Use Eco-Friendly, Sustainable Design to Improve your Life | Erikka Fogleman | Skillshare

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Use Eco-Friendly, Sustainable Design to Improve your Life

teacher avatar Erikka Fogleman, Interior Designer

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

30 Lessons (3h 22m)
    • 1. Introduction and Course Overview

    • 2. 3 Easy Ways to Incorporate Green Interior Design into Your Home Today

    • 3. Why Should We Care About Eco-Friendly, Sustainable Design?

    • 4. Eco-Friendly vs. Sustainable Interior Design – Yes, They are Different

    • 5. Main Principles of Eco-Friendly, Sustainable Interior Design

    • 6. Quiz - Test your Eco-Friendly Smarts!

    • 7. Power/Energy: Affordable Upgrades

    • 8. Power/Energy: Costlier Upgrades that Pack a Punch

    • 9. Make Water-Wise Choices

    • 10. Harness your Natural Lighting

    • 11. Maximize your Artificial Lighting

    • 12. Identify Current and Future Green Upgrades for Your Home

    • 13. Let's Talk Indoor Air Quality

    • 14. Green Finishes for Your Floors

    • 15. Green Finishes for Your Walls

    • 16. Green Finishes for Your Kitchen and Bathrooms

    • 17. Green Options for Your Fireplace

    • 18. Green Furnishings: Furniture

    • 19. Green Furnishings: Textiles

    • 20. Green Furnishings: Accessories

    • 21. Green Vendors You Should Know About

    • 22. Social Responsibility in Interior Design

    • 23. Upcycling, Repurposing and Recycling

    • 24. Buy Used and Buy Local

    • 25. Create Your Own Eco-Friendly, Sustainable Design Plan

    • 26. LEED and Other Green Certifications/Accreditations

    • 27. The Importance of our Role

    • 28. To the Trade Green Vendors

    • 29. Final Thoughts

    • 30. Bonus Lecture

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About This Class

Do you want to learn what elements make a home eco-friendly and sustainable?

Are you interested in making changes to your home to make it more eco-friendly and sustainable?

Are you a design professional who wants to learn how to incorporate this hot design movement into your own business?

If you answered with a resounding "yes!" to any of these questions, then this will be a great course for you!  Eco-friendly, sustainable design is a rapidly evolving area of interior design with so many choices available today.  For the average consumer, it can be incredibly overwhelming.  My goal with this course, is to break it all down for you so that you can create your own eco-friendly dream home at your own pace.  

By the end of this class, you will be able to:

  • Use 3 Easy Ways to Incorporate Green Interior Design into Your Home Today
  • Understand why Eco-Friendly, Sustainable Design is More Important than Ever
  • Explain the Difference Between the Terms, "Eco-Friendly" and "Sustainable"
  • Articulate the Main Principles of Eco-Friendly, Sustainable Interior Design
  • Implement Affordable and Higher End Upgrades to improve Your Energy Efficiency
  • Implement Easy Ways to improve Your Water Efficiency
  • Maximize your Natural and Artificial Lighting in an Eco-Friendly Way
  • Improve Your Indoor Air Quality
  • Understand the Green Finishes and Furnishings Available for Your Home and Where to Source Them
  • If You're a Professional, You Will Learn About Green Professional Certifications and Green Trade-Only Vendors

This is a great course for all levels of individuals who are interested in learning more about green interior design, and more importantly, how they can easily incorporate these principles into their own homes.  It’s also an ideal course for design professionals who want to learn how to incorporate green design into their own business.   I've also included a bonus lecture that will show you other easy ways to "green" your home and your life.

Please join me as I help you to navigate the rapidly evolving world of eco-friendly, sustainable interior design!

Important Note:  Please be aware that this course, nor any of my courses, is not intended to provide all of the knowledge needed to become a professional interior designer.  As with any professional field, there is a significant amount of education and/or experience that is needed to achieve competency in this field.  My intention with these courses is to provide some solid foundational knowledge to assist either those individuals interested in "DIY" interior design to work on their own projects more effectively, or to provide supplemental education to both interior design students and professionals.

Meet Your Teacher

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Erikka Fogleman

Interior Designer


While Interior design is my main career and passion, I also absolutely love to teach others, so I am thrilled to have found Skillshare so that I can share that passion and knowledge with others just like you.

Are you a design enthusiast yourself?

Do you wish you could design rooms in your own home that are both beautiful and functional?

Do you wonder how interior designers make it look so effortless?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you are my ideal student!

Through my classes, I show you how many areas of interior design can be broken down into simple-to-use processes and formulas. In every class, I share some of my favorite processes and formulas so that you can be successful in creating beautiful and functional rooms all on you... See full profile

