Climate change is a serious situation that requires a unified response globally. Our actions should unify a common goal of a safer future, not only for ourselves but for the future generations to come.
Addressing the climate crises through counting and countering your carbon footprint, interior designers have incorporated in their designs what is known as a green interior design or a sustainable interior design that generally stands for inculcating a greener and environment-friendly approach in the curating and designing of our homes. Not only professionals but homeowners and business ventures are tapping into a greener approach in their lives and businesses in order to enhance the quality of life and redefine ways in which we define growth and development.
Carbon Footprint refers to the measure of our greenhouse gas emissions. Greenhouse gases like carbon and methane that trap the heat in the environment and make the earth’s average temperatures rise.
Making your homes more energy efficient could turn out to be pocket friendly and adding a creative layer in your houses can help both you and the environment.
Sustainability in interior designing plays a major role when it comes to combining technology and skills to design a space that is energy efficient and buildings that are eco friendly, incorporating biophilic designs that combine green with the buildings. Construction alone accounts for about 8% of the global carbon emissions therefore changing the ways we build our lifestyle and opting for safer choices make the interior designing industry a very powerful mechanism in modelling the world towards a better future.
From energy-efficient building material, bioproducts that are easy on the environment, thermal and electrical modelling of our houses to prevent wastage and reducing and recycling on the already existing furniture and set up, we can make very stylish upgrades in our house that can lower the carbon footprint.
While thinking of the ways we can revamp our houses that are easy on the environment, the first step could be to think about the primary incorporations in your house that have a major carbon footprint. Flooring and roofing are some examples.
Flooring includes the use of natural resources like wood and concrete that could lead to depleting the natural cover of the green cover. With the increase in civilisation and industrial activities, we need to find safer and greener options like reclaimed wood or bamboo flooring that has similar durability and natural beauty and give your interiors textures and endurable finish. Rattan and reclaimed wood is the older wood that can be reclaimed into different kinds of interior installations like wooden console tables, cabinets, flooring, chairs and wooden metals.
Energy-efficient appliances can cut up to 25% of the energy usage in your homes and also lower the electricity bill. Change your incandescent light bulbs into LED that can be slightly expensive, however, saves energy usage in the long run.
Although you would be changing the light bulb, you do not have to compromise on the light source like chandeliers and table lamps. These bulbs give the brighter lights and come in subdued light fixtures to fit in your bedrooms and other places. Installing LED bulbs into pendant lights and lamps throughout your home will provide attractive, warm lighting at a fraction of the energy cost of your old lights. There are better heating devices that have a lower greenhouse gas emission like solar and infrared heaters.
KEEP THE FURNITURE VINTAGE
Reclaimed vintage furniture
The furniture in the house sets in the personalised aesthetics of the place and makes the interior decor. We all want our furniture a certain way that reflects our personalities and is functional. Vintage furniture is all about the above.
You can incorporate vintage or reclaimed furniture into your places and make the most of your interiors and also reusing and reutilising an item of the furniture lowers the carbon footprint as buying new furniture and magnum opus means more pressure on the existing resources of the planet.
Vintage furniture is back in this year’s interior designing trends and also flowers your interiors with the most unique and versatile design patterns. Vintage furniture is truly effervescent and evergreen.
Green indoor plants
Including a green interior in your homes is both pleasing to the eyes and keeps the air in your house clean. While green plants and trees won’t make a difference in the carbon emissions of other furniture and materials in the house, they certainly help in reducing the actual greenhouse emissions that you make. It keeps the air clean and also controls the temperatures of the house.
With the pandemic we have made our homes a multifunctional space that we use for work, exercising, activities and many other things. Including green plants and a herb garden in your kitchen helps the mind be at ease and make the interiors calmer and brighter. You can incorporate air-cleaning plants that are easy to maintain or flowering plants that add colour and beautify the interiors. Ivy's and succulents are beneficial and also give your interiors a trendy Pinterest worthy look.
LOWER VOC MATERIALS
Handmade sustainable carpet
Volatile organic compounds are compounds that have a high vapour pressure and low water solubility. Many VOCs are human-made chemicals that are used and produced in the manufacture of paints, pharmaceuticals, and refrigerants.
VOCs typically are industrial solvents or bi-product like chloroform. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids. VOCs include a variety of chemicals, some of which may have short- and long-term adverse health effects.
Concentrations of many VOCs are consistently higher indoors (up to ten times higher) than outdoors. VOC are harmful to our environment and for our healths, therefore incorporating lower or no VOC materials could help in emitting a lower carbon footprint.
Including eco-friendly carpets and paints in your interiors can be a safer option. These are made from handmade or handwoven products and can be easily procured from the local markets and make the most beautiful and bright incorporations in your interiors.
Minimalistic living means making our spaces only limited to our daily uses and letting go of the things we do not want. Lifestyle choices that are minimalistic and make for an easier and cleaner living are all the rage nowadays.
People are leaving their interiors mostly empty and making their spaces sanctuaries of their own. An ergonomic and mindful setting in your house can help with overconsumption. Overconsuing and buying are some of the habits that have led to the depletion of natural resources and have seriously impacted the environment.
Making limited choices when it comes to decorating our houses and making our interiors a functional and minimal space helps in ventilation, airflow, brighter and calmer spaces. Laying out our house interiors in creative ways that make both movement and stylish with simple DIY’s and thrifting can make them look unique and eccentric.
Sustainable window treatments
Offering window and thermal appliance treatments in your house help bring down the load on electrical appliances that provide cooler and warmer temperatures. Heating and cooling devices in your house emit a lot of carbon footprints and make the outside warmer to keep your indoors cooler.
On these occasions, you can give your windows a proper treatment so that they don’t let any air out and also make a bioglass installation that naturally lets in light and therefore makes the interiors brighter. Using warmer material drapes and curtains can help indoor insulation that can ultimately take a load off on the heating appliances. Considering checking for doors and windows that leak air and give them a stylish treatment with glass or Venetian blinds that let in the sunlight and air and also provide good insulation.
We all have heard with the zero waste plastic move by governments to reduce in the plastic concentration In our soul and water bodies. Utilising eco-friendly materials as the magnum opus or furniture and utilities could be a brilliant and cost-effective way to build a greener home. Jute and cane products like bags and baskets make the most intricately magnificent holding and storage materials, Cork is being utilised as a flooring choice, clay-based magnum opus and kitchen utensils that are good for the health and environment could be incorporated to make a daily lifestyle change. Recycled paper and bags can be a substitute for plastic and glass-based bottles and materials.
OVERALL, It becomes important for an interior designer or homeowner to determine efficient use of materials and space, selecting and curating the correct materials that have a lower environmental impact. These designs and substitutes help improve our health and maximise our spaces to make a sustainable interior. Building materials that are environmentally healthy are the need of the hour in the construction and architecture industry. Lower maintenance and pocket-friendly incorporations that are easy on the environment, in the long run, make interior designing and curating a trendsetter in the green age.