As many know, there’s a whole movement around using environmentally-friendly (AKA “eco-friendly”) resources. Resources are deemed eco-friendly, and thus safe for Planet Earth, if they do not deplete limited nonrenewable resources, take a lot of energy to create, nor contribute to pollution. Eco-friendly products can also those that are not manufactured using harsh chemicals that may be detrimental for wildlife. Some also consider products environmentally-safe if they don’t require taking the life of another creature or directly taking a creature’s habitat in order to create them.
By opting for eco-friendly products, one is helping to make our planet safer by choosing to give business to eco-friendly businesses instead of supporting their non eco-friendly counterparts. Even without a voice, where you put your money speaks decibels.
But if you’re new to the eco-friendly movement, it can be difficult to know what products you should be opting for to make your home environmentally-safe. In fact, you may not even be aware of how many eco-friendly home furniture and décor items are out there or even realize how many items in your home at this moment are considered unsafe for our planet.
If you’re hoping to jump on the eco-friendly bandwagon, here are some simple ways you can make your home more sustainable:
1 - Consider a “green” mattress.
Your average mattress is filled with chemicals – mind you, ones that are not safe for our planet. Although newer mattresses no longer have PBDEs, many manufacturers opt for chemicals in replacement of such in the form of organophosphate flame retardants (OPFRs). Apart from being coated in toxins, most mattresses are made of non eco-friendly materials. However, with “green” mattresses, you can ensure many of them are free of harsh chemicals, low in VOCs, and made with plant-based and eco-friendly materials like organic cotton, wool, or bamboo.
2 - Buy used furniture.
A good chunk of us purchase brand new furniture when we no longer want our current furnishings. However, just because furniture is used doesn’t mean it’s worthless, in bad physical condition, or unable to be properly used. Buying used furniture reduces financial support toward non eco-friendly furniture manufacturers and instead puts that support toward items that can still be reused rather than letting them go to waste. As an alternative to used furniture, there are new furnishings made with eco-friendly materials like bamboo, cork, recycled materials, coconut palm, beechwood, reclaimed or recycled wood, hemp, jute, wool, bent plywood, kirei board, stainless steel, and much more that you can purchase.
3 - Install LED light fixtures.
Are you aware that your light bulbs at home might be contributing to greenhouse gases? However, with LED light bulbs, you can save on your energy bill and save the planet at the same time. According to Multibriefs Exclusive, because LED bulbs have low carbon dioxide emissions, just one LED bulb reduces greenhouse emissions by approximately a half ton. Additionally, LED bulbs stay cooler to the touch when in use. Over at Cocoweb.com, we have thousands of LED light fixtures of various colors, textures, and styles for you to select from. From barn lights to pendant lights, you’ll find a light fixture that looks stunning for your space, big or large.
4 - Purchase a motion-sensored faucet.
Ask yourself this: when you’re brushing your teeth, do you leave the sink running until you’re completely finished? How about when you washing your hands: do you leave the water running until you’re done drying your hands? If you answered “yes” to either, you’re contributing to water waste. While it may not seem like a big deal, many people engage in the latter, and bit by bit, this can may a significant impact on our Earth. If you have trouble breaking the latter habits, we suggest opting for a motion-sensored faucet. That way, your flow of water will automatically turn off when it’s not being used, saving you money, saving the planet water, and saving you from having to touch a filthy faucet to turn it off manually.
5 - Buy organic sheets and blankets.
Did you know that the sheets, blankets, and even pillows you might be sleeping with are possibly coated with environmentally-unsafe toxins and not-so-Earth-friendly ingredients? It’s true. Would you want yourself, your children, or any of your loved sleeping with these toxic products? Probably not! Fortunately, with organic, chemical-free alternatives, you can keep harmful toxins not just out of your home itself but also out of the environment as you support organic over toxic, non-organic products. Although these organic products are harder to find in stores than their non-organic counterparts, plenty of sources sell still them online.
6 - Invest in an air purifier.
Especially for smokers or those who deal with allergies, purchasing an air purifier can be a great eco-friendly move. This is particularly true since indoor environments contain a two to five higher concentration of air pollutants than outdoor environments. Apart from keeping your lungs and airways clean, air purifiers can help eliminate toxins, dust, mold, bacteria, and viruses from your home setting as well as from the environment itself, making a positive impact on our planet.
7 - Rent furniture instead of buying it.
While this sustainability tip won’t be feasible for everyone, renting furniture rather than buying it is a great idea to reduce waste. Frequently, we purchase brand new items and then either sell them or throw them away when we no longer consider them useful. However, by renting furniture, you’re supporting furniture that already exists rather than indirectly telling a furniture manufacturer to chop down more trees to make more brand-new pieces of furniture. Apart from making our Earth a safer, cleaner place, opting for rented furniture is a nice alternative for those who like to switch out their furniture often.
8 - Include live plants in your home.
Nothing’s eco-friendlier than including items in your home that come directly from the environment. Live houseplants make for great, eco-friendly additions to any home. As a bonus, plants are not only great for providing oxygen but also for cleaning toxins out of the air. Ideal houseplants to add to your interior design include aloe vera, snake plants, asparagus fern, Chinese money plants, peace lilies, rubber plants, ponytail palm, and philodendrons. Of course, faux plants also make for great decorative additions to a home setting; however, they don’t have the same benefits as ones that are living.
Going “green” is not as easy as it could be considering many of us our stuck on the idea of throwing things out and buying brand new items when we are looking for something exciting and refreshing. However, at the same time, opting for eco-friendly items for our interior design isn’t as much of a hassle as we might make it out to be. While sometimes eco-friendly furniture and décor can be more expensive, they are less harmful both for us, our pets, and our planet, and not to mention, often have a longer lifespan.
Purchasing green mattresses, used furniture, LED lighting, motion-sensored faucets, organic sheets and blankets, an air purifier, rented furniture, and live houseplants are all eco-friendly, and thus, are things we should be opting for if we’re hoping for a more sustainable, safer home setting.
If you need more interior or exterior design-related tips and tricks, check out the rest of our blog posts.