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1. Introduction and Course Overview: - Hi , I'm Erica Fogelman, and I am so excited to welcome you to my specialized course on ICO friendly and sustainable interior design. Truly a class for the 21st century. Never has ICO friendly sustainable design also commonly referred to as green design, been more popular for more important than it is today. Nearly everyone I know, whether it's a friend, a family member, a client or fellow designer, they all want to make better choices for their homes. And by better, I am referring to choices that are more energy efficient, more stay nable for our environment or simply safer for the help of themselves and for their family members. But they also don't want to break the bank when they do this. Many people who have looked into Mawr ego friendly options for their homes, particularly in past years, have been dismayed at how much more expensive thes green choices are, but thankfully, that has really started to change. Increased demand, coupled with improved technology and manufacturing processes and practices, means that we're starting to see prices really calm down in many areas of green design, and I and others expect this positive trend two on Lee continues. Additionally, because green design is so in right now, lots of really cool designers are jumping on the green bandwagon, designing pieces that are both gorgeous and ego friendly. Today's marketplace of green and sustainable items is really quite fantastic. Do you have everything from eco friendly paints and woods to organic fabrics and materials in beautiful colors and finishes? So do not feel that you have to sacrifice style in order to be green because you definitely do not. Now it may take a bit more work on your part to source the most sustainable item that you can't afford. So for me, the effort is completely worth it. So there is no time like the present to educate yourself on how you can create a more ego friendly, sustainable home, regardless of your motivations. To that end, I have created this course, which is chock full of detailed information related to all areas of this rapidly growing field. We will cover everything from how you can make easy green choices for your home in the areas of energy, water and lighting To ward detailed conversations on how you can improve your indoor air quality by selecting Geico friendly, sustainable furnishings and finishes. Now, if you're a professional interior designer, you and I will spend some time chatting about why you should really become educated in this area if you have not already done so, and I will also share with you some of the best ways that you can further educate and more importantly, differentiate yourself through some fantastic accreditations and certifications available to interior design professionals today. As an interior design professional myself, I know how valuable these accreditations and certifications can be, and my goal today is to inspire you to look into them yourself and decide whether or not this makes sense for your own business. So speaking of businesses, for those of you who have not taken any of my other courses, I want you to know that interior design is both my profession and my passion through my own interior design business. I am so fortunate to be able to work with clients to help them create their dream homes. And through online teaching, I'm able to share my passion for interior design and my knowledge with you. So thank you very much for joining me in this course and in my other courses as well. If you've already done so, all that said just a couple of words of caution regarding this particular course first, because I'm going to be sharing lots of great ideas with you on how you can have a more ego friendly, sustainable home. I am sure that many of you will want to immediately start implementing these ideas, some of which are quite affordable, but some of which are quite expensive. So please know, though, that you do not in any way have to scrap your entire home and start from scratch. After all, not only would that be incredibly expensive, but ironically, it would not be very green. It's going to be so much better for you to think about this as a phased approach as you are ready to make changes to your home. That then, will be the ideal time to make me more ego friendly, sustainable choices for your homes. Also, as I mentioned, green design is really hot right now that has been rapidly evolving over the last several years, and I don't see the slowing down any time soon. My point is that newer and better products and technologies will continue to arrive on the marketplace. So in some cases it made benefit you to wait on making your selection, if you can. Of course, as I'm confident that materials and products will only continue to get better and better from both a sustainability and from a cost standpoint. Second, throughout this class, I'm going to be sharing quite a bit of information with you about the concern and the safety of various products and materials commonly used today in all areas of interior design. Please know that I am not a scientist, but rather than I researched this information to be best of my abilities. That said, it's really important for you to do your own research and make up your own mind about how you feel about these products being in your home or when we're specifying them for your clients. Additionally, as I share information throughout this class based on my own research, it may become easy to feel overwhelmed by the claims of toxicity related to the many chemicals and products using our homes. Today, Michael is not to create anxiety. Please know that, but simply to educate you enough to create a starting point for you to do your own research . Should you desire to know more about these particular topics? Okay, that said, let's go ahead and dive right into the exciting and rapidly evolving world of eco friendly , sustainable interior design. 2. 3 Easy Ways to Incorporate Green Interior Design into Your Home Today: If you've taken any of my other courses, you know that I always want to provide you with some quick, valuable information as early as possible. In the course, this class is no different. So in this lecture, I want to share with you three very easy ways to incorporate green interior design into your home today and the best part. Each of these suggestions is not only ego friendly, but each one will also help to elevate the interior design of your home from a ness Thet IQ standpoint. So you really have nothing to lose. Additionally, I think this lecture is particularly helpful because even though throughout this course I will be provided you with many different ways in which you could incorporate green design into your home, you will find that some of the options are fairly expensive and fairly involved. So this lecture, then, is a nice respite for you. It's an easy way to make a positive impact in your home for now, a lot of effort and not a lot of money. So let's get to it now. My first and my favorite suggestion for you is to incorporate plants as the core into your interior design. Did you know that plans are one of the most effective ways to improve your indoor air quality? And as you learn later in this course, air quality is a significant concern throughout the entire world. Plants, as you may know, not only breathe in carbon dioxide and converted to oxygen, but they also absorbed many of the harmful pollutants and toxins in our home, acting as excellent natural air filters. Some of the best plants for their air filtering abilities include the Peace Lily, spider Plant, English ivy arcana, Boston Fern, snake plant, bamboo palm, Chinese evergreen fighters, Benjamin Aena, Allah Vera. And for those of you who love flowers, try gerbera daisies. And if you've taken any of my other classes, you might remember me talking about how important greenery is to your overall design. It's imperative it's imperative, in my opinion. And if you look through any design magazine or walk into any model home, I can almost guarantee you that you will see plants included in the design. There's a reason why this is plants not only visually softening room, adding texture and dimension, but they also appeal to us on a primal level by bringing the outdoors in and, as a result, often helped to create a calm, relaxed environment. And who doesn't love that? Now? I have previously stated that high end some plants are just fine to use instead, if you have a black thumb. But of course, if you want to use plans to improve your air quality, obviously only the rial variety will do. However, even if you have a black thumb, you should know that some of these plants on this list are extremely hardy, even for the blackest of thumbs. These include spider plants, snake plants and Allah Vera. So what are you waiting for? If you haven't already, go down to your favorite local nursery today and add one or two lovely air filtration plants toe every main room of your home. Now let's go ahead and move on to my second easy suggestion for making an ICO friendly change to your home today, and that suggestion is this. Purchase and install some thermal lined curtains or drapes, or even just install some thermal liners to your existing curtains or drapes first. Let's talk the aesthetics if you currently do not have any curtains or drapes on in the main living spaces of your home. Think your living room, your dining room, your bedroom that now is the time to consider it. Drapes or curtains like plants will instantly soften your space. They allow you to repeat a color or a pattern in your room, and they add texture, dimension and visual interest. Drapes can also be used to draw attention to a fantastic view that you may have right outside your home and was so many different colors, patterns and fabrics available today. Drapes and curtains work with nearly any interior design style of a home and the decor, in my opinion, that is reason enough to include them in your design. But now let's talk about the ego friendly benefits for your home. If you're trying to keep out extreme temperatures, whether it be heat or cold than thermal, insulated drapes are a must. More specifically, by installing thermal line drapes on the windows of your home that receive the most direct sunlight throughout the day and then pulling them close on those really hot summer days provided, of course, that you have a light backing you condemn, definitely help to keep out some of the most intense heat, some say by as much as 33%. Conversely, drawing your thermal lined curtains and pulling down your shades immediately after dusk or when it's really cold outside can help to reduce the heat. Lost any home by possibly as much as 25% provided that you have the curtains hanging close to your window, that they completely cover the window and that they are hung as close to sealing as possible. Furthermore, thermal lined curtains or drapes can be purchased at all price points from MAWR. Affordable options at stores like Target Bed Bath and Beyond and Wayfair dot com all the way to higher quality custom made drapes from your local straight, very shopper work room. The bottom line is that there is an option for energy efficient curtains or drapes for everybody. Now, if you love your existing curtains or drapes, then please please do not replace them just to buy new thermal line drapes. There is another solution for you. Just go ahead and purchase a thermal liner toe. Hang behind them, just like with the thermal line curtains and drapes. There are many, many liner options available at all price points, and attaching them is generally a very easy process, so there's really no reason not to consider this easy and affordable money. Saving an eagle friendly addition for your home now the third and final way that you could easily green your home today is to swap out all of your incandescent light bulbs for led light bulbs or at the very minimum. CFL's CFL's will definitely be a step up from the incandescents and are less expensive in L . E DS, however, led Zehr completely superior, in my opinion, as a closely mimic the look of warm incandescence. They consume the least amount of energy. They are cool to the touch. They contain no mercury. Unlike Cfl's, they come in different colors, which can create a fun atmosphere in the rate setting. And many are now dimmable, which is important to me as a designer, and they last six times longer than Cfl's. So, yes, while there is a slightly higher up front costs, I think the benefits far outweigh the costs here. Now that is the environmental reason to change out your light bulbs, but there's a design opportunity here as well for you and you should never, ever let a good design opportunity go to waste. As you are changing out your light bulbs, pay particular attention to what temperature of bulb or Kelvin rating you should be getting . You may know that Calvin rating ranges from about 2500 which is the warmest to around 6500 which is the coolest rating. The temperature of your light bulbs will make a tremendous difference. I promise you in the mood of your room, as well as how the colors in your room will read. There are many different factors that can help you determine what Kelvin rating you should purchase. But in short, the two simplest ways to make a decision is to look at the function and or the interior style of your room. Okay, first, let's go ahead and discuss the function for your family room, living room, dining room and bedrooms. A warmer Kelvin reign of around 2500 to 3 thousands generally preferred for kitchens and bathrooms. I would typically use a Kelvin rating of around 3500 to 4000 which will give you the most clean, natural, neutral looking light Now for a home office. I would go with a much higher Kelvin rating around probably 6000 which will give off a bright, cool light. Now let's discuss style. Each interior design style in general usually includes a warmer or a cooler color scheme. For example, styles like traditional English country western often employ warm color schemes in their designs. In that case, I like to accentuate the already warm feeling with my bulbs by using, Can you guess? Yes, a lower Kelvin reading. Conversely, interior design styles like Scandinavian, contemporary and industrial. Typically you allies cool color schemes. So in that situation, I would select lightbulbs with a higher or a cooler Calvin rating. So what do you do if the function and the style are at odds with each other? For example, let's say that you have a Scandinavian styled bedroom. What should you prioritize in that situation, the function or the style? Personally, I would likely choose a bulb with a more neutral Kelvin rating to try to balance out the two opposing characteristics. On the one hand, I wouldn't want to undermine my cool color scheme with a particularly warm bulb, but I also wouldn't want to sacrifice the cozier mood or feeling I would be trying to create in my bedroom with a particularly cool lightbulb, either. So there you go. You now have three easy things you can do today to not only make your home Maury co friendly, but also to improve the design aesthetic of your home as well. Definitely a win win. 3. Why Should We Care About Eco-Friendly, Sustainable Design?: for some of you, it may be obvious why it's more important than ever to try and make more ICO friendly, sustainable choices for our homes. But for others, perhaps it just may not be is obvious. If you fall into that latter category, then you are in luck as this lecture has been created just for you. Now, I would just like to say that I am definitely not looking to create any type of political discussion in the course on interior design. But I would be naive to not at least acknowledge that there are different viewpoints on some of the reasons that many businesses and individuals are providing to support ICO friendly, sustainable interior design. And in fact, an entire course could probably be created on all of the reasons given to support this particular movement. But that is not this class. Instead, let me just summarize for you the main motivations given for green interior design and at least that we will share a common understanding for the genesis of this particular movement . First, there is the area of global impact. This includes, but is not limited to, topics such as global warming, limited water supplies deforestation, animal extinction, rising energy costs and declining oil reserves. The fact is, most of us have a home, and collectively we spend billions of dollars just in the United States alone on our homes , everything from furniture to remodels and, well, everything in between. Suffice it to say it's a huge market. Proponents of green design state that by creating more ICO friendly products for our homes , we have the ability to greatly reduce the environmental impact in many of the areas that I just mentioned, and by ensuring that the manufacturing process is used to make these items are sustainable . We are protecting the world for generations to come. In the next lecture of this course, I'll be discussing in more detail what the terms ICO friendly and sustainable really mean with regards to interior design. But the bottom line is that this is probably the most commonly cited reason in support of ICO friendly, sustainable interior design. The next main argument in support of green design are the health reasons and in particular , indoor air quality. Did you know that according to the World Health Organization, indoor air pollution is one of the five biggest environmental threats to public health. In a 2014 report from the World Health Organization, they stated that nearly one in eight deaths, or seven million people each year, are from combined indoor and outdoor air pollution, making it quote the world's largest single environmental health risk. Wow. Now, while most of these deaths are occurring in low and middle income countries, it does not mean that some of the choices that the more affluent countries are making in regards to home construction and design are not causing other types of health problems. Unfortunately, there are many products use ubiquitously in home furnishing and finishes today that, unfortunately, do omit toxins into our home. As a result, even in the developed world are indoor air quality is often worse than our outdoor air quality. The Environmental Protection Agency, or E P A. Estimates that the average individual receives 72% of their chemical exposure at home. Since most of us spend upwards of 90% of our time indoors, they go on to say that some pollutants are often 2 to 5 times higher indoors than it is outdoors. It's an understatement, then, to state that the quality of our indoors matter tremendously. Now, later, in this course, I'll talk in much greater detail about the specific indoor air quality concerns that we should all be aware of. So to recap this far, I've mentioned environmental and health reasons as to motives to go green in your home. Can you guess the third commonly cited reason? Nicely done. If you said financial reasons, yes, the final reason given in support of ICO friendly, sustainable interior design has to do with the financial savings available now. This may seem counterintuitive, as many green traces for our home have at times come with a larger price tag than traditional choices such as alternative energy sources. For example, however, there are two counter arguments to this. First, there are eco friendly choices for your home that either costs the same as their non energy counterparts or even may cost less. A great example of this is energy star appliances. Yes, years ago, when they first came out, energy star appliances, worm or expensive. But today, because the demand is so great and partly due to regulatory reasons, the cost is the same or less as compared to the non energy star appliances of course, that's not just referring to the up front cost. Energy star appliances also cost less to operate and are often eligible for a tax credit, potentially resulting in double savings For you and for me. The second argument is that even if the up front cost is high or higher than a non ICO friendly choice, the idea is the savings will be realized over time, as in the case made for solar panels. The idea with solar panels is that you are locking in a fixed cost per kilowatt hour used rather than being subject to the inevitable price increases from your traditional electric providers, meaning that the panels will eventually pay for themselves over time. Although sometimes that time horizon is longer than we'd like, I would state that the third argument from a financial standpoint is that by increasing the demand for ICO friendly, sustainable choices today, we are then helping to reduce the cost off these products for our future generations, just like we have seen with the Energy Star appliances. More importantly, though, better choices today can help to reduce the demand for their more toxic counterparts tomorrow, and for US interior design professionals We have a unique ability to create a greater demand for these products through the choices we specify for our clients. Just think about how many families we work with over the course of our careers. Imagine Imagine if we all decided to focus on specifying ICO friendly and sustainable finishes, materials and furnishings that would be truly game changing to this industry. The bottom line is that whether or not you agree with the reasons given in support of green design, do not underestimate the power that you wield with your purchasing decisions. 