Practicing Sustainability Is Easier Than You Think With These Handy Guides

Practicing Sustainability Is Easier Than You Think With These Handy Guides

By Samantha Daly
This Earth Day, make lasting changes to your home, wardrobe, and everyday life that are kind to the planet.

Embodied energy, gray water, black water, carbon footprint—the list of sustainable design terms goes on and on, and we're here to help you make sense of them. Read on to understand what each of these terms mean in the world of green architecture.

Now more than ever, having a sustainable home that conserves resources and energy usage is paramount. Sustainable design and architecture has seen tremendous growth over the last decade—as has the number of professionals who specialize in designing and building green homes. While major sustainable features pertain to the initial design, planning, and building stages, there are still plenty of changes to make in your home for a greener lifestyle.

The greenest home is the one you already have.

There are plenty of passive and sustainable design solutions—both large and small—that can be employed to reduce heat gain and the need to artificially cool a space with air conditioning.

Louvers, jalousies, frits, awnings, and exterior shutters—learn about some of the best-looking and effective ways to achieve a passive solar design in your home.

Living green walls may have gotten their start 80 years ago, but they’ve recently become some of the most striking and important eco-friendly features in buildings across the world.

Take a look at some of the most exciting, sustainable buildings around the world, and you may notice something they have in common: green roofs, or rooftops covered with a thin layer of soil to allow for grasses and other low-lying plants to grow.

Easy peasy: there are a ton of simple ways to make a positive impact on Mother Earth without drastically altering your daily routine.

Our annual overview features the top companies and pioneering designers who are pushing the limits. 

Materials matter. This ensemble represents innovative ways of processing and repurposing the stuff that things are made of.

Renovating your kitchen? Let this be your guide: We used and abused seven eco-friendly countertops to investigate if they could stand the heat of Dwell's kitchen.

Investing in non-toxic, environmentally friendly products for your home doesn’t have to be a chore—or cost a fortune.

Turn your kitchen scraps into green gold with these sleek, stylish, and affordable composting bins.

Our kids are our future—teach them to be conscientious and kind to Mother Earth with these sweet, informative children’s books.

Sure, we all love the popular pitted fruit, but it’s the Avocado mattress that really sparks joy with our readers. It’s possibly the greenest mattress on the market, and the company made waves in the industry with their dedication to making every step of its construction—down to the last hand-tufted thread—as eco-friendly as possible.

Parachute’s new, non-toxic mattress made of organic cotton and ethically sourced wool is supportive in all the right places.

Buffy’s bedding is made from soft eucalyptus fabric, which is grown in Austria (and uses 10 times less water than growing cotton). The sheets are then dyed with natural ingredients like gardenia, walnut, tea, and pomegranate. No bleach, harsh chemicals, or excessive water waste means you can stock up—and rest easy.

San Francisco-based Coyuchi—pioneers in coastal-inspired organic cotton textiles for the home—is introducing a new subscription model that will make us re-think the way we shop for and use our bedding and towels.

If their everyday mantra sounds something like "reduce, reuse, recycle," these eco-conscious gifts won’t weigh on their conscience.

These chic, sustainable brands make it easy to give your home an eco-friendly update.

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