For many people, green living equates to recycling more, using alternative means of transportation, purchasing recycled goods, and buying organic foods. However, for those who want to take the earth-conscious lifestyle to the next level, there are even more options that might require more of an initial investment. Home remodeling is one arena in which it is possible to take giant steps toward a more eco-friendly lifestyle . . . with a little bit of work and a lot of forethought. Here are some tips for how to remodel your living room with green living in mind:
Reclaimed Wood Flooring.
Not only is this a great example of reusing, but it is also a beautiful design element. Reclaimed planks of wood from old, demolished buildings have a lot of character, and if you are resourceful, you may get lucky and find reclaimed flooring on the cheap.
In terms of aesthetics, one of the most effective remodeling jobs you can do in a living room is to change out the windows. However, there are added benefits of installing new windows in that there are so many green products to choose from these days. Double-paned windows cut down on your electric bill and lower your carbon footprint. Explore options that are made of recycled materials, have a UV coating, and manufactured by green companies.
Use Low-VOC Paint.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are common paint components, and they are very detrimental to the environment (plus, they have a really strong smell!). Choose a low-VOC paint and lessen your negative impact on Mother Nature. Benjamin Moore makes a great low-VOC product, and the color choices are endless.
Install a Fireplace.
Depending on what type of climate you live in, a fireplace can dramatically lower your electric bill during the colder months. Some homeowners report that they are able to turn off their central heat completely, just by using a fireplace. Look into models that burn bio-ethanol fuel if you don’t need the heat; explore models that burn pellets made of sustainable resources if you’d like to turn up the heat.
Choose Organic Fabrics.
From curtains to throw pillows, the soft coverings you use in your living room will contribute greatly to the space’s look and feel. Fortunately, you have a world of options when it comes to eco-friendly fabrics. When shopping for decorator textiles, be sure to ask about organic, and even about recycled, choices.
If you are committed to a green lifestyle, then there’s no better place to initiate positive, earth-conscious change than the one room your family spends the most time in. Even if you’re buying new furniture, you can browse here for some inexpensive items and use the leftovers to add to your green choices. Incorporate all of these great ideas into your green living room design.