4. Eco-Friendly vs. Sustainable Interior Design – Yes, They are Different: Iko friendly and sustainable thes air two terms that are often used interchangeably. But they're actually quite different. And by the end of this lecture, you too will understand the importance of these two terms and how they are different. First, it's important to note that being ICO friendly does not mean that you are also being sustainable. Let's break down this concept in relation to home interior design. A home is eco friendly if it helps to reduce the impact and the footprint that leaves on its environment and the people who live there in the area of energy efficiency. Common ICO friendly additions that you can make to your home include using renewable resource is such as wind, solar or geothermal. For your power in the area of water conservation, you could install fixtures and appliances that minimize your water usage. You could reuse your rainwater to water your landscaping, or you could go with zero escaping, which is the art of creating landscaping that requires little or no irrigation. Other common ICO friendly changes to your home could include ensuring that you have sufficient ventilation as well as purchasing materials or furnishings for your home that minimize or eliminate the off gassing of volatile organic compounds, also known as vo ces. Now a brief word about Vo ces and why you should care vo ces are a family of chemicals that easily evaporate at room temperature and unfortunately, have been linked to a number of health problems, including, but not limited to neurological conditions. Cancer, headaches, respiratory problems, skin irritation, birth defects, liver damage and heart conditions. Some common vo ces found in our homes include flame retardants and formaldehyde, both of which I will be talking about greater detail later in this course. Unfortunately, Vo ces are present in many common building materials, finishes and furnishings To that point, which of the following comin home materials do you think contain vo ces? Is it a upholstered furniture? Be paint. See flooring de candles e only a through C or F, all of the above, or G, none of the above. And the answer is unfortunately, it's f. It's all of the above, and this is not an exhaustive list. Vo Cesaire present in a number of common home materials, which we will talk about throughout this class. Vo ces congee particularly problematic for those with asthma or other respiratory illnesses , so it's definitely something that you should be aware of. Okay, so that is was meant when someone uses the term ICO friendly again, a product is ego friendly. If it helps to reduce the impact and the footprint that leaves on the environment and the people who live there now, let's go ahead and discuss sustainability. While there does not appear to be one cohesive definition agreed on by everyone involved in this movement, there is definitely a strong commonality amongst the different definitions. And I would state that the commonality is this. While ego friendly is concerned with the he here and now, sustainability, on the other hand, is more concerned with the future. More specifically, a product can be deemed sustainable if it does not harm the environment through its entire life cycle. This includes harvesting, production, transportation, use and disposal. From a production standpoint, this names that these products need to be sustainably harvested from completely renewable resource is to be sustainably harvested. It means that the harvesting process does not pollute the air around it. It does not affect the surrounding area in a harmful manner, or it does not permanently reduce the supply. From a transportation standpoint, local products are always going to be preferable to products that have to be shipped long distances. From a use standpoint, it means it does not harm the environment or their occupants, and upon disposal it needs to be completely recyclable. This is quite a standard, isn't it? So let's go ahead. And talk of thy specific examples such as wood, which is commonly used to build homes on the surface, would is an ego friendly product because it's natural and it's renewable. But it's not always sustainable. It can only be called sustainable if the company that cut down the trees did not permanently deplete the forest that it came from and that it was harvested in an environmentally friendly manner, as I just described. So basically, you have to look at the production and the transportation processes in order to determine if an ICO friendly product is also sustainable. In the case of would look for wood that has an F S C label on it, which tells you that it was harvested sustainably, meaning that the forest that it came from is going to be staying a forest, meaning that will continue to produce would indefinitely. That is a great example of sustainability. Without the FSC label, there is a chance that the lumber was illegally logged. Now, by the way, at this C stands for Forest Stewardship Council. One final point about FSC is this. Be sure to look for products that are listed as 100% FSC, meaning that all the layers used not flooring, are FSC certified. Sometimes only some of the layers of the flooring are FSC certified. Finally, be aware that just because a company has one product listed as 100% FSC certified, that does not mean that all of their products are 100% FSC certified. So it's important to verify that the product you are buying is indeed 100% FSC certified. Typically, you will see this as an FSC trademark logo on the actual product box. If you are in North America, generally are local, wood is good, but be sure that was manufactured locally as well. Another sort of vacation that is good, although not quiet, is good as FSC is sf I or Sustainable Forestry Initiative. It's good as I mentioned, but not quite as good as FSC, which is a more rigorous certification to receive the ness. If I while FC is sometimes hard to find because it's harder for a company to obtain to me, it's worth the effort. AZM or demand should again create more supply, as I spoke about earlier. That, said, FSC is the more popular certification in the United States, less so in Europe. If you are in Europe, look for the P E F C certification, which is comparable to FSC and stands for program for the endorsement of forced certification. Now, for a house to be truly sustainable, it has to meet something called zero energy standards, meaning the home has zero net energy consumption and zero carbon emissions. I am sure that this sounds like an incredibly high standard to meet. But there are many in the industry who believe that this will become a common reality through better processes and practices. In the meantime, we can all do our part by definitely incorporating ICO friendly materials into our homes and asking the companies that we do business with about their sustainable practices. So to recap, sustainable refers to products that do not harm their environment at all through the entire life cycle, from production through disposal, thus focusing on the future health of our planet. And as a result, the people Now, as you can probably surmise, the bottom line is that being ego friendly is a great first step. But being sustainable is where we all need to be when striving for green interior design. All that said, What about the word green? Well has less clear. Many professionals use the word green and ego friendly interchangeably, but I've also seen the words green and sustainable used interchangeably as well. So with that confusion cleared up, I want you to know that I'll be using the word green like this. If I refer to something as being green, it is likely both eco friendly and sustainable or at the very minimum it is ICO friendly, I hope as not too confusing for you. 5. Main Principles of Eco-Friendly, Sustainable Interior Design: So now that you have a better idea of why ICO friendly sustainable design is so popular and arguably mawr important today than ever before now I want to share with you the main principles of what constitutes ICO friendly, sustainable interior design. Now I want to be clear that, just like with the definition of sustainable, there is not one agreed upon set of principles for what constitutes ICO friendly, sustainable interior design. Unfortunately, however, based on everything I know, these principles that I will be sharing with you today are generally included in any conversation of green design. However, since green design is still in its infancy, I suspect that at some point in the future there will be greater clarity and agreement on what these principles should be for everyone. First and foremost, it's important that all products are created to be high quality and durable, said another way. We want to avoid those cheap throwaway items that seem to be everywhere today, whether driven by a global desire for cheap goods or a desire for change in our fast paced world. Many of today's home furnishings in particular are not really built toe last like they used to be as a result. Unfortunately, our landfills are overflowing with cheaply made broken items. While I know how important budget is to most people, I encourage you to purchase the highest quality items that you can afford so that they will last you for several years. But what do you do if you're someone like me who likes to change up their interior design from time to time in their own homes? Well, I've learned to techniques to deal with this. First, I'll often simply rearrange and move pieces in my home because a style of my home is fairly cohesive, I can fairly easily swap pieces from different rooms, fulfilling that desire that I have for change. Second, when you purchase high quality pieces like furniture made for riel would, for example, you can always re finish it, stain it, paint it, swap out the hardware well. You get the idea, find a way to breathe new life into your high quality pieces rather than discarding them. High quality and durable doesn't just apply to furniture. I'm also referring to how we construct our homes. It's equally important that we construct our homes extremely well to ensure that we have achieved important outcomes such as proper moisture control and to prevent water and moisture damage. The second name principle of green design involves waste reduction. Specifically, items that are green should be made from materials that are recycle or biodegradable. As a result, the end product itself should be recyclable and or biodegradable. As I mentioned at the beginning of this course, the choices for green finishes and furnishings are greater than they have ever been, so it's not as hard as it used to be. Toe find eagle friendly, sustainable sources and pieces. Another way in which we can achieve waste reduction is by utilising salvage items and materials in our designs, giving a second life to items and materials which would otherwise be discarded. In fact, probably the single best thing that you can do in reducing your footprint is to simply reuse your items or purchase use items instead of buying new. So, in short, the three most eagle friendly approaches to home design is to first reuse what you have to second purchase use or to third. If you want to bring new items into your home, look for those items that are made from materials which come from sustainably manage. Renewable resource is the third main principle of green design is energy efficiency, which you have the ability to achieve in five distinct ways. Can you guess some of them? Let's go through them and see how well you did. The first way that you can positively impact this area is by purchasing Onley energy efficient appliances such as those with the Energy Star label on them. The second way in which you can achieve energy efficiency is by using renewable resource is to power your home, such as using solar panels for your electricity and or your hot water needs. Now I suspect that you probably guess those 1st 2 pretty easily. But did you also consider the importance of having adequate seals on your doors and your windows? This prevents the cool and the heat air from escaping your home, which really goes hand in hand with using those renewable resource is to power your home right shouldn't have one without the other. However, I'll be impressed If you guess the last two ways in which you can achieve energy efficiency in your home. The first is to purchase locally used furniture as buying, used and buying locally. Both work to reduce the fossil fuels needed to obtain these items. The final way to support energy efficiency is by looking for new products. Who's companies have eagle friendly, sustainable manufacturing practices, which will obviously be energy efficient as well? If you guessed all five of these, please know that I am quite impressed with you. Let's go ahead and move on to the fourth main principle of green interior design, which is water conservation both inside and outside your home, including the proper management of your stormwater runoff. Now I'll get into a lot more detail about water conservation in a later lecture. Okay, so now we're down to the fifth and final main principle of green interior design. To recap, I have discussed the importance of quality and durable products, waste reduction, energy efficiency and water conservation. So what happened? I mentioned that I already touched on earlier. You got it right. If you said indoor air quality green design absolutely positively must include the goal of ensuring that the materials in your home have little to no negative effect on your indoor air quality, which, as you might remember is one of the largest concerns with many of our homes today. To achieve great indoor air quality, it means that non toxic chemicals and materials were used both in the processing as well as the final product. This is such an important topic, so I will be delving a lot deeper into this green design principle later in this course. 6. Quiz - Test your Eco-Friendly Smarts!: 7. Power/Energy: Affordable Upgrades: in this section. Section three, we're going to be talking about how you can make easy green choices for your home in three main areas. These areas include power or energy, water and lighting. Now, while I'm sure that you have heard of at least some of these recommendations already at some point in your life, my goal is to provide you with at least some new ideas for green upgrades that you can make to your home, either now or in the near future. So let's go ahead and dive right in first to the area of power or energy and specifically the more affordable upgrades that you can make to improve the inefficiency of the cost of your power and your energy needs when you think about it, most of us spend quite a bit of money on energy consumption each year from heating and cooling our homes, and ensuring we have adequate hot water for our domestic water needs to simply running our major appliances. So why does it cost us so much money? Well, it's really for two main reasons. First, we have a simple cost of power, whether the electric or gas, the costs are only rising year after year. The second reason is that, unfortunately, our homes, particularly are older homes, are simply not built to be energy efficient. Onley. Recent years have we, thankfully seen a shift in residential new construction, where energy efficiency has not only become a main focus, but it's also being highlighted to the consumer in a prominent way and for good reason. Energy efficiency efforts in the areas of heating and cooling alone can result in tremendous savings. I've heard estimates as low as 50% and as high as nearly 90%. That is huge, no doubt now that hopefully grabbed your attention. Let's go ahead and get into the very specific things that you can do to improve your home's energy efficiency in an affordable manner. First, let's talk about heating and cooling your home, which arguably is the area where you can make the biggest positive impact to improve power conservation as well as to your pocketbook. First, we have the advent of the smart thermostat with options of all price points. What's great about smart thermostats is that not only do they optimize the heating and cooling of your home, but they do so with little effort on your part. Sure, you can go ahead and program it, but it has the ability to learn your habits and temperature preferences based on the temperatures that you go ahead and set throughout your day. For example, let's say that you've programmed it to the hours you are away, but you come home unexpectedly one day during the day. Some of these thermostats have sensors that will pick up on the fact that you're now home and they will adjust the thermostat accordingly. Pretty cool, right? Many of these thermostats also use WiFi, meaning that you program them while you were away, and many of them also provide dashboards or energy reports you can view would show you data such as your energy consumption and how much money that you saved. Many of the ones on the market that are available today do even mawr than I just described , including showing you useful data like your indoor humanity level, for example. Finally, apparently, many power companies will provide decent rebates on energy star certified H back solutions like smart thermostats. I know mine does, which makes this a much more affordable purchase, so definitely check out the marketplace of smart thermostats. It's an easy and inexpensive way to make a big impact, potentially to your energy bills. Another fairly affordable way to conserve energy is through the use of window film or solar film on your windows, provided, of course, that you have an efficient window frame in place. Already, Window film is a micro thin layer of vinyl or polyester film that you apply directly to your windows. There are many different types of window film available, but in general, window film is excellent and helping to block out the heat in the summer and retain that heat in the winter. Specifically, window film not only reduces the sun's heat gain by as much as 80%. That can also retain up to 55% of your homes heat in the winter time, according to some brands on added interior design. Bonus to solar film is that it can dramatically help to slow down the fading process of your furniture and flooring by blocking out most the sun's harmful UV race. I love that Other types of window film include glare reducing film, which can be used to reduce glare on your electron ICS such as your televisions and your computers, as well as privacy films, which are darker to enhance your privacy, although if your goal is to simply keep the heat out, but the same time, maximize your light and maintain the appearance of your home in your homes color scheme. Then, by all means, choose a clear film. But if you want out a decorative element to your home, then be aware of that window. Film does come in many different tents, colors and even finishes, such as mimicking the look of etched cut and texture glass if you so desire. Finally, some film is made to add enhanced safety security to your home. Can you guess how it's by making the windows harder to break and helping the whole glass fragments together after impact? Who knew window film could do all of that? In short, you will find that window film is typically rated in the following areas. It's UV rejection, total solar energy rejection, visible light transmitted and visible reflection for you, the rejection and total solar rejection. A higher number is better. The visible light transmitted number will tell you how light or how dark the film is the higher the number, the lighter. The film experts will tell you that in middle of the road, numbers such as 50% will give you a good balance between visibility and your glare reduction. And with visible reflection, the higher the number, the shiny or the film will be now. Just a few words of caution, however, regarding window film. First, be sure to look at the warranty of the film that you are purchasing and ensure that's warranted against things like cracking, bubbling and fading. Additionally, be aware that you may have to adjust your window washing techniques because some brands of ubi film may scratch more easily than glass. Finally, some warranties for double paned windows will become voided if you attach window film to them, so be sure to do your homework as needed. Overall window film could be a great affordable option for those who want to improve their homes, heating and cooling efficiency and to make it more affordable. If you're fairly handy, you could even install this yourself. Another easy way to improve your home's insulation is to use thermal lined curtains, drapes and shades. As I spoke about in an earlier lecture remember, be sure to pull your drapes, curtains and your shades as needed. Toe either block out the sun or to retain the heat in the evening and in the wintertime, I'm going to get into more detail regarding window treatments in the lecture on lighting. So stay tuned. Okay, now making our way up the ease of installation list. My next recommendation for you is to ensure that you have proper insulation throughout your home. This includes ensuring that you have weatherstripping around your doors and sufficient cocking around your windows, as well as ensuring that you have proper insulation in your attic. The ladder is really important because a properly insulated addict will act as a tight seal for your home, such as keeping the cool air from escaping when you are running your air conditioning, for example, speaking of air conditioning, let's go ahead and talk about some additional ways that you can cool your home that are more affordable than traditional air conditioning. I'm sure Celia fans are going to jump to your mind, and they are great. But don't forget about attic fans, which work by pushing hot air out of your addict. This is important because it will keep it from entering your home, thus resulting in lower a C usage. The best part is that attic fans use only a fraction of the energy that a C units use now, going back to ceiling fans just for a quick minute. Be aware that newer models are definitely better. Here's a true or false question for you. A new psyllium fan using the latest technology can be as much as 75% Maurin Fish int than previous models. True or false? It's true. So if you have an older ceiling fan in your home, definitely consider investing in a new one, as this is one of the more cost effective upgrades that you can likely make in your home. Additionally, be sure that you are using your ceiling fan correctly. And here's how you may have noticed that your fan can go ahead and be operated in either a forward or a reverse direction. So which way should you go when? Well, when your fan is spinning, you need to pay attention to weather. The leading edge is the one that sits higher or lower when it's hot outside. Make sure that the leading edge is the one that sits higher, which will blow a cooler breeze. Conversely, in the winter, make sure the leading edge is the one that sits lower as this will pull warm air up where can then move along the ceiling and down your walls to create an insulating effect. Okay, going back to heating. Let's talk about one more way to better utilize the heat in your home and it's free. While the easiest ways to help keep yourself warmer in the winter that many people don't know is to simply float your furniture in the room rather than place it up against the walls, particularly if these walls are on the exterior of your home. Why? Because your exterior walls are some of the coolest areas of your home. So now on Lee, this floating your furniture actually make your room look larger. It also keeps you warmer. Very nice indeed. Now let's move on to the next lecture. We're all be discussing MAWR expensive upgrades, but that really pack a punch 8. Power/Energy: Costlier Upgrades that Pack a Punch: in this lecture, I want to share with you some additional energy efficiency upgrades that you can make, and although they definitely do cost more, they can also save you more, so they're definitely worth considering if you have the means to do so. First, let's go ahead and tackle water heating, which accounts for a decent percentage of a home's energy budget. Can you guess the percentage is it? A 10% B 20% or see 30%? Believe it or not, it's a whopping 30% now. Obviously, Waters, he'd be us some sort of heater. Now most of us have traditional gas or electric water tank heaters, which unfortunately, are both fairly expensive to operate electric, generally costing more than gas because traditional water heaters work by keeping a cent number of gallons heated at all times. One of the easiest ways to reduce your costs is to simply turn it down. If you can buy 10 to 20 F or to about 120 F, which can make a decent difference on your bill now, you may have heard that place in insulating blanket around it can improve your heater's efficiency. But from what I've read and what I know, It's not generally a great idea for most water heaters, especially for the newer models. So I recommend