As we inch towards the new year, we really need to start thinking of ways to keep the environment healthy. The first step in this direction starts with our home.
Here are six décor ideas to make your home cosy, comfortable and green.
Thermal insulation, indoors and outdoors
Air conditioning, heating and any other artificial environmental control methods have a huge carbon footprint.
Grow a vertical garden on outside walls facing the sun. This green wall not only reduces the effect of heat on the walls but also decorates the house with natural colours. On the inside, use locally available wood panels for insulation. Thermal curtains are a great way to keep the heat out during summers and locked in during winters, reducing electricity load.
Indoor air counts
You can add plants like peace lily, snake plant, lucky bamboo, aloe vera, ferns, Chinese evergreen, grape ivy, areca palm and money plant. All these plants are low on maintenance and turn the house into a joyful and healthier place effortlessly.
If you wish to add colours, invest in plants like croton, gerbera daisy, flamingo flower and lavender.
Pick the correct paint
The kind of paint you use inside the house has an effect not only on the appearance but also on the air quality. Majority of common wall paints use VOCs (volatile organic compounds) like ethyl acetate, glycol ethers and acetone, to slow down the paint’s drying. Once in the air, these compounds release toxins that have harmful effects on the surroundings.
Solution? Use low or zero VOC paints, at least for indoor décor. You should look for EPA (US' Environmental Protection Agency) certification for VOC values on building paints while buying. A majority of the water-based paints also qualify for low VOC status.
Buy refurbished and local furniture
Research shows single-use products are responsible for about half of the garbage on earth.
A simple way you can address this issue is by recycling and investing in furnishings that last. So, refurbishing and upcycling your old wooden and metal furniture, or simply buying such items from the market would make for a sustainable and pocket-friendly investment.
Use natural fibre carpets
Carpets are an essential part of home décor. Natural fibres like wool, jute, coir and seagrass are not only environment friendly but also offer a unique touch to your house. Use wool carpets for low traffic areas where comfort is the most important feature, coir for high traffic areas where durability is the most important, and seagrass carpets where its natural hues are more relevant.
Add the right kind of light
There are two things you want to take care of with indoor lights: luminescence and fittings. While buying LED lights, check the luminescence values and see if it suits the area where you wish to use them.
The LED lights will automatically resolve major issues of power load and longevity. The next thing is fittings: opt for ones made of organic materials.
For wall lighting, try handmade clay, terracotta and jute lamps. Bamboo ball strings help add a more colourful and dreamy look.
Ashish Dhingra is the founder of Obsessions, a home furnishing brand.
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