Earth Day = Green Design
These days more and more people are concerned with the environment and being green. Also more environmentally friendly products are coming onto the market from paint to fabric to flooring . It’s now possible to be stylish and still help save the planet. It’s not always easy being green but every little bit helps...
What makes a product “green” ? Here are some of the criteria used to judge how green a product is:
social responsibility - is the manufacturer socially responsible and embracing environmental practices.
manufacturing processes - the item is manufactured in an environmentally responsible way and does no harm to the environment.
distribution methods - uses environmentally friendly and innovative methods of distribution, carbon neutral.
renewable - made with renewable materials.
recyclable content - Made with recycled materials. Percentage of post-industrial vs. post-consumer materials.
recyclability - content of product is mostly recyclable and can be disposed of safely or reused in the manufacturing of the same product or reused for another product.
toxicity - does not contain toxic materials. Meets accepted air quality standards.
life cycle - designed for extended life cycle to reduce costs per year and impact on the environment.
installation - can be installed in an environmentally friendly manner, i.e. using low VOC adhesives.
maintenance - Can be maintained in an environmentally friendly manner, i.e., low toxic cleaning chemicals and low water consumption.
One of Meade Design Group's goals while we are working with clients is to recommend as many green products as possible. Here are some examples that are making a difference in our client's projects and consecuently in our world.
colour without compromise
A variety of healthier paint options are now available. You can spice up your walls with natural paints, zero VOC paints and low VOC paints, all of which are considerably healthier choices. Zero VOC paints include any paint with chemicals in the range of five grams per liter.
floors to be proud of
There are many “green” choices when it comes to your selection for flooring. Some options you can consider are bamboo, cork, linoleum or reclaimed lumber.
Cork has become a popular choice because of it’s durability and anti-allergenic qualities.
eco - friendly fabrics
Fabric also comes in some “green” options. Kravet recently unveiled a new eco-friendly fabric line made from recycled polyester materials. No additional chemicals are used during the recycling process; instead water-based products and environmentally approved dyes were used.
The Kravet Green Collection is made of 100% recycled polyester. This polyester is a unique blend of post-industrial and post-consumer fibers. And after years of enjoyable use, these fabrics can be recycled.
If these walls could talk green
Wallpaper is now available made from recycled paper and made with vegetable dyes. There are now many natural, breathable cloth options available as well.
Manufacturing and glazing new ceramic tiles is also hard on the environment. Consider low VOC glazes where possible. Glass tiles made from recycled glass bottles can make a beautiful green option!
Other small steps you can take-
see the light - switch your bulbs at home to cfl bulbs
bag it - take a shopping bag with you or keep one in your car. Shopping bags now come in many fun and stylish options so it’s easy to express yourself and be green.
come clean - Start using environmentally friendly cleaning products around the house. We love the Method products! They work as great as they smell and come in eco-friendly, stylish packaging. You’ll want to leave them out on the counter...
paper trail - purchase recycled paper products to use around the house.
natural beauty - pamper yourself and opt for more natural beauty products. Choose products that contain fewer chemicals and are made by socially responsible companies who source their ingredients from sustainable and eco-friendly resources.
One of my favorite green phrases came from Kravet Green campaign, which in my personal opinion as a designer says it all...
reduce * recycle * redecorate