation, nausea, headaches, liver damage, and cancer.
Maximize natural light
An incredibly effective way of reducing energy bills is to open the blinds, curtains, and windows to allow natural light to come in. In that way, you don’t need an overreliance of artificial light, thus saving electricity. In addition, allowing natural light to come in also helps warm up your home, which reduces the energy consumption of your heating system.
Use carpets, curtains, and other textiles made of natural materials
There’s a good reason why you should choose textiles crafted from natural materials. That’s because these reduce the emissions, energy consumption, and pollution that goes into the production of synthetic materials. Natural materials are either recyclable or biodegradable, breaking down and decomposing in a short time.
Natural fibers are also less likely to cause health problems. Most natural fibers are hypoallergenic, resistant to dust and mites, anti-bacterial, and moisture absorbent.
Wool, natural latex, and cotton are examples of such materials used in eco-friendly upholstery, beddings, blankets, and pillows. For rugs and carpets, you may want to opt for those made of wool or jute. For wall furnishings, opt for natural materials such as wood, cork, or ceramic.
You may not know it but those cracks, leaks, and minute gaps can cost you a hefty bill. Ambient heat that is retained in your interior space can escape through these openings. Cold, drafty air can seep in, again through these openings. Whatever the case, your HVAC system works harder than it should be.
That’s why it’s important to properly seal these openings with caulking, silicone, and other sealers. Closed openings help improve your home’s insulation, enabling you to save a lot of energy and reduce your bills.
Use thick, blackout curtains
If you’re living in a cold climate—or if it’s cold season—use thick or thermal curtains. These help retain ambient heat that was collected during the day, keeping your interior space warm and cozy.
Add real plants
Indoor plants don’t just make your interior space look fresh and pretty. They also have a more important function: they absorb carbon dioxide, pollutants, and toxins to purify the air. In addition, they also produce clean oxygen. We recommend adding a nice houseplant to each room in your house.
Use local materials
When buying materials for your renovation, purchase from local sources. Not only does this enable you to support local businesses, but you also reduce transportation costs and emissions from such transportation vehicles.
While imported stuff seems to be classier, most local counterparts are just as good, if not better, in quality. Furthermore, local or endemic materials are more sustainable. By not relying on imported materials, you help lessen overharvesting of such material.
As you can see, incorporating an eco-friendly design in your interiors isn’t rocky science. Following the tips above allows you to live in a warm, beautiful house with a low carbon footprint, efficient power consumption, and healthy living environment.