Eco-Shiek...Green Decorating Vol. 1

What does it mean to decorate green? Well this is a complicated question but first I would say your first step should be the basic three R's - Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle

Recycle - donate, give it away, or use Craigs List to sell or give away. Keep useful goods out of over-flowing garbage dumps with Excess Access which links donations of business and household items with the wish lists of nearby nonprofits. This is one of many ways to recycle. Refer to Martha Stewart's list of 100 Reasons to Get Rid of It for anything from recycling furniture to cell phones.

Reuse - can you reuse it in a different room, for a different purpose, paint it or say reface? Buy from a salvage yard or products made out of reclaimed wood, metal, plastic. Anything antique is green. Shop consignment stores, which aren't just used furniture. Consignment stores also get model home furniture and samples from furniture shows or showroom floors. Don't throw away small amounts of paint. Look at the colors you have and mix them to come up with a different shade of paint. OR, use small amounts to do color blocking, paint designs, or paint an accent wall or trim. Basically, keep it out of the landfills.

Reduce - "Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful." -William Morris. If you don't love it, don't buy it. Keep it simple and make wise decisions. Do you have loads of stuff that you don't love or don't need? Are you saying to your self...it was gift, my kids made it or won it, or I inherited it from grandma? I personally have a one year rule...if 'I don't believe it to be beautiful or useful' it's OK to get rid of it after a year and let if go to a new home. Or let's face it...sometimes it's just time to "retire" it.

All in all, don't be wasteful, teach your children to do the same and be a role model to others.

Shop Locally
Choose products for your home that can be bought local or buy products manufactured within 500 miles or less. If it comes from China, you're using a lot more energy getting it to your house than if you chose something made just down the road.

Shop Smart
Many companies offer green products from carpet and paint to furniture and tchotchkes that are made from recycled products. Be a smart shopper and be aware.

More Resources
Domino Magazine 2008 Green List
Suite 101 - Green Decorating Articles
Reduce Reuse Recycle
Wholehoue Building Suppy & Salavage

The Furniture Man - Santa Cruz
Low Impact Living

Look for future articles on Eco Shiek. There's so much to tackle.

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