Interior design of your home or condo requires many decisions. You’ll need to choose colors, textures, fabrics, and materials. Do you prefer countertops made from wood, quart, or laminate? How about lighting? You’ll need to choose not only the correct brightness for the room but a complimentary fixture and also the energy efficiency of the fixture.
With so many choices, one thing that can help narrow down the right items is understanding how your products are made, and what these products are made from. As we become more socially conscious as a society, choosing brands that care about their products
Key Terms in Eco-sustainable Interior Design
The first thing that can help you determine whether the product you are considering meet your goals is to understand what labels mean. Here are some common terms you’ll come across.
- Eco-Friendly – This is a broad term that generally means “better for the environment.” We’d encourage you to look a little deeper, and see exactly how a product with this label environmentally friendly. This term is similar to the word natural at a grocery store, leaving a lot of room for variations.
- Recycled – Generally indicating a product is made from reused and reformatted products, such as old juice boxes becoming a new shopping bag.
- Reclaimed – Often called repurposed, reclaimed materials are those that are given a second life. Think of an old barn door that becomes a coffee table.
- Toxin-Free – In plastics, you’ll often see this labeled in plastics as BPA-free or in woods, this may show as stain free or dye free. The best natural and sustainable items will be free of harsh chemicals and toxins.
- Organic – Like toxin-free, this means that harsh chemicals are not used in the product’s creation — like synthetic glues in carpeting. In fabrics, this may indicate a cotton throw pillow with no pesticides in the growing process.
- Fair Trade – Used in conjunction with terms such as ethical production and sustainable farming, fair trade refers to a movement that pays fair prices to farmers and manufacturers, especially in developing nations, focusing on creating a long lasting production.
- Sustainable – The idea of selling and harvesting only the amount of product that can be regrown in a reasonable amount of time. Bamboo is commonly referred to in this capacity for its fast-growing and versatile potential.
Finding Eco-sustainable Interior Products
Knowing that you want environmentally friendly and sustainable interior design is a start, but how do you find the right items to fill your home? Browsing online is a great place to start. Check out eco-retailers like DwellSmart or Bambeco for ideas. If you’re browsing elsewhere you can also look for certification badges, like the Green Watcher seal of approval.
Take these ideas to a local design firm that works with environmentally friendly products. In addition to your vision, experienced interior designers will be able to provide you with suggestions for additional ideas from energy savings to sound dampening. You’ll also be able to get a price range for an entire look this way.
Eco designers, often called “green” designers should be able to provide you with samples to get a feel for your products, as well as warranty and durability information. Many of these designers will work alongside LEED certified architectural and construction firms too, allowing you to create any custom features you need.
So what are you waiting for? Get started creating your environmentally friendly home oasis today.