doing your own research if that is something that you're considering doing. That said, a greener option would be to install a tankless water heater, as it only uses either gas or electricity to heat the water when you need it. And can you guess what that means? A cheaper option for heating your water. For sure, savings estimates are between 15 and 40% per year, depending on what source of energy you use. For those of you who use solar panels, this can obviously power an electric tankless water heater as well. A definite win. Tankless water heaters also take up less room with their wall mounted design. They generally have a longer warranty, and even better they last longer. While traditional water heaters air generally good for about 8 to 12 years, a tankless water heater can last twice as long in general, resulting in less landfill waste. And I'm sure you guess the final benefit. Tankless water heaters, depending on the type of heater that you have, may also be eligible for a tax credit, which is great because they definitely arm or expensive to purchase and to install, usually at least double the cost of a traditional water heater. You should be aware that you can purchase tankless water heaters in room or whole house sizes. Now I want to talk to you about one of the most luxurious upgrades. In my opinion, the heat, your home and that is radiant floor heating. Who doesn't love the idea of a warm floor on those cold winter days? I know I do. You may be surprised to know that radiant floor heating is the most efficient and comfortable means of heating not only our homes, but also our garages, commercial and industrial facilities. Why is that? Because by heating the floor of your home first, the heat that evenly heats the rest of the space in the room. There is also an additional health benefit to radiant floor heating systems. Specifically, unlike traditional forced air heating systems, radium floor heating systems do not dry out your breathing passages, and they also don't blow dust, dirt, pet dander and other allergens or bacteria around the home, which should result in healthier occupants. There are basically two types of floor heating available today. Electric and hydraulic. Let's go ahead and spend a few minutes talking about the two types. First, we have electric electric floor. Heating provides heat using thin heating cables, much like what you have. An electric blanket. They're late under tiles and are commonly used in bathrooms, kitchens and mud rooms. It's usually not used to heat an entire house, however, because of the high operating costs to do so. The system is controlled by its own thermostat and then uses a sensor to monitor the temperature and sends a signal to adjust the heat as needed. Electric floor heating systems are fairly easy to install, and because the wires are so thin, they can be installed either during initial construction or when you go ahead and replace your flooring and is the most affordable option from a new installation standpoint. Now let's go ahead and talk about hydroponic floor heating. While the electric system is easier and less expensive to install hydroponic floor heating which heats your floor view, hot water running through plastic tubes will offer substantial operating savings if you use it throughout your entire house, or at least on one entire level, as opposed to simply heating your home through a typical forced air heating system. Savings are estimated by as much as 1/3 of what you'd normally pay, which is pretty substantial, in my opinion. Okay for you fellow detail nerds, because, let's face it, I am one. Let's go ahead and dive a little deeper into hydroponic heating systems. Hydraulic Hugh systems can be installed either in floor or under floor. To install it in floor means that the tubing and is installed in a concrete slab, a Jepson underlayment or other comparable flooring in floor heating is typically installed in basements and ground level slabs. Conversely, we have under floor systems, which are used in homes with wooden frame construction's. In this scenario, the tubing is installed underneath the plywood sub floor by being attached directly to it. Between the Joyce, this type of system is usually installed with aluminum heat transfer plates. Clearly, this option is the easier option if you're doing this after the home has been built provided that you have access to the area underneath your floor. Also, while electric floor heating is generally just used under tile. Hydraulic systems can easily be used under tile, wood, laminate or carpet, although you do lose some of the heating efficiency if you install a pad with your carpet. One important point to be aware of with regards to both types of radiant floor heating systems is the fact that you'll need to find out if your flooring is warranted for radiant heat. It may not be and make sure that's documented in the warranty, as I just said, unfortunately, many or not, although if it is, it's more common to see flooring warranted for hydraulic heating, but not always for electric heating. Okay, now that you have a decent understanding of both types, the way to make the systems Maury go friendly is to add a solar component to them, meaning there are solar radiant heating systems that you can purchase that will work with both types of reading heating systems. Essentially, the system is used as the primary heating source for your floor instead of an expensive boiler, and it works by collecting the power needed for the system from the sun through solar panels. Pretty great right, and it's important to note that this sort of system is also typically installed so that it will heat the other domestic water that you using your home provide you with a year round benefit rather than just a cold weather benefit. Now that being said, please be aware that using solar hot water won't supply all of your hot water needs. You will still need to have a furnace or a boiler, but it shouldn't need to be, as big estimates from experts say, that solar water heating under the right conditions congenitally satisfy 40. The 50% of your hot water needs there is one more advantage to installing a solar hot water , he and system. And that is this. If you don't want to incur the expense of a radiant floor heating system, either electric or hydro Nick, you can actually retrofit your forced air heating system by adding a hot water coil heat exchanger to your air return duct. This will actually allow you to harness your solar hot water toe. Help heat your home for those of you with forced air heating systems. While this type of retrofitting is not as efficient as a radiant floor heating system, it's a lot less expensive, making a more viable option. For many, there is a lot that should be considered with adding a solar component. So if this is something that you're interested in doing, be sure to do your homework to evaluate important considerations such as How much sun does your home actually get your current water heating costs and how well insulated your home already is to determine if this is a cost effective option for you. Now let's take a quick jump back to solar panels for just a minute. For those of you who just don't like the look of them on your home, you should be aware that there is a brand new technology that we're just now beginning to see. Come on the market and that technology. ISS Solar panel windows. Yes, you heard me, right windows. These windows generate electricity from the sun, Shine through them. Now this technology really is in its infancy. It's rapidly evolving and appears to be focused on primarily commercial buildings right now . But definitely keep your eyes out for this fantastic and exciting new technology in the near future. Okay, for those of you who are still with me, we have just spent a lot of time talking about heating and cooling your home. No surprise, given that this is the biggest power expense that you have. But don't forget about other energy efficient upgrades. And you could make for your home, such as purchasing appliances with the Energy Star label that we spoke about a little bit earlier, as this label verifies that the appliance uses low energy and low water. From a financial standpoint, I think it's important to reiterate that a number of utility companies and or states even offer tax credits on these energy star appliances on top of the lower utility costs you should have by running these energy efficient appliances. However, that said, it's usually best to purchase a new appliance when you actually need one, because what you have is either quite old or has started to fail. Why? Because generally speaking, caulking or weatherstripping, your home will pay itself back more quickly than purchasing new appliances will. So if you're looking for the biggest bang for your buck, as they say, then weather proofing your home is the smarter choice. But if you were in need of a new appliance, then by all means look for the most energy efficient one that you can afford 9. Make Water-Wise Choices: now that you have a good handle on energy efficient upgrades for your home. Now let's go ahead and talk about ways to improve your water efficiency both inside and outside your home. Let's go ahead and start on the inside. There are some really easy upgrades that you can implement today, including low flow showerheads, low flow toilets, era Raiders for your faucets and shower timers. First, let's discuss low flow shower heads. The difference between a regular showerhead and a low flow showerhead is five gallons per minute for the former and only two gallons per minute for the ladder. That's a difference of three gallons per minute. If you could do that math, which I'm sure you can, and that adds up really quickly, especially for an entire family, according to the E. P. A showering accounts for up to 17% of a family's water usage. So if you're interested in doing this, definitely check out your local water company as sometimes they will just give away these shower heads as well as faucet aerators for free. I know mine does now. If you think 17% of total water usage is high, let's talk toilets Did you know that traditional toilets account for about 30% of a household water usage? Not efficient toilets? Who's a whopping six gallons per flush, whereas low flow toilets use only about 1.28 gallons or less? That's a huge difference. And obviously less water means less money than Uli to pay each year. Next, we have a Raiders, which you can install on your faucets. Air Raiders Reduce the volume of the water flowing from your faucet by mixing and air with your water. The beauty of this design is, I maintains the feeling of a high pressure flow, which we all like. Another easy way to save waters. To install a shower timer on all of your showers. They come in many different types, from traditional looking hourglass timers to digital timers. These timers will help you to monitor the amount of time that you were spending in the shower. The idea is that by having the amount of time completely visible to you as you're showering , you will be encouraged to minimize your time in the shower, thereby saving water and the energy needed to heat that water when looking for water efficient fixtures. including faucets, showerheads, toilets and even sprinklers and irrigation controllers. Look for something called the Water Sense label. If you're here in the US, this label will tell you that the product meets the E. P. A. Standards for water efficiency and performance is backed by independent third party certification as well. These standards include, but are not limited to being 20% more water efficient than the average products in that category, realizing water savings on a national level and performing as well as, or better than their less efficient counterparts. All good things. Now, even if you don't want to invest in water efficient fixtures, be sure to fix any leaks in your faucets or your toilets. I've read that 10% of homes have leaks that waste 90 gallons orm or of water per day. That's crazy. Now let's move on to the outside of your home and discuss water efficient landscaping. What do you think is the best way to landscape your yard? Use native trees and plants. Of course. Can you guess how much water or landscaping uses? On average, it's another doozy at 30% right up there with our toilets, although in other drier parts of the United States. It's closer to 50 to 60%. Using native plants not only saves on water by you generally don't need to use as much fertilizer or pesticides, and the local insects and wildlife will thank you as well. Here is another great tip. If you are in the Northern Hemisphere like I am, plant disingenuous trees on the west and the south sides of your home because they will provide shade in the summer and then let in light during the winter. Also, try to plant some shrubs next to your air conditioning unit that will provide the unit with some shade in the summer time. But be sure that the shrubs won't drop leaves in the fall in winter, which could then clog your A C. Now drip irrigation is the best way to automatically water your landscaping. But apparently watering with a hose is even better, resulting in about 33% less water usage on average. I actually would not have guessed that until I researched it. If you are using sprinklers, make sure that your sprinklers are not spraying hard surfaces such as your sidewalks. For obvious reasons, they don't need the water. If you do use an automated system, be sure to install rain sensors as well as that will prevent sprinklers from coming on when it's raining, or even try soil moisture sensors that will only turn on your sprinklers when needed. Also, consider installing a rain water collection system, particularly if you live in a dryer drought prone area. These systems require that you hire a professional to clip your rain gutters and redirect them to go into a barrel that will collect your ring water. You can then either attach a hose to your barrel or using watering can to redistribute the water to your garden. One night of good rain. Conduct hundreds of gallons of water on your roof, so use this type of system as an opportunity to harness this valuable natural resource. 10. Harness your Natural Lighting: up to this point. We've covered both energy and water efficiencies that you can easily make in your home, so that leaves lighting. And again there are so many ways that you can green your lighting, so let's go ahead and get to it. First, let's talk about the best free lighting source in the world, and of course, I am referring to daylight. And as I spoke about in my lighting design class, Natural Light also has tremendous mental health benefits, including stress reduction and increased productivity In general, just being surrounded by items from nature has a calming effect. And there's actually a term for intentionally incorporating natural elements to interior design to try to restore that connection between human beings and nature. It's called bio filic design. When you see a living plant wall in a space that is bio filic design large Florida ceiling windows that is also by a filic design trees inside a building or a home? Yep, you guessed it. Bio Filic design. This area of design is growing rapidly, particularly in areas like hospitals, where studies have shown that bio filic design results in quicker patient recovery and reduce stress on both the patient and the family members. We're also seeing it in schools and in commercial offices as they have linked improved test scores to the former and increase productivity to the ladder. I absolutely love this. And if there is a way for you to include some bio Philip designing your home, then I strongly encourage you to do so. So now let's go back to how we can maximize the daylight in our homes. Any ego friendly interior designer or lighting designer is going to tell you that you must absolutely find a way to maximize the use of daylight through your windows and or your skylights. Now, obviously, leaving your windows bear would absolutely do that right. And with certain interior design styles, bear windows are going to be right on point design wise. But as we spoke about in a lecture on power and energy, thermal insulated window coverings are a fantastic way to help manage your heating and you're cooling year round. So we need a better middle ground away to use window coverings to both, maximize your light and more effectively manage your homes, temperature fluctuations and the easiest solution. ISS. Any guesses? The answer is the double up on your window coverings. Use light filtering shades, blinds or sheer curtains nearest the window, and then use a heavier thermal line draped in front of the light filtering window treatment . As I mentioned, the best way to use these thermal line drapes is to pull them closed on your hot summer days over the windows in your home that are receiving the most direct sunlight and by pulling down your shades or drawing your curtains immediately after dusk or when it's particularly cold outside, that will help to reduce the heat loss in your home. So now I'm going to get a little technical on you here. But please bear with me. Building materials, including energy efficient window coverings, have something called on our value. The our value in the case of window coverings will tell you the amount of heat that the window covering is resisting. You want to look for a high number, the higher the number, the better. The insulation of that window covering. This is important because your windows account for a large number roughly 50% of the heat gain or lost in your home. And yes, while having dual pane low e glass windows is an important first step. Maximizing your heat gain and loss through the best window coverings possible is the better way to go. Okay, so now getting back to the R value of your window coverings typical horizontal blinds haven't average our value of 2.5. Honey comb shades are better at 3.5 to 5 point. Oh, Hunter Douglas has a shade. It's called the Ark Itala Duet Room. Darkening Shade. This shade has an excellent our value over seven. Anything over seven is considered excellent. Windowed lines are good for reducing the heat gain in the summer because you can block the sun but not so good at reducing heat loss in the winter. Since you're dealing with multiple open slats, which allow the heat to escape, makes sense right? And did you know that if you position the blinds so that the slats are pointed towards your ceiling now, provide that you have a light colored ceiling that the light color will help to diffuse the light without too much added heat. Very neat. That way, you could still get light through your windows. Cellular shades, also known as honey comb shades as they look like honeycombs from the side are also quite efficient, managing the homes, insulation and light control needs. The individual cells in these shades create pockets of air, which helped to control the climate of your room for both hot and cool climates. Now be aware that there are different types of cell construction in these shades. You have single double and triple cell construction. What you need to know is that while the triple cell construction is the most expensive, it will provide you with the best light control and insulating properties, which may be the most important factor if you live in an area with extreme climates. Additionally, cellular shades are available in different size cells and can be made with either light filtering or room darkening fabrics to provide additional light and privacy controls. Finally, the shades can be made Cordless and be made with the ability to be operated top down or bottom up. Now all of these great window coverings will not help if you don't have properly sealed windows, so ensure that you have adequate caulking and weatherstripping around all of your windows and your doors, and if your windows are old and you are in the market for new windows than definitely consider getting low e glass windows. As I mentioned a few minutes ago. This will improve your overall efficiency because you are also replacing the frames weather strip and its seal. When looking at Windows, be aware that they are rated on their you factor and their solar gain coefficient. The ugh factor tells you how well the window insulate its and the solar gain coefficient value will tell you how well the window deflects incoming solar heat. For both values, look for a window that is rated at 0.3 or less. 11. Maximize your Artificial Lighting: Now let's move into the world of artificial lighting, as I mentioned in an earlier lecture. Definitely choose led ease for your light bulbs or, at a minimum, CFL's or holiday and bulbs pair of these bulbs with a smart lighting system, which are an amazing new technology. If you haven't heard about smart lighting systems, please let me enlighten you. These systems allow you to completely control your lighting via your smartphone, a home digital assistant like Amazon's Alexa or the Google assistant, or even from your apple watch. So what can you do with a smart lighting system? Well, let me count the ways you can do things like turn your lights on off, dim your lights manually or at set times schedule. When your lights go on and off, use a vacation setting that will randomly turn lights on and off while you're away to dissuade burglars. I love that one and even change the color of your bulbs to create your perfect ambiance. Obviously, you will need to purchase the special color changing bulbs to take advantage of this very cool feature. Some of the other innovative features that you confined in some of these systems include a gradual wake up setting that will gradually increase the lighting the room to simulate a sunrise or fall asleep too slowly dimming lights. Or how about the ability to create a light show to go with your music or recreate colors from a specific image, such as a painting that you have on the wall or a picture you have on your phone? And sometimes these systems can be integrated with other systems. Remember how I spoke about smart thermostats? While there are some smart lighting systems that pair with smart thermostats, which means that your lights can be automatically turned off, the smart thermostat detects that you would left the house pretty amazing stuff. Now each of these systems have their own hardware requirements and price points, so definitely shop around if you are considering one of these very cool lighting systems. All that said, I personally think smart lighting systems are just getting started and we will be seeing more functionality in the future. But for now, that's a pretty impressive start Now, While this is obviously a course on green interior design, I do feel compelled to perhaps state the obvious when it comes to smart home systems in general, and that is that these systems have the potential to be hacked from my research. Part of the problem appears to be that home automation is still a really young field, and it doesn't appear that the security needed has really kept pace with the development of these products. So I'm not saying that you shouldn't consider these smart systems. I'm just saying that you should be aware of the risks and move forward accordingly. Now, whether or not we're talking about natural or artificial lighting, it's important to know