We all know the feelings of comfort and joy that wash over us as we walk into our homes. For many, their home is a place that they have meticulously decorated in a way that makes them feel happy. Whether it’s hanging up unique artwork or painting all of the walls your favorite color, there are many ways to make your place feel like home.
When decorating your home, wouldn’t it be nice to know that you were also positively affecting the environment? If that’s something you’re into, you can do this by practicing sustainable decorating. This new trend in home improvement has been gaining popularity and is a fun way to create both a beautiful and eco-friendly home.
What is sustainable decorating?
Sustainable decorating is the act of decorating your home in a way that keeps the environment in mind. This can be practiced in a variety of ways, from shopping at thrift stores to using indoor plants as decor. By making mindful decisions as you decorate your home, you can help make a positive impact on the environment and keep excess waste out of landfills.
10 ideas for sustainable decorating
Does sustainable decorating sound like it’s for you? If so, check out these 10 ideas for how you can sustainably decorate your home in a beautiful and eco-friendly way.
1. Decorate with indoor plants
Indoor plants are a great way to add a splash of color to your home. On top of that, indoor plants have been proven to improve your mood as well as the air quality in your home.
Examples of safe indoor plants include:
- Christmas cactus
- Boston fern
- Spider plant
- Trailing jade
- Wax plant
To be even more environmentally friendly, consider propagating plants you already own. If done correctly, you can turn a single plant into multiple plants in just a couple of months.
2. Shop at thrift stores
Thrift stores are a great place to find fun and unique items without breaking the bank. Stores such as Goodwill, Salvation Army, and other local vintage shops are also great places for finding artwork to help refresh any plain wall in your home. By shopping at thrift stores, you are also preventing items from reaching the landfill, where they will end up hurting the environment.
3. Upcycle old furniture items
Another great way to liven up your living space is to upcycle old furniture items. By doing so, you can add new decor to your house without having to buy any new items. Examples of upcycling include reusing old blankets to make new pillow covers or transforming an old suitcase into a planter for your plants.
4. Support small businesses
By shopping locally and supporting small businesses, you can help combat the transportation pollution that comes from shopping online and at large department stores. Because many of those items often come from all over the world, large amounts of transportation pollutants are released into the air throughout the shipping process. You can reduce your carbon footprint by shopping at local small businesses instead.
5. Take a month off from shopping
One of the most simple ways to be sustainable is to not buy anything at all. While this may seem tough, try to challenge yourself to 30 days where you don’t buy any new decor. You can spend this time rearranging the furniture and decor you already have. This is a great way to help you get creative and make the most of your current decor.
6. Look for eco-labels
Although it may seem contradictory to buy any new decor, there are ways that you can do so while also being environmentally responsible. To do this, check for eco-labels or green certifications.
Examples of eco-labels include:
- Cradle to Cradle
- Energy Star
- Green Seal
- Recycled Content Certification
- Safer Choice
By purchasing products from companies that support the environment, you can pick up some new items with a clean conscience.
7. Banish plastic items
When purchasing new decor, it is important to avoid plastic materials. Plastic can take upwards of thousands of years to decompose and is horrible for the environment. Decor items made from sustainable materials such as bamboo or glass are much more environmentally friendly and can be composted or recycled once you’re ready for something new.
8. Use rental furniture
Whether you find yourself constantly moving or always in need of a new style, renting furniture is a great eco-friendly option for decorating your home. By opting to rent instead of buy, you can fill your home with high-quality furniture without fear of having to get rid of it when you’re done. To do this, check out rental programs like CORT and Feather.
9. Keep an eye out for greenwashing
While some companies are actively taking steps to adopt eco-friendly practices, not all are living up to their claims. Certain companies even go out of the way to alter their marketing strategies to trick consumers into thinking they’re a green company. This is known as greenwashing.
Examples of greenwashing include:
- Excessive use of environmental images
- Unverified or ridiculous claims
- Secrecy around the lifecycle of their products
- No composting or recycling labels
If you notice any companies with these red flags, be sure to avoid them, as they do not care about the environment as much as they’d like you to believe.
10. Avoid home decor trends
When it comes to home decor, popular trends can change at the drop of a hat. Because of this, it is likely that any furniture or decor that is no longer popular will immediately end up in a landfill. To help lessen your environmental footprint, it is best to avoid these quickly fading trends and focus on a style that most closely matches your likes and interests.
Why does sustainable decorating matter?
In addition to the reasons discussed above, sustainable decorating can make a large positive impact on not only the environment but also your everyday life. After all, sustainability is a lifestyle and one that can be practiced in many areas of your life.
Benefits of practicing sustainability include:
- Cheaper utility bills
- Improved indoor air quality
- Reduced living expenses
- Less clutter in your home
- Improved feelings of self-worth
- Durable and long-lasting furniture and decor
By taking the small step of sustainably decorating your home, you are well on the way to becoming a more sustainable and environmentally friendly person. Want to make an even larger impact? Try challenging your friends to do the same, and help keep the Earth green.
Looking for more inspiration? Take a look at this helpful infographic from Hippo home insurance to learn more about how you can sustainably decorate your home.