You probably already read food labels, stay on top of check-ups, and avoid unhealthy behaviors all in an attempt to give your children the best possible health advantage. You also probably have given a lot of thought to your children's rooms, picking out a fun theme, organizing the toys, and giving in to one or two slightly over-the-top design choices. If you combine the two areas of focus: health and home design—you've come up with the basis for eco-design.
What is Eco-Chic?
Style is nothing without substance—in your home you want your colors to coordinate and your personal style to shine through, but most of all you want the furniture and accessories to serve your family with a good place to sleep, eat, and relax. Most people when decorating only think about these two factors though, and never consider a third—the health factor. "It doesn't matter what the color of your walls look like. If they are emitting toxic chemicals into the air you breathe the paint can't be good." says Bernadette Upton, ASID, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certified Professional, and interior designer in southern Florida. Specializing in what is known as "eco-friendly design," Upton's company, Eco Décor, is a resource for all things environmentally and family friendly.
"Eco-friendly design is really a two-fold process," explains Upton. "First, it is environmentally friendly, meaning that the products are not depleting or harming the environment in the manufacturing or use of the product. Secondly it is user-friendly, because it is also focused on creating a healthy, usable space." Many of these products are also produced in socially responsible ways, meaning workers are not exploited, child labor is discouraged, and native peoples have not been displaced.
When it comes to decorating it is definitely possible to have it all—you don't have to sacrifice style for safety and you certainly don't have to give up functionality by going "green." Here are 10 simple ways to easily go eco.