that you can impact your energy bill in a positive way through the pink colors that you choose for the interior of your home. Specifically, light pink colors help to reflect light, while darker paint colors require mawr lighting. In fact, according to the E. P. A, up to 25% of our electricity costs are due to interior lighting needs. So what this means is that for rooms with darker walls, be aware that mawr interior lighting will be required to achieve adequate lighting needs. Now, this may be fine for rooms. I receive a lot of daylight during the day, but you'll find yourself meeting more artificial light after dark. Now here's an interesting statistic for you. According to a study from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, roofs that are light colored, such as white, can reduce the cost of cooling the interior of the home by as much as 23%. Additionally, rooms with cooler color palettes helped to reflect heat, whereas rooms with warmer color palettes helped to absorb heat. So do consider the orientation of your rooms and consider choosing colors according to how much sun or heat your room gets. For those of us who live in the Northern Hemisphere, it's a common approach for designers to create cooler color palettes for the southern facing rooms of our homes and warmer color palettes for northern facing rooms. And here's one more reason to carefully consider color for your ICO friendly home. In a study by a company with a website called Color Matters, they found that test subjects who entered a room with a cool color palette stated that the temperature of the room was 6 to 10 F cooler than the rooms based temperature and those who entered a room with a warmer color palette. Conversely, stated that the temperature of the room that they felt was 6 to 10 degrees warmer than the rooms based temperature. That is pretty phenomenal. The bottom line to all of this is that if you want to reduce your light consumption, choose light over dark pink colors, even for your roof. 12. Identify Current and Future Green Upgrades for Your Home: 13. Let's Talk Indoor Air Quality: I would say that all the main principles of eco friendly interior design that I spoke about earlier focusing on improving indoor air quality is definitely at the top of the list. In fact, many ICO friendly choices for our homes are often focused on this very single goal. So let's break this down and talk about why this is specifically I'm going to be speaking about the use of commonplace chemicals and materials in our homes, including formaldehyde, flame retardants and PVC. Before we get into the specifics, please know that some of the information that I am going to share with you is controversial , particularly with regards to formaldehyde. So again, you should always do your own research and form your own opinions. Speaking of formaldehyde, let's go ahead and start here with another true or false question. True or false would naturally contains formaldehyde that is actually true. Formaldehyde is a naturally occurring organic compound, but I am not referring to that type of formaldehyde. What I'm referring to is the added formaldehyde in the furniture making process known as Yuria Formaldehyde. This chemical is often abbreviated as U F, such as U F glue or U F adhesive. Depending upon which US government agency you ask. Formaldehyde is listed as either a known carcinogen or a probable carcinogen. Since 2000 and four, formaldehyde has been recognized as a known human carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Formaldehyde is frequently used in furniture and cabinetry, but can also be found in common items, including but not limited to carpet paint, fabric, wallpaper, cleaning products and even air fresheners getting back to furniture and cabinetry. Though formaldehyde is frequently used today to bond the adhesive impressed wood products, the common pressed wood products that many of us have in our homes include particleboard, plywood paneling, an MDF, or medium density fibreboard. NDF is a very common material used in furniture today, and unfortunately, MDF commonly uses Yuria formaldehyde and has one of the highest contents of formaldehyde, as it has a higher adhesive toe would ratio, according to the E. P. A formaldehyde can cause nausea, burning sensations in the eyes and throat, watery eyes and difficulty breathing. There is another type of formaldehyde called final formaldehyde that is non toxic, which can be used in the place of Yuria formaldehyde. However, it's much more expensive, so it's on Lee, typically used in higher and furniture. The controversy for formaldehyde centers around this question. How much exposure are we really getting? Supporters of formaldehyde state that the exposure amount that we received from these products is just not high enough to cause any help problems. Obviously, opponents don't agree with that statement. If you do have concerned about formaldehyde, here's an important point to keep in mind. The rate at which this carcinogen is released into the air can become accelerated by humidity as well as heat. The take away is that you should try to place any furniture that you know or suspect may contain out of Yuria formaldehyde, away from obvious heat sources. And consider using a dehumidifier to lower the humidity levels. If you have concerns about this substance, basically try to keep your home cool and dry. Also, opening your windows every day, if possible, is another easy thing you can do to possibly lure formaldehyde levels in your home. However, be aware that trying to use an air purifier probably will not help in this regard. Unfortunately, finally, don't attempt to cut or Sander M v a furniture as that will release formaldehyde particles into your home if that product does indeed contain Yuria formaldehyde. I do have two pieces of good news for you, though when it comes to MDF. First is you should be aware that you can purchase a D. I Y formaldehyde testing kit at online retailers like Amazon and your local home improvement stores to find out whether formaldehyde gas is present in your home. Pretty cool, in my opinion and great for your peace of mind. The second piece of good news is that it appears that M V F stops off gassing after two or three years is what the research shows. So if you've had a piece of MDF furniture for a really long time or you bought it used, there's a decent chance it's no longer off gassing. Now let's talk about one of the most troubling chemicals, in my opinion, that has been frequently used in furniture, manufacturing and other areas of our home, and that is flame retardants. They used these chemicals because most upholstered furniture is made from polyurethane foam wrapped in Dacron. Both materials are petroleum based man made materials, which of course are flammable as a result, they treat these products with flame retardant chemicals, which on the surface sounds like a good thing. The problem is that flame retardants, which are actually semi volatile organic compounds or Spock ease don't stay in the cushions . They are rigid fibers, and they eventually they break down over time, getting into the air and mixing in with the dust in our homes. The result is that we inadvertently touch this contaminated dust, which makes its way into our mouths, such as when we touch food with dust on our fingers, or when our Children put their fingers in their mouths that contain this dust ingestion via food and water is said to be the largest way that we in just the flame retardant dust in our homes. Additionally, there is also at best significant doubt that thes retardants even keep fires from spreading to At worst, they don't even slow down fires at all, and that an item birds justice fast with it. The bigger concern is that when they do burn, they emit toxic gases, so even firefighters are speaking out against them as well. Ironic, isn't it? The chemicals contained in these flame retardants have been linked to a number of health problems, including endocrine and thyroid disruption, reproductive disorders, increased cancer risk as well as impaired brain development in Children. The most scrutinized and worrisome types of flame returns R P b d ease. But I also look for a TCP and TV see PP. So for all of these reasons, there were two new pieces of legislation in California in the last few years which will hopefully become the standard for the rest of our country. One piece of legislation, which became effective on January 1st 2015 and is known as California TB 1172013 reverses a previous law which required furniture manufacturers to include specific flame retardant chemicals. They just need to be able to pass a modified version of the smolder test, and they no longer have to pass with open flame test. The second bill, California SP 10 19 requires that manufacturers now have to inform consumers through public labels if they continue to include flame retardant chemicals in their furniture, which is fantastic. So while it's a good start, it's only applicable to furniture made or sold in California honor. After 2015 now. That said, California is a huge market in the states, so most U. S manufacturers are going to follow these California requirements if they want to sell in California and most manufacturers, I'm not going to manufacture two different types of the same chair as that would be cost prohibitive. California is not the only state to realize the dangers of flame returns in many areas of our home. In 2016 Washington, D. C. Passed legislation that bans the use of TV, CPP and T C E P in the manufacturer's sale or distribution of residential upholstered furniture and in Children's products effective in 2018 and 2019 other states are following suit, and I suspect that eventually the federal government will pass similar legislation. If you have concerns about any of your upholstered furniture that contains polyurethane foam, there's actually a pretty cool service as available to you through Duke University. For those of you who live in the United States, basically, you can submit a sample of the foam to them, and they will test it to see if it contains any of the seven most common flame retardant chemicals. It does take about 6 to 8 weeks to get the report back. But definitely it can be worth it for your peace of mind. If this is a concern for you, you can find more information at foam dot pratt dot duke dot edu. Other easy things you can do to reduce service Get home to flame retardant chemicals is to attach a HEPA filter to your vacuum for your floors and your furniture. Also dust your furniture with a damp cloth instead of a feather duster. Mop your floors, wash your hands after you clean and review product labels of your furniture before you purchase again. They have to disclose it to you Now you might be thinking, well, I've never had a reaction to a new piece of furniture, so maybe it's not that big of a deal. Well, the problem is that toxins will accumulate in your body really slowly over time. So while one exposure is generally not going to be a problem, it's the cumulative effect over time that becomes the danger and what can lead to potential health problems. Please understand that I'm certainly not trying to be an alarmist here, but I do think it's important for everyone to know how are furnishings are made, so you can then make the best possible decisions for you and your family. Finally, let's talk about PVC or polyvinyl chloride, which is a type of odorless, solid plastic that's frequently used in home furnishings, including numerous types of window coverings and in vinyl flooring. PVC, unfortunately, is considered to be uniquely toxic as faras plastics go because of it's highly toxic ingredients. These Ingres have been shown to enter the environment during all phases of its life, meaning in production, use and disposal. Can you guess what the main problem at chemical is in PVC? You're right if you said chlorine chlorine production releases dioxins into our environment during production and disposal, eventually contaminating our ground and surface water. At least one dioxin is a known human carcinogen. The other problem at chemical in PVC ihsfah leads, which they used to soften the PVC exposure. PVC dust is believed to lead to its own set of health problems as well, including, but not limited to asthma, respiratory issues, dizziness, I irritation, fertility problems, developmental problems for babies and, in some cases, of chronic exposure, even potentially liver cancer. So If this concerns you, try to avoid items made from plastic, nylon, polyester or other synthetically engineered materials and instead try to replace them with more natural materials. Finally, as I mentioned in an earlier lecture, one of the easiest ways to help improve your overall air quality is to incorporate living plants into your home as a reminder. The best plants for their error filtering abilities include the Peace Lily, Spider Plant, English Ivy, Ukraina, Boston Fern, Snake Plant, Bamboo Palm, Chinese Evergreen, Vikas Benjamin AENA, aloe Vera And for those of you flower lovers, try gerbera daisies. 14. Green Finishes for Your Floors: Okay, now that you understand why your indoor air quality is so important now let's move on to specifically what types of finishes and furnishings you should be looking for in order to create the best indoor air quality possible for your home. In the next several lectures, I'm going to be focusing on the finishes and then following that all focus on the furnishings. Now, when I say finishes, I'm referring to building materials such as flooring, paint, wallpaper, trim, cabinetry, countertops and backsplash materials. When I say furnishings, I'm referring to furniture, draperies, rugs and other decorative accessories. You using your home and that can be easily moved around before we jump into the world of finishes. I just want to make an important point now on Lee. Will you improve the air quality of your home by selecting ego friendly, sustainable finishes? But you will also increase the value resale values of ICO friendly, sustainable homes and buildings tend to be higher than those of comparable structures, according to several studies conducted by the Department of US Energy, particularly in a competitive housing market, having agreeing home can definitely give you the green advantage toe help you stand out from the competition. So just one more reason to choose the highest quality ICO friendly, sustainable finishes that you possibly can. Okay, that said, let's go ahead and start with one of the largest finishes in our home, our flooring and the area of flooring. What do you think is going to be one of the greenest choices? If you said hardwood, nice job and more specifically, reclaimed wood is going to be a great choice, or at least would. That comes from a sustainably managed forced. Other would type products that could be green include strand woven bamboo, which happens to be the strongest type of bamboo flooring and engineered wood. Regardless of the wood type product that you are looking at, you will want to look for a product that has no added your urea formaldehyde to that point . Don't just take the word of the flooring company that their product is green. Ask them some specific questions, such as Can you tell me what the Yuria formaldehyde content is for this floors adhesive and or its finished? If they can ask them to provide you with documentation from the company certifying that fact, ideally, want to find flooring that has 0.1 ppm or lower ppm stands for parts per 1,000,000. So in summary, if I were shopping for a wood flooring product, I would look for 100% FSC certified zero BOC finishes and formaldehyde free adhesives. And speaking of adhesives, don't forget to inquire about the type of adhesive that may be used for glue down floors. Some are BOC free, but some are not. Laminate flooring is actually another product that could be ego friendly, which may surprise some of you, given that it's a plastic laminate veneer over high density fiberboard core. But here's why. We may be able to call the Seiko friendly laminate flooring gives you the look of wood or even stone, but does so without actually using these. Natural resource is instead using a high definition photograph. Also, the high density fiberboard core can be made from recycled materials such as waste wood materials and even recycled paper. And typically the core is made from softwood such as pine, which grows more quickly than hardwoods and usually in a controlled environment. Both facts, which helped to make it a more sustainable choice. Now, on Lee can be made from recycled materials, but thanks to new processes lamb, it is now also recyclable. Additionally, laminate requires no special glues or adhesives during installation, thereby not only Elimane vo ces on the glue downside, but also making a great choice for D I wires. Finally, Lamma does not require any special cleaners, which also contributes to better indoor air quality. In the unlikely chance that you need to purchase underlayment, look for one made from a non toxics sustainable materials such as rubber, cork or other recycled materials. I say unlikely because many lamb it's today have their own underlayment already attached to the product. Now that we reviewed the good news, let's review the not so good news when it comes to laminate. Not surprisingly, be aware that laminate may contain formaldehyde in the high density fiberboard core. To this point, back in 2015 60 minutes ran a news report about laminate flooring from China being sold it lumber liquidators that was found to be admitting formaldehyde at levels several times higher than California regulations allow. After reaching a settlement with the Consumer Product Safety Commission, this company agreed to stop selling the product and to continue testing at no cost some of their laminate flooring. So just be sure to do your homework if you decide to go with a laminate flooring. Okay, now that we reviewed all of the wood and would like products, you may be wondering which of these products in general has the lowest levels of formaldehyde emissions. Well, I am glad you asked. It turns out that Consumer Reports in the U. S. Did their own independent testing a few years ago of prefinished hardwood engineered wood, and they found that the prefinished hardwood had consistently lower formaldehyde emissions , which is likely not surprised. So if you live in a part of the world where hardwood is commonly used, your quest for ego friendly flooring may be easier than those who live in areas were only engineered wood. It can be used due to the type of sub floor they have. Other green options include stone floors such as marble, Slater, Traver teen and cork cork flooring made from the cork oak tree is anti microbial, water resistant, and some of the products do not contain formaldehyde or PVC. Just as with wood products, look for green certifications related to those flooring materials and non toxic adhesives. Another eco friendly flooring choice is stained concrete. Now on Lee is this type of flooring very in right now, but it's also extremely flexible in terms of colors and patterns, making a potentially great choice for many different homes and interior design styles. I particularly like stained concrete floors in the industrial, urban, modern, contemporary, Zen and even bohemian styles. Moving on modular flooring tiles can be a great choice, as they don't require adhesive and are definitely D i Y. They come in many materials, including bio based materials. For those of you who want carpeting, there are two decent ICO friendly options for you. I know that carpet is often maligned, but one advantage is a carpet could retain as much as 10% of a room's heat. Great for those cooler areas of the world. First, consider wool carpeting or toe up your green factor. Check out modular carpet titles. So why is this more eco friendly? Precisely because they are modular, meaning If you need to change a worn out or damaged area, you don't have to rip out the entire carpet. You just swap out the square, and some companies will let you shift back the squares to them to be recycled. Also, some of the companies who produce these tiles, such as floor, make their carpet tiles from recycled materials and non toxic dyes. Finally, because you install these carpet tiles yourself, you don't need to worry about laying down a pad, which often has its own share of harmful chemicals. We also have recycled rubber flooring, which is available in sheets or tiles with many colors and designs available, and linoleum is actually natural. Non toxic flooring option has been around for a very long time and is definitely durable. The final consideration for eco friendly flooring is to consider how the product is disposed of, which varies greatly by the type of product that you are using. If we're talking about solid wood engineered wood, cork or linoleum. Thankfully, these can all be refinished. Most tile, such a stone, porcelain and ceramic can practically last indefinitely. Wool carpet can be recycled in terms of which products are biodegradable. Both wool carpeting and linoleum are wood flooring. Maybe, unfortunately, some of the products used to finish solid and engineered wood and bamboo flooring are not biodegradable. Speaking of bamboo, I want to spend some time talking about this material Does Calmly perceived as ICO friendly Many of you may think that bamboo is a great ICO friendly choice, and it's certainly being touted as such everything from bamboo linens and clothing to furniture and flooring. And it's true that there are some great benefits to bamboo. Namely, it's the fastest growing woody plant in the world. Technically a grass and not a wood maturing in three years. It absorbs co two quicker and produces more oxygen than similar trees. It self regenerates from its own roots. It requires little water, and it could be cultivated without pesticides. There is no question that these are all great reasons to consider bamboo whoever the bamboo industry is not giving you the whole story here. First of all, the majority of bamboo is being grown in China, resulting in a lot of carbon emissions during the transportation process on its way to places like the US It also puts a law of the land, and there's something called monoculture production, which results in soil depletion and damage to the biodiversity in the area. Bamboo flooring frequently contains formaldehyde based adhesives, which can admit vo ces. In addition, for fabric based bamboo products, it has to undergo some chemically intensive production processing in order to get it from the raw material into the end product. Did you catch the word chemically? Yes, That means that bamboo production results in toxic by products to our environment. Finally, some products are being mislabeled as being made from bamboo, but in reality the items were made from bamboo pulp, but not the bamboo fibre. And these products are instead made with synthetic fibers such as rayon or viscose, completely misleading, in my opinion. So as you concede, not all bamboo is created equally, so you really need to do your homework. If you are considering buying a bamboo products, particularly flooring, there are definitely ICO friendly bamboo products out there. You just need to verify that they are as ego friendly as they claim to be said Another way , Don't be bamboozled by the label Bamboo 15. Green Finishes for Your Walls: Now let's move into all of the ICO friendly finishes available for your walls in this lecture will primarily be discussing paint and wallpaper, but also briefly touch on some other very cool ideas for your walls that you may not have thought of first in the area of paint your Bullis. A choose zero boc paint, or at least lo vio si paint loader is nice, but please be aware that this does not guarantee that's lower. No vio si, it just means what it says. Low odor. Earlier, I talked about why Vo Ces are a health concern. Now I want to talk to you specifically about how their problem with regards to paint. Most people use latex paint instead of oil based paint, which is a great thing from an environmental standpoint. Oil based paint, while definitely more durable than latex paint, also happens to use petroleum as it's basic solvent. And no surprise, then has a much higher BOC content than latex. Specifically, the vio Si content of oil based paint is estimated to be in the range of 30 to 40%. Latex, in contrast, means that water instead of petroleum is used as the basic solvent, which is a good thing. However, traditional latex paint still uses video sees as another solvent to carry the binders, pigments and other components that give the paint it's color and sheen to the area being painted. As the paint is drying, these vio si slowly evaporate into the air. Now some people think that the paint on lee off gases while it's drying, and that once it's dry, you are good to go. