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Slo Down

The Sloliving philosophy is designed to be an antidote to the frenetic pace of modern life by encouraging residents to enjoy the simple things and reconnect with nature. Technological advances have resulted in labour saving devices for the home. Who would complain about vacuum cleaners, electric stoves, hot water systems, flush toilet, or the bread maker, but have these technologies really given us more time to enjoy life as was their claim? Or have we used this time to become even busier.

We are engaged in constant fast-forward motion whereby we are often overscheduled, stressed and rushing towards the next task. This rushing is not restricted to our work environment. We rush our food, our family time and even our recreation. According to the Sloliving philosophy, recognising the disconnection and pace of our life as an unwanted state of affairs is an important first step in re-establishing the connections and slowing the pace. What we all want to know is how do we reconnect? How do we live slo, whilst at the same time meeting our most important responsibilities?

One of the best ways of slowing down our lives without ending up in some Dennis Leary inspired “turn on, tune in and kop out” situation is by making are homes greener and therefore more in harmony with unspoiled nature.

Green interior design is about more than conserving natural resources; it’s about protecting your personal health as well.

While the scent of fresh paint or new carpet may be exciting because it means that your interior redesign is nearing completion, your quality of life may be suffering. The off-gassing of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), formaldehyde and other chemical substances can seriously pollute interior air. Look on product labels for a low-VOC, or better yet, a no-VOC classification.

There are various companies offering paint that qualifies. It may cost you a bit more, but at least you won’t have those nasty fumes to inhale. When it comes to carpeting and carpet adhesives look for green classifications like the CRI Green Label Plus. This certification indicates you are purchasing carpet that is among the lowest in off-gassing pollutants.

Consider some natural plants for your living space. When cared for properly, plants help clean the surrounding air of toxins. Plus, they look great!

Searching out products made of recycled materials is certainly another aspect of green interior design. Furniture recycling is another way you can have a positive impact on the environment. The old side table you picked up at a garage sale can be updated with a fresh coat of low VOC paint. And don’t throw out that hand-me-down bookcase. Give it a healthy, new finish and re-use it in your décor.

When it comes to elements like upholstery and drapes, fabrics made of natural fibres are a greener alternative to synthetic materials because they are renewable and biodegradable. Look for textiles derived from silk, wool, linen and cotton without synthetic dyes.

Your design and decorating choices impact your comfort and well being. Respect your health and the planet with a green interior design approach at home.

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