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Style Spotlight: Eco Chic

With Earth Day coming up this week, many people are considering different ways to make a difference and live more sustainably. Although it might not always be in the forefront of your mind when shopping for home décor, making eco-conscious decisions when it comes to furniture and home fixtures can make a big difference over time.</br></br>The world of modern eco-friendly design is making this easier than ever with a growing variety of stylish earth-loving materials.</br></br><strong>Sustainable Materials</strong></br></br>Outfitting your home with sustainable or environmentally friendly materials is one of the simplest ways to go green. There are a variety of Earth-conscious options on the market for indoor and outdoor use, and below are a couple particularly accessible ones that come in a wide array of styles:</br></br><strong>Bamboo</strong> is a relative newcomer to the mainstream home goods scene, but it’s making waves with its remarkable versatility, sustainability and modern aesthetic. Bamboo can be used for furniture, flooring and pretty much anything else that other wood can be used for. <a title="Discover Magazine" href="http://discovermagazine.com/1996/jun/thebamboosolutio784" target="_blank">Unlike most other wood</a>, though, bamboo takes half as much energy to process, can grow up to three feet a day and can be harvested every year (compared to every 20 years for other wood sources).</br></br>All these factors put together make bamboo an extremely renewable resource.</br></br><strong>Organic cotton</strong> is an iteration of the classic cotton that we all know and love, just with the added assurance that no synthetic chemicals or pesticides were used in growing it. Cotton is a renewable crop that is harvested yearly and is biodegradable, so if grown without the use of environmentally harmful substances it has very few downsides.</br></br>You can find organic cotton used in a variety of household necessities like <a title="Sheets" href="http://www.atgstores.com/bed/bed-bath/sheets/" target="_blank">sheets</a>, <a title="Duvet Covers" href="http://www.atgstores.com/bed/bed-bath/bedding/duvet-covers/" target="_blank">duvet covers</a> and oven mitts.</br></br><strong>Recycled materials</strong> are some of the most eco-friendly materials for making furniture. Not only do recycled materials keep things in circulation and out of landfills longer, they comprise some of the most durable and low-maintenance options on the market.</br></br>For example, <a title="POLYWOOD" href="http://www.atgstores.com/polywood_m915.html" target="_blank">POLYWOOD</a>, an outdoor furniture company, has come up with a way to turn recycled plastics into tough materials for outdoor use that will last for decades. Not only are their materials sturdy and earth-friendly, they come in great designs that would look at home just about anywhere.</br></br><strong>Eco-Friendly Installations</strong><strong></strong></br></br>Of course, materials aren’t the only aspect of home décor that can add eco-conscious style to your home. There are countless plumbing and electrical products that can help keep your home green and also save you a bit of money on utility bills.</br></br>Lighting is a great place to start if you want to save money on electricity. The <a title="U.S. Department of Energy" href="http://energy.gov/energysaver/articles/led-lighting" target="_blank">U.S. Department of Energy</a> cites that LED light bulbs can last up to 25 times longer and use 75% less energy than standard incandescent bulbs.</br></br>Or, maybe you're looking for eco-friendly plumbing? There are many different low-flow bathroom fixtures that offer great functionality and a modern look while also conserving water. If you're looking for eco-friendly installations for your home, it helps to keep an eye out for <a title="ENERGY STAR" href="http://www.energystar.gov/" target="_blank">ENERGY STAR</a> and <a title="WaterSense" href="http://www.epa.gov/watersense/" target="_blank">WaterSense</a> certified fixtures, as they have been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency.</br></br>If you’re interested in more resources on ways to go green in your home, you may also want to check out our blog post on different <a title="How to Interpret Eco-Friendly Labels" href="http://www.atgstores.com/ourblog/how-to-interpret-ecofriendly-labels" target="_blank">eco-friendly labels and certifications</a> to help inform your home décor choices. Best of luck in your eco-conscious efforts, and happy Earth Day from ATGStores.com!
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