By Julia Richards | Photographed by Shanna Wolf
Your home is your sanctuary. And making it more eco-friendly is becoming easier as green options become more available. The first step is looking at what’s in the materials you use. Choose natural materials over manufactured ones full of chemicals you can’t pronounce. Like with food, real ingredients usually yield superior results, and in this case, timeless beauty. Just as you don’t want to load up your diet with artificial ingredients, you can minimize the manufactured chemicals you bring into the spaces you live every day.
CAREFULLY CHOSEN ELEMENTS
Reclaimed, upcycled and recycled materials abound in furnishings these days. And choosing natural materials, such as wool, jute, sisal and even cowhide in rugs, furniture and pillows avoids chemical off gassing. To literally breathe fresh life into your space, try adding a living wall.
With LED bulbs you can now have the warm, even vintage look, minus the mercury of compound fluorescent lamps (CFLs) or the heat of incandescent bulbs. Plus, their energy efficiency is beyond compare.
SKIP THE VOCs
It’s worth choosing low- or zero-VOC paint when painting indoors, as these volatile organic compounds can cause headaches, and eye, nose and throat irritation. Breathe deep, without the noxious odors.
FROM THE GROUND UP
Vinyl flooring, made of plastic, can contain hazardous chemicals. Cork and fast-growing bamboo and white oak are sustainably-harvested natural alternatives.