Making your home reflect your environmentally friendly attitude can be tricky when everything you want to buy is made by river poisoning slave-like labor industries in countries with little or no environmental regulation. Fair trade goods might be beyond your budget, but that doesn’t make it better, so what can you do? For a start you can recycle and grow your decorations instead of buying inorganic stuff that will clutter up a landfill one day. Think recyclable.
##Anything Made of Glass##
Glass is my favorite thing on this list. It can be practical and beautiful and it’s one of the only things that is completely and indefinitely recyclable. It can be used for everything from food containers, to wind-chimes, to windows, to tables, to vases, to elaborate art. It’s indefinitely recyclable, non-reactive, and has no adverse effects on the environment. The only thing to consider is that you don’t want to have a lot of fragile glass things around if you have small children in the house.
Growing plants inside your home has fallen out of fashion with the advent of imitation plastic, but there are definite benefits to having some real plants growing out of your pots. Having live plants helps to regulate the humidity level inside your home. You can get nice planters, pots, and hanging baskets at any garden decor shop. For an added eco benefit you can use compost recycled from your food waste to plant your new vegetation.
Plant some Ivy at the base of your walls and let it creep up along your walls. Besides making your house look nice and green it will also help to insulate your house. Ivy tends to prefer shade and moisture, however once it’s established it won’t be going anywhere and you don’t have to look after it much except to trim it now and then. Wear gloves when trimming it, however, because the juices can irritate your skin.
If you put in a little extra effort, with the right flowers and some berry bushes, or even a decorative bird feeder, you can attract some friends to bring life and color to your garden.
You can make new paper out of just about any old fibrous materials. Scrounge together old newspapers, cloth scraps, saw dust, and even food waste like corn husks, nut shells or that nasty wheat bran that’s been collecting dust in your cabinet for 4 years. Some stuff will work better than others, but failure is half the fun. Rip it up as small as it’ll go, then blend it with some water and keep it going till it’s nice and smooth. Then just spread it out in a frame and press till it’s dry enough to separate and leave it to dry on its own. Follow the earlier link for more detailed instructions. Home-made paper can redefine the concept of a home-made thank you card and adds personality to anything you happen to write on it. My favorite part is getting others to guess what I made it out of by examining the little flecks of color in the paper.