The use of eco-friendly products, is an important step towards protecting our environment. “Creating an environmentally-friendly living space, is all about recognising and minimising the harmful effects of our choices on the ecosystem. There is surely a positive trend nowadays, as consumer demand for eco-friendly décor accessories is on the rise,” says Shibani Jain, CEO and founder of Baaya Design.
There are several ways, in which home owners can improve their home’s décor, by using eco-friendly methods. For the walls, “Beautiful Warli paintings, which is painted with rice powder and gum mixture, with cow dung as the base for the background, can be used. Instead of using chemical synthetic paints, Lipankaam is a natural substitute. River clay and mirror work, which also uses camel dung, can also be used to give your home a very ethnic look,” adds Jain.
For your furniture
Bamboo, cane, river grass and other natural products are eco-friendly and light to use. ‘Murha’ stools, made of cane and bamboo, serve the dual purpose of providing livelihood for skilled artisans and are eco-friendly. While reupholstering furniture, opt for natural fabrics, silk or bamboo-based fabrics. Bamboo is a cost-effective and sustainable material for homes. Try and procure wood from demolished building and use it for window and door frames.
Reuse of waste and eco-friendly materials, to make utility and decorative products, is known as ‘up-cycling’. Reuse and recycle is in vogue the world over, says Preeti Gupta of Aranya Earthcraft, an eco-friendly design house in Delhi. “One can make a table lamp out of pet bottles or used wine bottles. A coffee table can be made, out of an old computer cabinet, while an old monitor can be converted into a book rack. Similarly, a set of table and chair, can be made out of scrap metal and papier mâché; a garden bench can be made out of construction waste; a miniature sculpture can be made out of waste and eco-friendly materials,” suggests Gupta, who started Aranya Earthcraft along with her husband, Vivek Prasad.
“Government, as well as non-profit organisations, are putting in a lot of effort, to make such products more visible in the market. So, today, it is easier to find green décor alternatives for one’s home,” maintains Gupta.
Eco-friendly décor tips for home owners
- Opt for doormats made of coconut coir and carpets and bags made from jute, which are biodegradable materials. You can also choose carpets made from natural fibres, such as wool, silk, cotton, or jute.
- Opt for furniture made of water hyacinth river grass, bamboo and banana bark.
- For bed covers, choose cotton and other natural materials and naturally dyed products, instead of chemical colours.
- Opt for earthen water jugs (which also keeps the water cool), stone products (black pottery) cooking on gas and serving food.
- Use earthen pots to grow plants, instead of plastic ones.
- For table mats, use Shital Patti and Madhur Kathi reed mats that are hand-woven.
- Replace plastic kitchen utensils and boxes, with wooden and metal ones.
- At home, opt for lamps made of coconut fibre and shells. Use LED bulbs, which are energy efficient.
- During festivals, light oil diyas, instead of candles and electric diyas. Petroleum-based candles release toxins, while burning.
- Use handmade napkins, instead of disposable ones.
- Use photo frames crafted of papier mâché.
Recycle and reuse
- Attractive old sarees and dupattas, with embroidery and brocades, can be used to make cushion covers and table covers.
- An old trunk painted in a bright colour, can be used as a centre table.
- Reuse glass bottles and jars to create utility and decorative items, such as light holders, vases and the base for a lampshade.
For eco-friendly décor, check out:
Aranya Earthcraft (Delhi)
Cane stools: Rs 2,000 to 3,000
Black pottery: Rs 3,000 to 4,000
Baskets: Rs 1,500 to 2,500
Warli paintings: Rs 12,000 to 13,000
Credit for header image: Baaya Design