What is it?
Sustainable design is becoming more and more sought after. It’s purpose is to reduce negative impacts on the environment. According to this article by GSA, using sustainable design improves building performance by also reducing negative impacts on “the health and comfort of building occupants”. Using renewable resources helps minimize waste, resulting in healthier and more productive environments!
Here are some ways that interior design is stepping up in the sustainable resource game.
Bamboo flooring is made from a fast-growing and renewable “timber”. The awesome qualities of this material are that it is water resistant, anti-bacterial and extremely durable! Although it is more expensive than laminate flooring, it is more cost efficient than installing traditional wood flooring. Here is a tip, make sure that you install bamboo with natural-base adhesives opposed to any other type because they will not be as sustainable due to a material called formaldehyde in the adhesive.
Fun fact: Bamboo is actually grass!
For carpet to be considered sustainable, it must be made of materials such as cotton, sisal, wool, jute, coconut husk, etc. There are some companies out there that can recycle nylon carpets and make completely new carpets! That is incredible, plus it helps reduce the amount of materials sent to a landfill. When installing this carpet, as said with the bamboo, make sure to use natural-base adhesives!
This seems to be the most common of the sustainable flooring options. Reclaimed wood comes from salvaging old wood from sources such as old warehouses, homes, coal mines, wine barrels, even fallen trees! Recently the reclaimed/recycled wood style has been booming throughout homes and places of business. It gives the space a more rustic vibe, not to mention a sense of accomplishment for the people who are recycling it and putting it to good use! Another great thing about using reclaimed wood is the possibility to receive LEED certification because the wood meets the Materials & Resources criteria. Going green never felt so good!
We can all agree that the most sustainable light source is sunlight. This means that the second most effective sources are solar powered panels, lamps, etc. However, although it is a great source of renewable energy, it is also hit or miss in different parts of the world. Some places get an immense amount of sunlight throughout the year while others might not see sun for more than 3 hours a day at some points during the year. Another way to reduce energy consumption is using LED lights! According to Philips Lighting, “Simply adopting LED in place of incandescent lighting would reduce energy consumption by a remarkable 53 percent.” That is unbelievable!
These are only a couple of ways to incorporate sustainable materials into your interior design. It is up to you to make it as green and energy efficient as you desire. Just remember, recycling and finding other ways to decorate with environmentally friendly options will benefit you and the entire world in the long run. Let’s see what you can do!