Hello, fellow Earthlings! In case you didn’t know, Earth Day is coming up this month – April 22nd to be exact – and it should serve as a reminder be more environmentally friendly, not just now but all year round. Never before has it been so important to consider the environmental and social impact our everyday choices have, and that certainly includes interior design and home living. We know that the word ‘eco’ used to conjure up crunchy and wood images, none of it very fabulous, but rest assured nowadays ‘green’ is also synonymous with ‘chic’.
STEP UP YOUR recycling GAME
Ok, they may not necessarily be the most glamorous addition to your kitchen but as far as the environment is concerned, a recycling bin is as glam an investment as it gets. And if you’re worried that the sleek and chic design of your kitchen will be compromised by the placement of a practical and bulky recycling bin – there’s no shortage of well-designed items on the market.
Fix any leaks
If you’re a landlord, get out your spanner (and if you’re a tenant, call your maintenance service) and make sure your home is as watertight as possible! Every year, your home could be losing and thereby wasting litres of water from leaking taps and pipes.
DIM THE LIGHTS
Light bulbs and domestics appliances are an easy way to make your home a more green environment on an everyday basis. When your current light bulbs run out, simply replace them with more energy-efficient ones. Other easy changes to make are to turn off any lights when you leave a room, turn off any appliances you’re not currently using and consider occassionally lighting your rooms with candles in the evening instead of lamps.
Grow some indoor plants and herbs
Indoor plants clean the air inside your home, making it a healthier environment to live in. Not only that, lush leafy plants will advance your green efforts and protect the inside environment. Some of the best plants for purifying the air indoors are lady palm, rubber plants, English ivy and peace lily.
In addition to indoor plants, growing a small herb or even vegetable garden makes your home more self-sufficient not to mention the fact that fewer trips to the grocery store mean less driving and less use of plastic bags. There are actually a good range of vegetables and herbs that can be grown inside, on window ledges or on balconies (before it gets too hot) for anyone who doesn’t have a garden.
go secondhand AND upcycle
It’s pretty straight forward – reusing items minimises waste. Upcycling has become a hot topic in furniture over the recent years and if you’re not so creatively inclined there are companies who will do the hard work for you. Here in Dubai, The Attic is a great independent furniture boutique to check out for a beautiful mix of antique, retro industrial and recycled wooden furniture. Or if your home decor style is particularly quirky, Upcycle can bring some seriously unique flair to your home – think neon coloured, pop-art chairs made out of recycled car tyres and you’ll start to understand what they’re about.
Living in Dubai means we have access to the sunshine pretty much all year round! So take advantage of the rays, boycott the clothes dryer and lower your energy usage. The even better news is, in the peak of the summer it will only take a few hours for your clothes to go from sopping wet to bone dry.
paint THE TOWN ECO-FRIENDLY
And if you actually do fancy painting your walls green (or any colour really), make sure you invest in some eco-friendly paint before busting out the overalls. The fact that you’ll soon feel nauseous, dizzy and have a headache if you don’t open enough windows as you paint should shout volumes. Traditional paint is made up of heavy metals, formaldehyde and substances called volatile organic compounds which will continue to release up to five years after your paint has dried!
If implementing these changes doesn’t get you feeling like the eco-warrior you want to be, you could consider buying or renting in The Sustainable City, Dubai’s first net zero energy city. As part of Sheikh Mohammed’s green economy project, The Sustainable City tackles all social, economic and environmental issues associated with going green and aspires to become the global standard for sustainable living as well as an ecotourism hotspot.