"By taking a "green" approach to your interior design project, you can make your home resource-efficient and healthier for you and your family, as well as more environmentally friendly.
Utilizing earth-friendly products and practices in residential interiors makes good design sense, and with the variety of furnishings and finishes currently available, the appeal of sustainable design has never been greater. The following guidelines can help you and your interior designer create your green home.
- Conserve energy by purchasing major appliances with an Energy Star rating and by adding timers and automated thermostats to control usage. Also, consider switching to fluorescent light bulbs and using more natural lighting with windows or skylights.
- Repair leaky fixtures and install low-flow shower heads and faucets.
- Use water-based paints, finishes and sealants. Some milk-based paints are also available.
- Look for wall coverings that are made of paper or natural fiber, rather than synthetic materials, and printed with natural inks.
- Choose carpeting, rugs, window treatments and other textiles made from natural fibers, such as cotton or wool, that are untreated and free of toxins such as pesticides and chemical cleaners.
- Ask for flooring products made from rapidly renewable resources, such as bamboo or linoleum.
- Select solid woods, when possible, for furniture or cabinetry, rather than pressed woods or composites that may contain formaldehyde or other chemicals that may be toxic.
- Reuse materials, such as brick, stone,glass, tile or metal, in new and interesting ways. Old woods also can be safely treated and reused.
- Consider the "lifecycle" of furnishings and accessories before purchasing: Are they made of materials that can be reused or recycled when the item eventually wears out or is not longer needed?
- Recycle packing and shipping materials from any newly purchased items, and safely dispose of paint cans and other containers whose contents could potentially contaminate the ground or water supply."
For more information, visit American Society of Interior Design ASID www.asid.org