Mary Bauer the President of Bratt Decor Inc. knows a lot about decorating. Fortunately for us, she also knows a lot about green decor. Here are her 10 Tips for Designing a Greener Nursery:
1. Buy furniture that will grow with your child, ensure the quality and the design will last. By keeping your furniture longer, you are decreasing waste and furniture turnover that eventually ends up in our land fills. We love this gender neutral nursery--it'll last for all your kids!
2. If purchasing wood products, ensure the wood has come from sustainable forests. What this means is the trees used in the wood products are harvested and then replanted which ensures a replenishments of the worlds trees.
3. Don't be afraid of "engineered" wood such as MDF. MDF is an environmentally responsible choice for production. Engineered wood products make far more efficient use of the available resource today than ever before and can be manufactured from fast growing, underutilized, and less expensive wood species grown in privately managed forests. That helps safeguard older forests that as a society we have chosen to preserve. Byproducts from other production processes, small chips or unusable bits of wood, can be recycled and reused in engineered wood products. Engineered wood also eliminates many of the defects found naturally in wood, thereby improving upon many of the material's inherent structural advantages. Simply put, manufacturing wood is energy efficient.
4. Consider wrought iron as a medium for your furnishings. Wrought iron is sustainable, long lasting and renewable by nature.
5. Consider organic and natural materials for your textiles: crib bedding, rugs, curtains.
6. Use only organic and natural/non toxic cleaning products. Babies mouths end up everywhere!
7. Cut down on plastic. Plastic is a major contributor of indoor air pollution. When available choose furnishings, fixtures and toys with little or no plastic.
8. Ensure only non toxic paint and finishes enters the room, weather its on furnishings, toys, or walls, it all needs to be non toxic. *Also, make sure room is painted well before baby arrives and has been completely ventilated to ensure all fumes are gone. Give mom a day at the spa when the room is being painted, she doesn't need the fumes when pregnant (we are all for that!).
9. If you have wall to wall carpet, consider getting rid of it and opting for bare floors, wood, bamboo or even cork. Dangerous toxins are often found in new and old carpet alike, and no matter how much you clean your carpet, it can still be highly toxic and filled with germs.
10. Less is more. There's a tendency to fill up that nursery long before the baby arrives. Be conservative and thoughtful in your purchases cutting down on over consumption and waste.
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