Our home is sacred to us. It’s where we relax, where we raise our children and the one place on the planet where we can truly and completely be ourselves. Yet, while we all deserve a home that’s cosy and homely, in an increasingly enlightened era it also behoves us to think about ways in which we can make our homes more sustainable and environmentally friendly. We’re going through natural resources at an alarming rate, even in the face of compelling evidence that we’re limiting the life of the planet by doing so. Indeed, the late great Stephen Hawking himself theorized that unless we mend our ways we could render the planet uninhabitable within a century. It’s not the only reason why we should all consider eating vegan as often as possible but evidence suggests that switching to a plant based diet is one of the most impactful ways that we can help the environment.
But we can also make environmentally positive choices when it comes to our decor! How can we enjoy a living space that’s classy, comfy, cosy and inviting, yet also sustainable and environmentally sound. Well, it’s actually easier (and cheaper than you may think).
Don’t buy hardwood floors, opt for laminate instead
There’s nothing classier, more versatile and more homely than a wooden floor. It’s a great match for any home’s aesthetic, it’s easy to maintain and it looks fantastic. But hardwood floors are not a great option when you have sustainability in mind. The next time you search for ‘flooring stores near me’ at least consider the possibility of opting for laminate floors. Laminate looks and feels fantastic and offers all the benefits of hardwood flooring. However, because its made from by-products from the lumber industry it’s infinitely more sustainable.
Buy your furniture used
Buying new furniture is often patently unnecessary. It’s needlessly expensive and has a sizeable carbon footprint. Buying used, however, is a far more sustainable option and certainly needn’t necessitate compromising on quality.
Keep an eye on your local classifieds, Craigslist or even eBay as well as local goodwill stores and you’ll see many pieces available at great prices to suit any taste and aesthetic.
Never replace when you can refinish
When we buy wooden furniture, it’s only natural for it to pick up scuffs and scrapes here and there. However, replacing this is a huge environmental no-no. All it takes is a little knowhow and patience to resurface or refinish your furniture which can revivify it and make it look and feel like new.
Improvisation is a fun and aesthetically appealing way to repurpose your furniture or create new furniture out of simple items. Think plans between breeze blocks for a bookshelf, lamp shades made from old jars or creating your own headboard out of a bifold door. Here are some great ideas to get you started!
With a little ingenuity and patience, creating a beautiful yet sustainable living room room can be easy and fun. Your only limit is your imagination!