Saturday, 19 April 2008

Earth Day

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.

Bamboo itself is a very fast growing, renewable, and sustainable resource. It is also harder than many other woods and very durable.

Cork has become a popular choice because of it’s durability and anti-allergenic qualities.

Linoleum is also a “green” choice as it is made from renewable and natural resources and is a better choice than vinyl which contains chemicals.

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.

good wood - opt for biodegradable cutlery when you choose disposable. Avoid plastic which sits in the landfill. A fun choice for picnics or outdoor entertaining.

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

related links:

MEADE DESIGN GROUP - THE BLOG. Copyright 2007-2011


Anonymous said...

Yaay green! Happy belated earthday to everyone!

Anonymous said...

very cool! go green!! thanks for the green tips.

jane said...

This green article is great as it reminds us that we can all redecorate and design our spaces often without doing harm to the environment. There is now a lot more variety in green products on the market and this post shows some really great ones.