Going, Going Green

When Vanity Fair devotes an annual cover to the topic and Al Gore enjoys A-list celebrity status, we know that “going green” is going strong. As we move into the future, it’s time for all of us to consider our “green” options. Here are some of the choices you can make to preserve the environment without sacrificing an iota of style.

FLOORING 

Opt for linoleum over vinyl when choosing continuous flooring. Where vinyl is made of synthetic chemicals, linoleum is made of up to 80% renewable, natural substances such as linseed oil, flax and pine resin. Designers welcome linoleum’s wide selection of colours while allergy sufferers enjoy the fact that it’s hypoallergenic.  Everyone appreciates the price point; starting at only a few dollars per square foot, linoleum is relatively affordable. Wood flooring is still a viable option, provided the wood is sourced from sustainable resources. Its durability provides long-lasting value. The Forest Stewardship Council is making strides in the US and Canada to improve care of our forests and educate consumers.

Kimberley’s Pick:  For beauty and eco-friendly aspects, reclaimed wood flooring is a hands down favourite in this category. Up the style quotient on your next project by introducing a pattern such as herringbone, Versailles, parquet or inlay. Rustic barn board is ideal for industrial and country projects.

WINDOW COVERINGS

For simple window coverings, bamboo blinds are a winning combination of good looks and eco-friendliness. Bamboo is actually a grass; one of the fastest-growing plants on earth. It’s easy to cultivate and its wood tones infuse interiors with natural warmth.  As bamboo blinds shade rooms from strong sun, they also lessen the need for air-conditioning during the season’s warmest days.

Kimberley’s Pick: Bamboo blinds paired with drapery panels are ideally suited to traditional interiors. For contemporary interiors, enjoy them on their own.

PAINT

Conventional paints often release volatile organic compounds (VOCs); harmful fumes and chemicals that are not only bad for the environment they may even cause those fresh-paint headaches. Low, or no-VOC paint is an environmentally and health-friendly option.

Kimberley’s Pick: Benjamin Moore’s Natura Waterborne Interior Paint with zero VOCs.

FURNITURE

To furnish a home with minimal impact on the environment consider reusing and refreshing rather than replacing furniture. Join weekend treasure hunters who flock to local flea markets in search of potential. That vintage table and chair set may need little more than a new paint job (low VOCs please) to render it chic.

As environmental responsibility grows we can expect more choice when it comes to the production of new furniture made from reclaimed and sustainable materials.

Kimberley’s Pick: Habitat for Humanity’s Restores are “the ultimate treasure hunt”.

 

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