1 – Design for Efficiency
Window Treatments (Curtains, blinds, and shades)
We love a home that is naturally lit by the sun, but while natural light has so many benefits, intense direct sunlight will be fighting against your air conditioning. When purchasing window treatments, opt for a high quality material that will block some of those intense rays both protecting your energy bill and your quickly fading upholstery.
Just like socks insulate your feet, an area rug or carpet will insulate your home. That small layer of fluff can do wonders for the environment as it regulates temperature.
Windows many times are selected for beauty and style, but don’t forget to pay attention to how well insulated they are. Choose your windows based on the location in your home along with their quality.
White paint is definitely trending, but did you know that painting your walls a lighter color will help your home be more efficient? Light bounces off of lighter colors and reduces the need for artificial lighting, thus saving electricity!
Choose More energy efficient appliances and tech
While the appliance may have a higher price tag, it can actually save you money down the road by proving to be more efficient. Smart technology has also helped efficient homes by providing innovative tools like self timers, turning the AC off when you leave the house, and even closing blinds at the hottest time of the day.
2- Recycle Items You Already Own or Purchase Used or Handmade
Antiques are back in style! Give an old table new life with a sander and a fresh coat of stain. Make a visit to a used furniture store to find a one of a kind piece. Help clear the landfills by donating items from the home instead of throwing them away.
Vintage Venini Amber Glass Chandelier by Antevasins.
3-Select Materials and Furniture That Are Renewably Sourced
Organic materials such as wood, stone, etc. are natural choices, but we still must consider how these materials have been produced and how quickly they can be replenished. Here are a few materials that are great renewable resources for the home: bamboo, reclaimed wood, cork, recycled metal, glass, or plastic, and jute fibers.
Make sure what you are purchasing is actually “green”.
There are lots of companies that claim to have sustainable business practices, but lots of people say this for the publicity. To know for sure whether or not that chair has been created in the best way possible check for certifications like these:
Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) – When wood furniture is FSC-certified, the products come from “responsibly managed forests” and thus provide benefits for the environment.
Energy Star – This joint program of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Energy (DOE) promotes energy efficiency.
OEKO-TEX – This independent international partnership of research and testing institutions evaluates the human-ecological safety of textile products & leather articles throughout all stages of production.
Greenguard – Products certified by Greenguard meet rigorous standards for low emissions of volatile compounds into indoor air.
Kanor Cocktail Table with reclaimed wood by Currey & Company.