It seems today living “Green” is a top priority – at least in theory. However, actually putting these theories into practice can be expensive and time consuming. So what is reasonable? How can you make an impact on helping the environment without breaking the bank during these economic times?
I've come up with a list of 4 things you can put into practice today. As you can see, many of these changes aren’t so much to do with major changes in how you life your life, but more to do with evaluating what you do when making everyday decisions.
Quality vs. Quantity
Don’t sacrifice purchasing a quality piece of furniture that you love for a less expensive, lower quality piece that you don’t love, just because it’s cheaper. In furniture pieces such as sofas and case-goods, you get what you pay for. A quality piece of furniture will withstand the wear and tear of everyday living, which means you’re making that big ticket purchase ONCE! When you spend money on lower quality, cheaper furniture, you may feel like you've saved money - but in the long run it ends up costing you more. You will need to replace the piece, which adds to your overall investment, and you then need to dispose of the old item. This means more junk being added to our landfills.
Be Aware of Trends
Like clothing styles, furniture and décor items will also fall in and out of fashion. If you want to keep your home looking fresh, it’s best to limit trendy purchases to smaller décor items such as vases, throw pillows, candle holders, etc. That way, when they fall out of favour you haven’t spent thousands of dollars on furniture you now don’t like. It's much easier to store and re-use small items and change them up for the seasons then it is to be stuck with a large furniture item that no longer works for you or your family.
Stick to the Classics
When considering large purchases such as a sofa, area rug or case-good items keep to simple classic styles. If you look for items that are well made with clean lines and limited adornments, they will stand the test of time and never look outdated. You can always jazz things up with a blanket or throw pillow. If you look at many of the older sofa styles, many of them are relevant today. They may just need to be re-upholstered. Many of the world’s best designers only re-design their home once every 10 or 20 years because when they do a design it does not date itself – this is the true test of good design.
When looking for new items consider looking in second hand stores, antique stores, garage sales, etc. Many of the best treasures can be found here. Sometimes only needing a coat of paint or a light sanding, these pieces can become showcases in your home. Plus you’re helping out the environment by recycling products. One of my favourite chairs is a piece from my in-laws first living room set. It has great lines and is of a smaller scale. Once I have it re-upholstered it is going to look brand new, modern and very unique.