Eco-Friendly Home Accessories
These days, going green gets plenty of lip-service, but many of us often assume that eco-consciousness and style are mutually exclusive domains. While it is true that many earth-friendly decor options do have a decidedly rustic feel, the demand for sustainable products is bringing to the market every look imaginable, from the classic to the postmodern.
Here are just a few ways you can give your space that decisive touch in an earth-first spirit:
Floor your guests with green alternatives
To paraphrase a famous movie, a good rug can really hang a room together. However, buying a sectional rug made from recycled materials can be as eco-responsible as it is fashion forward. Many of us don’t realize it, but discarded carpeting is a chief villain in making our landfills so mountainous, so make sure you dispose of old carpets and their byproducts through a reuse/recycle program.
On the other hand, if you’re saddled with unsightly carpeting and don’t have the resources to replace it, bamboo flooring is a fantastic compromise for the hardwood floor appeal. It’s actually fairly easy to cover an entire room with a DIY bamboo flooring kit, but rollable area mats can do the trick as well. Not only does bamboo have a trendy New Age vibe, using the fast-growing wood of bamboo takes the heat of our shrinking rainforests.
Remember that deck you have been wanting to build for years, but just never got around to because it just seemed too hard or too expensive? This is a perfect opportunity to promote further eco-consciousness in your home.
Instead of using some sort of plastic for your deck, or even a composite blend of wood, the best bet is to go with responsibly harvested and managed lumber. This way, you get the beautiful look of a wooden deck, but you can rest assured knowing that you did your part to make the green choice. There are affordable hardwood choices out there, that don’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. Even more importantly, this wood will keep your deck around for years and years.
Give recycled furniture the front seat
While sometimes there is no substitute for a good old-fashioned vintage wood chair, today’s eco-visionaries are concocting recycled indoor and outdoor furniture that’s closer in spirit to Ikea than the shoddy stackable seats we might associate with a school cafeteria. Remember, recycling is a two part solution: properly disposing of HDPEs is essential, but in order for the equation to work, we must also embrace second generation products.
Recycled plastic furniture is not only maintenance-free, stain-resistant and impervious to germs and bacteria, it’s a significant avenue of deforestation. And, if you’re a stolid traditionalist, there are attractive wood-grain simulations that might do the trick.
Putting things in a different light
Even if their drain on Mother Nature were not an issue, bright overhead lights tend to create an unwelcoming atmosphere in any setting. One obvious way to create a more relaxing mood and lower consumption of electricity is to use candles, but beware: standard commercial candles can release sundry toxic byproducts into the air, including the carcinogen paraffin. Soy candles, on the other hand, are biodegradable and non-toxic. Making them yourself is fairly simple, and will have a chic, homemade look.
Electric light is even more of a buzzkill on a patio, so another winning choice is a set of solar-powered lanterns. With a gentle, steady light and styles ranging from old-fashioned blown glass to Oriental paper designs, these can transform your backyard into an exotic haven.
On the subject of alternative lighting, noncommercial candles can put our noses at ease as well as our eyes. For a true immersion into olfactory bliss, take things a step further by diffusing your home with a subtle mist of calming oils, such as lavender or rose. The easiest and most inexpensive way to do this is with a portable vaporizer. By adding just a few drops of your favorite blend of natural oils into the vaporizer chamber, you’ll add the perfect bohemian touch to your digs.
These products are really only the beginning. Remember, eco-consciousness is not just a way of buying things, but also a way of seeing ways to give materials second (or third lives). Thrifting, gifting and creatively reusing old items are all powerful tools in reducing waste.
Marcela De Vivo is a freelance writer, yoga enthusiast and mom of three who writes for VapeWorld to educate others about the importance of aromatherapy and eco-friendly home decor. As she is currently in the process of remodeling her home, she is focused on incorporating as many eco-friendly accessories as possible. Follow her on Pinterest today!