Your Quick Guide to Eco-Friendly Decorating

So, you’d like a beautiful house that won’t diminish the beauty of the planet. Good for you! But where to start? Here’s our primer on environmentally friendly decorating to start you on this clean, green journey:

Lots of places are now selling recycled goods. Check them out. Big names include Home Depot and Habitat For Humanity, but your community might also have a locally-owned recycled goods center. (Or just go antiquing!) Don’t expect rock-bottom prices, though; these kinds of stores have found the best pieces, and you pay for that effort.

You can also rehabilitate your own pieces, an option slightly more labor-intensive but also usually more cheap. Comb through flea markets, thrift stores, and yard sales, and keep an open mind about how a piece might look with a new coat of paint/lacquer/legs/what have you. Ebay is another good option for finding used furniture, but remember that condition will vary greatly.

If you don’t want to salvage, you can shop at environmentally conscious stores. Here’s one list of good places to start. This is admittedly probably the most expensive way to green your décor, but perhaps also the most reliable.

Here’s a radical thought: when redecorating, use things you already have. Chairs can be reupholstered or recovered; tables can be repainted; sheets can make pillow covers or curtains.

Always choose non-toxic, natural materials when redecorating. We mean, zero-VOC paint, carpets without scary synthetic chemicals, basically nothing that’s going to off-gas into your living space. You’re helping the environment, sure, but you’re aslo protecting the health of your family. If you rip out walls or choose to replace pieces of furniture, don’t throw those things away. Donate them—again, to someplace like Habitat For Humanity. You can even get a tax write-off for being such a good person.

Have you done any environmentally-friendly decorating? Share your advice here or on Facebook!

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