Eco Friendly Products

A new generation of advanced eco friendly products and materials are available now-a-days that not only have excellent sustainable properties but have a high quality of finishes and are contemporary and stylish.

The choice of materials you use at home affects the environment outside your home. For example, hardwood furniture contributes to the destruction of delicate ecosystem. The plastics used in the home create unnecessary levels of pollution and their transportation from far-off areas contributes to a higher carbon footprint.

An understanding of eco friendly products - the options available, their manufacturing process, their proper use - is crucial to creating eco homes that are at once functional, beautiful and environmentally friendly.

The products and materials used in eco homes need to satisfy criteria about their source, manufacture, health consequences and their environmental credentials. Key elements for products and materials to be classified as eco friendly are -

  • It should be made from a naturally renewable source.
  • It should be made in a non-polluting, energy-efficient manner.
  • It should be energy-efficient in usage.
  • It should be locally made, eliminating the need to transport it on vast distances.
  • It should be easy to maintain.
  • It should be long lasting.
  • It should be easy to recycle and eventually be biodegradable (becoming a resource from which new materials can grow).
  • The working conditions during manufacturing should be good and workers' rights respected.

The following elements of a home need to be considered while getting eco friendly products and materials for its construction and refurbishment -

  1. Floors
    Flooring is subject to more stringent demands than any other surface. Floors collect a lot of dust and can be a source of dirt. A healthy floor is a clean floor irrespective of the materials used. There are a lot of environmentally friendly flooring options available now-a-days to match interior styles and budget.
    These include - timber, natural rubber, cork, linoleum, stone tiles, bamboo, organic carpets.
  2. Walls
    Walls are the largest surface area in any space. Environmentally friendly wall coverings add impact, character and texture. Eco paints keep the house toxins free to create healthier living space. The surface and textures of a wall affect a space by their ability to radiate heat in and out of the room, their ability to absorb or reflect the light and their acoustic quality.
    The following wall finishes can be used in environmentally friendly houses - lime plaster, natural paints, eco wallpaper, cork and linoleum, recycled plastic, wood cladding, Ceramic tiles, recycled composites.
  3. Surfaces
    The different surfaces in a home, specially the ones in kitchen and bathroom, have a crucial role to play. Along with look and feel of these surfaces, it is important to consider the durability, ease of maintenance, toxic content and recycling options.
    These surfaces are good for use in eco homes - timber, stainless steel, bamboo, natural stone, mosaics, glass stone.
  4. Fabrics
    As a decorative, functional and insulating material fabrics are an important part of any interior. But their production makes a huge environmental impact, specially in terms of the chemicals used and the water consumed.
    Examples of eco fabrics are organic cotton, organic wool, linen, felt, hemp, recycled textiles.
  5. Furniture
    There is a wide range of eco furniture styles available in the market now-a-days. When buying furniture ensure that the materials with which furniture is made - wood, metal, fabric, plastic, adhesives and finishes are also eco friendly and follow the 3Rs of reduce, reuse and recycle.
    Visit eco furniture to know more about different aspects of furniture, which does not cause environmental pollution in its manufacture, transport, use and after-use.
  6. Lighting
    Using maximum natural light, lowering the lighting consumption and using energy efficient lighting fixtures, can make significant cuts on the total energy needs of a home. Less energy consuming lighting fixtures include compact fluorescent tubes (CFLs), light emitting diodes (LEDs), halogens, fluorescent tubes.
    See energy efficient lighting for further details on the use of eco lighting in energy efficient homes.
  7. Appliances
    Using energy efficient appliances can significantly reduce the energy consumption in your house. They are an automatic extension of the eco homes and eco lifestyle. The latest efficient appliances consume so much less energy that sometimes it is advisable to discard old inefficient models and get these ones. These may be more expensive to buy initially, but this will be offset by saving in energy consumption.
    Please visit energy efficient appliances for detailed information.

By using eco friendly products you ensure that they come form a sustainable source. And when you are finished using them, they can either be recycled or will easily degrade.

The eco friendly products are not only beneficial for humans but also for the environment. If we realize the significance of using these products in our homes, our planet green will definitely become a cleaner, greener and more beautiful place to live.

Go to Eco Homes hub page Eco Homes;
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Sushil Wadhwa

Sushil Wadhwa
Architect, Interior Designer, creator of Homes and Interiors... more.