Greener choices: window coverings and furniture

How you choose to decorate your home can not only save you money, but also impact your carbon footprint and reduce your energy usage. Follow these tips for a greener approach to choosing window coverings and furniture.

Greener choices: window coverings and furniture

Window coverings

What you hang over your windows can make a big difference to your comfort – and to your energy bills.

  • If you live in a warm climate, blinds are a good choice. They are good at blocking sunlight and limiting heat build-up. They also allow you to open the windows and let air circulate while keeping out the hot, bright sun.
  • In colder climates, fit heavy, lined curtains. These can cut heat loss by up to one-third in winter. Make sure the curtains fit closely to the window and extend beyond the bottom and sides of the frame.
  • Add a close-fitting box pelmet to the top of the window frame to prevent drafts coming in over the top of the curtain.
  • Avoid synthetic materials or any materials treated with stain repellents and fire retardants as they may emit fumes.

Furniture

When choosing furniture for your home, keep these factors in mind to help you make choices that meet your requirements and are also better for the environment.

  • Buy for comfort and longevity as well as for looks. Think twice about buying something that is the height of fashion. You are more likely to discard it after a few years and it is less likely to be recycled.
  • Invest in good-quality furniture. It may cost more initially, but it will likely last longer.
  • Choose natural materials that come from sustainable sources and are biodegradable. Many of these materials, such as wood, are easier to repair than plastics or synthetics.
  • Avoid furniture made from synthetic foam or composite wood products as these often contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including formaldehyde, a probable carcinogen. Second-hand items are better in this respect as any chemical emissions will have dwindled to insignificant levels.
  • Opt for wood that has been treated with natural or low-toxicity oils, varnishes and stains.
  • Reject stain-repellent or fire-retardant treatments as these chemicals can emit toxic fumes.
  • Look for labels that identify eco-friendly goods.

Your home is a reflection of you, so why not make green, environment-friendly choices when selecting window coverings and furniture!

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