Your home is the best place to be environmentally friendly. Because what you practice at home becomes a habit you carry with you wherever you go. And sustainability is no exception.
Your living room is a space where you spend most of your time when you’re at home. And as humans, we get influenced by our surroundings. What better way to feel inspired and at peace than having the place you spend the most time in, reflect your core values?
In this article, we’re telling you why having a green living room matters and the 10 ultimate tips that’ll help you create a safe, eco-friendly space for yourself. All while doing your part to save the planet. Keep reading!
Why have an Eco-Friendly living room?
Here are 5 amazing reasons you should consider greenifying your living room.
A healthy indoor environment
You’re probably unaware of all the toxic things that surround you on a normal day, in your very own home. The paint on your walls, the number of plastic items you own, the cleaning supplies you use—all of these have harmful toxins that can have adverse effects on your health in the long term.
Did you know that a recent study found plastic in humans’ bloodstream? It’s no surprise when we spend all our time surrounded by toxic things we aren’t even aware of.
By choosing to make your living room environmentally friendly, you can get rid of these items, or at least limit their use. By doing this, you can take better care of your health and those of the people living with you.
Less is more mindset
Having a green living room isn’t so much about getting new stuff, but more about keeping and using what you really need and is sustainably made. This will teach you to notice your consumption patterns, leading you to make conscious choices in surrounding yourself with material things.
In today’s world, where we’re all striving for more in all aspects of life, simplifying the physical space around you can help you take a step back and be more mindful. It will teach you how to live fully with the ‘less is more mindset’, which is invaluable in today’s hectic pace of life.
Let your safe space make you feel safe
Research shows that humans spend most of their time indoors. And the space we occupy has a considerable effect on our psychological behavior. Our home environment controls a major part of how we act and how we feel. That’s why it’s essential that you pay attention to what you surround yourself with.
When you greenify your living room, you give form to your values and beliefs about sustainability and green living. You actively practice what matters to you. This can help you feel comfortable and safe—things your home ought to make you feel.
Reducing your impact to help the planet starts at home
If you’re a sustainability enthusiast and value conscious consumption, we’re sure you care about how your actions can affect the planet and the people living on it. And while there are many ways to take action for and support these causes, the simplest way is to practice self-awareness.
And that starts at home. We know big corporations are the major culprits who contribute to climate change and the earth’s degeneration. But when all of us decide to take small actions together, they too can have a big impact.
You’ll save money
This is an apparent effect of living with less and living clean. When you get rid of all the things that don’t serve you and practice awareness when getting new stuff, you ultimately choose how you spend your dollar.
Each time you consume consciously you cast a vote with your dollar toward sustainability. These small votes become a pattern that won’t only save the earth, but also your money.
Green living room ideas for a safe, cheerful space
Be it using the things you already own, or if you’re looking to get new stuff for your living room, these ideas have something for everyone.
Yes, the paint you choose for your walls can be toxic. Most paints available on the market contain VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds). They are chemicals with high vapor pressure at room temperatures. That means they can easily be released into the air, polluting it. These chemicals can cause health problems like dizziness and headaches, and more concerning ones like respiratory and visual impairment.
That is why it’s essential to choose non-toxic paints for your eco-friendly living room. These paints are solvent-free, sustainably sourced, and ethically made. While they might cost you a few dollars more per gallon, it’s worth it to protect your health in the long term.
If you’re looking to revamp your walls or just paint them for the first time, consider choosing non-toxic paints. Some of the best brands we can vouch for are: ECOS Paint, The Real Milk Paint Co., Clare Paint, and Bioshield. These paints are environmentally responsible and free of harmful chemicals.
When you decorate your home with things that are of value to you and make you feel happy, your home feels like a home. But, there’s a common misconception about eco-friendly decor—it will make your home look hippy. That’s untrue; environmentally friendly decor doesn’t come only in boho chic variants. Unless boho chic is your thing, then totally go for it. But yes, you can style your living room any way you want, using sustainable decor.
If you’re decorating a new space or just want to add a sustainable touch to your apartment, consider choosing eco-friendly decor. They are made from materials like cork, sustainably sourced wood, fair-trade handicrafts, energy-efficient electricals, etc.
Some eco-friendly decor items you can use to amp up your home are cork lamps, seagrass baskets, bamboo tables, handmade throw pillows, recycled glass vases, and much more.
There are plenty of brands online that sell eco-friendly decor. The ones we recommend are Etsy, Ten Thousand Villages, Made Trade, Parachute, The Citizenry, and The Little Market. These brands are environmentally conscious, use fair labor practices, and give back to the planet. You could also make your decor from the things you have at home. Keep reading for some ideas below.
Most traditional cleaning products use toxic chemicals and irritants that can cause health issues like asthma, allergies, headaches, and other more concerning ones. We are exposed to these cleaning supplies wherever we use them—which is often.
