Green Home Decor Guide

Tara Dickinson
8 minute read

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As climate change begins to more seriously impact people’s everyday lives, awareness is gaining of the ‘green’ eco-friendly movement. When ‘green’ is used in this manner it means choosing environmentally-friendly products. And when discussing green home decor, eco-friendly means buying/using products, practices, or activities that will not harm the environment. In the same arena of eco-language, sustainability, defined as reserving resources for future generations, is often used and should be considered as well. How do you make green choices when decorating your home? First and foremost, look to use sustainably sourced products, renewable energy, and reclaimed/recycled materials. For example, reclaimed wood, or plastic that has been recycled into furniture, countertops, and flooring. Items made from hemp, bamboo, and other sustainable resources. Becoming more eco-conscious with your decorating choices is just a shift in thinking practices and being open to creative ways of sourcing and using materials. Decorating a home using environmentally friendly practices is easier than you might think. Making more informed choices to create a sustainable interior design concept simply takes a little time and patience in finding the sources to match your vision. Take a deeper look into eco-friendly home decorating choices outlined in this green home decor guide.

How Do You Define Green Home Decor

You might also see this called sustainable interior design or eco-friendly decorating. The goal is to consciously work on reducing the negative impact of consumption on the ecosystem. The benefits of green home decor include:

  • Creating a healthy living environment (such as better indoor air quality).
  • Designing optimal functioning interiors.
  • Working with the local climate to maintain a comfortable temperature in the home (in turn reducing the cost of operating a house).
  • Choosing sustainability means reducing harmful emissions and protecting natural resources by minimizing the use of non-renewable sources.
  • Boosts property value.

How Do You Implement Green Home Decor

Source Local- Decorating an eco-friendly home takes mindful decision-making. First and foremost is to buy locally. Why?

  1. It reduces the need for long-distance transportation of items and materials.
  2. Local merchandise supports your local hometown economy.
  3. Locally made products are usually unique and will benefit your home decor with added elements of artistic creativity and uniqueness.

Buy Fair Trade Products- Look for products with the fair trade seal which guarantees they are being transparent about the equity and respecting the global trading market. Fair trade is based on principles that ensure companies put people and the planet first. These principles include:

  • Commitment to non-discrimination, freedom of association, women’s economic empowerment, and gender equity.
  • Ensuring an organization is transparent and accountable in all aspects.
  • Minimizing waste and negative environmental impacts.
  • Not supporting child, forced, or exploited labor.
  • Providing a good and safe working environment.
  • Respecting the environment by opting for sustainably managed sources, and buying locally.
  • Supporting economically disadvantaged producers through opportunity creation.
  • Upholding fair payment, including reasonable prices, wages, and a local living wage.

Reclaimed & Upcycled- One of the biggest ways to add eco-friendly ‘green’ awareness into your home decor planning is to look to use reclaimed, upcycled, and secondhand goods. Not only will this add one-of-a-kind unique decor characteristics to your home, but it will also save you money as well as keep high-quality materials and products out of landfills.

  • Reclaimed wood is a wonderful material to use in any interior building project you're working on. From building bookcases, kid's bunk beds, and storage cabinets to outside furniture, this material has so much character and value in decor aesthetics.
  • Industrial and Americana style decor themes are notorious for using upcycled home decor items in their decorating schemes. Think about rescuing material from an industrial kitchen, gym lockers, and wooden pallets that can be turned into tables, planters, and benches for example.
  • Visiting a home resource center such as Habitat For Humanity's resale outlets can reveal treasures such as marble countertops, 100-year-old wooden doors, beautiful molding, and other architectural accents that have all been saved from going to the trash. Choosing to give perfectly good materials a second home is a fantastic way to decorate an eco-friendly green home.

GREEN DECORATING IDEAS

A Living Plant Wall

Creating this inside or outside the home is a very doable and gorgeous addition to a green home.

  • If grown on an outside house wall, the plants will act as a source of insulation and reduce noise pollution.
  • Inside the home, they absorb carbon dioxide and improve air quality.

