As people and governments start to recognize the value of sustainable living, new trends in green living are constantly emerging and being adopted by those who want to do their part to reduce their carbon footprints and live responsibly. According to the Environmental Justice and Climate Change Initiative (EJCC), schools are beginning to teach children about the effects of climate change, helping them to understand the effects of their use of resources, and leading discussions about how they can live greener lives. In addition, builders and contractors are responding to consumers demands for energy-efficient homes and businesses, and community gardens are becoming more and more common in cities across the U.S.
The interior design industry is also seeing changes in the way people live in houses and apartments throughout the country. Here are some of the latest trends happening in homes and gardens today:
One of the top green design trends in 2016 is LED lighting. Based on forecasts from energy experts, it’s a trend that will continue into the new year and beyond. The U.S. Department of Energy predicts that by the year 2030, LED lighting will account for 75% of all lighting sales. Although up-front costs are higher, energy savings over the long-term are substantial and worth the initial investment, saving consumers over the long-term by increasing energy efficiency and lowering energy bills.
Water Efficient Kitchen and Bathroom Fixtures
Today you can get low-flow toilets and shower heads, as well as water-saving faucets for both kitchens and bathrooms. The EPA contends that “The average family could save 2,900 gallons [of water] per year by installing WaterSense labeled shower heads. Since these water saving devices will reduce demands on water heaters, they will also save energy.” In fact, according to the EPA, the average American family could save as many as 370 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year, which is enough to power a house for 13 days.
Energy-Conserving Insulation and Sustainable Design Materials
There’s a trend toward energy efficiency that’s been going on for a few years now and more new home buyers are demanding extra insulation in new residential construction. More people are also installing solar panels to save money on energy costs.
In addition, consumers are shopping specifically for low-impact materials to use when building, remodeling and decorating their homes. People are also beginning to recognize the toxic qualities of many of the building and decorating materials that have been popular for years and seeking to reduce the levels of toxicity their families are exposed to by upgrading to things like organic furniture materials, natural fabrications and sustainable “green” building materials. People — especially parents of babies and young children — are beginning to seek out organic cotton bedding and nursery accessories.
Floors are going green with “earth-friendly” tiles such as stone and even tile that’s been recycled. Reclaimed wood is also an extremely popular flooring trend that’s becoming more affordable in some areas of the country where it hasn’t been in high demand, but remaining relatively pricey in areas where demand is high (on the East and West Coast, in particular).
As awareness grows, there’s a very high probability that these trends will become green lifestyle staples and new green trends will be added.
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