Green living not only helps the environment, it also helps your pocketbook. When making upgrades to your home, incorporate energy-efficient and repurposed materials to make your living space more environmentally friendly.

Emily J. Reynolds, an interior design faculty member at The Art Institute of Raleigh-Durham, encourages green living through the reuse of existing materials. “There is a special feeling you get when you see a piece of furniture by the side of the road, fix it up, and put it to use again,” she said.

Reynolds locates used furniture at resale stores or at yard sales, and points out the importance of paying special attention to the form of the piece. If refinishing pieces sounds like too much work, professionally restored furniture is also available and fits in with today’s trend toward distressed looks.



Reusing old pieces also fits into the current trend toward eclectic interior design. “Pieces of different styles can be mixed in imaginative ways to create a harmonious space,” according to Reynolds.

When updating your home on a smaller scale, little changes can make a big difference, according to Sofeeka Hasiuk, one of the interior design faculty at The Art Institute of Philadelphia. “For instance, use no-VOC (volatile organic compound) paints for walls, furniture, or accessories,” she said. This keeps potentially harmful chemicals from getting into the air and into your lungs.

You can also use a programmable thermostat to increase energy efficiency. This will have a positive impact both on the environment and on your wallet.

This article is courtesy of Brandpoint.