By Kylee Harris
Recent research has shown that for younger generations, particularly those aged 18-25, climate change is at the top of their concerns. Of those surveyed, 41% felt that climate change was the biggest issue facing their country or the world. For this generation’s new parents, ensuring that their children grow up with an appreciation for the climate and an environmentalist attitude is at the front of their minds.
Decorating your child’s nursery in an eco-friendly manner is a brilliant opportunity to begin to instill these values from a young age and lower your family’s impact on the environment.
Flooring and paint have a big impact
Many eco-friendly home decor products will talk about being free from VOCs, but what does that mean? Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are present in many consumer products. They are carbon-based compounds which evaporate quite easily at room temperature, becoming vapors or gases. Long term exposure to VOCs has been linked to a number of diseases like asthma and chemical sensitivity. One of the first considerations when decorating any room is what kind of flooring to put down. Unfortunately carpets, while cosy and very popular, are a poor choice from a health and environmental point of view. New carpets contain a lot of VOCs due to the adhesives used in what is often an environmentally unfriendly production process compared with the process used to make other floorings. Furthermore, they harbour dust and mites like no other flooring.
If carpets are a must, consider ones made from natural, renewable fibres like sisal or organic cotton and wool, and make sure to clean them regularly.
Painting is usually the next step in decoration. Traditional paints are a notorious source of VOCs and environmentally unfriendly chemicals. These fumes will evaporate over time, so, as with carpets, airing out your nursery for a few days is recommended. If you’re looking to add a unique touch to your walls or furniture while painting, there are a number of techniques that do this brilliantly. Colour washing and dry brushing techniques add depth and texture to your walls, giving them a surprising amount of character simply by adjusting the application method. Colour washing works great on walls, while dry brushing is ideal for furniture, giving your decor a vintage look.