The stuffiness, noise and exhaust of cars - the environment of the inhabitant of the metropolis. It comes as no surprise that when you come home you want to relax in silence, walk barefoot on the wooden floor and breathe flowers at the window. You don't need to travel somewhere to be with nature. You can start with eco-style.
There is an assumption that the origins of "eco" is the ancient east, where nature was treated with care and reverence. Today - a few words about the principles of modern eco-style.
First of all, “eco” is a true love of nature. And it manifests itself in everything:
You will not be able to use animal skins on the floor and cut down century-old pine trees to build a bathhouse on the site.
The style assumes the careful use of energy and resources: the installation of a smart home system (which saves gas, electricity, and water, turning them off when they are not used) and, if possible, the installation of solar panels.
"Eco" - the choice in favor of natural materials that can later be recycled and reused
Plants, plants and plants again!
If you live in a country house, you probably have a plot where you can plant a vegetable garden, set up greenhouses, make a garden, create a pond. And what about those who live in an apartment? Here are 4 ways.
1. Plant a vegetable garden on the windowsill
Organize space for pots on the windowsill and harvest without leaving the city. You can plant vegetables, fruits, and herbs - you just need to choose the right lighting and temperature.
2. Greening the balcony
In spring and summer, a real flower paradise can be arranged on the balcony. Buy flowers in pallets, hang pots over your head, and enjoy your morning coffee in the shade at a small table. If the balcony is glazed, this can be done all year round!
An issue worth considering is mobility. If the balcony is open, flowers and plants with the onset of cold weather will have to be transferred to the room. Before buying them, think about how your green friends will be accommodated with the onset of cold weather. There are several options. This can be a special flower stand, shelves, or hooks on the walls. Daredevils can also use the floor or ceiling - create real hanging gardens at home!
3. Install the phytowall
Green walls are very popular in offices - surrounded by stress and bustle, we especially need places of freshness and tranquility. Phytowall will also look great in the home interior. You just need to understand: it is very difficult to look after it and she costs a lot of money.
4. Add some decorative touches
You can buy a neat florarium with unusual plants or make a "green" frame for a mirror. Beauty is in the details!
The eco-apartment is filled with light and air, the walls are white or pastel colors, the palette of rooms is natural, it has relaxing and light shades of yellow, blue, green, and brown, so much reminding us of sand and wood.
Eco-friendly is often understood as safe for health. This is true, but this is not enough. Interior decoration can be safe (within the limits of standards) for health, but produced in a way harmful to nature, and also dangerous after disposal. Therefore, a truly eco-friendly interior takes into account the entire life cycle of materials and production technology.
The use of natural materials is one of the main features of eco-style. These are wood, the vine (wicker furniture), stone, clay, glass, bamboo, as well as cotton, matting, and linen (for curtains and furniture upholstery). Natural materials are healthy, durable, pleasant to the touch, and smell delicious, but often more expensive than their artificial alternatives. Fortunately, the construction market is growing and evolving with affordable and safe options. As a result, you can find products for every taste and wallet. Here are just a few of them.
Plasterboard is often used to decorate walls, ceilings, and the construction of partitions, shelves. It contains gypsum (unexpectedly), cardboard (even more unexpectedly), starch, PVA glue, and fiberglass. Nothing scary, but sometimes unscrupulous manufacturers use harmful additives containing formaldehyde and phenolic compounds.
Way out: buy only from trusted companies (for example, Knauf, Rigips or Lafarge) or require a certificate of quality.
2. Paint and wallpaper
Paint is a popular and simple solution for wall and ceiling decoration. It is pure chemistry, so it is easier to list what should NOT be in it (attention, a lot of scary words): carcinogenic formaldehyde, heavy metals, styrene, kerosene, and ethylbenzene. Just another time - check the eco-labels. The Finnish brand Tikkurila, the Swedish Becker, the German Alpinaweiß, and the international brand Dulux have them.
When choosing a wallpaper, we are looking for the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) ecolabel. It is the mark of a board of trustees that is committed to responsible management of forests around the world.
The tiles have a simple and environmentally friendly composition: clay, quartz sand, feldspar and carbonates. Here you can go further and look for tiles made in accordance with the principles of resource conservation. For example, Eu Ecolabel certified porcelain stoneware can be found from the Italian companies Atlas Concorde, Novabell and Marca Corona.
Available material with a large selection of colors and textures. Laminate from trusted manufacturers is safe for health and less harmful to the environment. The only negative point is that the composition does not include natural wood.
It is especially important to avoid PVC (or PVC, polyvinyl chloride). A lot of building materials are now made of it, starting, of course, with the usual windows. These are skirting boards, vinyl wallpaper, panels for walls and ceilings, wire braiding, switches, plumbing pipes, laminate, linoleum, and PVC tiles ... It is considered safe, PVC building materials have certificates. What's the catch? When burning and high temperatures, PVC releases dioxins, the most dangerous poisons, toxic in the smallest quantities. They are released during the production of PVC. The most important thing is the risk of burning PVC at an incineration plant (incineration plant), or a fire at a landfill, which is by no means excluded. And then we breathe it. Therefore, this cheap and convenient material is potentially dangerous and environmentally unfriendly. But, fortunately, there is almost always an alternative. Paper wallpapers instead of vinyl , marmoleum instead of linoleum, wooden plinth, etc.
Pay attention to the international company Tarkett labeled “Leaf of Life”. This mark guarantees that the product does not contain carcinogenic, mutagenic, and toxic components.
5. Solid and parquet board
Array is the most expensive and environmentally friendly option. It is made from solid wood and finished with varnish, oil, or a mixture of wax and oil. Parquet board is more affordable, as it is a gluing of valuable (oak) and cheaper (pine, spruce) species.
Please note that the wood itself is not fraught with dangers, but there may be complaints about glue and varnish. The last one should not contain flammable substances: xylene and toluene. Another important indicator is the class of emission of formaldehyde. It is denoted by the letter E and a number from 0 to 2. The lower the number, the less harmful secretions that irritate the skin and mucous membranes, and also cause headaches, lethargy, and sleep problems.
For a Greenpeace representative, the ideal furniture looks like this: natural wood, a minimum of bolts and screws + water-based varnishes that do not emit phenol, formaldehyde, and other harmful substances. Upholstery - jute, linen, organic cotton, or wool. Filler - corn and soy products.
To find some eco-friendly models you can go to the New York Furniture Outlets and find the most appropriate for your taste furniture piece.