Furnish With Quality

A motto to consider when outfitting your green home: “Buy less, choose well, make it last.”

  • Before you purchase, ask yourself if this item is something you’d feel proud to pass on to the next generation.
  • Taking time to find pieces in vintage and high-quality second hand showrooms that were made last century is worth the hunt. You know you will be getting quality that will last as well as making a green eco-friendly decision.
  • Stay away from furniture and home decor chain stores. This type of fast furniture and home decor is usually full of toxic chemicals and made cheaply using resources and materials that are NOT sustainable.
  • Understanding how chemicals in home decor items might off-gas toxins into your breathing air is important. The Green Living Gurus advises these additional steps to help your green home remain toxin-free:
    • Add plants.
    • Air-out dry cleaning.
    • Buy an air purifier.
    • Open windows.
    • Take your shoes off at the door.
    • Use non-toxic cleaning supplies.

Find Your Creative Hearts Desire At Preloved Shops: From Furniture to Fantasy

Whether your decor theme is Mid-Century Modern, Romantic, or a Naples Italy style you can find home furnishings and decor accents, and accessories that cover every design delight by shopping at your high-quality local second hand markets.

  • Not only does this reduce your carbon footprint but you are also taking part in a  circular economy which means keeping items in a cycle of use as long as possible, going from buy and trash to repair, refurbish, and reuse. The best way to sustainably style your home is to choose used furniture and accessories over buying new.
  • There are many places to secure pre-loved furniture, from freecycle groups in your city to Facebook Marketplace, to high-end second hand stores that are focused almost entirely on home furnishings.
  • You can easily find a vast selection of furniture brands and items for every price point.
  • The gently used furniture marketplace is full of unique vintage items and prior-loved pieces from recognized home furnishing brands, all at a fraction of the original cost.

Use Natural Materials In Your Green Decor

If you're wanting to be as eco-friendly and green as possible in your home decor choices, work on selecting only natural elements as decor options. Such as:

  • Incorporating seasonal elements into your decor…spring flowers, summer vegetables, fall branches, winter wonders of spices, and nuts.
  • Natural fabrics that offer comfort plus beauty. Cotton, linen, hemp, bamboo silk, and wool fabrics use less (or no) chemicals in production versus their synthetic alternatives. Plus natural fabrics biodegrade more naturally over time.
  • Plants! Greens of any kind will always add a breath of freshness and life to your green eco-friendly decor.
  • Nature objects: shells, rocks, pine cones, dried flowers…

Green Art Accents

When adding decor accents to your eco-friendly home, there are whole categories of art created from recycled materials, fine art that would impress anyone and make a statement in your home. Look for local artists in your area first and a simple internet search will pull up more creators than you can imagine.

These examples are made from recycled wine corks, reclaimed wood, collected beach garbage, and found objects.

 

RESOURCES

Guides

  • Eco-Friendly Options for Tiny Home Decorating HERE.
  • Eco-Friendly Style Guide for Modern Homes HERE.
  • Eco-Friendly Style Guides for Older Homes HERE.

Sustainable Home Brands

Decorating your home with items procured from second hand shops or from your local artisans is the ideal and most eco-friendly way to go. If you still need to look outside those markets for what you want, here is a LINK to sustainable home decor brands to consider.

 

Dispose Of Waste Properly

If undertaking many of these DIY projects in your home, please learn how to handle and dispose of any chemical products. Or even better, find ways to use alternatives.

  • For example, using coffee or tea instead of wood stains.
  • Recycling is one of the top and most cost-effective ways to reduce waste at home. There are well established ways to properly dispose of any type of material, especially hazardous ones such as batteries, paint, chemicals, lightbulbs, and electronics. Make an effort to go beyond simply paper and plastic recycling to ensure the greatest amount of waste is diverted from landfills.

SUMMARY

Undertaking the task of decorating your home with a green eco-conscious mindset can be a challenge. But once you get the hang of where and how to source the items and materials you need, it becomes a fun adventure with amazing and unique results. And remember, every positive change you make has an impact on the environment and your wallet.

 

 

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