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Even after drying, these paints will continue toe off gas for a few years. As a result, we're thankfully seen an increase in no or low. BOC paints companies that claim to carry some lower. No vio si paint lines include Ben More, their on Ball bear, Sherwin Williams Dunn Edwards milk paint and Yellow Color House. Now I use the word claim because there was a recent settlement from the Federal Trade Commission against some of these companies, including Benjamin Maurin YOLO Color House, stating that they had made unsubstantiated claims about the BOC content of some of their paints. So, as I mentioned in the beginning of this course, it's always a good idea to do your own homework on specific manufacturers. Now, apart from the mainstream synthetic lower, no vo sea water based paints. There are also paints available, made from natural ingredients such as clay, milk, natural oils, tree resin, mineral pigments and even bees wax. And if you are in the you look for the U equal label for environmentally friendly, high quality paints to up your green factor. If you are painting yourself, use reusable canvas drop cloths like the professionals do rather than disposable drop cloths and resist the urge to use old sheets as drop cloths because thin sheets will not prevent the paint color from bleeding through onto your floor and your furnishings. Here are a couple of other important points you should be aware of when trying to paint your walls in the most eagle friendly way possible. First, you may or may not know this, but sanding your walls with a fine grit sandpaper attached to a sanding pulled before you Pain will almost always give you a better result. Most people don't take the time to do this, including some professional painters, but by sanding your previously painted walls. First, you will smooth out your walls by leveling out any spackle patches or ridges around those nail holes and by sanding your trim before you paint it. You were moved any rough spots that said, Be sure to wear a mask, goggles and gloves while you are standing and maintain proper ventilation in that room. Now. That said, if you live in a home built in the U. S. Before 1978 you may know this, but you may need to worry about lead in your wall paint. So before you sand, you'll need to make sure the area is lead free. Otherwise, sanding could disturb the lead, and you'll definitely need to take special precautions if you're going to be painting over lead based paint. Additionally, I would caution you against using old pains that you or the previous owner's may have stored away in your home. This is because over the years, paint quality has definitely improved, such as the removal of lead mercury and other harmful chemicals. And make sure to use the right type of paint, meaning don't use exterior paint on your interior, as exterior paint often has additional chemicals that you simply don't need or want for your interior applications. Finally, even if you were using a low or no BOC paint, it's still prudent to do things like ensure proper ventilation in a room and even wearing a protective mask when painting is never a bad idea. Now let's move on the wallpaper, which is one of my very favorite elements to use in design. Just like with paint, look for wallpaper that is free of vo season. Spock is, which generally comes from the PVC coating, very often used in traditional wallpaper. I recommend looking for papers that have the Greengard certification, which will ensure that the wallpaper contains no or low vo seats. Other characteristics you can look for to find eco friendly wallpaper includes paper that is made from recycled paper, other recycled materials or just other natural materials such as grass cloth, bamboo palm and banana tree bark. If the paper is not made from recycled materials than look for paper, that least has the FSC or PFC chain of custody certification, which you may remember from an earlier lecture means that was made from sustainably harvested trees. Finally, look for paper that uses water based inks, which will contain fewer chemicals and toxins and other types of ink. Don't forget about the wallpaper paste. Be sure to look for pace that does not emit toxins or vo ces. I personally recommend that you hire a professional to remove old wallpaper and install new wallpaper. But if you decide to remove it yourself, just be sure to completely remove all of the old wallpaper remnants in a responsible manner . Some wallpaper companies who state that they offer ICO friendly papers include Farrow and Ball, Phillip Jeffries, Graham and Brown, Kimberly Lewis, Madison Grow, Louise Body and Miss Prince Wallpapers, which are made in the UK The only downside with ego friendly paper is the selection available. Unfortunately, as of right now, you will not find a huge assortment of different prints and patterns. But I am hopeful that the selection will only continue to grow in the future. Additionally, from a cost standpoint, you will find that natural ego friendly wallpapers are still considerably pricier than their vinyl counterparts. Apart from the most widely used wall treatments, specifically paint and wallpaper, you should be aware that there are plenty of other eco friendly materials that you can use on your walls for a unique and stylish look. Some of these options include clay plaster, reclaimed wood panels, cork tiles, ceramic tiles and number of recycled tile products from both paper and glass. Speaking of Tyler, if you're going to go through the effort of finding ICO friendly tile, then be sure to look for tile that also has a lead free glaze. Finally, don't forget about the very cool green living walls that we're seeing pop up on numerous instagram feeds and pincher sports everywhere. There are also some great benefits about green living plant walls, including improved air quality, reduce sound transmission and improved heat insulation. What is not to love about that? Finally, check out these three D wall panels that are made from 100% the gas molded paper Polk. The gas is the fibers residue of sugar cane that remains after sugar cane is crushed to extract the juice. As a result, these three D wall panels are recyclable, biodegradable and, most importantly, their super stylish 16. Green Finishes for Your Kitchen and Bathrooms: next up is our discussion on ICO friendly finishes for your kitchen and bathrooms. Specifically cabinetry, countertops and backsplash materials. Cabinetry is actually an area that is fairly easy for consumers to navigate if they're looking for ICO friendly cabinets. Why? Because the kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association, which is a North American non profit organization that works to advance the Cabinet industry in the areas of standard setting research and education, has created the Environment Stewardship Program, or E S. P, to help manufacturers, builders, designers and consumers like you identify cabinetry, dies environmentally friendly. As a result, more than 150 Cabinet manufacturers now carry the E S P logo for all types of cabinets, including custom, semi, custom and stock. When you see the E. S P logo, you will know that the company has met strict requirements in the areas of air quality, process and product resource management, environmental stewardship and community relations. You can read more about that certification here. Some certifications look for when shopping for cabinets include the FSC certification and Greengard certification. I would also look for products that meet or exceed the California Air Resources Board to requirements from 2009 also known as carb, which set strict standards for combating air pollution. On that note, I would definitely ask if the cabinets have any added urea formaldehyde and likely consider passing on them if they do. If you decide to pin your cabinets instead, then use a no BOC paint. While many of the large Cabinet makers are starting to make riel changes such as not using glue with Yuria formaldehyde, some of the more well known ICO friendly Cabinet manufacturers in the U. S include breathe easy cabinetry, executive kitchens and Belmont Cabinet company. Another great option if you're interested in helping to reduce waste, is to shop for your cabinets at salvage shops. Okay, now let's move on the countertop materials for your kitchen and bathrooms. First, let's talk about today's most commonly used countertop materials and why they may or may not be the most ICO friendly choices. First, we have stone. This includes products like granite courts, court site, marble and soapstone. Because Stone is obviously a natural product, many would assume that this is definitely a Nico friendly choice. But is it well, as with many materials and design, the answer, really is it depends. The reality is that stone must be quarried, which requires a lot of energy and water, and it may very well have been shipped a great distance, adding to its environmental impact. So if you'd like to use stone and keep it ego friendly, look for indigenous stone or purchase remnant pieces. Particularly great for smaller projects such as islands bars, fireplace surrounds and your bathroom vanities, and you'll generally save quite a bit of money going with remnants. The other thing you want to look for is a stone's durability factor. Granite and courts are both incredibly durable, meaning they will look great for decades, if not hundreds of years. But marble, unless cared for meticulously, will look worn out much sooner. Courts, even though it's on 100% natural Stone is my current favorite stone product and by far the most specified product amongst my clients. Why, Because courts is readily available, it's extremely hard. In fact, it's one of the strongest natural substances on earth. It does not need to be sealed, its bacteria resistant and comes in many different finishes and patterns, including today's popular marble look. Based on my own research here in the U. S. Caesar Stone in Cambria have some of the best environmental practices among courts manufacturers. Next, we have laminate countertops made from companies like Formica and solid surface countertops like Korean from DuPont. These two materials often get confused for the other, but they are different. First, let's discuss laminate, just like with the flooring material. If you choose laminate, which is definitely a budget friendly option, be sure to look for a product as Greengard certified uses formaldehyde, free paper and low or non toxic clues. Also, be aware that laminate does not have the life span of stone. Instead, the lifespan of lamb in a is typically somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 to 20 years. Solid surface countertops such as Korean are made from mineral dust mixed with a variety of plastic resins and pigments, which are non renewable products. However, solid surface countertops are no or low vio si, and they're very durable. Now I'm going to move from these common countertop choices and talk about countertops that are specifically designed and marketed it as ICO friendly. The first product on my list is Paper Stone, which is made from recycled paper and a non petroleum resin. This product is quickly becoming a favorite amongst designers when working with Iko conscious clients. As paper Stone is easy to install, durable can be sanded and refinished and FSC certified. However, the current choices are fairly limited. Apart from paper stone, Another great ICO friendly option includes recycled glass or recycled glass with cement countertops. If you're in the US and you like the idea of recycled glass list cement, which, by the way, is a pretty bold countertop. Look to the following companies. Petrizzo. If US and I Stone, if you are interested in just recycled glass and check out counters by bio glass and if you're in Canada, check out Think glass diraz. Oh, not to be confused with the Trott's Oh, originated in Italy and was traditionally made with marble and cement, although today are made from a host of recycled materials, including glass, stone and metal combined with recycled aggregates and contain an epoxy was zero vio si and rapidly renewable components. The other great thing about terrazzo is that it can be recycled at the end of its usable life, now going back the solid surface countertops, one of the best ego friendly choices today is a product by Costantino, which uses a corn oil based product instead of the typical petroleum based binder, and 75% of pride is made from recycled content. This product also has the cradle to cradle and Greengard certifications, which I'll speak more about in a little bit. Finally, we have resident countertops. Specifically, check out the Company three form, which offers recycled PVC free resin based products in a variety of colors and finishes. Finally, let's finish up with a brief discussion on ICO friendly backsplashes. I would definitely look to tile made from recycled materials such as glass, clay, ceramic, an aluminum who reclaimed wood, cork or even ICO friendly wallpaper. Bio glass made by coverings, etcetera is another product that could be used to make backsplashes. And as I spoke about earlier countertops and is made from recycled glass bottles, it's LEED certified and includes no fillers or binders. It doesn't come in a huge array of colors, but my favorites are the ones in blue, green, aqua and white 17. Green Options for Your Fireplace: Okay, So, up to this point, we've covered flooring, wall covering materials, cabinetry, countertops and backsplashes, the main finishes in our homes. One other area I'd like to cover briefly in this section is our fireplaces. If you already have a fireplace, odds are that its gas or possibly even wood burning. Unfortunately, both have their own environmental problems. If you have a wood burning fireplace, the smoke that is produced by burning wood does contain carbon monoxide. Nitrogen oxide suit a number of other chemicals that can cause or worsen health issues, particularly for Children, pregnant women and those with breathing difficulties. Some diseases that have been linked with wood burning fireplaces include lung disease, heart attacks and premature death. As for gas fireplaces, they either use natural gas or propane, both of which are fossil fuels, and contribute to global warming, no matter how efficient the fireplaces. But they still produce lower emissions and would fortunately, because gas fireplaces, air considered more decorative as they generally cannot heat an entire room, they aren't used as often as other types of fireplaces, so the environmental impact is likely more minimal. So what's a fireplace lover like me to dio well. Thankfully, we do have a few choices. First, you may want to consider a fireplace that is fueled by bioethanol, as this fuel is non toxic, water soluble and biodegradable. Additionally, unlike gas fireplaces, bioethanol fireplaces released significantly less carbon dioxide into the air, and they don't have to be vented. The downside with these fireplaces is that, like gas fireplaces, they arm or decorative than functional. The second option is an electric fireplace, but you definitely have to spend some money here to get one that does not look tacky and fake. You know what I'm talking about? Some of the better ones include decent heating elements as well. And if you want to make an electric fireplace truly ego friendly, power it with green energy like solar panels. Now, if you're thinking Erica, I must have something that gives off serious heat. No problem. I do have a solution for you. Have you ever heard of a pellet stove? I'm guessing? Likely not, but I want to change that for you right now. Freestanding pellet stoves, which look a lot like a traditional wood stove or are inserts that fit into an existing fireplace, operate like a modern furnace. The way it works is this. You fill the hopper with pellets made from compacted sawdust, wood chips, bark and other organic material there, then deposited into a burn pot where they are incinerated an extremely high temperature. Because they are burned at such a high temperature, they create very little ash and emissions, making this an extremely efficient and pretty ICO friendly heating source. One other great benefit is that pellet stoves have thermostats, so you simply set your desired temperature, and it will manage itself for about 24 hours now. The only downside, in my opinion, is the aesthetics. I am not personally into the traditional wood stove look, and even the inserts look a little awkward to me. But I can't fault them for their function, and they're low environmental impact. Okay, so that wraps up our conversation on ICO friendly finishes. One final note on this topic. If you live here in the US and you plan on remodeling, you should definitely check out a company called the Reuse People of America to see if they have an office in your area. This company will work with you to salvage as many of your used materials as possible, including but not limited to flooring doors, windows, cabinetry, plumbing fixtures, lighting and roofing materials. And they will reuse them by selling them to the public. And in addition to helping the environment by keeping your use materials out of the landfill, your donation may also be tax deductible, definitely something to check out during your next re build or remodel. 18. Green Furnishings: Furniture: Now that we've covered finishes, let's go ahead and move on to ICO friendly furnishings. When I say furnishings, I'm specifically referring to furniture, textiles, including rugs, draperies and bedding and accessories. In this lecture, I'll be focusing on furniture now before we go more deeply into each of these areas. Let me just start out by stating that your goal with home furnishings, if possible, is to choose organic materials with the lowest environmental impact, like would cotton, linen, wool, hemp and stone. But what about leather? This is technically an organic material as well. What do you think is leather eco friendly or sustainable? Well, although there are individuals who would say absolutely not, given that leather is a by product of the beef industry, and that industry has frequently been maligned for its environmental impact from my research apparently can go either way all depending upon where the leather is source and how it's processed. Unfortunately, in the meat in the street, Ah, lot of rainforests are still being cleared in Brazil for the meat industry. Additionally, there are concerns about the way that leather is processed specifically with the traditional tanning process, which commonly uses chemicals such as formaldehyde and chromium salt, which is a toxic heavy metal. This medal is released into the wastewater and, if not captured in process correctly, can get into the local water supply and cause major problems for both animals and humans. And unfortunately, often these tanneries are located in developing countries where the environmental laws may not be that stringent. Finally, Leather generally has significant transportation associated with it, as the cattle may have been raised and processed in Brazil, then shipped to a tannery in Italy, then shipped to China or India for manufacturing and then finally shipped back to the U. S. As finished goods for sale. That is a huge transportation footprint indeed. So what is the counter argument for all of this? And more importantly, this ICO friendly leather even exist? Well, those in support of leather production would argue that leather is a by product of a very large industry that doesn't seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. It uses the hides that would otherwise go to waste, and it is processed into a long lasting, useful product. So if you share that philosophy and you want to know how to green your leather. I do have some recommendations for you. First, I would look for leather products that are made in the U. S. From US hides or in Europe from European hides, as that will help to ensure that it was likely manufactured with good environmental practices and will have a smaller transportation footprint. My other recommendation is to look for vegetable tan leather, which is an old world artisanal process that is truly chromium free and uses oak, tree bark and other plant oils in its tanning process. What's nice about vegetable tan leather is that it has a much longer life than chrome tan leather and develops a beautiful patina over time. Unfortunately, because it takes longer to produce, vegetable tan leather is more expensive and it is generally reserved for higher and products. It's also less resistant to UV fading, and therefore you should consider a natural leather treatment if you are concerned with fading. Finally, vegetable tan leather also uses more water in its processing, but overall it's still a better environmental choice. Fortunately, because it is the most expensive type of leather, it is not uncommon for furniture manufacturers to use vegetable tan leather as a result, you may not have too difficult of a time finding leather furniture with this specific type of leather. OK, moving on when considering what type of home furnishings to buy, I would look for materials that are easy to clean so that you need fewer cleaning products , which isn't often an overlooked area when we think about greening our homes, isn't it? Unfortunately, many of today's common cleaning products are full of chemicals that are harmful to the environment and to us. Case in point. I was recently using a popular stainless steel cleaner on my own range, and my I started the water and irritate my nose. Now I am generally not someone who is sensitive to smells. So this gave me a good idea of how harsh this product. Waas. Needless to say, I