Sustainability. We hear it all the time. It has become a trend to be “green.” But why is it important to stay green as an interior designer and what does that look like? I am here to give you a few tips to help out along the journey to saving the planet. (Well trying at least)
Why do we care?
- The climate of the world is changing. The climate of the world is always changing but the amount of CO2 as a world we are releasing is at an all time high and it speeding up the process. And we are especially bad in the U.S. The average temperature of the world has increased by 1.4 degrees fahrenheit since 1880.
- U.S. buildings account for 65 percent of electricity consumption, 36 percent of energy use and 30 percent of greenhouse gas emissions from around the world.
- The US makes up less than 5% of the global population,yet we use 25% of the world’s fossil fuel resources.
- House sizes have been going up since 1970. The average size of a household used to be 1,500 square feet and not it is an average of 2,185 square feet. The number of people per household has gone down as well, from 3.1 to 2.6 persons.
What can we do try and help?
- Sustainable design! What is sustainable design? Thomas Jefferson sustainability council said, “Our responsibility to proceed in a way that will sustain life that will allow our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren to live comfortably in a friendly, clean, and healthy world.”
- Lighting – using ENERGY STAR approved lighting will save money in the long run and energy. CFL lightbulbs are important. They are florescent bulbs designed to replace incandescent lights and use significantly less energy than regular light bulbs.
- Use recycled material – U.S. buildings account for 30 percent of raw material use. There is plenty of material that is able to be recycled into new products, maybe not to build a new building but maybe to build a table.
- Don’t be too trendy – It is important to not be too trendy to where a new design will be out of style in a few years. Trend pieces are great accents that can be switched out more easily than an integrated structural design.
We can all do our part in making the world a healthier place. Let’s start with design.