These days, there are an increasingly wide range of products that purport to offer a variety of environmental values but fall short when it comes to style. As a member of the Top 5 in Real Estate Network®, however, I have access to many credible sources on the subject, such as Robin Wilson, a pioneer in the eco-friendly design sector, and Vickie Gilstrap, vice president of color and design for Mohawk’s Residential Business. They offer the following areas to zero in on when greening your home … while, of course, being mindful of design.
1) Carpet. Did you know that one out of every four recycled plastic bottles is made into carpet? That’s more than 3 billion bottles each year! Choose carpet made from renewable or recycled materials.
2) Paint. Create a cozy space by painting an accent wall in a warm earth tone like cocoa or cinnamon. Choose paint that is non-toxic and contains little or no volatile organic compounds.
3) Pillows. Use certified organic fabrics to create window treatments or accent pillows. You’ll be surprised at the variety of colors and patterns available.
4) Floors. When choosing hardwood flooring, using reclaimed wood adds a touch of antique, natural beauty to your home.
5) Counters. Look for those made from recycled glass, ceramic or sustainable bamboo. Use them in both your kitchen and your bathroom.
6) Accessories. Don’t just throw away your older items — breathe new life into vintage pieces instead by pairing them with fresh accessories. Reupholster an old arm chair or add an accent pillow to give it a fresh, new look.
7) Lighting. Install dimmable compact fluorescent lights, which can consume up to 75% less electricity and last 10 times longer than standard incandescent bulbs.
8 ) Bathrooms. A new shower curtain can update the entire look of your bathroom. Opt for nylon, which is one of the more eco-friendly materials available.
9) Faucets. Look for faucets with the WaterSense label, which can save the average household more than 500 gallons of water each year and hundreds of dollars in utility bills.
10) Bedrooms. Transform your bedroom with eco-friendly bedding. Duvets, shams and linens are available in organic materials and recycled yarn.
Thankfully, manufacturers are answering the consumer demand for eco-friendly products that are also beautifully designed.
For more information or to share your ideas on great green products for the home, please call or e-mail me. And be sure to pass this posting to your other eco-conscious family, social networks and friends.