The Green Home in 2009

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We’ve been reading a great deal lately about the various trends forecasted to be popular in 2009. Of these trends, being “green” hits the top ten on many lists, especially when it comes to the home.

According to mlive.com, this year’s home trends will focus on going “lean and green,” where people are looking to get the most bang for their buck with the least environmental impact. And while economic belts are tightening for a slow start to the new year, that doesn’t mean people won’t be spending money and making improvements around the house.

Stretch Your Dollar

If you’re looking to make some changes around your house on a limited budget, the easiest way to start is to look at what you already have and what you can do yourself. Perfecting the “art” of reuse is expected to be huge in today’s economy, since it requires little to no additional expenditures on your part, except for a bit of time and perhaps some creativity.

This Vivavi Bench is made with recycled steel and a low-VOC finish in a wind- & solar-powered facility.

This Vivavi Bench is made with recycled steel and a no-VOC finish in a wind- & solar-powered facility.

Reusing can be as simple as giving an old table a new coat of paint or taking an old t-shirt and making a new throw pillow, or as complicated as creating a new chandelier from clothes hangers (yes, it can be done). With more than 8.7 million tons of furniture and home furnishings dumped into municipal landfills annually, reuse makes great sense for the planet and your wallet.

People are also expected to do more of their own home repairs. If you aren’t a master electrician or plumber, there are great sites like FixitClub.com that can help you save cash by removing the need to hire outside help. Plus, by trying to fix what you already have, you’ll create less waste in the long run.

Green Necessities

If you’re looking to purchase new home accents and furniture, sustainable and recycled materials are growing in popularity (and simultaneously lowering in price). Looking for companies that use Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified wood, low-VOC (volatile organic compound) paints and recycled materials will lower your carbon footprint and help create more demand for green products.

Even everyday companies like Target and Crate and Barrel feature products made from organic cotton, sustainable woods and recycled metal for a reasonable price. If you’re looking to be a bit more exotic, Knu’s kids furniture and Vivavi’s exotic pieces make your green furniture less treehugger and a bit more fashion-forward.

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