Going green this year? From making the switch to plastic-free beauty products to going vegan, there are a lot of different ways you can tread a little lighter on the earth. You can even transform your home into a green living space. Not sure where to start? We’ve got you covered! Below, we’ve listed some of the most eco-friendly decorating tips for your home.

Replace Air Fresheners with Natural Candles

Aerosol sprays are not great for your indoor air quality, let alone the environment. Filled with harmful chemicals and synthetic fragrances, most plug-in air fresheners and spray cans cause more harm than good. So instead, make the switch to something more sustainable and natural like soy-based candles or reed diffusers that are non-toxic and without lead, plastic wrapping, parabens, phthalates or synthetic dyes. Choose a natural soy-based candle to work at home remotely or a candle for your bathroom or bedroom to unwind after a long day. Reed diffusers that smell like a Beach Cottage can also give you the escape you need. Whatever fragrance you choose, make it an eco-friendly scent made with natural essential oils.

Install Energy-Efficient Lighting and Appliances

Installing energy-efficient lighting and appliances is one step you can take to create a more eco-friendly home. It’s not just about switching incandescents with LED bulbs. You can also choose a lighting fixture like a lamp, chandelier, refrigerator or dishwasher that is Energy Star rated. This will not only consume less energy and reduce your dependency on water and fossil fuels but will cut your utility bills in half. Of course, if you can install a smart home thermostat or smart home electronics, it can learn your habits and cut down on energy consumption too.

Shop Secondhand or Vintage

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One way to create an eco-friendly home is to simply reduce your waste. And one of the best ways to do so is to shop secondhand. Instead of buying brand-new furniture or decor from big box stores, take a more patient approach and shop around. You may not find exactly what you are looking for right away, but by setting up alerts through online sites like Craigslist, OfferUp and Facebook Marketplace, you can keep one more item out of the landfills.

Choose Decor Made from Sustainable Resources

One of the best eco-friendly decor tips for your home is to choose items and products that are made from natural, sustainable resources. While you might already cut plastic from your kitchen, it’s also good to cut plastic everywhere else too. For example, when you choose decor, furniture and textiles designed from sustainable resources, it reduces our global dependency on petroleum-based products. Think hemp upholstery furniture or organic cotton sheets and curtains. Just about anything you can imagine has a sustainable counterpart that you can use instead.

Install Thermal Blackout Curtains

Blackout curtains do more than help you sleep in or block out the streetlamps. If you choose a thermal blackout curtain, they can also maintain your home’s temperature. In the winter, they can keep heat from escaping through windows. In the summer, they can block the sun, keeping your home or specific rooms cooler without having to crank up the air conditioner. You don’t have to settle for unattractive thermal curtains either. Many can simply be installed directly behind your decorative drapes. It’s that easy!

Shop Local Artisans and Materials

Choosing eco-friendly decor sometimes comes down to your global footprint. Typically, the furniture and decor we purchase comes with history and, often made overseas, takes enormous amounts of energy to create and ship. However, when you choose to shop from local artisans and crafts makers and take advantage of local resources, then you cut your carbon footprint down significantly. Whether it’s a set of hand-thrown plates or mugs from a local potter or a handcrafted dining table and chairs, shopping local is good for the earth.

Use Low-VOC Paints

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Painting the walls gives our home a splash of color, but it’s important to be mindful of the type of paint that you use. Most paints are chock-full of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can affect your home’s indoor air quality and cause short- and long-term health issues from headaches to respiratory conditions. Instead, look for low- or zero-VOC emission paints for a more eco-friendly home. And remember: These VOCs can be found in just about anything from wallpapers to stains and more. If you’re not certain if there are VOCs, check the ingredients and avoid chemicals like formaldehyde, d-Limonene, toluene, acetone, and ethanol.

Keep a Few Houseplants Around

Speaking of VOC’s, if you accidentally bring in furniture or decor with some harmful toxins, let your houseplants do the work of cleaning your air. Plants convert carbon dioxide to oxygen and ultimately purifier your indoor air, making it cleaner. While how fast the plants take effect is still up for debate, it doesn’t hurt to keep a few houseplants in each room. Plus, bringing the greenery inside demonstrates how much you care for the earth and all its inhabitants. What’s the best indoor houseplants that put out the most oxygen? Spider plants, philodendrons and English ivy are fairly easy even for those without a green thumb.

Create the Eco-Friendly Home of Your Dreams

We hope these eco-friendly decorating tips help you create the green-friendly home of your dreams. Just remember to be mindful of the decor items and materials you choose and stick to the basic principles of recycling, upcycling and buying local to support your community. Follow these decorating tips and, at the end of the day, your home will be more sustainable and beautiful inside and out.

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