The Green Home Remodel
Feng Shui embraces the art of conscious living which aligns our inner space with our outer environment. It is called mindful living.
Green design is in complete alignment with Feng Shui. Both talk about honoring the Earth and leaving a lighter imprint and acknowledge that the earth is a living organism with finite resources and must be protected and honored as such. Feng shui was the original purveyor of reduce, recycle, reuse, which is exactly what green design is about.
In this first of my series on green remodeling, I interviewed Diana Zamudio of eco-6 design, an eco-friendly showroom in the N. California coastal town of Half Moon Bay, where we both live. Diana is both a Certified Green Design Specialist and a Certified Feng Shui Consultant and also teaches the Green Design Program at my school, the West Coast Academy of Feng Shui. In this series she will be sharing with us her expertise and advice about how to go green in your home and create a mindful, environmentally friendly living space that is not only beautiful to look at but healthy for you and your family to be in.
I asked Diana what kinds of things she tells her clients to think about when they are interested in remodeling their home using green design principles and products. Here are her thoughts and suggestions:
Green design begins with green thinking. We first want to ask some important questions such as:
1. Where did this material come from?
2.Was it shipped from clear across the world using an extreme amount of fuel to get here?
3. Are there toxic chemicals in this product that I am going to install in my environment?
4. How long would this product last? Will I have to replace it in just a couple of years and have to throw away what I have?
5. Will the product I put into my home biodegrade if it ever makes it to the landfill?
6. When the product that I am installing in my home is ready to be changed, can it be recycled into something else that is usable?
7. Do I really need this? Or is this something that is going to just add clutter to my life and my environment?
These are just a few of the questions to be thinking about when remodeling a space or starting a new construction. It is important to ask ourselves these questions and know the answers. This is how we can make informed decisions that will make a difference in creating a healthier planet and healthier lifestyle.
Thinking green is all about thinking outside the box. It is not just about recycling cans, or making sure your light bulbs are energy-efficient, it’s about looking at the larger picture and where we are going.
Environmental challenges are critical issues, and climate change is here to stay unless we intervene. If we look at the long–term constraints in natural resources and non-renewable energy, where will we be if we don’t start thinking outside the box?
The 1st question is: how can we create a more innovative way for us to better our surroundings?
The 2nd question is: Am I a forward thinking person who understands the importance of going green?
When remodeling or working on a new construction project the process can seem overwhelming. To make it seem more manageable break it down into smaller parts or phases. In the bathroom or kitchen you can always start small by changing out the paint color or the hardware on your cabinets. Or you can tackle the guest bedroom first, using a smaller project, then graduate up to the master bath. Put a new coat of non-toxic paint on the walls in the living room or add new energy efficient window coverings. Update your child’s room with sustainable flooring or renewable carpet tiles.
You don’t have to do it alone. There are informed people who can help you sort through all the products available to front the white right one for you and your family
There are many ways to green your surroundings. If the big picture is too daunting, start small and build a repertoire slowly. Look around you…Where can you make a difference? Education and awareness are the 1st steps in becoming a more forward thinking individual.
In the next few weeks we will talk about specific recycled materials and recommendations for the best products that are out there in flooring, counter tops, carpeting, non-toxic paints, wall coverings, glass and where you can find them.
For Desginers, Feng Shui Consultants and Conscious Consumers, Find our more about the Green Design Program at the West Coast Academy of Feng Shui