A Penny for your thoughts: Being more Eco-friendly begins at home – three tips to ponder

Saving the Earth’s natural resources and taking steps to curb global warming begins at home, insists Jeanine Naviaux, owner of On The Inside Design, a La Jolla, California-based interior design firm.

“We can all do something, especially when remodeling or redecorating our residences. The collective impact of all of us in this country acting as a group will make huge impacts in protecting the planet,” she says. “Look, if everyone on this planet gave one penny into a green awareness fund—given our population—that fund could have $3 million to work with. That’s just a penny. The possibilities are great if we do a bit more.”

On the Inside Design since its founding in 2000, has been committed to being eco-friendly. For example, a decorator can influence client green choices by suggesting the installation of a flooring product called Interfaceflor. Using Interfaceflor for carpet in high wear areas is very green because if one square tile is damaged another can be dropped in place thus avoiding dumping an entire carpet into a landfill. The kicker here is Interfaceflor will pay for the shipping and recycle your old tile.

Also, “I like to use bamboo cabinets because bamboo is nothing more than a fast growing weed,” says Naviaux. Also, bamboo is tough enough to be made into chopping blocks, flooring and countertops without having to cut down hardwood trees in our planets rain forests.

One green product idea comes from a company called Oceanside Tile. This north of San Diego manufacturer uses recycled booze bottles to make stylish tiles for countertops and backsplashes: “How ironic and cool is that to place your Budweiser bottle on a kitchen counter that’s made from old beer bottles?’

There’s three cents worth of effort that can make a big difference if we all find ways to cut back harmful waste in the choice of building products.

On The Inside Design’s inspiration comes from clients. Before the project begins we have a very open dialogue discussing options, costs and being eco-friendly. “Every person has different wants and needs and my firm takes their ideas and makes them a reality. If a certain look can be accomplished by choosing a green product, then that’s the way we go. That’s simply being on your client’s side. It’s also more honest for the planet,” says Naviaux.

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