3 Decorative Choices for a Greener Home

Are you concerned about the impact you have on the environment? Do you want to create a greener home environment for your children, reducing their exposure to chemicals like phthalates? There are a number of decorative choices you can make to live more harmoniously with mother earth while minimizing the toxins in your home. Check out the suggestions below.

Decorate Walls with Low or No Toxins

There are a growing number of earth-friendly wallpapers on the market. Many are hand printed on recycled paper, often without the use of vinyl and chemical filled dyes. These are better for the environment, and they don't release phthalates and other toxins into your environment. Studies suggest that exposure to phthalates is linked to allergies and asthma in children.

When choosing wall paint for your home, try to opt for paints that are low in VOCs (volatile organic compounds). VOCs can cause irritation to sinuses and could be a possible cause of cancer in humans. Some more expensive natural paints on the market promise a complete reduction in the toxic fumes emitted into your environment.

Choose Sustainable Flooring

Ultimately, to recycle what you have is always the best bet. If you've inherited a hardwood floor, then consider restoring it. You get a floor that has character and fits your property, and you save money and natural resources. If you're not so lucky, then natural linoleum, hardwood, cork and bamboo flooring are usually low in toxic substances. Bamboo flooring is often a favourite -- it's environmentally friendly, hardy, and it ticks the box of low chemical emissions. It's a fast-growing, renewable grass that can fully mature in 4 to 6 years. Trees can take anywhere from 20 to 50 plus years to be harvestable. For those concerned with chemical leakage, choose bamboo flooring that is formaldehyde-free and has low or no VOC.

Select Natural Fabrics

If your concerns are environmental, natural fabrics from sustainable sources should be your priority. Here are two that make the cut: Cotton also comes from a sustainable source, but opt for organic over the conventional type as it's grown without toxins and chemicals. Choose cotton items coloured with natural dyes as chemical dying results in chemical waste which end up in the ecosystem.

Industrial hemp is becoming another favorite choice for the environmentally minded. It is a fast growing renewable source requiring no pesticides and fertiliser, and it doesn't strip nutrients from the soil. Hemp produces a robust, canvas-like fabric that is stronger than cotton. Blinds that use hemp material are an excellent choice, as they will filter up to 95% of the sun's harmful UV rays.