Sustainable decoration: our little contribution to a better world
Aesthetic and functional decisions with social and economic awareness and respect for the environment. The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams (Eleanor Roosevelt). We often think that our little actions have no repercussion in such a wide world. We dream of a fairer, more balanced, and healthier planet.
But we get the impression that if we are not in command of the great production resources, taking vital political decisions or founding our own charity, there is so little we can do.
Nothing could be further from the truth!
Starting at home is the most decisive step.
The way you behave at home defines your personal footprint outside of it. And the decoration, an apparently trivial subject, is the skin, the soul, and the functionality of your home. Opting for sustainable decoration and design is choosing a sustainable world. Because as within, so without.
What is sustainable decoration? Is it the same as ecological decoration?
By decoration I mean the aesthetic, functional and technical aspects of the different elements of a space.
However, sustainable decoration is based on the strategy and use of objects and materials following the criteria of social, economic and ecological sustainability.
Ecological decoration is included within sustainable decoration, which is more extensive. And, although the positive effect on the environment is crucial, you can always go beyond it decorating and designing with a greater global awareness.
- It means worrying about the working conditions of those who created the objects embellishing the corners of our home. And also paying the right price.
- It is giving priority to a more local, artisan and environmentally friendly consumption, to the maximum extent possible.
- Implementing saving practices and energy use.
- Generating less waste and pollution.
- Paying tribute to the beauty and benefits of the most natural means. Recycling, reinventing, making the most of DIY.
As you can see, it is about the right and fully aware choices.
Why should you start now with sustainable decoration?
Every time I have the blank canvas of a new interior design project before me, I know that I´m enjoying the opportunity to create a more sustainable lifestyle.
I am excited to choose the most respectful materials, pieces with a soul instead of a serial number, and always taking advantage of the orientation and natural light. But design projects or comprehensive reforms are not the only occasion to implement this philosophy. You can start small. Anytime.
Why not starting by acquiring new habits when buying, for example?
Maybe next time you decide to pay attention to the labels and choose non-toxic paints. Or you choose to approach your local artisans instead of the big chain stores to buy a set of baskets.
These small gestures are easy to incorporate, but they weave a new way of moving around the world.
Four ideas to introduce sustainable decoration in your home
While disposable consumerism is becoming obsolete, sustainable interior design is gaining ground. I suggest the following ideas to take the first steps.
“Bet on natural materials and everlasting objects”
Give preference to things made with natural fabrics and fibres. The warmth provided by its soft, matte tones evokes our connection to the Earth. In addition to being more breathable and resistant to time, its manufacture is less damaging to the environment. Consider choosing cotton, linen, wool, esparto grass, wicker, raffia, or bamboo.
And if you know its origin or have its organic certification, it´s even better.
As for the wood, organic, strong, and imperfectly perfect, it is a basic material in any house. Its durability makes it ideal for all kinds of uses: furniture, floors, accessories, and a never-ending list.
Its beauty, with a thousand possible colours and textures, provides your home with warmth and it stands out as the absolute queen.
“Recycle and give forgotten furniture and objects a second chance”
Recycling is a top trend which gives value to objects beyond their original function. And it´s here to stay!!
When we recycle, we reduce the environmental footprint because we give a new life to furniture or objects that seemed doomed to end up in the container. From wooden fruit boxes reborn as wall bookcases, to an old door that now stands out in the garden as a lovely new table.
Before throwing any piece junk or furniture away, visualize if it still has a mission to complete.
“Introduce plants and other natural elements”
I remember with special joy sitting in the hot afternoons of my native Venezuela under a porch, cooled by the exuberant plants growing around.
As well as vitalising even the most boring corner, plants oxygenate and purify the air, balance the temperature, relax, and even hydrate the skin.
You can also grow your own aromatic plants or create a small urban or country garden.
Other natural elements which can be incorporated are tree branches or trunks, stones and even seashells. We can also use materials such as marble, granite, or natural stone to decorate worktops and bathrooms.
Without a doubt, we find the best jewellery for our home in nature.
Integrate energy optimization solutions, biodegradability and conscious consumption
It is difficult to embrace all the options, but it is worth ending with a few more ideas. Take advantage of natural light and do not forget to opt for well-planned and energy-efficient artificial lighting.
All this translates into valuable energy savings.
Opt for the use of eco-friendly paints and other biodegradable household products. In doing so, we avoid the harmful effects of toxic substances on our health and the environment.
Finally, make local consumption and fair trade the rule and not the exception. Conscious decisions promote the deepest changes. Remember that drop by drop you can fill an ocean.
Shall we transform the world together?
If all I have told you is in tune with your vision of home and values, I invite you to join the change that begins from home. The best news is that when choosing sustainable design and decoration, satisfaction is guaranteed.
Your home emanates style and health, and the world becomes a better place.
If you want me to help you achieving it, my passion and experience in the subject are my little contribution.
If you liked the topic or you just want to share your impressions with me, please leave a comment.
Escrito por: Itzel Navarro.