Constantly changing trends in kitchen appliances and decor can fill a lot of landfills; if you decorate your kitchen with the styles and colors of today, just know that you’ll have to replace them with the styles and colors of tomorrow if you want to stay hip. That’s not only expensive, but it causes people to throw away a lot of appliances, tiles, counter tops, and other otherwise functional additions to a kitchen, solely because they’re not designed with the latest trends in mind.
Luckily for the trendy, eco-friendly decorator, there is a middle path; it’s possible to decorate your kitchen, and continuously swap out your kitchen decor, without sacrificing style or the planet. Here’s how:
First off, you’re going to need to learn how to up-cycle. Up-cycling happens when, instead of building your own furniture using materials taken from all over the world, you instead decide to give older furniture a “makeover.” With some sandpaper, a new layer of paint or stain, bright fabrics, and a little time and love, it’s very possible to create vibrant and stylish furniture without using additional resources and while saving something otherwise functional from hitting the landfill. There are plenty of options at local thrift stores that are not only cheap, but have great bones and can lend an old, artsy air to your living space.
Another environmentally friendly choice when it comes to home decorating; be sure to buy local before you sponsor an enormous corporation that will send you your furniture from half the world away (which takes a whole lot more time and resources, and often involve processes that are kept under wraps). Buying local wares enables you to better understand the processes through which the resources used are put, and you can make sure you agree with the policies and values of the companies involved.
There are also a fair amount of objects that are likely lying around your kitchen that you’re tempted to throw away to make room for new additions- you may want to think twice about adding those once-needed objects to a landfill, and see if you can use them for new purposes.
Take binder clips, for example. People are often tempted to remove them from the household once they’ve fulfilled whatever function, but these strong tools tend to come in handy again and again. You can use binder clips as minimalist wallets, picture frames, toothpaste helpers, cable corrals, and much much more. Toilet paper tubes can be used as rubber band holders or small plant pots, and rubber bands can be made into fun bracelets.
Finally, the key to beautiful and green home decor can be so much simpler than you thought; just buy a bunch of beautiful plants. Pot them and put them on your counters, keep large ones alive to occupy an empty corner, put them in every place you think looks like it needs a little pizzazz. Plants are the ultimate fashion forward accessory; they give a room life, spark, color, and groundedness all at once, plus they’re scientifically proven to make a household healthier.