Improve Your Home Décor with These Green Updates
by Kelsey Reaves, Modernize
Making green updates to your home doesn’t have to mean immediately covering your roof with solar panels. You can start with small fixes, such as changing out fixtures and reusing old materials. If you’re planning to refresh your home decor without harming the environment, there are plenty of tricks for adding a fresh ambiance without being wasteful. Check out these eco-friendly home improvement ideas, then head to Modernize for more ideas and inspiration.
Use Eco-Friendly Paints
One of the easiest and most affordable ways to update your home’s look is to simply paint the walls. The color of a room determines how you experience it. In fact, try blue or green for your home office to reduce stress levels. But as you prepare to do this mini home makeover, make sure you choose your paint wisely. Many traditional paints contain chemical components that are not only bad for the environment, but are also harmful to the physical health of everyone in your house. Next time you think about how great the bedroom would look in a vivid shade of red or yellow, don’t forget to shop for water-based paints without VOCs (volatile organic compounds).
Use Solar Lights in Your Outdoor Living Areas
No matter what the season, your yard or garden can’t reach its full potential without beautiful lights, allowing you and your guests to have fun long past sunset. Rather than energy-draining lights that require wiring in your yard, try attractive solar garden lights instead. These lights absorb radiant heat from the sun by way of a photovoltaic cell, and convert that light to energy that will brighten your garden when the sun goes down. Using solar yard lights won’t just save you money on your utility bills—they’re also easier to install in your yard by bypassing electrical wiring. Expand the possibilities for creative garden lighting, and place them anywhere in your yard or garden to set up an attractive backyard atmosphere.
Plant a Kitchen Herb Garden
Plants improve the atmosphere of any room, by bringing life to your space – and some extra oxygen. The best part about creating a kitchen herb garden is that in addition to 24-hour access to fresh herbs, you get to breathe in the benefits of cleaner air. Air pollution is even worse indoors than out—in small part thanks to those pesky chemical-laden paints. All plants contribute to cleaner air, but there are plants such as aloe, that do overtime on filtering out indoor air pollutants from certain common cleaners. That means that a kitchen herb garden is a fresh idea -- in more ways than one.
Install Low-Flow Fixtures
Outdated fixtures can put a damper on even the most well-decorated bathrooms. When it’s time to get rid of a filmy shower-head or a faucet that hasn’t been chic since the eighties, choose low-flow fixtures. Low-flow fixtures reduce water consumption and save you money by regulating the amount of water that comes out or a faucet or shower-head. And with their rising popularity, there are hundreds of stylish options to choose from.
Rajany Matthew, a peace corps volunteer in Madagascar, distributes LuminAID lights to silk weavers as part of our Give Light, Get Light campaign.