Eco-Friendly Decorating Ideas
Smart, simple ways to make your decorating healthier for you and the environment.
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Being environmentally-friendly in my home is too expensive. Going green is just a fad. Eco-friendly style is just plain ugly.
Chances are you've thought about decorating green, but one of these stereotypes stopped you. It turns out that believing these myths can be harmful to your health. "There's so much in our homes that's not good for us," says green architect/designer Michelle Kaufmann, founder and chairman of Michelle Kaufmann Designs. New home smells are actually toxic; mold inside walls can cause migraines and other health issues; and carpet can off-gas formaldehyde which is known to cause respiratory irritation and even cancer.
"But the good news is that we're becoming aware of these things," says Kaufmann, "As we become aware — and as there are options out there — it's just a matter of making choices." Choose to decorate with real sustainability in mind — using less energy, less water and less non-renewable resources while still beautifying your home. Here's why green design is affordable, beautiful and here to stay.
Not all green design is pricey.
"I'm so tired of the green stuff that is so expensive," says Kaufmann. "It sends the message, 'green is for the wealthy'. That's so not right. Green is for everyone!" Consider places like Goodwill and the Salvation Army. For a modern take on old accessories, Kaufmann picks up shapely items at these stores and spray paints them white.
- Choose home decor that's recycled, reused, will last a long time and require very little maintenance. Zem Joaquin, green blogger at Ecofabulous.com, designed her 1950s home in an eco-friendly fashion with the cradle-to-cradle concept: what comes out of the earth, has to go back to the earth.
- Urbanites will have more success locating eco-friendly or green stores such as VivaTerra or Branch Home, but because most eco-friendly stores are still local, call your local U.S. Green Building Council office or local building department to find them.
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