Improve Your Design with Sustainable Products - Sustainable Design Principles
These days, we are all concerned about climate change. Keeping the earth healthy includes not only big changes, but little ones as well. Living a greener lifestyle can start with re-usable water containers and a more fuel-efficient vehicle, and end with a home that is designed with sustainable products so you can reduce your carbon footprint each and every day. There are so many options when it comes to supporting and incorporating green materials into your home.
What is Sustainable Design?
Our design choices can help future generations continue to build on the concept of protecting our planet. When we choose to support companies that create green and sustainable products they continue to thrive. The World Commission on Environment and Development has defined sustainable design as a type of development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. An example of this might be using bamboo products. Bamboo grows back just as quickly as we use it.
How to Incorporate Sustainable Design into our Homes
Each product we decide to place in our homes has a lifecycle. This includes manufacturing, transportation, use, and disposal. Think of each step in this process, then try to find products that minimize waste and save energy during each stage. A green product isn’t just a reduction of chemicals or building something from recycled materials. It is important to think about the manufacturing process, how it is transported, and the operation of the product. All these concepts combined are what make a product sustainable.
The easiest way to design sustainably is to choose products that contain green materials. These include items that aren’t made of plastic. Putting these items in your home means that when you’re done with them, they’ll end up in a landfill, unable to decompose for thousands of years. Instead, look for products that are:
Non-Toxic – many items that are marketed as green often have batteries or toxic materials that leak into our planet over time. Off gassing chemicals is a great example of this. Furniture can be produced with glues and dyes that off gas inside your homes making you sick and creating a toxic atmosphere. Avoid these products if possible.
Abundant – just like our bamboo example, materials that are easily replaceable and come in large quantities are the more sustainable choice. Instead of reaching for the incredibly rare wood for your flooring, try something different. Choosing materials that are abundant is also the financially smarter choice.
Local Products – Try to use products that are manufactured, grown or produced locally (within a 500 mile radius. The more local your product, the less resources need to be used to transport in getting the product to you. Your carbon footprint lowers drastically when supporting local companies and manufacturers. It’s also a great boost for your local economy and supporting your local community.
Low Waste – Did you know that it takes 85 lbs. of material to make 1 lb. of aluminum? When we choose materials that produce less waste, it is the eco-friendlier choice.
Recycled – Another option is to choose materials that can be used again as another product or is biodegradable and able to reintegrate with the earth. Upcycling furniture is a great option of recycled product. Many local companies are now refinishing and flipping old furniture so that it is usable in new and fresh applications.
Energy Efficient – When we choose products that use less energy, we are embracing a much greener lifestyle.
Remember, at Desired Designs we can help you find design options that not only support our planet, but also cater to your specific tastes. It would be our pleasure to help you design your life with a custom touch, contact us today to learn more. Remember, we’re here to help!