1.) Reuse – The most green design decision you can make is to reuse something that already exists. Jump on the DIY bandwagon and redo an existing piece of furniture to match the style you have now. You would be amazed at what a coat of paint will do. Another way to do this is to shop vintage stores and flea markets. Another person’s trash just might be your treasure. There are always great finds to be made.
2.) Reclaimed/Recycled Materials – Another way to make sure you are making a positive impact on the environment is to purchase your furniture pieces from companies that use reclaimed materials to make their pieces. Maybe you are not the DIY type or you just do not have the time. Then choose a company that is sustainable in their products and their processes.
3.) Organize a Swap – We all have that friend that has some fantastic things in their house that we want and that same friend may love some of the things we have in our home. Get a group together and swap some decorative items. Make a night out of it where everyone brings things they no longer want in their home and swaps them with their friends. Once the swap is made the new owner can breathe some new life into the objects by redoing them or use it as it is, it’s new to you now. This is a great and incredibly affordable way to update your space without spending a dime.
4.) Water Conservation – Remodeling or just taking the redecoration a step further then replace water fixtures with low flow faucets, showerheads, and toilets. You will notice a significant change in your water bill. Another way to save on water is to install foot pedal valves at your sink. This will allow you to control water flow when your hands are busy. You can turn the water on only when you actually need it rather than leaving it running while washing dirty hands or brushing your teeth. The best part is by controlling the water with your feet the actual faucet will stay much cleaner much longer.
5.) Energy Conservation – Use low voltage lighting and LED lighting where possible. This may seem like a larger up front cost for the fixtures and light bulbs, but you will notice a difference on your electrical bill immediately. Another easy way to save on energy is to keep the outside heat or cold out. Invest in quality window treatments that are energy efficient. You can buy pre-made energy efficient blackout panels for your windows, or if custom making draperies anything can be lined with an energy efficient blackout material. You would be amazed at the amount of heat a good drapery treatment can keep out (especially here in Arizona).