When someone talks about decorating what do you think of? A fresh coat of paint, new carpet, tables, chairs, sofas, mirrors and pictures, the list is endless, but have you ever consider the effect this has on the environment? All of these items listed come at a cost to the environment, with some being made using nasty and toxic chemicals, while others using a lot of fossil fuel in their product and transport methods.
Altogether this adds up, and something as innocent as decorating can become very harmful to mother earth. However if we are to make just a few changes to the way we decorate, we can help to minimize the effect we have on our environment.
One of the first things many of us think of when it comes to decorating is paint, a quick and easy way to add a splash for color to any room, but do you know what goes into normal domestic paint?
Many domestic paints cause headaches, nausea, and dizziness, which is due to the cocktail of materials, including formaldehyde, heavy metal and Volatile Organic Compound (VOC’s). Some of these toxic chemical can still be around for up to 5 years after the paint has dried. These chemical can be especially dangerous to expecting mother, and young children. If you thought that was bad enough, the production methods uses non-sustainable materials, and produce vast amounts of waste.
An alternative to using these dangerous paints, is to use natural and eco-friendly paintsinstead. Eco paints have become more popular over the last decade, as people have become more conscious about their impact on the environment.
These natural paints can be found easily online, and in some hardware stores. Made from materials such as clay, eggshell and chalk, these paints offering a eco-friendly alternative to chemical used in traditional paints. Eco friendly paints still come in a range of vibrant colors, and their finish is as good as all the other paints.
An example of this is the Earthborn paint range available from Wood Finishes Directwhich come in more than 70 colors.
Buying Second Hand
Although we might not think about it, even something as simple as a wooden table can have a big impact on the environment. Consider the amount of fossil fuels use to cut down a tree, transporting it, making it, and shipping it, it all adds up. One way of getting a table with minimal impact on the environment, is by getting one second hand.
A second hand table comes at no extra cost to the environment (apart from delivery/collection), and it will be a lot cheaper than buying one brand new. This example doesn’t just work for tables, you and buy second hand chairs, bed frames, sofas etc.
Revamping Old Furniture
Sometime you don’t even need to buy anything new, and you can just renovate the one you currently have. Some pieces of furniture, like wooden chairs may start looking old and dated over time, but rather than buying a new set, you can just give them a bit of TLC. By using cleaners, wood oils and paints, you can give any old piece of furniture, a new lease of life. Best of all, this costs a fraction of the price of a new set, and with minimal cost to the environment.
If there is something that you no longer need, why not think about repurposing it, instead of discarding it. Repurposing is when you give an everyday object a new purpose, other than it original intention, and there a loads of fun and creative ways you can do this. Try turn an antique bookcase into a wine rack/bar, or convert a industrial wooden spool into a coffee table. There is an endless list of possibilities, and the only thing stopping you is your imagination. If your lacking creative flair, try looking on Pinterest to see what others have done, as this will help give you some ideas on how you can reinvent your own furniture.
There may be some items of furniture that cannot be revamp or repurpose, so rather than just throwing it away, you could try selling it, and getting cash for your old furniture. There are plenty of websites and phone apps, that can be used to get rid of unwanted furniture. Alternatively you can post a picture on Facebook, and asking if any of your friend want it. Even if you don’t want money for it, you can give it away for free, or take it to a charity shop, as there will always be someone willing to take your old and unwanted furniture.
If you have something that cannot be reused by yourself or someone else, don’t just throw it away, recycle it. Although putting it in the bin might be the easy option, this isn’t eco-friendly. Take a little extra time and care, to work out what can be recycled and where, rather than just filling up another landfill.
By following just one of these tricks, can have a positive impact on the environment the next time you decorate. Remember even something that seems small and insignificant, can have a big positive impact on mother earth.