Eco-Friendly Products for Every Room of the House
From faucets to lighting fixtures, and appliances to bed spreads, if you are remodeling or building a home this year these are just a few of the selections you will be making during the construction process.
Choosing environmentally friendly products may be of interest to you. "Green Building" isn't just for commercial development, in fact 2014 is going to see everything from more environmentally friendly interior design products emerging into the market, to zero net energy homes.
Choosing environmentally friendly products for your home is about choosing products that are made in a responsible manner, as locally as possible, and which will withstand the test of time. And it turns out being "green" doesn't mean you have to sacrifice fashion - at least most of the time, after all I have yet to find a way to make solar panels look pretty.
So let us review some of our "finds" for 2014 green products:
Beam Electrolux Central Air Vacuum
This product featured in the most January 2014 issue of GreenBuilder magazine. It also happens to be in the VISION House Tucson, which made its debut last month. Simple, yet sophisticated, this quiet, lightweight design it will reduce indoor air pollution, making it ideal for the environmentally conscious consumer.
For the Bedrooms
Linens & Things
It is possible to look good and sleep good in the bedroom with furniture and fabrics that are eco-friendly. Start with the Buden Bed from Viesso. These beds are American made, made to order, and crafted from sustainable materials. The finishes are VOC friendly too.
Then you can top it off with some organic bedding from Gaiam.
If you are looking for more ideas, we found some at HGTV.
For the Kitchen & Bath
There are a number of manufacturers that can build eco-friendly cabinetry for your kitchen and bath. Just one of them is Executive Cabinetry. They are the only manufacturer to hold the GREENGAURD rating.
They combine the style clients want, with sophisticated designs that busy kitchens need today. And you get the added benefit of NAF plywood, made in America, and no VOC finishes.
For the Floor Covering
Reclaimed Wood Flooring
Reclaimed Wood flooring never seems to go out of fashion. It is environmentally friendly because the wood is salvaged from old barns and factories, not new trees. And many reclaimed flooring materials are certified by the Forestry Stewardship Council, which makes them desirable for LEED projects.
The antique wood flooring industry has been in a slightly decline in recent years, but that doesn't mean it is not available. In fact, with the right, reliable wood flooring supplier, you can choose from a variety of species. Reclaimed wood flooring will bring a floor rich in color and character, that you won't find in newly milled flooring, and they have over a hundred years of history in their fibers, which means you have a beautiful floor, and a great story for company. Just make sure you like all the character that comes with a reclaimed floor, because you can't "grade out" nail holes and cracks, it is all part of the beauty of the floor.
For Energy Efficiency
According to a SunShot Vision Study the amount of solar energy falling on the United States in one hour of noontime sun is nearly equal to the annual electricity demand of the entire United States. Talk about an untapped resource.
So solar power remains a popular, albeit expensive update to many homes. But many states now have incentives, rebates and other programs to support this initiative. You can visit the Clean Energy Authority website to browse info by state. And in some areas you can even lease your solar energy, and still experience some cost saving benefits.
Watch this video from SolarWorld to learn about how solar energy can benefit your home.
The Smart House
It is the era of "Smart" house, the well-connected and automated home. And it is not just for safety anymore. Now you can control your oven, your washer and dryer, and your home heating with the touch of a button on your smart phone.
Appliances from companies like LG can use a HomeChat program to keep owners in control of and informed of their activities.
And mobile apps like BaseN, make it possible to monitor and control many functions in your home no matter where you are.
If you are building a new home, it is much easier to incorporate home automation into your design - be sure to work closely with your builder and architect to design the right system and set up.
If you live in an existing home, or are doing some remodeling, that could be more of a challenge. Control4 has some ideas that might be work checking out.
If you are looking for more ways to conserve, visit the Natural Resources Defense Council website for some helpful tips.