no longer use it, and I've started using a homemade green cleaning product that works justus. Well, you can find the ingredients for this cleaner in the bonus lecture of this course. All that said, let's go ahead and dive into the largest area under the furnishings umbrella, and that is furniture. So what should you look for when it comes to Eagle from the furniture. Here are some helpful tips. First, look for furniture that is durable. If an item can be easily repaired, there's less of a chance that will end up being thrown out. Because even if you don't want it, chances are somebody else will. That said, I generally look for furniture that's made out of hard wood, as hardwood is generally held together by would joinery, minimizing the need for adhesives even better than hardwood? Look for furniture made off sustainable wood, such as mango wood or reclaimed wood. Some reclaimed wood also has a special certification called the Rediscovered Wood Certification. Okay, so what about plywood or MDF? You heard me speak earlier about how MDF commonly used urea formaldehyde. You may be thinking yourself No. No way. Erica can MDF, which is made from wood panel made up of wood fibers and bound together by heat pressure and resin binders, possibly be ICO friendly. Well, not so fast. And the F in particular has some decent benefits, such as being fungus and mold resistant good soundproofing and insulating attributes, and is more affordable than would. Also it uses the wood fibers that are not suitable for planks, so it's basically making good use of the by products from saw mills. In that regard, I'd say it's pretty sustainable as long as the wood fibers are coming from sustainable sources. Its main problem is a commonly added urea formaldehyde. So as long as you avoid products with Yuria formaldehyde and in the area of kitchen cabinets, this is becoming a bit easier to find. NDF can really be a decent alternative. Specifically, look for wood products that have an FSC or FSC certification and use water based adhesives or non urea formaldehyde adhesives. For your seating, I would recommend looking for flame retardant free cushions made of natural fibres such as wool, cotton or pure natural latex or a soy based foam alternative cushions or even down filled cushions. Also look for furniture that has the Green Guard certification, which identifies home products and materials that have strict low chemical emissions and have been tested by an unbiased third party. It's easy enough to search online for furniture that is Greengard certified for table tops , look for ones made out of wood, stone or marble. Now, apart from wood products, look for furniture that has been made out of recycled plastic or metal. Now let's go ahead and spend a minute talking about furniture finishes for both wood and metals as it's important to know which finishes a middle fewer vo ces. Let's start with the biggest offenders, and these include varnish, lacquer and shellac. They aren't just problem ag for the homeowner, but also for the workers who apply these finishes to our furniture. What you want to look for is a water based sealer that preferably, is Greengard certified. I recently had an experience. Why ordered a bed from a popular vendor who shall remain nameless that was made from natural steel, and given that it was made from 99% recycled raw materials, I was feeling pretty ego friendly. In my selection, However, I failed to notice that the steel had a lacquer finish, and when the bed was installed, I definitely noticed a chemically smell. So I reached out to customer service, and they assured me that the lacquer that they used was either low or no vio si and that the smell was actually from the steel itself. Now I'm not 100% confident with the validity of that answer to be honest, but thankfully, the smell did dissipate after a day or two. I share this story with you because you really do need to be thorough in your research and careful in reviewing a products description. If you are truly concerned with finding the most ICO friendly options available in terms of recycled materials, be aware that nearly anything is recyclable at a certain price point. And because companies know that buying recycled items makes consumers like us feel good, sometimes they're incentivized to recycle the wrong things that just just to make more sales. The goal is to find those items that are easily recyclable without a lot of money or impact to the environment. One great certification to look for is something called Cradle the Cradle, or C two C, created by a company called M B D C, which means that these items can be easily taken apart and recycled at the end of their lives. This is the opposite of pieces that have been constructed oven inseparable, blend of different materials 19. Green Furnishings: Textiles: moving on from furniture. I want to now move into the land of textiles and by textiles. I'm referring to rugs, window coverings and bedding. I'm also going to touch on ICO friendly mattresses as well in this lecture in general, when choosing home textiles, try to choose organic or look for common ICO friendly certifications such as Eco Tex or the Global Organic Textile Standard, also known as gots certified, which is given to those textiles that contain a minimum of 70% organic fibres and that meet other environmental standards. Let's start with one of my very favorite home furnishings, and that is rugs. In nearly every case, I feel that a room is just not quite finished without a rug. To me, it's a key design element that really helps to set the tone and style of a room. So what does a Nico friendly rug even look like? Ideally, I would choose a rug with the following characteristics that is made from untreated or minimally treated natural fibers that are biodegradable and recyclable, such as organic cotton, organic wool, Sistol see grasp and jute, or a rug that has been made from recycled materials instead of a synthetic rug, which is often made from petroleum based synthetic fibers that off gas those pesky vo ces and are frequently treated with chemicals to reduce flammability. Jude in particular, is derived from the Jue plant, which is durable and grows quickly, making it a rapidly renewable resource. Unfortunately, and this is kind of diabolical. Even rugs they're made from great natural fibers may have been treated with a stain in sector flame repellent, so you'll need to find out if there are any chemical treatments on the rug before you buy what you think is an ego friendly rug. The best thing to do is to look for common ICO friendly certifications for rugs such as gots these smart, sustainable flooring standard and the Carpet and Rug Institute Green Label program. Also look for non toxic backing, such as jute, wool or natural latex that is sewn and not glued to your backing. When shopping for rug pads, look for pads are made from wool, natural rubber, natural latex or recycled materials that contained no glues or adhesives. One other point. Remember to consider the sustainability of the rug that you are choosing to that point, which product do you think is more sustainable? A secondhand synthetic rug from your local fresh store or 100% jute rug being shipped to the U. S. From India? The second hand local rug actually is the winner due to the energy use in both producing and shipping the jute rug. Always always consider the energy used to produce and deliver a product when you were striving for a more eco friendly home. Some ICO friendly rug companies include hook and Loom Earth weave rugs, peace industry rugs and Odegard carpets. Other big names stores that carry 100% natural fiber rugs include West Elm, Crate Barrel, Pottery Barn and I Kia. However, I have yet to ask these four companies, if they're rugs, are treated with any chemicals. Now let's move on to window coverings. This is fairly straightforward. If you are in the market for drapes or shades, I would simply look for window coverings made from organic cotton, organic hemp, linen wool or do Biyani silk. Also choose window coverings that use nontoxic, dies of possible and are free of finishes. Finally, avoid coverings are labeled as stain resistant. I'll talk more about why this is in just a couple of minutes. Unfortunately, the labels of water resistant and wrinkle resistant are also problematic because of the chemicals that these products are treated with to obtain these characteristics. If you are looking for blinds and shutters, look for FSC certified wood blinds and shutters. Now a quick word on organic window coverings you may be thinking, Okay, Erica, I completely understand why I should care about using organic products that I will be touching regularly. But why should I care about window coverings? Well, first, traditional fabrics used in window coverings such as polyester, nylon and rayon, our petroleum based, which means that they take quite a bit of energy to produce, and they use up non renewable natural resource is. Additionally, they are frequently coated with flame retardants, which we already know amid as Vo ces. But they also often have stained treatments, which usually contain PSC's. What RPF sees you ask. Well, it stands for pair Floren aided chemicals, and there are a large group of manufactured compounds that have been widely used since the 19 forties to make everyday products more resistant to stains water. In Greece, three of the most common PFCs there used RPF, O, a, P, F, T, E and P FOS. You'll commonly find these chemicals in your cookware, your carpeting, upholstered furniture, window coverings and mattresses, and even clothing. They are also widely used in the manufacturing processes of many industries, including, but not limited to the Elektronik construction and automotive and aerospace industries. Why is this important to you? It's because the PF sees that are admitted into the environment from these processes, break down very slowly and show up in our groundwater as well as our fish and wildlife. PFC. Zehr also found in dust and some experts state that PFCs can also travel long distances in the air. Unfortunately, when we consume contaminated products, PFCs can remain in the human body for years. In fact, now hold on to your hats for this 11 study found that 99% yes, 99% of the US population between 1999 and 2012 had PFC is in their blood serum. So why is this problematic? Well, an animal studies researchers found that PFC is disrupt normal endocrine function, it reduce immune function, cause developmental problems in offspring and cause adverse effects on our organs, specifically the pancreas and the liver. When it comes to human studies, it's been mixed. Some states have shown ill effects on human health, while other students studies have failed to find conclusive links. The state is that showed ill effects on human health includes such problems as changes toe liver function, reduced immune response, thyroid disease and increased kidney and testicular cancer. These concerns are significant enough that there continues to be research on this at the government level, at least in the U. S. By the E P A. And the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. Do the fact that there is widespread exposure. Humans of PFCs, they are persistent in our environment. They have been shown is toxic in animal studies and there is insufficient information to properly assess the risk to human health. Thankfully, progress has been made by the E. P A since 2000 on phasing out PF season common household products, so hopefully one day this will be a thing of the past. In the meantime, I would avoid purchasing products marketed as stain resistant, and fortunately, you can specifically search for products online that are free of these potential harmful chemicals. Okay, now let's go ahead and move on to betting. First, I would look for betting that is eco texts and got certified. Now you may be wondering, What about just purchasing good old cotton sheets or comforters? Isn't that good enough? Well, cotton and other natural textiles require a significant amount of hazardous chemicals that is used throughout the entire manufacturing process. And cotton growers account for about 25% of the world's insecticide use. That's a pretty high number, so by choosing organic, you are supporting better environmental practices for blankets. I would choose wool over polyester for the PFC issue that I just discussed, although you can't find products that use antimony free recycled polyester, which is not a bad choice. Now let's talk mattresses. This is a subject that is near and dear to my heart. I just spent several weeks researching ICO friendly mattresses as I was in need of a new mattress myself. Why was I avoiding traditional mattresses? Well, traditional mattresses usually contain flame retardants and are generally a combination of nylon, vinyl, polyester and polyurethane foam. All materials that I know I wanted to avoid. Ego friendly mattresses do avoid all of these materials and instead are usually a combination of wool, cotton, natural latex, maybe silica and pocketed springs. Many of these materials are organic as well. What I learned is that there are a number of online mattress companies making great ego friendly mattresses at good price points, and we are very happy with the mattress. We ended up selecting in the lecture on green vendors. Later, in this course, I provide a list of the mattress companies I ended up researching. If you're interested now, for those of you paying attention, you heard me mention wool twice in the last few minutes. Well, is really a very ICO friendly material. Not only is a biodegradable and recyclable, but it's also good for your health. It's hypo allergenic, antibacterial and dust mite resistant. Last but not least, it's also odor resistant moisture absorbent, and it's considered the most fire resistant natural textile. Talk about a super fiber right 20. Green Furnishings: Accessories: when it comes to ICO. From the accessories, we've already discussed the importance of using real plants in your designs whenever possible for their aesthetics and their indoor air quality benefits. For other accessories. I would encourage you to shop your local second hand stores, your flea markets and your yard sales for other unique fund decor items that are in need of a new home so that they don't end up in a landfill. Accessories can add phenomenal personality to a room and striving to use one of a kind items rather than those cookie cutter finds from the main home decor retailers is a great way to create that curated look in your home now. That's not to say that accessories purchased new from those large home to core retailers should be avoided at all costs. I certainly don't operate that way. Sometimes you just need a very specific item to finish a room. I'm just encouraging you to not rely solely on mass market produce items if you're striving for a greener home. That said, I now want to talk to you about one of the most common accessories using home decor today, and that is candles candles creates such great ambiance, particularly when lit. But unfortunately, candles come with their own health concerns. And some experts say that the smoke made from candles can be just as dangerous to your body as second hand smoke. Why is that? Well, because the majority of candles are made from Para Finn, a petroleum byproduct, and as a result, traditional candles also admit vo ces, including benzene and acetone, which are known carcinogens. When these candles are burned, they produce soot that can remain in the air for hours. These sick particles can then penetrate deeply into the lungs and are absorbed into the bloodstream and have been linked with asthma, allergies, heart attacks and even cancer and per the E P A. Candles contain fragrances have higher suit admissions, the non scented candles. Speaking of scented candles, they released their own special videos ease, including formaldehyde and petroleum distillates. Now you may be thinking, okay, so I just won't burn them. Well, I wish you were that simple. It's just not. A study by the University of South Florida found that tariff in wax candles do omit low levels of benzene, even when they are not lit. Even candle wicks seem to be a concern. They're supposed to be made from cotton your paper, at least in the US, but they also often contain zinc and tin. And when burn these metals, Duke released trace amounts of heavy metals into the air, including lead. So what should you do if you're a candle lover? I certainly am. Well, I would choose candles made from natural materials such as bees, wax vegetable wax or non GMO soy that producing cleaner burn. Finally, if you like scented candles, I would encourage you to find candles that are scented worth organic, pure essential oils. Now coming back to home furnishings in general, I have one final fantastic tip for you when it comes to sourcing. ICO friendly sustainable furnishings In general, if you are interested in finding now which manufacturers and retailers are dedicated to environmentally sustainable practices, you can now do so thanks to the Sustainable Furnishings Council. This is a company that was created in 2006 whose mission it is to help companies reduce their environmental footprint and help consumers like you find healthy furnishings. If you go to sustainable furnishings dot org's and click on the member list. Under the membership tab, you'll see a large alphabetical list of companies that are part of this coalition, and you can also search by company name each member's rated as qualifying, bronze, silver, gold or platinum status based on where they are in their sustainability efforts. Now, this doesn't mean that if a company is listed here that all of their products are going to be ICO friendly and sustainable. Nor doesn't mean that the company is not part of this coalition, that they don't offer ego friendly products or practices. But if they are on this list, you can know that they've met a certain threshold for sustainability. And I am confident, have likely made a public statement on their website about said efforts. In short, this is definitely a great resource available for you. 21. Green Vendors You Should Know About: 22. Social Responsibility in Interior Design: I now just want to spend a few minutes talking about social responsibility and how it relates to interior design, specifically the products we purchase for our homes more than ever, consumers are concerned with a company's social responsibility, practices and initiatives, meaning consumers are coming to expect that company balance their profit making activities with ethical activities that benefit society and that they are sensitive to social, cultural, economic and environmental issues, which can also be referred to as fair trade. This typically means that companies will openly advertise their activities in these areas, such as but not limited to providing clean and safe manufacturing processes for their employees, that they completely avoid child labor and that they pay their workers fair wages. In fact, many well known home furnishing companies have pages on their websites devoted to their social responsibility activities, including Syria, Bernhardt, Century, Creighton Barrel and West Elm. Just to name a few good, we've formally rug Mark is a nonprofit international company based in the UK has dedicated to major social responsibility issues in the carpet industry, such as eradicating child labor, forced labor and bonded labor, providing Children and vulnerable worker communities with opportunities for education and vocational training and facilitating programs to improve adult workers terms and conditions of employment. So good we've is another great certification I would look for when shopping for carpeting and fur rugs. Obviously, the concept of sustainability that we've been talking about goes hand in hand with social responsibility, specifically in regards to a company's environmental impact in the production and the sale of its products, social responsibilities and taking sustainability one step further and bringing in social, cultural and economic issues as well. So if these issues are important to you, I would recommend looking at the websites of the company's you want to purchase from and ensure that they have outlined what their social responsibility activities are because, believe me, if they are doing this, they will most definitely communicate it. 23. Upcycling, Repurposing and Recycling: If you are a crafty DIY I wire This lecture will be near and dear to your heart, I'm sure. But even if you're not, I am confident that you will be inspired by something new that you can apply in your own home or with your own clients and the topic of conversation. Is this up cycling, repurposing and recycling your home furnishing items? So what do these three different terms mean? Well, first of all, they are all related, but they're also different and distinct, although the terms are frequently used interchangeably, particularly up cycling and repurpose ing, which I'm sure has just added to the confusion. First, let's go ahead and talk about up cycling. While all of these activities are very ICO friendly, if we had toe have a winner on the ICO friendly scale, then I would say that up cycling is the most ICO friendly option as it means that you are reusing the item in the same way, but just making it better. This is the Maury co friendly option because you're cutting down on waste and energy up. Cycling includes such straightforward activities as RIA Post during a sofa chair or a bench repainting or restraining a piece of furniture or adding new hardware toe a case. Good item. Salvage stores are another great place to find items that can be up cycled. For example, if you find yourself in need of new decorative windows, interior doors or heating grates, you can likely hit up an architectural salvage shop near you for some great vintage finds. And for a fraction of the price of new, you may have noticed that I said decorative windows, not just windows, because I personally still think buying the most energy efficient windows for most homes is the better way to go from an energy standpoint, unless you live in a very temperate climate where excellent insulation is just not as important. Now let's talk repurpose ing repurpose. He means that you are taking something that is in disrepair and you are attorney into something completely different that is both new and unexpected. Tables are commonly repurposed items, which can be made from antique rates, old doors or a wooden cable spool. Really, your imagination is the limit here. What's particularly great about repurpose tables is that often the wood or whatever material you are using will display marks or etchings of its previous life, making it a truly one of a kind item. Another common repurpose material is pallets. Pallets could easily be made into furniture such as tables, chairs, benches or even outdoor loungers. Even an old bed frame can be repurposed into a bench. Accessories are another easy thing to make from repurpose items, such as using an old tea kettle as a vase. If you don't feel that crafty, then consider using obvious flat surfaces for tables such as a no old steamer trunk. There are many etc. Shops devoted to selling repurpose items. So if you are someone who is pretty crafty yourself, who knows? You might just consider a new career in selling repurposed items on a marketplace like etc dot com. Now let's talk. Recycling recycling means that the item will be disassembled and its parts will be recycled into other uses. This, of course, is the least ICO friendly option on Lee, because it generally takes a tremendous amount of energy to recycle on item. But it sure beats the item lending up in a landfill. There is a little more work involved for you, though generally you'll have to disassemble your furniture and then find a recycling center that will take each of the materials. Fortunately, if you are in the US, there are hundreds of recycling centers around our country that will take various materials for recycling. Unfortunately, one thing to be aware of is that much of today's furniture is made with treated wood such as MDF, particleboard, and you may have difficulties finding a recycling center that will take it. That is just one more reason to buy riel wood furniture, but I do have some good news for you. There are companies like junk King that will take away your old items, including your old mattresses, your upholstered furniture and appliances, and recycle them for you for a fee. This will save you time and ensure that your items end up in the right place. Okay, so that in a nutshell, is up cycling, repurposing and recycling all worthy activities for a greener planet. Indeed. Now there is one more option that we haven't talked about in this area. Can you figure out what that IHS it's donating? Of course. I personally donate all of the time, particularly the organizations like the Goodwill and habitat for humanity as habitat for humanity is often the only place that will take items like ceiling light fixtures and other building related type items. So the bottom line is that there are very few reasons why you should ever have to throw something in the trash. Between the options I've already discussed, there is usually a more ego friendly choice. 