“Green, green, green” what does it really mean? It’s a term used to describe products manufactured from nontoxic, sustainable, recycled materials, items that save energy or can be easily recycled. We are all becoming more aware of our environment and trying to do our part, the trend has taken hold. ‘Green' design does not cause physical harm, consumes less energy, is built for quality and durability, and is engineered for reuse or recycling. OK now you have the facts but you want to know how to apply it. Here are some helpful hints to help you live “green”.
Most people are generally aware of the energy saving aspects of the “green” movement such as switching your light bulbs to LED’s. They use much less electricity and last up to 50 times longer. Another commonly known way to save energy is when replacing your appliances, A/C unit; pool pump, etc. look for the energy efficiency rating or Energy Star logo certifying that it has met specific criteria.
Did you know that there are also design related products that your designer can specify for your home? Flooring, paint, wall covering, carpeting and furniture are just a few. Let’s start with floors, if you’re under the impression that environmentally friendly flooring products such as bamboo are little more than the latest fad that will soon disappear then think again. The added bonus is that it is easy to install and cost about the same as traditional hardwood.
Eco-friendly paints are also an important part of a “green” home. Standard paint emits harmful gases, to have a healthy living (and breathing) environment in your home be sure to use non-toxic paints to maintain good indoor air quality. These paints are referred to as no or low VOC paints and can be purchased wherever you would normally buy your paint.
Unbelievably your furniture also emits fumes that can be harmful. They come from the woods used, the finishes or even the treated fabrics. There are many furniture manufacturers now making “green” products. You should look at them the next time you are in the market for new furniture.
As you can now see, jumping on the “Green” bandwagon doesn't have to be a scary notion. In fact, you won't just help save your planet but you'll save some money in the long run.
By: Jeri Rosenthal & Paul Terry Edwards