Eco-friendly Home Decorating Made Easy

Eco-friendly Home Decorating Made Easy

(ARA)- Take a look around at some of the products being sold by your favorite retailers today and you'll see that "going green" isn't just a catch phrase anymore; it's a way of living. But living green isn't just about driving a hybrid or eating organic. It's now expanded into how we decorate our homes. In fact, there are more environmentally-friendly home-decorating products to choose from than ever before.
That's because until a few years ago, if you wanted to decorate green you had to spend the green -- cash that is. Today, however, many mainstream big box retailers and home furnishing and decor stores have taken notice of the surge in green decorating. In response, they now offer affordable green home-decorating products that once were only available from pricey specialty stores.
Even though it's more affordable, there are still plenty of questions about what types of green home-decorating products are out there and what actually makes them green. Below are a few tips aimed at helping you navigate through the sometimes overwhelming world of green home decorating.
Paint
One of the first things people do when they redecorate is paint. And one of the easiest ways to incorporate green decorating into your home's decor is by using a paint that doesn't contain harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can evaporate into your home's air. There are many affordable low- or no-VOC painting products on the market, including Dutch Boy's new Refresh paint. Not only is it a no-VOC paint that's been independently GreenGuard Certified, but its breakthrough Arm & Hammer odor-eliminating technology actually removes common odors from any room in your home.
Furniture
Once you've painted and it's time to furnish, there are more than a few green options available to you. FSC Certified wood products are optimal when purchasing green furniture. The FSC Certification means the wood in a product has been sustainably produced. Key FSC principles include the protection of forests, soil and indigenous species, restricted chemical use and limits on genetic engineering. If you can't buy FSC Certified wood products, look for furniture that's made of reclaimed materials from factory scraps or other pieces of furniture. Other options include furniture constructed of bamboo or rattan, both of which are very environmentally-friendly materials because they replenish rapidly.
Rugs
Rugs are a great way to insert personality and color into a space without requiring the installation of wall-to-wall carpet. Unlike furniture, there aren't any eco-friendly certifications issued for rugs, so when purchasing a green rug, the most important thing to do is check the tag. Look for rugs made from natural fibers such as organically grown cotton, bamboo, jute and sisal. Avoid those manufactured with synthetic fibers such as nylon, polyester, rayon or other petroleum by-products. That's because they're made using plastic, which isn't biodegradable. If they end up in a landfill, they may be there for decades to come.
Curtains/Blinds
When dressing your windows, opt for curtains and blinds that are made of non-toxic, environmentally sustainable, natural reeds, bamboos, grasses and other natural plant fibers. Once gathered, these materials are woven into patterns without the use of chemicals, dyes or other harsh processing found in traditional curtain material. Again, the materials used in the manufacturing process should be marked on the packaging. If you're having trouble finding eco-friendly curtains, you might also want to consider custom drapes. You can purchase organic cotton fabric online or at a local retailer and then have your drapes made, or better yet make them yourself.
From the largest to the smallest products, as green decorating continues to grow in popularity, so will your shopping options. As they do, just remember to be prepared and do your research before you leave your house and head out to the store. Choosing your eco-friendly home decorations should make you feel good about helping the environment, not stress you out.
For more information on Dutch Boy Refresh Paint, or to locate a Dutch Boy retailer, log on to www.dutchboy.com/refresh, or call (800) 828-5669.