I like to think of myself as being somewhat down with the green movement. I turn off unnecessary lights, take short showers (kinda sorta) and use a non-disposable water bottle. But this year I’ve made it my personal goal to amp my eco-consciousness up to the next level. For those of you with similar New Year’s resolutions, there’s no better place to start than in your own living space. To make sure we go green the right way, I decided to call in the big guns. Interior designer Kari Whitman has revamped the homes of celebs like Jessica Alba, Kristen Bell and Virginia Madsen, and now she’s sharing her green tips with us! Click through to get eco-friendly decor tips, tricks and must-haves from the Queen of Green herself.
Replace grass with eco-friendly turf.
Ive designed some great outdoor living spaces for my clients and I always install ForeverLawn. I created an outdoor oasis for Jessica Alba she wanted her yard and pool area to be kid-friendly, pet-friendly and eco-friendly, and ForeverLawn was perfect. Its an amazingly realistic synthetic grass thats made from recycled materials. It also gets rid of the need for pesticides and fertilizers, saves water and improves air quality. Some cities will even cut your utility costs for replacing real grass with ForeverLawn. Plus, it really stands up well to doggie messes. What more could you ask for?
Pleather over leather.
Pleather is a cruelty-free alternative to leather thats also eco-responsible. Animal production leaves a huge eco-footprint, producing carbon emissions and using fossil fuels, water and land. I use pleather to upholster everything from dining chairs to walls, and I love Joseph Nobles line. Its elegant, innovative and youd never believe its a synthetic material thats also great for the environment. Plus, even if you spill a glass of red wine or your pet drools all over it, you can just wipe pleather clean with a sponge!
Use only green paint.
Change things up for the seasons or just breathe new life into any space with a fresh coat of paint. Painting a wall or a ceiling gives any room an instant makeover plus its easy and inexpensive. My eco-friendly WallMakeup paint mixing kit will help you find your perfect color and eliminate wasteful tester cans. I used WallMakeup to blend custom colors for Emilio Estevezs wine room, which was hand-painted to look like a Mediterranean vineyard. My favorite eco-friendly paints are made by Safecoat. They reduce emissions, they meet LEED standards and they also eliminate all those awful toxins youll still find in other so-called zero-VOC products.
Glass over granite!
Check out EnviroGLAS their stuff is so cool! Their Enviroslab countertops look like gorgeous granite, but theyre really made from recycled windows, mirrors and even soda bottles, saving millions of pounds of glass from landfills. Theyre unique and gorgeous in kitchens and baths. They also make flooring and landscaping materials.
Buy a bed, save a life.
I created a line of eco-friendly pet beds called Greener Pup, and 100% of profits benefit Ace of Hearts, my non-profit dog rescue in Los Angeles. Bed covers are made from overstock or discontinued designer fabrics, saving thousands of yards of materials from being discarded. I hand select all of our customizable fabrics and theres an ever-changing variety of colors and patterns for indoors and outdoors. The hypoallergenic bed fillers are super soft and plush, and theyre actually made from 100% recycled plastic bottles. So, every single bed saves up to 120 bottles from our landfills. Jessica Alba, Katherine Heigl and Kristen Bell and their pups are big fans of Greener Pup beds, too!
Recycle your jeans.
UltraTouch from Bonded Logic is eco-friendly insulation made from 100% recycled denim and cotton fibers. Which means: No formaldehyde, no fiberglass, no VOC and no skin irritation. This insulation requires less energy to produce and is completely recyclable, reducing landfill waste. I just used it in a gorgeous home I designed for the son of royalty, and he noticed that it had absolutely no odor. Green insulation thats fit for a Prince!
Get a green clean.
It wont matter what green materials you use in your home if youre not using eco-friendly products. Mrs. Meyers is hands-down my favorite line of cleaning products and is always on my must have list. Mrs. Meyers smells great, has awesome packaging and is safe for your pets and family.
Support green companies.
TOTO creates the most beautiful high-efficiency toilets, faucets and bathtubs. This is a company that really thinks of the big picture when it comes to manufacturing their gorgeous water-efficient fixtures. From soybean-based hydraulic oil fueling their factory forklifts to incentives for employees to drive hybrids or bike to work, they make every eco-responsible effort they can. Plus, their products are truly amazing.