Interested in refreshing your decor with healthy, earth-friendly practices in mind? The three R's of "reduce, reuse, recycle" can be applied to decorating, too! Read on for ideas you can start putting into practice right away, whether you are looking to completely redecorate, or just want to add a few fresh (green) touches to your home.
Reduce unnecessary waste by buying fewer, higher quality items, and avoiding "disposable" and impulse purchases. If you are used to shopping as a relaxing activity, you may be buying more stuff than you really need. Try snapping a picture of items you are considering buying instead of purchasing them on the spot, to give yourself time to think over the decision. It's worth it to save up for a well-made item that you love, because it will last a long time and add more beauty to your home. You can also work to reduce harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs), those nasty chemicals that some products release into the air, by choosing low-VOC, zero-VOC, or all natural paint for your walls and furniture. Natural fiber rugs are a greener choice for the floors (and always look chic), and solid wood furniture with a low-VOC or natural oil-rubbed finish is healthier (and sturdier) than composite materials.
Reuse vintage pieces rather than buying new. Vintage goods are as green as it gets! Breathe new life into family heirlooms and hand-me-downs. Shop at vintage stores, flea markets, and antique fairs instead of stopping at the mall. You will have an adventure tracking down those just-right pieces, and you can rest assured your home will have a unique look that is all yours. When buying vintage, be aware that some older items may contain lead. To be on the safe side, it's best to keep vintage painted items and glass out of reach of children.
Rescue and reinvent old and forgotten items ... and with a little creativity, you can transform them into something completely new. Repurpose old screens to use as message boards, put recycled jam jars to use as vases or organizing containers, stitch old sweaters into pillow covers, or paint a set of old shutters and use them as unique wall decor. Once you start looking at old "throw away" things with reinvention in mind, you will soon realize there are no limits to what you can create!
Look to nature for budget-friendly green decor. Rocks wrapped in wire become picture holders; seashells, feathers, and other treasures collected on a walk can become a table centerpiece. Bring the outdoors in by adding more houseplants, or even a potted tree or two -- the fresh greenery will lift your mood and help clean the air.
Tell us: How are you going green at home? Share your own ideas in the Comments, and visit us at McCaffrey Homes to learn more about our Earth Sense program. Image sources: Magnolia Homes (first three); Danny Seo.