With all the talk about recycling and reducing your carbon footprint that’s going around these days, it’s easy to feel as though you should live like a hermit, and that any desire you have to redecorate should be squashed as wasteful, or “not green”. Fortunately, you don’t need to go to extremes. You can redecorate in an environmentally friendly fashion.
- Consider the source: The first step to green decorating is to source your purchases carefully. If you’re buying oak doors, then where did they come from? You can find internal oak doors that are sourced from sustainable, responsibly managed forests in Europe. Look for the FSC logo to make sure that you’re getting responsibly sourced products.
- Repair and Recycle if You Can: If you have some counter tops or bathroom fittings that are serviceable, but look a little tatty, consider getting them repaired and resurfaced. Professional repairs can make many fixtures look as good as new, and you can change the colour of the counters, or fit new taps and a new shower door or curtain if you fancy a new look.
- If you must replace, buy recycled or second hand: Second hand and antique furniture can make a great addition to a period room, and even some new purchases can be environmentally friendly. There are some companies that use second hand wood to make oak doors. Their internal oak doors are made from a mix of responsibly sourced wood, and reclaimed old wood thrown away by builders and big companies.
- Watch your chemicals: Harsh chemicals are everywhere these days. Try to buy environmentally friendly cleaning products and paints wherever possible, and if you do have to work with strong chemicals, be careful when you dispose of them. Whatever you do, don’t just pour them down the drain.
- Be careful with your rubbish: If you’re getting rid of furniture, white goods, or even just generic junk, be careful when you dispose of it. Separate your items into those that can be recycled, those that can go into a normal bin, and those that need to be taken away by the council. Don’t leave unwanted things out on the street for days on end. Keep them in your house, or at the very least locked up in a shed, until pick-up day.
You may feel that any action you take is pointless, but even small acts have a big impact. Buying wooden goods from companies that source responsibly will have a positive impact on the rainforests. It’s estimated that more than 130 species of plants, animals and insects are lost every day because of deforestation – are your oak doors really worth that cost? Decorating your home in a responsible manner is just a small part of saving the planet, but every step counts. If, after reading this, you remember to recycle your glass bottles and newspapers, then that’s yet another step forward, and hopefully over time your friends and colleagues will follow your example.
This article was written by Amy Fowler on behalf of UK Oak Doors; suppliers of quality solid oak doors.
creative commons photo by tommerton2010
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