Incorporating sustainable principles into your home’s design has become increasingly important to consumers. Taking care of our planet is just as important as taking care of ourselves and our homes. Homeowners aim to design using products that reduce energy, pollution and waste without compromising on functionality or aesthetics
Homes with high energy efficiency are not only good for your wallet, but help to reduce greenhouse gasses and conserve resources.
Using high quality insulated windows and doors can help regulate the rooms temperature without letting in unwanted cold and heat. The same is true for quality curtains. They make a surprising contribution to not only keeping light out, but heat from the sun as well. They also help to prevent heat from escaping during the winter.
The use of alternative heating, such as underfloor heating can be used to heat a room in a way that is often more energy efficient than other heating systems. The use of solar panels, unlike power plants, produce energy without any waste or emissions.
Smart homes are another great way to precisely control your home’s temperature and lights to ensure only what is required is on and in use. This ease of use and precision prevents wasted energy.
Choosing Materials with Low Environmental Impact
When selecting materials for building during your homes renovations, or looking at the materials of items you purchase, materials from renewable resources, such as bamboo help prevent the depletion of non-renewables. But it is not just the materials themselves but how they are exrtacted, the process through which which they are manufactured, packaged and shipped. The FAC label found on wood, for example, is used to identify wood that has been harvested with little impact to the environment.
Local items require less transportation which reduces, for example, vehicle emissions. Handmade items, unlike those manufactured in a factory, do not affect the environment in the process of their construction. With the ubiquity of the internet and social media, it is easier than ever to get our hands on handmade items and local businesses and craftspeople in the process.
Upcycling is a modern day term for what our grandparents called recycling. The idea is that if something goes out of fashion, or is about to be thrown out, we can not only give it a new life, but a better one. Recover your sofa, paint or stain a piece of furniture, add new hardware to your cupboards, turn an old chest into a coffee table. You can upcycle your own items, or purchase items that have been upcycled by somebody else. There are also a number of products made completely from recycled materials. Wth the emergence of trends such as ecclecticism, maximalism, and a growing number of other design trends that pull inspiration from the past, someone else’s junk can become your beautifully antique feature piece.
Choose durable items that will withstand the intensity and messiness of everyday life in order to prevent waste. Consider the lifespan of your materials and choose quality over quantity. Design your space with easy maintenance; if it’s easy to maintain, it is less likely to be neglected and will last longer.
Our personal environment, inside our home, is just as important as the earth’s environment as a whole. It is all one in the same. The quality of air, heating, ventilation, lighting and acoustics should all be considered as they can all affect our health, negatively or positively. it’s not only outdoors and in cities where this pollution collects and is created. There is such a thing as indoor air pollution as well. It is caused by products with high levels of toxic emissions. Items treated with harmful chemicals can release those toxins into the air. To determine this, look for items with low VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) when selecting materials. Proper circulation keeps the air fresh, as well as oxygen-producing plants. Natural light exposure is also important for mental and physical well being and should also be considered when designing a space.