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EARTH FRIENDLY DECOR

Environmentalism is not only important for the quality of our lives, it is very fashionable. Designers are broadening their sources with farmers from around the world to achieve earth-friendly homes that are healthy, durable and practical. What is environmental decor? Simply put, natural materials. To join the momentum replace your synthetics with such fibers as outlined below. They are increasingly offered in catalogues, stores and through interior decorators.

Some popular items now are coir area rugs, pillows stuffed with buckwheat hulls covered with organic cotton brocades, blended silk/hemp upholstery on sustainable-wood frames, all natural bedding materials (including the mattress), hemp linens with place mats, and kenaf tree-free stationery with soy-based ink. Bamboo, earth's renewable resource, is back in vogue too. These beautiful products are made with minimal, if any, contamination to land or water.

Once you have mastered the materials, look for low impact dyes. India is popular for dying their stunning carpets with vegetables and the procedure is recently taking place in Canada. Growing colored cotton began thousands of years ago, around 2700 B.C., in Indo-Pakistan, Egypt and Peru. Colored cotton is now grown in the U.S. organically with certification. Hues range from a rich mocha to a soft willow green that is sometimes blended to make a lovely pattern. Interior paints and stains without toxic fumes are being developed in California.

You can beautify your home in earth-friendly fashion for less money than you may think. Farmers and environmentalists have been working hard to be price competitive. All natural decor pillows, for example, can now be ordered for the same $50 price tag as the synthetic styles. And don't forget recycling. Like patched quilts and pillow covers made from rescued materials. Get creative. You could make a stunning bedspread from old furs for example.

Join the inspiration to beautify your home and earth at the same time. You may even notice a difference in your health.

Coir: A species of yarn made from the husk of coconuts and formed into carpet and matting.
Flax: From an annual plant used mostly for producing carpet, linen and paper.
Hemp: A product extracted from the stalk of the hemp plant and used to make a variety of paper and textile products.
Jute: Fiber from plants native to India and the East Indies used to manufacture burlap, carpet and other course cloths.
Kenaf: An annual native to Africa and East Indies used primarily for cordage and paper.
Organic Cotton: Cotton plants naturally grown with no pesticides, fertilizers or defoliants applied on them or the soil.
Silk: Fiber obtained from the cocoon of the silkworm.
Sisal: Fiber from plants grown in West Indies and Mexico used frequently in carpeting.
Wool: The soft curly hair that forms the fleece of certain animals into various textiles.

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