Today is Earth Day - an opportunity to think of the environment in which you live, issues such as energy conservation, recycling and 'green' living. Most of us spend 80% of our lives indoors, so why not make healthy environmentally-friendly choices for the space you live and breathe in?
"Going Green" in interior design no longer means having to compromise on style. These days there are many green, sustainable choices in carpeting and flooring, fabric, tile, paint and wall coverings.
"Going green" can simply mean adopting an attitude of awareness about your environment. It could mean choosing materials from a renewable source, opting for energy saving appliances or purchasing recycled /recyclable materials for your home. These days going green is easy - you can start by switching to efficient fluorescent light bulbs and painting with non-toxic low-VOC paint products.
We have chosen some of our favorite green design products that are both eco-friendly and beautiful:
The Kravet Green Collection is recyclable and made of 100% recycled polyester (a blend of post-industrial and post-consumer fibers). The fabrics are woven and treated with no additional chemicals. During the finishing process, water based products and environmentally approved dyes are used.
There are plenty of green flooring options on the market. Consider using reclaimed wood flooring, an environmentally responsible alternative to cutting down trees.Made from antique flooring saved out of demolished homes, old doors and barns, reclaimed wood floors give character and history to a home.
Mountain Lumber Co.
Cork, a renewable resource, is another green flooring alternative, both durable and comfortable. The process of stripping bark from trees can be repeated every nine years throughout the 150 plus life cycle of the tree. Harvesting cork from the oaks actually encourages growth in the tree.
Cork flooring from ECO Friendly Flooring.
Recycled glass tiles are a great option for kitchen backsplashes and as bathroom tiles. Recycled metal tiles can also add an interesting textural element to your kitchen wall or floor. Recycled metal does not leave fingerprints like stainless steel does, making it a great option for families with children. Also, they are lighter than stone, very durable, and heat resistant (up to 300 degrees).
100% recycled glass tiles from Bedrock Industries.
Recycled aluminum tiles from ECO Friendly Flooring.
IceStone is a durable surface made of 100% recycled glass in a cement matrix, a great material for kitchen counters.
IceStone 100% recyced glass countertop.
Graham & Brown's eco-collection is made from recycled papers and/or FSC-certified forest woods. The VOC-free (volatile organic compound) wallpaper is printed on paper from managed resources (for every tree chopped down, three are planted).
There are many options for "green", low-VOC paint on the market. Stark has launched an environmentally-friendly ecological line of paint which is all water-based with zero VOC's and meet the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED standards.
image: Interior Design magazine
Several furniture companies are now manufacturing environmentally-friendly furniture. Lee Industries offers upholstered furniture with soy-based cushions, recycled fiber-filling for pillows, organic and natural fabrics, water-based finishes and sofa springs made from 80% recycled metal.