5 Quick Ways to Create a More Eco-Friendly Home

Even without the means to go entirely green, a few conscientious tactics can help towards composing a more eco-friendly home.

1. Buy well-made furniture.

If the idea of a complete 'green' makeover is overwhelming, fear not. Even without the means (or energy) to overhaul an entire living space, a few strategic moves can help towards creating a thoughtful, attractive, and considerably more eco-friendly home. Begin with more conscientious furniture buying. Modern furniture crafted from sustainable materials, like the clean, North American hardwoods used by Copeland Furniture, or the near indestructible recycled aluminum used by Emeco, are ideal furniture finds. But if the most stellar eco credentials are beyond reach, invest in well-made, long-lasting, timeless furniture that transcends seasons and trends—and flies in the face of a throwaway culture.  


2. Embrace energy-saving lighting & ceiling fans.

LED lighting is no longer a novel concept, but don't assume all lamps are energy efficient, by default. When choosing pendant lights, sconces, floor lamps, and even landscaping lighting, keep energy efficiency top of mind. California's Cerno and Finland's Secto Design are two contemporary design brands leading the way towards elegant LED lighting, gracefully illustrating the evolution of a sustainable, nuanced light source. Innovative ceiling fans are a sensible and visually appealing choice over central air during the summer months. Requiring considerably less energy than air conditioning, cutting-edge designs, like Modern Forms Smart Fans, allow for remote fan control, syncing up with digital devices for convenience, and to eliminate wasteful energy costs.


3. Purify the air with plants.

The environmental (and health) benefits of indoor greenery has been well documented, but the leafy appeal of plants make them one of simplest ways by which to create a cleaner, more earth friendly living space. Organic and ever-changing, indoor plants, quite literally, enliven a static space, while absorbing airborne toxins, and, thanks to photosynthesis, converting carbon dioxide into clean, breathable air. Small ceramic vessels, like the Speckle Pot, are ideal containers for petite decorative plants, like succulents, or useful plants, like herbs—while Ferm Living's Plant Box, above, is a sturdy metal planter that holds a variety of greenery, while still being easy to move from sunny spot to sunny spot.  


4. Use natural candles for ambiance.

It's hard to beat a glowing candle or two for ambiance, but conventional candles disperse toxins, owing to the petroleum-based paraffin from which conventional candles are fashioned. Pricier, but worth the extra dollars, are candles made from non-toxic natural materials, like beeswax or soy. Take special note of colored or scented candles, as dyes and colorings can undermine even candles made from eco-sensitive materials. Whenever possible, stick to candles in their natural color state, and ensure that colors and scents are derived from essential oils and other clean sources. Paired with gorgeous candle holders, like iittala's Aalto Tealight Candleholder above, natural candles are an easy fix for conjuring up risk-free ambiance.


5. Take eco-consciousness outdoors.

Creating an eco-friendly home is more than an indoor proposition, of course, extending beyond walls to outdoor areas as well. Creating an outdoor space with sustainability in mind requires the same mindfulness as creating an interior eco scheme. Recycled or repurposed outdoor furnishings, whether second-hand or new, ensure outdoor living that treads lightly on the earth without compromising the joys of sun-drenched days. If sourcing new furniture, it's hard to go wrong with Loll, a Minnesota-based company that constructs stylish, weather-resistant designs from post-consumer plastic milk bottles; and Emeco, which recycles 111 used recycled Coca-Cola bottles for its virtually indestructible 111 Navy Chair.