Sustainable Home Decor
What Does Sustainable Mean?
Sustainable decor gives you the opportunity to extend your environmentally conscious lifestyle to your physical space. Eco-friendly decor items don’t harm the environment. This might be reflected in the use of renewable or recyclable materials, reducing waste in the production process, and eliminating the use of toxic chemicals. You can enjoy the great outdoors knowing you’re doing your part to protect it.
Sustainable home decor is made using safe and fair labor practices, protecting the people who maintain the land, harvest materials, and design or assemble the items. When home goods are sustainable, they’re produced in a way that can be maintained over time while protecting the economy.
How to Create a Sustainable Home
You can still have the fun of switching out your decorative items with the season or as your taste changes, all while reducing your ecological footprint. Whether your style is bohemian or modern, it’s possible to find sustainable home decor that supports your aesthetic and the planet. Here’s how you can choose eco-friendly room decor that embraces social and environmental responsibility.
Sustainably grown fabrics are produced without harmful pesticides. They’re also renewable, so they can be cut and regrown. When you’re choosing curtains, blankets, and throw pillows, look for organic cotton, wool, and linen options. You can also add color and texture to spaces with eco-friendly accent chairs and sofas that feature these natural fiber upholstery fabrics.
Hemp, which uses minimal water and improves the health of the soil, and jute, which is made from plants that grow quickly, are also common eco-friendly decor materials. Hemp area rugs and jute baskets feature organic textures that give your home a casual, relaxed vibe.
Add soft, natural colors to your rustic or modern organic decor with bamboo accents. Bamboo is a popular option for sustainable homes because it grows quickly and prevents soil erosion. The open-frame designs of bamboo shades and bamboo ceiling lights are especially popular, with a light and airy feeling that’s perfect for meditation.
Plants are an essential part of sustainable design; silk plants have a longer lifespan. They can still add color without requiring water and soil (if you want the real deal, choose a low-water plant, such as succulents, aloe, or ponytail palms). Display your plants in a clay or terra-cotta planter to create a vibrant, eco-friendly decoration.
Wood is a renewable resource, making it the material of choice for eco-friendly furniture. Look for wood products certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). FSC-certified dining sets and sustainable outdoor furniture are made with wood from responsibly managed forests.
Choose solid wood pieces whenever you can — materials such as black walnut, oak, and teak are strong and durable, so they last longer and reduce your ecological footprint. For storied pieces, consider reclaimed wood furniture, which is built with wood that’s been taken from old structures and upcycled.
Metals such as iron or aluminum can be recycled multiple times. They’re sturdy enough to be used in everything from coffee tables to bed frames. And since metal furniture is extremely strong, it can stand up to active kids who love to test their climbing skills. This sustainable furniture material is tough enough to withstand decades so you can even pass it down to them one day.
Reduce your environmental impact with plastic home goods made with recycled content. You can also choose materials that can be recycled easily, such as glass or metal.
When shopping for textiles, make sure to look for products that use non-toxic dyes; they often carry the OEKO-TEX or bluesign certification. For furniture that comes with a finish, you’ll also want to check for low-volatile organic compound (VOC). Low-VOC paints and stains reduce your exposure to harmful chemicals, so you can decorate your home with peace of mind. They can also protect pets that are prone to chewing or scratching.
How to Shop Sustainably
It’s not just about prioritizing sustainable materials that are produced without harming the environment or depleting natural resources. Here’s how to find eco-friendly furniture that can have a life before and after you.
- Aim for quality over quantity. Whether you’re buying furniture or a new piece of wall art, look for durable, well-made pieces. Long lifetimes mean you can contribute less to landfills.
- Research brands. Fair trade businesses pay reasonable wages to suppliers and producers; B Corp-certified brands meet strict sustainability standards.
- Buy pre-loved pieces. Refurbished furniture and refurbished home decor enable you to enjoy high quality standards and give new life to a returned item that’s still in stellar shape.
More Ways to Shop
- Home Trends