Not to mention, most of these products are packaged in plastic. We use and throw away so many of these plastic containers every year. This adds to the never-ending plastic problem that’s polluting our oceans and killing wildlife.
Choosing eco-friendly cleaning products is one of the most effective decisions you can make to create a sustainable living room. Or any room. They are made from safe ingredients and come in minimal packaging. There are sustainable and ethical stores online selling them if you want to get some. However, there are also plenty of DIY options for creating eco-friendly cleaning products.
Here’s a simple one. It’s an Orange Peel and Vinegar All-Purpose Cleaner.
Steps to make it:
1. Instead of thrashing your orange peels, store them and fill them in a mason jar, or any other jar you own. Fill the jar about half to three-fourths full with orange peels.
2. Pour in distilled white vinegar to cover the oranges and close your lid tightly.
3. Store this solution jar in a cool space for up to 2 weeks.
4. After that time is up, filter the liquid to remove the peels.
5. Pour the liquid into a spray bottle until it’s half full, and fill the rest with water. Store the remaining solution to be used later.
And, you’re done! You have an all-purpose cleaner that can get rid of stains and odors from countertops and glass surfaces. Orange peels contain d-limonene, a natural solvent that cleans grease and dirt and leaves behind a pleasant fragrance.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
While getting new stuff is inevitable—and also fun—at times, the true meaning of sustainability lies in reducing, reusing, and recycling. If you want a legit sustainable living room, use the things you already have at hand to revamp your space or breathe new life into it.
- Reduce consumption of single-use plastic and plastic in general. Plant monthly expenses so that you know the essentials and will refrain from consuming unnecessarily. Ask yourself whether you truly need the object you feel an impulse to buy. These tips will help you reduce your usage of dependency on unsustainable things.
- Reuse items that can be repaired. Ask yourself whether the old item you want to throw away can be repaired to be used again. If yes, do that. Every time you want to get something new, consider whether you can fix and reuse the one you already have.
- Recycle items you do not use into more functional objects. You can do this with home decor. There are so many ideas to recycle household stuff you own into pieces of art that can add a cozy touch to your space. Some ideas are: use wine bottles to plant hydroponic plants, use glassware to make DIY candles, use fabric you no longer use to stitch pillow covers and make wall art with small household objects.
Most traditional furniture available in the market is made using unsustainably sourced wood, high use of resources, and unethical labor. It’s not something you want to put all that money into and keep in your home for years. Good furniture is an investment, so consider choosing something that’s sustainably and ethically made.
Thankfully, today many sustainable furniture brands offer elegant pieces that are not harsh on the environment. They are made from sustainable materials (bamboo, hemp wood, recycled fabrics, minimal chemicals, etc.) and prioritize fair-trade and responsible production practices.
Some sustainable furniture brands you can choose to consume from are Maiden Home, West Elm, Etsy Reclaimed Furniture, Avocado, Made Trade, Medley, and Inside Weather. These brands use green products, and sustainable packaging, and give back to the planet. With pieces from these brands, you can create a safe, sustainable living room—or any room.
One of the best ways to have a literal green living room is to have indoor plants. Really, plants are a must-have for an eco-friendly living room. Whether it be to enhance the aesthetics of your space or purify the air, plants can do a lot for your living room. Some plants you can place indoors are:
- Flowering plants like Marigold, Peace Lily, Violets, Hibiscus, Anthurium. These flowers do not require a lot of sunlight and thrive in indoor spaces.
- Succulents and Cacti. These are one of the easiest plants to grow at home. Once grown, they require water only once a week, and 3 hours of sunlight every day. Some variants also reward you with vibrant flowers once in a while.
- Mood boosting plants like Snake Plant, Aloe Vera, and Gerbera Jamesonii. All these plants help purify the air of toxins and Snake Plant even releases oxygen during the night. The Jamesonii plant also flowers beautifully, making you feel cheerful every time you look at them.
Mindful use of energy
What better way to greenify your living room than to consume energy mindfully?
Almost everything we own and use is a product of fossil fuels. At the rate we’re currently consuming non-renewable energy, running out of these sources seems inevitable. It is of utmost importance that we notice how we consume energy.
You do not have to go out of your way. You can start simple with things like: limited/no use of electronics like the air conditioner and heater, turning off lights and fans when not in use, switching to smart energy devices, using LED lights over traditional light bulbs, etc.
While conscious living might seem daunting, it is easy to start from your home. And remember, living sustainably doesn’t have to be difficult. It’s all about your convenience. Or else, it’s not worth it. Yes, we need to help the planet. But we also need to take things easy. And Be Zen helps you do just that with helpful articles like these. We tell you how to be more sustainable the easy yet impactful way. If you’d like more such content delivered straight to your inbox weekly, join our super helpful newsletter from the subscribe box above in the article. Happy green living!