Friday, March 28, 2008

Going Green

Earth Day is quickly approaching, so I wanted to begin a series on decorating green. I know it is probably something that isn't top priority when designing your home, but it is definitely something we should all try to do. We only have one Earth, it is up to us to keep it healthy!

There is a neat observance going on tomorrow called Earth Hour. At 8pm, your time zone, you turn off all of your lights for an hour, basically. It is a neat concept, I think!

So what are some of the ways that decorating your home can have an impact on the environment? Well, there are several different factors you can consider.

1. Is it made of post-consumer product? That can be your number one clue whether or not the product you are using is environmentally friendly. It can be polyester made from post-consumer products or it can be a glass table made from recycled soda bottles. Anything that can be recycled after use is another great product to use!

2. What is it made of? Products are made up of materials, like in a recipe for your favorite lasagna. The first thing you need to know is whats inside? There are fibers, plastics, polymers, composites - but what are all those things made of? You can request a certification of ingredients, or Manufacturers Safety Data Sheet (MSDS ) that legally must list all the materials used in the production of whatever it is you are using. Those materials can include things such as additives, chemical enhancers, binders, paints/varnishes, etc. Some of these items can include materials that are not earth-friendly. Some aren't really even people friendly. It is always best to find items that go through the least amount of processing/finishing steps as possible.

Over the next few days, we'll touch on a few more "green" ideas. Until then, have a great weekend!

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