5 Tips for a Green & Sustainable Living Space

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Follow these simple tips for designing a more green and sustainable living space when moving or redecorating…

Whether you’re moving into a new home, or looking to create a more green and sustainable living space in your current home, there are a number of tips to consider that can help you enjoy a more eco-friendly and sustainable home environment.

However, keep in mind that buying new stuff (even sustainably made stuff) is not only an expense, but also creates a waste problem for you in terms of what to do with your old stuff that you are replacing. Therefore, the most sustainable choice of all is to use furniture and items that you already have until they wear out. Then, consider replacing them with more eco-friendly pieces as explained below.

With that said, here are a few more tips to help you create a safer, healthier, and more sustainable living space:

1. Look for natural materials

Synthetic fiber upholstery, flame retardants, and petrochemical foams have received much criticism lately because of their VOC content. Volatile organic compounds are chemicals found in many modern furniture pieces that come with wood varnishes, chemical coatings, and other synthetic materials. That fresh smell of a newly unrolled carpet is actually VOCs gassing off into the air you breathe! Apart from causing long-term health impact within our bodies due to close contact, these chemicals also continue to pollute the soil and waterways even after disposal.

2. Consider second-hand furniture

While in many people’s minds second-hand equals bug-infested and rickety, the truth is that second-hand items are often sturdy and durable items, made of quality materials that have withstood the test of time, and got a second chance in someone’s sustainably furnished apartment. Purchasing second-hand furniture saves three things – your money, landfill space, and the environment. While it may take a bit longer to find what you actually want, in the end it’s definitely worth it.

3. Scout for multipurpose pieces

An important aspect of sustainability at home includes downsizing the number of pieces you need by choosing furniture that has more than one function. An example of such a space-saving product is a modern queen bed frame with four spacious drawers on metal runners that would eliminate your need for a separate linen closet or a chest of drawers. While your clothes are readily accessible, your room remains free of clutter, and you have to buy fewer pieces of furniture.

4. Combine old and new materials

If you can’t find every item that is sustainably made at a price point you want to spend, consider investing in new sustainably made pieces you’re sure you’ll keep for decades, and combine them with refurbished and used furniture pieces from vintage stores or online classifieds sites. For example, if you bought a new bed, you can go creative with the rest of the budget and get a second-hand period desk and shelving. The beauty of going with reused furniture is that you can actually combine styles and elements from different sets with amazing results.

5. Dispose of pieces you don’t need responsibly

Instead of leaving your old furniture in the street, or taking it to the landfill ourselves, it’s important that we act sustainably even when it comes to disposing of our unwanted pieces. House furniture is highly salvageable, so for example, your unwanted dining chairs might become someone’s lucky find. If you need to move and decide that taking everything with you wouldn’t be practical, spare a couple of minutes and put a classified ad online, or ring a local charity and donate it.

Read more tips at Organic4GreenLivings.com


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