24. Buy Used and Buy Local: while up. Cycling and repurpose ing are some of the best ways to keep your home ICO friendly. Sometimes you just don't have the pieces you need either from a functional or from an aesthetic standpoint, which means that you're going to need to buy something, and that is perfectly OK to this point. We've talked about all of the great ICO friendly options that you have when it comes to purchasing new items for your home. But if you want to up the green factor, buying used and buying local will always win over buying an ICO friendly item from across the globe, as we've already discussed. And there are lots of other great reasons to buy used and buy local products first when you buy used. The furniture has typically done most of its off gassing. At this point, if there's any to be done at all, which can help you limit your exposure to any problematic chemicals that I discussed in earlier lectures. Second, by buying locally, you help to reduce fossil fuel consumption and reduce emissions. Third, buying from local artisans means that you are also supporting your local economy and forth , and this is probably my favorite reason. When you buy used and particularly antique furniture, you will definitely avoid that cookie cutter mass produced look that is so common in many homes today used in antique pieces really allow you to create a curated look, which is one of the hottest buzzwords in design today. Yes, it requires more work than buying everything from one store. But if you love design like I do, then you'll appreciate the fruits of your efforts. So hopefully you can now see why many environmentally focused designers would say that buying use furniture and antiques is really the greenest way to go when it comes to buying furniture for your home. Now for you online shoppers, definitely check out first dibs dot com and cherish dot com, which often have gorgeous vintage and antique furniture, pieces, decor and artwork. While both sites are amazing, I personally prefer cherished dot com, not only because of price points are more in line with a variety of budgets, but this search capabilities are fantastic, including being able to identify pieces in major cities throughout the U. S. Definitely up in the green factor. If you can pick up the peace locally rather than having it shipped a long distance. Other great places that you can use to purchase use furniture, especially if you are looking to up cycle or repurpose pieces are your local Facebook groups devoted to selling and buying use pieces locally. Craigslist Yard sales and Apt Deco, which is just currently in New York and New Jersey but in the process of expanding to other U. S cities. In addition, don't forget your local vintage shops, your flea markets, antique stores and secondhand stores, which can all be a fun treasure hunt for your next great piece. Vintage items are also a great choices. They typically hold their value, so reselling them can also be a great option when you are just ready to move on. 25. Create Your Own Eco-Friendly, Sustainable Design Plan: 26. LEED and Other Green Certifications/Accreditations: Hello, My fellow interior design professionals. This section is just for you. In this final section of the course, I just want to spend some time talking to you about lead and other green certifications and accreditations that you can obtain if you're interested. I also want to talk to you about the importance of our role and how we have a unique opportunity to make a significant impact from an environmental standpoint and finally to provide you with some trade Onley sources for home furnishings. So let's go ahead and dive right into lead. Probably the most well known accreditation in the area of ICO friendly design. Lead stands for leadership in energy and environmental design, and it was developed by the U. S. Green Building Council or U S G B. C. - Well , the main focuses of LEED certification is indoor air quality, which, as you now know, is one of the leading causes of health problems in our world. So this is a great focus area, in my opinion. So what are some of the lead choices that interior designers can make? It includes sourcing items locally choosing ICO friendly finishes and materials using sustainable wood, reusing vintage furniture and educating your clients on which products admit the harmful chemicals we spoke about earlier. In this course, it can also mean helping your client navigate choices that may seem like their ego friendly . On the front end, for example, choose a recycled material. But as you now know, if that recycled material had to travel great distances to be here, it may not be a sustainable as they think. What I love about LEED and Green Sustainable design is that it is really taking your design , services and skills to that next level. You're no longer just thinking about form and function, but now you are considering the environmental impact of your designs. A much bigger picture view indeed. And most importantly, you're helping your clients to live healthier lives. How great is that? So now I want to get back to the accreditation itself. The first level of accreditation is the lead green associate, which thankfully requires no prior experience. In order to sit for this exam, however, it is recommended that you have had at least some exposure to lead and green building concepts, either through experience or some coursework. This exam covers the basics of the lead green building rating systems. Once you pass this exam, you can either stay at this level of accreditation or you can move on to the next year, which is the lead AP with specialty. Specifically, you will have five specialty areas that you can choose from. These include lead building, design and construction, lead operations and maintenance, leap neighborhood development, lead interior design and construction or lead homes. For interior design professionals, the most appropriate specialty areas are either lead homes or the lead interior design plus construction. Each of these specialties go deeper into the lead rating system but are focused on different areas. The former is for those designers who work in residential design, whereas the latter is better suited for those working in commercial design. Prior to sitting for one of these two tier exams, you should have experience working on a lead project after achieving your to tear accreditation again, you can either stay at this level or you can eventually apply to advance to the third tier . Known as the lead fellow. This is reserved for lead, a peas who have at least 10 years of professional green building experience and demonstrated exceptional achievement in key mastery elements related to technical knowledge and skill. It also means that they have made significant contributions in teaching, mentoring and research with proven outcomes. All that said lead accreditation. Regardless, the tear you want to achieve definitely requires an investment of time and money. So you may be wondering, Is it even worth it? Well, it depends. Here are some good reason to take it if you want to qualify her bid for projects that require leave knowledge, Obviously that would be a good reason. Or increase your marketability to clients or to set yourself apart when searching for a design position in a firm, there are online programs that will help you to prepare for these exams. Checking out the U. S. G B C site is a good starting point, but there are other companies that offer exam preparation, such as ever blue training or green living education. Although I cannot speak toe either programs efficacy or quality. Another great certification in the area of ego friendly design is the green accredited professional certification, which you can obtain after completing the Sustainable Furnishings Council Green Leaders course and can be maintained through continuing education. This program was developed in 2000 and nine by elite AP in conjunction with a sustainable furnishings council and focuses on picking up where the LEED certification leaves off, specifically focusing on just furnishings. This certification is definitely an industry first and has been approved by ranking staff from the World Wildlife Fund, the Rainforest Alliance and others. For more information on this certification, please go ahead and visit sustainable furnishings dot org's. This is currently only a six hour online course for a pretty affordable price. So I think, well worth the time and effort to give design professionals a clear roadmap on how the source the best ego friendly, sustainable furnishings. One final certification that I came across in my research is a certified green designer by the company becoming green ink. The curriculum in this course appears to be more comprehensive than the green accredited professional certification I just spoke about, but it's also more expensive. While I don't know how widely known the certification is, and therefore how valuable it may be in a job search or for marketability purposes, I do think the knowledge provided is solid and definitely worth a look 27. The Importance of our Role: At this point in the course, you may be asking yourself, can I, as one single designer or one single design firm really make a difference? Well, I would ask you why shouldn't we look for ways to find creative solutions to reuse old items so we can give them new life and keep them out of landfills? Or why shouldn't we source products that are made from recycled materials? Or why shouldn't we choose products with no vio si off gassing? What does it hurt? And given that we spent a good amount of our professional lives specifying products, how big of an impact could we have if we all specified water efficient faucets and toilets toe help conserve water, which we know is a precious natural resource in much of the world. For example, I just read a statistic that said that if every American household installed a water efficient faucet, we could save 60 billion gallons of water annually. Do not fool yourself. Collectively, we interior design professionals can make a huge impact collectively. And don't forget that as an industry we have enormous buying power, which gives us a tremendous opportunity to make a change in what products become the norm. The other important way that we can improve the environmental footprint of our homes is by creating timeless, durable spaces through high quality timeless designs. Week should help to prevent clients from feeling like they need to re decorate every couple of years based on any new trends, A said. The American Society of Interior Designers has stated that they believe that sustainability should be an essential element of every interior designers approach, and I couldn't agree more. Perhaps as a result, you will find that many interior design degree programs now incorporate sustainable design into their curriculum. So let's say you are a Baden. You want to go forward and do this. You want to begin incorporating green practices into your design business. The question then becomes, How can you put this into practice into your own business? Well, first, I would recommend that you look into your current trade accounts manufacturing processes and look at the materials that they use look to see if they advertise that their products carry the ego friendly certifications and labels that we discussed earlier. Then create a list of your go to trade accounts that practice green sustainable design so that you can make them your first stop when creating designs for your clients. As a next step, I would identify artisans in your area that you can purchase furniture, art and decor from always. Try a buy locally when possible for your materials such as your flooring, your window coverings, etcetera. Talk to your local trade sources and asked them to help you identify those materials that have the certifications that I spoke about earlier, or help them to help you identify the ICO friendly, sustainable product lines that they carry. Yes, green design is definitely a learned discipline. No doubt it's also pushing some of us out of our comfort zone and humans by nature or generally change reluctant. I really do get that the green design is just like any other discipline or skill. Once you learn it, it will become second nature. And again, is there really a downside to specifying green products? Instead? I would argue that only has an upside. Clients today more than ever, particularly the younger generations are demanding these types of products in their home. And if you take the time to green your own product lines and designs, it may very well take your business to the next level 28. To the Trade Green Vendors: 29. Final Thoughts: eco friendly, sustainable interior design. At the beginning of this course, you likely had your own definition of what this meant. But now that you've completed the course, hopefully you have a more in depth, more functional understanding of what this growing trend truly entails. We covered so much in this course everything from first defining what eco friendly and sustainable really means and helping you to understand the principles behind this interior design movement to learning how to make easy green choices for your home in the areas of energy, water and lighting, and how to improve your indoor air quality by using ICO friendly furnishings and finishes for you professionals recovered lead accreditation and other green certifications as well as explaining why I think interior designers are uniquely positioned to have a huge impact in this area as we move forward as a society, I also provided you with some activities to help you integrate these great concepts and ideas into your own home, as well as included some downloadable handouts of eco friendly vendors to make the design of your ego friendly home that much easier. As I stated in the beginning of this course, never has ICO friendly sustainable design or green design been more popular, arm or important than it is today. And whether you are a home owner and avid d. I wire in the area of design or a professional in this field, most generally have a shared goal of wanting to make their homes more energy efficient, more sustainable for our environment and more beautiful and pulled together for their own enjoyment. And with the growing trend of eco friendly products and finishes, this goal is now thankfully, easier than ever. On a more serious note, I do hope that the information I presented on chemicals and toxicity did not overwhelm you or make you feel as if your home is trying to kill you. Please remember that there are so many factors that go into how problematic this all is for each one of us and each one of our homes. In fact, as I mentioned, controversy still exists for some of these issues. So again, I stress the importance of doing your own homework and then making decisions for you and your family that you feel comfortable with. That said, I don't think it ever hurts to buy the most equal friendly, sustainable item are finished that you can afford. I sincerely hope that you have gained the information and the knowledge that you were looking for when you started this course, and that you now feel much more confident to make decisions and how degree in your own home to the level that you desire. As always. If you have any follow up questions on this content of this course, please send me an email as I am happy to provide any need support to thank you so much and happy decorating. 30. Bonus Lecture: hi and welcome to the bonus lecture of this course where I will share with you some other easy ways that you can go green in your life. While some of these are 10 gentle lee related to design, others are not. But they're all pretty darn easy, and many of them I do or used myself. First. Let's talk about cleaning supplies because this is important. You may end up doing a great job selecting ICO friendly finishes and furnishings, but if you use the mass market produced often more toxic cleaners, then you've basically defeated the point of going green. Instead, be sure degree in your cleaning supplies as well. That said, vinegar is a great all around cleaner, and in fact, one of my main cleaning products that I reference in an earlier lecture for glass and stainless steel consists of vinegar, rubbing alcohol and distilled water. Now I can't claim ownership for this recipe, but it does work great, and all you do is simply Combine 1/2 a cup of rubbing alcohol, Ah, third cup of distilled white vinegar and 12 ounces of distilled water in a spray bottle shake, and you're ready to go it's important to note that you want to use distilled water if you plan on storing this for long term use for stainless steel, I find that using a soft terrycloth in conjunction with the cleaner works best. But for glass, paper towels are just fine. If you don't like the vinegar sent, you can always add a couple of drops of your favorite essential oil. Although I don't mind the vinegar smell as that smell means clean to me. As far as other commonly used products for cleaning, you'll find recipes online that include other commonly used products, such as baking soda, an apple cider vinegar. There are dozens and dozens of online recipes. So just Google and pick your favorites based on what you have in your house. That's what I did. Or if you don't want to deal with the hassle of creating your own, then you may want to consider purchasing ready made ICO friendly cleaners, including lines by Mrs Meyers, Simple Green Method and seventh generation, just to name a few. Another eco friendly practice I uses to leave your shoes at the door policy, at least from my family with guests, I leave it up to them. But I find that more and more people, particularly contractors, are used to removing their shoes or at least covering their shoes with little booties. This is such an easy way to reduce pollutants and toxins from entering your home, such as oil, fertilizers and allergens. Another practice you might consider is toe wash all of your clothes and linens and cold water. Contrary to popular belief, Washington cold does leave your clothes quite clean, and as a bonus, it will extend the life of your items and avoid shrinking them by not washing them in hot water. If you want to step up your green laundering practices, air, dry them as well. Speaking of washing, consider using cloth napkins and hand towels in lieu of paper towels. My family and I made the switch years ago, and it really does cut down on our paper towel use, and it's easy enough to throw the napkins and the hand towels in with our other towels. No extra load needed Another easy, ego friendly practice that you should definitely adopt if you have Eircom Dish Inning is to change your A C filter regularly as dirty air filters can reduce your A C efficiency by as much as 15%. What is regularly? Well, it depends if you have pets or not. If you don't have pets than the recommendation is about every three months. If you have pets than the most common recommendation is every two months, I'm guessing this maybe more than you thought. I know I was surprised. I heard these guidelines. Another easy and smart way to go green at home is to go paperless for your billing. This helps the environment in a number of ways. The obvious one is that less paper is used, which means fewer trees need to be cut down. More trees mean that more co two is converted into oxygen. There's also a reduced need for Inc. Which contains its own toxic ingredients and takes fossil fuels to produce and distribute. And I love it because it's one less thing. I have the scan to keep my home office paperless, which I currently do. My last tip for you that requires a bit more work but not difficult is to create your own compost station. Most of us, at least in developed urban areas, probably recycle. But how many of us compost. I'm sure it's a lot fewer, so given that it requires some work on your part, what is the argument then, for adopting this practice? Well, it keeps these valuable resource is out of landfills, which are usually filled with about 40% of compostable materials. It reduces your water use as compost helps with soil moisture retention. It improves your soil by returning valuable nutrients to your soil. It saves you money from having to buy your own fertilizer. And finally, it keeps the organics in landfills for breaking down an aerobically, which produces harmful methane gas. I think those are reasons enough, don't you? Yes, I think it can take a bit of work and discipline to get this going correctly in your family . But composting either with worms or without condemn it will be a win win win. For sure, I hope you enjoyed my tips on additional ways you can green your life today. If you enjoyed this course, please be sure to check out my other courses on the platform. My other courses currently include how to design a room in 10 easy steps, how to use color like a pro how to work with interior design styles like a pro. How do you use lighting design to transform your home? Design is in the details how to accessorize like a pro and finally how to use minimalist design to live your best life. Whether you are an interior design enthusiasts and interior design student or a interior design professional, I am confident that some are. All of my courses can likely help you in your pursuits. Thank you again and all the best.