Sustainable Interior Design Options
Updated: May 4, 2021
In honor of Earth Day 2021 this week, I thought I'd give you the low down on some sustainable interior design resources and a couple of tips on how to easily go green(er) at home. Let's get right to it!
Surprise!! If you type "sustainable" into the search in the upper left of your screen, you'll find a plethora of great looking, eco-friendly items at a great price point. West Elm provides tons of options for bedding, home goods, décor and furniture to help you make going green look so good! Duvets are fabricated with a cotton conscious mind, supporting the Better Cotton Initiative and improving global cotton production. Throw pillows are covered in recycled polyester and filled with the same, sustainably sourced from recycled plastic bottles. Wood furniture is created in a Fair Trade Certified™ facility from sustainably sourced mango wood. And area rugs are made of recycled plastic bottles. They even hooked up with Farmhouse Pottery out of Woodstock, VT for an amazing selection of local, artisan goods.
I love this manufacturer. The folks at The Citizenry work with artisans around the world to create locally sourced and produced furnishings, rugs, bedding, bath products and décor at a reasonable cost to the end user. They offer exclusive collections of hand made, high quality home goods, each curated with thought and purpose. Every piece is numbered and available in limited quantities, helping to keep the line unique and fresh. According to their website, at The Citizenry, they "set out to build a company that celebrates the people behind our products... – artisans, designers, and dreamers – who rally together across cultures and continents to craft our collections."
Medley Home carries a large selection of upholstered pieces including sofas, sectionals, occasional chairs and upholstered beds as well as some wood tables and storage pieces. Most of the line gives me serious Mid-Century vibes but I could easily see pieces from this collection mixed in anywhere. A couple of hippie (sounds like my kinda' people!) brothers from California created Medley to bring us long lasting, great looking pieces "with clean, eco materials, local manufacturing, and an emphasis on quality and comfort". They manufacturer out of California which has some of the most strict environmental laws in the country right now so you can be sure these guys are doing it right, all the way down to the water based varnishes.
Made Trade is like an eco-friendly jackpot for the environmentally conscious shopper. The line is all encompassing and includes items like candles, hampers, window curtains, ceramics, planters and even birdhouses in addition to major furniture items and other home goods...basically, if you need it, this is where you should be looking. The fair trade pieces are ethically crafted in the US out of eco-friendly, sustainable, low VOC materials. Taking it a step further, Made Trade has committed to planting a tree per sale and they have also been Climate Neutral Certified, meaning they make no net release of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere which is a major accomplishment for the furniture and home goods industry!
You don't have to go out and buy sustainable in order to go green at home. There are tons of easy ways to help out the environment, some for very little to no money.
You can plant an easy backyard garden and grow your own produce. Go one step further and compost food waste for plant food rich in nutrients and beneficial organisms for use in that garden. Look at you! You just took it full circle for the start up cost of some seeds!
Conserve water, one of our most precious natural resources, by fixing leaky taps, turning water off while brushing your teeth or washing dishes and trying to take shorter showers. Did you know the average American uses 82 gallons of water per day at home, according to the EPA?! PER! DAY! I was today years old when I learned that!
Turn off the lights!! My father would be SO proud! He used to run around the house yelling "Who left the light on? We don't own LILCo!" (which was a local power company back in the day). But he had a point, the old man. Switch to low consumption, LED bulbs and energy efficient appliances when you have the opportunity. Always look for that Energy Star label!
Stop buying throw away stuff. Use reusable zip lock bags, water bottles (shout out Hydro Flask...not an add, just an awesome product) metal straws, canvas shopping bags and real flatware, plates and cups. Stop buying throw away, garbage clothing too, while you're at it. In 2018 the "total generation of municipal solid waste was 292.4 million tons or 4.9 pounds per person per day" according to the EPA! Again! PER! DAY!
Shop local. Repurpose or donate unwanted goods. Wash your clothes in cold water instead of hot. Pay bills online. Finally put an end to all that junk mail.
You guys...I can go on and on and honestly, if any of these seem to be too much for you (not here to judge), do a google search for "Easy Ways to Go Green At Home" and you will be flooded with tons of simple ways to have a lesser impact on the environment. And don't forget to...say it with me now....