The term “sustainability” has become the latest buzzword in several consumer industries. We’ve all read articles about the sustainability of various systems, products, activities, or even energy innovation in the automotive industry to create more sustainable vehicles.
But is the frenzy over sustainability genuinely helping consumers to make more environmentally-friendly choices? The meaning “sustainable” becomes especially murky when paired with the often confusing world of interior design.
In the public mind, sustainable interior design is rife with myths and misunderstandings. Here are seven common misconceptions regarding sustainable interior design.
Sustainable design doesn’t have an impact on our immediate well-being
People often think of sustainability as a hypothetical future that looks more like The Jetsons than our current world. On the contrary, sustainable design can make a difference in the health of our bodies and the planet in the present tense. The latest climate reports look grim, so any reduction in our emissions is excellent news for the environment, but sustainable design can also impact us on a much smaller scale. Your current home likely harbors a few dirty, chemical secrets that you aren’t privy to.
For example, many mattresses are chock-full of toxins that harm your sleep and your overall health. Switching to a natural mattress made of organic, vegan materials, like the ones produced by retailers like Essentia, can help you sleep and breathe easier.
Consumers should also investigate the energy rating of their appliances for a tree-hugging reduction in their monthly utility bills.
Sustainable design can’t be stylish
People often believe that sustainably designed structures are by nature stark, bleak, and unattractive. This conception couldn’t be further from the truth. Sustainable designs come in various aesthetics, many of them undeniably gorgeous. Sustainability is all about how materials are sourced and used, not how they look, so whether you’re a 70s disco babe or living in the year 3000, there’s a sustainable interior design plan for your home.
Sustainable design is only about the environment
One of the most common misconceptions about sustainable interior design is that it’s all about being “green.”
While environmental impact is one of the considerations of the sustainability movement, trees aren’t the only green at play. This style of design is also about what’s financially feasible for the average consumer. In addition to being good for the planet, sustainable designs are often better for your wallet. For example, if you buy a sustainably sourced dresser as opposed to a mass-produced one, it’ll last you years, saving you on your furniture churn.
Sustainable design is expensive
Another common myth about sustainable design is that it is way more pricey than other kinds of design. While some sustainable options may come with a higher price tag, their durability and the energy savings they often produce more than make up for it in the end.
Sustainable design is only for new construction
While anyone building a home from scratch should consider ways to make it sustainable, there are plenty of opportunities to make a pre-existing structure more sustainable. Depending on your budget and commitment, these changes could be as small as incorporating eco-friendly cleaning products and reusing glass jars or as complex as the types of appliances you buy. No matter where you are on your home-owning journey, there’s a sustainable swap out there for you.
Sustainable design is all about technology
When many people think of sustainability, they envision high-tech inventions and complicated machines. In reality, a large part of sustainable interior design is working with the right kind of materials. Sustainable design is more about using materials wisely than it is about the “ooh” and “ahh” factor.
Only LEED-certified projects are sustainable
A LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification is certainly one route to design a sustainable project. It isn’t the only standard out there, however. Many sustainable households, workspaces, and public buildings are designed and constructed without LEED certification every year. While it’s always nice to have a gold star on your home’s resume, you shouldn’t be discouraged if it isn’t in the cards for you.
While sustainable interior design is on the rise in popularity, it is widely misunderstood in many ways. Knowing the truth about these common misconceptions can help home and business owners alike make better decisions regarding the sustainability of the spaces where they live and work.