By Manasi Bhosale in Experiences
Updated 13:26 IST Jul 21, 2019

Views » 846 | 3 min read

It is heartening to know that people have become more conscious of the environment. Eco-friendly living has come a long way in the last decade. It has reached the homes of numerous families and is not limited to being a problem at the global level. Reducing plastic, conserving water and electricity are, of course, all important factors of sustainable living. But could we challenge ourselves to do more?

My most recent interior design project was for a clothing store at a mall. It was here that we had thoughtlessly ripped apart existing flooring and wall paneling used by the previous retailer and “disposed them off ” as per the rules laid down by the commercial establishment. Whereas, the existing store could have been repurposed to our requirements with just minor alterations. Sadly, we did not - We did not give the smallest thought to the impact this waste disposal would have on OUR environment. 


Many regrets later, I was sure I wanted to work hereafter with a new perspective- to try and balance our consumer-driven needs with due respect to the environment. The time had come to make the right choices, to base our designs on the principles of sustainability.


As we already are in the middle of the crisis, it is our social responsibility now, to think about making our future more viable and understand how the little decisions taken by us, could make that big difference.


So what exactly is sustainable interior design?


It is an approach to design that minimizes the harmful effects of construction on the environment. This is done by choosing eco-friendly materials and implementing strategies that reduce pollution, waste and energy consumption.


There is an ongoing debate that green or sustainable design tends to be aesthetically unappealing and also limits the creativity of the designer, thus resulting in unattractive spaces. On the contrary, I believe, it challenges the designers to work within the guidelines and encourages them to come up with innovative ideas. The fact remains that any design, in the long run, needs to be attractive and efficient both!

So nowadays, developments are found to be sustainable as per the global standards, and visually appealing too.


What we can do as homeowners:


  1. Make efficient use of space with proper planning.
  2. Keep the natural landscape of the property.
  3. Restore and preserve the architectural elements of the existing structure.
  4. Shop for goods and services locally. Encourage local artwork.
  5. Maximize the use of sun / solar energy.
  6. Invest in smart home automation (even though it may seem more expensive at the onset)  
  7. Use natural, non-toxic materials.
  8. Use efficient heating and cooling systems.
  9. Recycle and reuse old materials as much as possible. 
  10. Plan for water-saving plumbing techniques.
  11. Use natural cleaning products so no chemicals are washed into the circulation of water supply.
  12. Make your own compost pit.


Every home is unique and there is plenty that we can do. Be a well-informed homeowner. Live by example and design your space with thoughtful ideas. It won't be long before a sustainable design becomes the norm.

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