Clever Ideas To Give Your Home a Green Makeover

More and more, we're becoming aware of the impact our consumerist culture has on the planet. We’re searching for sustainable, low-impact alternatives in every area of our lives, from tourism to cosmetics. And as the world’s manufacturers respond to this new consumer requirement, there are more green options than ever before available. Being kind to the planet can now sit comfortably alongside style and quality.

And in the subject of home interiors, the movement hasn't been lost either. So if you're looking to freshen up the decor, or planning a renovation project, keep these planet-friendly options in mind.

Choose VOC-free Products

VOCs, or Volatile Organic Compounds are chemicals used in the manufacture of products such as paint and textiles. They slowly release into the atmosphere at room temperature, often for several years after being introduced, and at higher concentration in an enclosed space. Why is this a problem? Well, VOCs have been found to contribute to a wide range of health conditions, especially in those who suffer from allergies or have weakened immune systems, such as sore eyes and throats, nausea and headaches, and even conditions such liver damage, nervous system disorders and some cancers. It's a scary thought, but VOC-free products such as paint shades and adhesives, formaldehyde-free wooden furniture and even non toxic bed frame are on the market now. Look for Green Seal-certified products to minimise the impact in your home.

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Add Plants To Any Scheme

Too often, plants are an overlooked part of a decorative scheme. But as well as providing colour, interest and a natural touch, houseplants provide a screen for pollutants, acting like a natural air filter and providing a flow of fresh oxygen. Structural plant schemes can provide freshness - think bamboo, bonsai trees and the like. The latest trend is to go one further and create a living wall within your home. But you don't have to have lots of space to get in on this one- balconies, window boxes and potted plants all work in smaller spaces.

Work With Your Windows

Managing natural light within your home has an impact in many areas, from providing a natural regulation to the temperature that can reduce your reliance on air conditioning or heating systems to reducing your electricity bill. Maximising natural sunlight and making sure that windows are fully insulated can help to keep the temperature inside regulated. There are solutions available such as light-reflecting window film to keep interiors cooler, or weather stripping to help reduce escaping air.

Make Your Furniture Sustainable

Making interiors eco-friendly is a question of sourcing sustainable woods or finding older pieces to upcycle. You can find some beautiful items of furniture bearing the stamp of the Forest Stewardship Council, an official and rigorous certification of sustainability. There are many lovely items made of bamboo, which is highly eco-friendly. Antiques and pre-loved furniture is another great option - not only can you find some great bargains, but you can also get creative by repainting and switching out handles and fixings for a fresh and completely unique look.

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