With sustainable design becoming ever-popular, more homeowners want to minimise the carbon footprint of their homes. While we may think, designing a sustainable home is expensive or needs many resources, it is actually quite simple. Sarabjit Singh is the Founder and Architectural Designer of Villa Ortiga shares some easy ways to embrace eco-friendly methods or green solutions in your home design.
Opt for low-impact materials
Creating a sustainable home takes mindful decision-making and is an all-encompassing process. Hence, this includes everything from how a product is manufactured to its materials to packaging and shipping. As a rule of thumb, one should select low-impact materials to reduce harmful emissions. Additionally, one must try to reduce the wastage of resources as much as possible. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Try and avoid non-renewable and harmful products such as plastics, nylon, polyester, and Styrofoam. Instead, opt for natural materials such as wood or rattan for furniture, cotton or jute in furnishing, etc. Go for native flooring materials such as terracotta, stone, or even locally-sourced marble.
Buy regionally-sourced products that reduce the need and requirements of long-distance transportation and also support the local economy. Think Indian teak, native stones, etc.
Scout the flea markets and local bazaars that offer a variety of furniture choices and decorative items. Not only are these sustainable and low-impact, they also provide your home with a unique personality.
Make your home energy-efficient
An integral part of the home design process is making your home energy-efficient with passive design. Indicative of the name means creating a home that can care for itself. For example, strategically placed windows with cotton or jute curtains and blinds can control the inflow of sunlight and enable ventilation. Sunlight illuminates the home naturally and reduces dependence on electric lights. You can also decrease your home's energy expenditure by opting for eco-friendly LED lights.
Switch off lights, electrical appliances, etc., when not in use.
Decorative lamps are a great way to layer your home with ambient lighting and create a romantic mood without adding to electricity bills.
Add decorative planters near the window for a touch of biophilia.
Bring in recyclable pieces
Manufacturing new furniture requires a lot of energy, and by selecting recyclable or upcycled alternatives, you can lessen the environmental burden. For instance, a recycled vintage trunk or an ornate window frame as a mirror provides every inch of your home more character without adding to the environmental impact.
Take stock of the things you possess and then use your imagination to reclaim, upcycle or reuse the same. For example, you need not dispose of older pieces of furniture such as a couch or a sofa. Instead, breathe a new lease of life into the same by simply reupholstering it and retouching its polish. Some other ideas include:
Repaint glass bottles double as flower vases or even a lamp. Paint or decoupage it to amp up the look.
Old upholstery, curtains or furnishing pieces can be resized as table mats or decorative wall hangings.