Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
How you can make a positive change through eco-friendly design, sustainable choices, and smarter decorating decisions in your home.
Somehow, at some point, stress creeped its way into my life and became a “normal” part of my being. It took me a long while to recognize and admit it to myself or the worried people around me that something in my life was off. For years I have been immersed in my work and my career with little to no regard for the way I was living my life, how much I lacked sustainability and purpose and how much I allowed the hectic modern world to weigh me down.
But then I decided to make a change. I’m kind of sad to say that this change was a long time coming, and it was only until the stress and the anxiety jeopardized my mental and physical health that I finally realized that a change was necessary. To do this, I first took a look at my living environment and…
I realized that my personal space was not conducive to long-term wellbeing. Not spiritually, not mentally, and definitely not physically.
I’m here today to share my story of how I made a positive change through eco-friendly design, sustainable choices, and smarter decorating decisions in my home. Take the following tips to heart, and you too might transform your life for the better, as well.
Build a Foundation of Positivity
Everyone needs to start somewhere, and that’s the most difficult part. I’ve found that by observing my home as a space with many layers, I’m able to break apart the design and work on introducing small but significant changes. First, I started with what I call the foundation — the foundational color scheme and the accents that are close to the walls, like curtains, windowsills, and the like.
These are the elements that we tend to overlook when decorating our homes, but I’ve quickly realized that these elements allows the rest of the design to come to life, so I needed to deal with it first. The color scheme for me was the most important part. I’m not saying that you need to choose a neutral palette, but this is what really allowed me to liberate the space and create a much-needed sense of calm. I choose pure white walls, off-white curtains, and earthy tones to regain my connection with Mother Earth.
Create a Mindful Sanctuary in Your Home
Everyone deserves to have their own private space at home. Whether your family consists of you and your pets, you and your soulmate, or you and a bunch of kids, everyone should be able to retreat to their little safe haven from time to time. A space that’s just yours. The space can be decorated in an eco-conscious way, with greenery, sustainable materials, and decorated with items from local shops and artists.
This doesn’t have to be a grand room in your house, it just needs to be your own little mindful sanctuary where you can practice some healthy habits. Whether it’s a reading nook in the corner, a little room for yoga and meditation, or even your own bedroom tailored to your liking, be sure to create a personal sanctuary where you can escape the troubles of the outside world.
Introduce Peace and Comfort with Natural Rugs
It took me years to realize this, but my feet are always tense. The tension I felt for so long was always something I considered to be a side effect of stress, work, and my hectic schedule, and I wasn’t wrong. However, in my attempt to create a healthier living environment, I quickly realized that our feet can have a big impact on our emotional and psychological wellbeing. Then I realized that I am torturing my feet by having bare wooden floors, and a ridiculously hard stone floor in the kitchen.
I decided to add some rugs in my home… honestly, the best decision I ever made. But I wanted organic and sustainable materials, not synthetic rugs. It took some research, but I found that some of the eco-friendliest rugs come from New Zealand, known for their wool and other sustainable materials.
I ordered several wool rugs and a couple of jute rugs, and now I’m almost always walking on a soft, warm surface in my home. You can take a look at the MissAmara rug collection where I found eco-friendly rugs in neutral tones made by local artisans, which I think is a great way to support local communities in general.
Long story short, by layering rugs in my home, I have finally given my feet the rest and relaxation they were craving for so long, and that has directly impacted my psychological wellbeing. Try it yourself, you won’t regret it.
Use Sustainable Materials and Eliminate Plastics
Rugs are not the only eco-friendly things in my home. For one, I have committed myself to more conscious consumption, and have all but eliminated plastics from my life. It’s not just about using sustainable materials in your home, it’s also about your lifestyle choices.
I choose to live in a biophilic home, meaning that I have plenty of greenery and natural materials like bamboo, hemp, and salvaged wood in my décor now. I also choose to cut unhealthy materials from my life, and most importantly for me right now, I buy things for my home from local businesses that support fair trade, eco-friendly practices, and more.
Design and Live with a Mindset of Conservation
In our modern lives, we waste a lot of water and energy through our daily activities. I never really paid much attention to my energy or water bill before, as it never occurred to me that I need to consume less of those resources, because the bills were never that high. But then I realized that it’s not about the money.
This is about the environment, how we’re treating the world around us and ultimately, it’s about our own mental and spiritual wellbeing. It took me a while and many steps to achieve it, but I now have energy-efficient appliances, I have faucet aerators everywhere, energy-efficient LED lighting, and energy-efficient power strips.
Over to You
These shifts may not sound dramatic, but they have made a powerful impact on my life and on my home. Life is obviously a journey filled with ups and downs, and for a long time it seemed that I was on a slippery slope. However, through some positive changes in my living environment, I was able to build a solid and healthy foundation in my life. Ultimately, I believe that these choices will have a positive impact on individuals and the world, and I invite you to make these changes yourself so that we can fight climate change together and conserve natural resources, while boosting your own health and happiness.
You may also enjoy reading Shift Your Space, Shift Your Energy: Decorating Guidelines for Feng Shui, by Emma Williams