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Decorating Decoded – Going Green

Go green in your home for more green in your wallet!

 

by Tabitha Dietrich - October 18, 2016

As consumers are becoming more aware of environmental issues and how they affect their homes and lifestyles, green or sustainable design is becoming more popular. It has the same emphasis on aesthetics and functionality as traditional design, but it also focuses on the impact that design has on the health and welfare of the environment. Reduce, reuse, recycle is the mantra of the green movement in a society that considers disposability commonplace. How often have you heard yourself, or someone else say, “Nothing is made to last anymore.”

Well, green design is partly about durability; using products that are made to last and do not have to be replaced frequently. It also addresses the issue of energy conservation whether it be the heating and cooling systems we use or the use of more efficient lighting. Green design seeks to improve indoor air quality by reducing toxins from paint and adhesives used in our homes, which could even be beneficial to our health.

Incorporating green design into your home does not need to be complicated, as many of you may think. All it takes is a little thought about the products you choose to use.
For instance, if you have decided it’s time to update the wall color in a room, consider using low V.O.C. paint. It will improve the air quality and reduce toxins in your home. V.O.C. stands for volatile organic compounds. In layman’s terms, low V.O.C. means less fumes. I remember as a kid, my mother would not let me sleep in my bedroom whenever it was repainted until it “aired out”.

Many people have become more energy efficient by simply replacing their incandescent light bulbs with CFL’s (compact fluorescent lights) or LED’s (light emitting diodes). As a decorator, I have always preferred the warm glow from incandescent bulbs, but with the new warm white offered from LED’s, and bulbs that last 20 years, even I have embraced their use. I confess, I’m not sold on CFL’s. Although they may burn less energy, they contain mercury. I suggest Googling “How to dispose of CFL’s” and you can make up your own mind whether or not these are a green choice.

Consider using products made from recycled materials. There is a multitude of options from door mats made out of recycled tires to gorgeous tiles made of recycled glass.

Reusing and repurposing are great ways to “go green” as well. Are you replacing your kitchen cabinets? Why not move the old ones to a laundry room, basement or garage for extra storage. Buying a new dining table? Paint the old one with exterior paint to make it weather resistant and you have a stylish new picnic table or cut the legs down and transform it into a new coffee table.

Anything that is still in good shape, whether it be furniture or even a lamp that you are not going to keep, don’t just throw it away. It can be sold to help pay for the item replacing it or give it a new home by donating and get a tax credit to boot.

Turns out my family has been green long before it was in vogue. We just called it being frugal. I bet many of you have been doing the same without even realizing it. Keep it up and you’ll see more green in your wallet.

Credits:

Idea/Concept: Tabitha Dietrich

Videography: Andrew Moore

Video Editing: Andrew Moore

Writing: Tabitha Dietrich

 

Produced by Vogt Media

Funded by Wellsboro Woodlands, Terreuz

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