Decorating: Cheap and Green

Decorating: Cheap and Green

There’s always a few things that are worth paying a bit of money to make your home more green (like insulating or installing an efficient cooling system like Noel talked about yesterday), but I’m always on the lookout for cheap ways to make my home a greener and more welcoming place. When I was working on Ellen’s bedroom I cam across a post on how to green your nursery on the cheap. A lot of the tips could be applied to the whole house, so here’s a list of some of my favorite ways you can be green when you’re decorating your living space.

  • Open a Window. I feel like busting open a window makes my home a more inviting, laid-back  place. Plus, it’s a cheap way to breathe cleaner air and get rid of indoor pollutants. I even open the windows now and again on a sunny winter day. (I don’t have any science on this, but I feel like it keeps us from getting sick as often.)
  • Houseplants. Another cheap way to make your indoor air quality better and an Eco-friendly way to decorate. Here’s a list of  10 houseplants that work as air purifiers and NASA’s list of air purifying plants. My favorite plant right now is my big Sanservia Plant  (AKA Snake Plant or Mother-In-Law’s Tongue). I think it’s pretty and doesn’t require a lot of maintenance.

  • Reuse. Not only does this cut out the waste new stuff would create, but it gives you an opportunity to be creative. If something doesn’t quite fit into your decorating scheme, look for a way to repurpose it so it does or find another place in your house where it can be useful. For example, when I decorated our bedroom I covered existing pillows and used an old quilt for the base of my comforter.
I love ideas like this one from soyouthinkyou’ Now if only I had a sturdy old bookcase . .
  • Buy used. As much fun as organic mattresses or tables made from sustainable wood would be, I really think this is the ultimate way to be green when acquiring new stuff (as well as save some green). This way you aren’t creating more waste and any horrible chemicals used in manufacturing the item have probably out-gassed.
  • Clean. This of course makes your house more inviting and is another great way to help the indoor air quality of your house. Plus, it helps maintain the stuff you already have so you don’t have to replace things as frequently. Take it to the next level and buy green cleaners or make your own.
  • Keep it simple. Doing this cuts clutter (which makes for less dust and better air quality) and also keeps you from buying unnecessary things (which creates more waste). I like to think that this also teaches a valuable life lesson.

Are there any things you guys do to stay green while beautifying your home?

3 thoughts on “Decorating: Cheap and Green

  1. I love these tips. I think I need to focus mainly on the last one. I always buy things thinking I’m going to re-purpose them or create something new out of them and don’t get around to it. The DI is my downfall on that one 😉

  2. Ooo… I’m all about re-purposing + green. I’m going to have to check out that top 10 plant list. Awesome! I have a lot of room for improvement in the green aspect. However, we do have THREE recycle containers while our neighbors all have one. So, we try.

  3. These ideas are some of my favorites. I love the open windows and have several plants. My spider plant is growing shoots like crazy! I probably cut off 10 and am trying to root 3. One of the shoots is growing a shoot now too. Ha ha. We have been blessed to have almost all of our stuff come as gifts, hand-me-downs and KSL/Savers/DI. We have a used crib mattress for Anika from KSL. I was excited to get your email the other day about Target carrying organic mattresses for a half decent price because I read this:

    “I used to think the solution was just to buy used, since hopefully all the chemicals would have offgassed already, but then I kept reading that the old mattresses may be even worse, because all the materials are breaking down.”

    Although I don’t know that I’ll be able to get a new mattress any time soon…

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