When you’re building, renovating, or designing your home, you may not be thinking of the environmental impact of your choices. The fact is, the products we use have a significant impact on the planet, whether for good or for bad. Sustainable interior design involves carefully selected materials and products that reduce waste, conserve resources, and protect the health of the environment.
The U.S. General Services Administration outlines suggestions to reduce the negative environmental impacts of the whole home and building design process, from architectural design to construction to furnishing. This blog will focus on sustainable interior design and help you create an attractive home that you want to spend time in while reducing the amount of harm to the environment.
#1. Use Natural Materials
One of the easiest ways you can incorporate sustainable interior design principles into your home is by using natural materials whenever possible. Synthetic, man-made materials are usually not biodegradable and are hard to recycle, meaning at the end of their lifetime, they’ll spend millions of years in a landfill. You can reduce your environmental impact by furnishing your home with natural materials whenever possible.
Textiles are used in many ways in your home. Towels, sheets, curtains, upholstery, and pillows are all categorized as textiles because they are made out of soft materials. To make a more sustainable choice, look for products made of naturally-occuring materials such as cotton, linen, silk, wool, and leather.
Avoid synthetic fabrics like polyester, rayon, nylon, and acrylic. Not only are these materials not biodegradable, they actually shed microplastics whenever they’re washed, polluting the water system and harming wildlife.
Instead of buying cheap furniture made of plastic, look for pieces made of wood, wicker, bamboo, cork, jute, and other naturally-occurring materials. However, just because something is made of natural materials doesn’t automatically make it sustainable. It’s also important to make sure the materials are ethically sourced in a way that does not damage the ecosystems in which they are found. Research the sources of furniture before buying to ensure that the business engages in responsible environmental practices.
#2. Reduce Waste
High-quality products often cost more than lower-quality options but will last much longer. If you invest in products that will last, you’ll reduce waste and ensure that you won’t need to replace them very often, which is better for both your budget and the environment.
Another way to reduce waste is to not buy things you don’t need. The more stuff you accumulate, the more you will end up throwing away eventually. Before making a purchase, think about if you really need it, or if it will be tossed out within a year.
#3. Reuse and Recycle
Sustainable interior design often incorporates reused and recycled materials. Instead of buying new furniture and decorations, check thrift stores, online marketplaces, and yard sales to find something that will work for you. These secondhand items often need a bit of care and sprucing up, but many people enjoy breathing new life into these old products and customizing them to their taste. Plus, it’s a great way to save money!
Once your items are too worn out to use anymore, or you want something new, try turning them into something else instead of throwing them away. Cut up old towels to make washrags, make a mosaic out of broken dishes, or sew your old curtains into clothing. There are endless ways to reuse things you already have instead of buying something new.
Once you truly can’t get any more use out of something, try to recycle it instead of throwing it away. There are many textile recycling programs across the United States that allow you to mail in your used textiles to be broken down and turned into new products.
Whenever you can, buy products made with recycled materials. Along with recycled textiles, you can buy accessories made from recycled plastic, paper, metal, and concrete.
By using products that already exist instead of increasing demand for new products, you’re promoting circularity and reducing your impact on the environment.
High-Quality Products at Sugar House Furniture
If you’re looking for high-quality wooden furniture to use in your sustainable interior designs, turn to Sugar House Furniture. We offer mission-style bedroom, dining room, living room, office, and bathroom furniture that will last a lifetime, along with unique decor and accessories. Come visit us in Salt Lake City, Utah, or peruse available products on our website.