As you know, there’s nothing that matters more to me than creating an eco friendly home and lifestyle for my family. When it comes to home improvements, it’s tough to keep a balance between using tried and tested methods and trying out environmentally friendly methods that keep both my family and the planet happy. Here are some ideas for the next time you redecorate your kids’ rooms:
Talk To Your Kids First
It’s important to demonstrate to your kids that you’re happy to communicate and collaborate. Cooperation is the hallmark of good relationships between people, and this is something that you can impress on your children from an early age. Sit down with your child and talk about what they’d like their room to be like. Some of the possibilities might not come true – not every little boy can have the race car bed of his dreams! – but you can certainly try to work together to make some of them a reality. If your little girl begs for a pink room or your little boy asks for a blue room, remember that although you shouldn’t always pander to gender norms, sometimes it’s okay. Compromise by painting the walls a neutral color and adding accessories like curtains and rugs in the colour they want.
Choose Nurturing Shades
Try to think about what different colours represent. Red is the colour of anger and passion, so even if your child asks for a red room, consider the effect that the colour might have on their mood and temperament. Instead, consider soothing blue, cheerful yellow, or earthy green. Pick colours found in nature – for embellishments, choose flower colours. Remember that of all colours, green is the most likely to bring you peace of mind. Go outside and match paint chips to colours in nature to choose which is best for your home.
Choose Sustainable Furniture
If at all possible, do your best to choose furniture that is sustainable and made with wood that is ecologically sourced. Remember to use plastics as little as possible – wood has far fewer toxins and is recyclable. If you do need to use plastics for storage units and so on, make sure that the materials that you use are free of toxins such as BPA, Phthalates, and PVC. Although these are commonly used chemicals, they are banned in many countries and are not healthy to be around, particularly for children. Additionally, you could reuse furniture. Move dressers and units from other parts of the house and go to second hand stores to purchase new (to you!) pieces. There are also plenty of places that sell furniture made with reclaimed materials – keep an eye out for them, and look at websites like Craigslist to see if you can give old furniture a new home.
Check The Materials You Use
Like your furniture, your stains and paints should also be free of toxins. When you’re staining wood, make sure that the stain that you’re using is free of fumes and that it is water based. When you’re painting walls, make sure that the paint is free of toxins, and talk to the manager of your local hardware store to source paint that is also free of solvents. You can apply paint with organic brushes or rollers, or you could check out this Wagner Flexio 890 paint sprayer review to find out how to apply paint quickly, enabling you to air out the room faster which will let toxins linger in the air for less time. You should also check the carpets you use to make sure they’re free of toxins, along with any other fabrics like bedsheets, blinds and curtains. Try to use natural fibres like organic cotton and wool instead of anything containing polyester.
Maximise Daylight In The Room
Make sure that you use blinds and curtains that are easy to open. Ensure that there aren’t any dangling cords, which can endanger the lives of your children. You should open the blinds and curtains early each morning to allow the room to be lit by natural sunlight. This will provide Vitamin D to your children and also help you reduce your electrical bills, which in turn is great for the environment!
Use Energy Efficient Lighting
Using energy efficient lighting such as compact fluorescent lamps and light emitting diodes will help you save power. Your bulbs will last longer and save you money and they’ll also be great for the environment, emitting fewer greenhouse gases and giving off a dimmer light, which lessens light pollution. You should make sure that you always turn off lights when you leave the room, and if your child likes to sleep with a night light on, make sure that the bulb you use in that is energy efficient. LED lighting can be particularly effective for that.
Use Recycled Decorations
If you have a baby and you’re looking for a mobile, try to buy one that’s made out of recycled wood or felt. A lot of the time these are handmade with love and affection, and created using bright colours that your baby will be fascinated by. Wall hangings and colourful bunting can also be created using sustainable materials like natural cotton, and ceramic, cork and wood tiles are also great for the environment. Cork tiles can also provide your child with a great noticeboard to use as he or she grows up to pin their artwork on there. You can decorate using natural materials such as plants and seashells and you can also use antiques as decorations – look through thrift and antique stores for interesting items and pieces of artwork that you can frame and put on the wall. You might also have some pieces from your own childhood that you’d like to reuse and to see loved by a whole new generation!
Get A Tax Break
Remember, if you make eco friendly changes to your home and report them at the end of the tax year, this can earn you a tax break. Not only is it an environmentally friendly decision, it’s also a great idea for your own bank account. Good luck redecorating! Be creative and have fun – and remember, anything that you and your child create together with love in your hearts will make great memories for you to hold onto forever.