There are simple changes you can make in your stride to becoming green.
We cannot wait any longer. The Earth, our Earth, is in desperate need of help. What with the realities of global warming getting stronger day by day, we need to make a change in our lifestyles and we need to make it now. There are innumerable shifts you can make to your day-to-day life, but just how do you bring the concept of going green to interior design? The larger aspects of rainwater harvesting and solar panels aside, there are simple changes you can make in your stride to becoming green.
For most people, going green seems to be an enormous undertaking, a task that is out of their understanding and something that maybe too expensive or tedious to achieve. A shift in mindset is the first step you need to take in order to make your green efforts a reality. Going green is actually something that is fun, fresh, that signifies growth of oneself, while doing your bit to save the planet. Now what’s to fear in that? It’s all the more reason to only make you want to do more.
BAMBOO BOON: The chief protagonist in the green campaign is bamboo. The scope, scale, durability and green component of bamboo is vast, thus making it the green campaign’s main ally. The primary reason for bamboo being touted as the number one green product is that it is a plantation wood and that means it can grow quickly, easily and in large numbers. That is the key difference between plantation woods and other hardwoods, which take years to grow to their full heights. These days, they can do just about anything with bamboo. From hardwood flooring to furniture made from bamboo, from dinnerware to window shade blinds, the usage of bamboo is vast and provides an alternate solution to many of your needs.
SALVAGED WOOD: Distressed and salvaged woods are another way to go. Instead of buying a new product, usage and renewal of existing pieces is another method of going green. For example, you may take an old wardrobe of yours to make shelves or a desktop or tear it apart to use the wood for something else. All you need to do is give it a new coat of paint, polish or upholstery if required and you will have a brand new piece with a story to tell. If you are quite the avant-garde in design, recycled pieces as well are quite the trend these days. Products made from cans, plastic bottles and wood shavings that are otherwise swept away make for interesting statement pieces. If these products are hard to come by in your local markets, search the
Internet. You will find a whole array of pieces for you to pick and choose from.
GREEN PAINTS: Painting our home is something that we need to do almost annually in some cases. So this time around, do not go for regular paints that are harmful to your health and the environment. Opt instead for eco-friendly paints that have low to zero VOCs in them. Volatile organic compounds are essentially the fumes that you smell while the room is being painted, which is very dangerous to your health. Usage of eco-friendly paints basically means paint that is made from a low amount of naturally derived chemicals from plant sources and minerals, thus protecting your health and the earth at large. Nowadays, most top-of-the-line companies like Dulux and Nerolac use paints comprising low VOCs, so there is no reason to use any other kind.
The time is now. The effort is minimal. All it needs is a little awareness and a desire to protect that what we call home—our planet Earth.
The writer is an interior designer, with offices in Delhi and Mumbai. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org