When you do your closet remodel, try to make some environmentally friendly choices. Some custom closet companies offer sustainable materials, but you can also find them on your own. Use these tips to create the closet that you dream of with the peace of mind that comes with making environmentally conscious decisions. You don’t have to spend more to get more.
1) An easy way to freshen up your closet is to paint it while you have it all cleaned out and empty. Most paints contain chemicals that can be dangerous when inhaled. Volatile gasses can be emitted you’re your walls for months after painting. They are absorbed into your clothes and then inhaled when you wear them. Shop for paint that does not have any volatile organic compounds, or “VOCs”. Low VOC and VOC free paints are now widely available and cost just a tiny bit more than regular paints. Keep in mind that some “natural” paints still have high VOC levels. Read labels carefully if you’re painting more than your closet, because some low VOC and VOC paints are not recommended for areas that may get wet, such as kitchens and bathrooms. Environmentally friendly paints also take longer to dry, so consider that when you’re planning your closet remodel.
2) If you are replacing the flooring in your closet, wear a half-mask respirator to avoid inhaling toxic chemicals, dust, mold and mildew that may be lurking underneath the flooring. Choose your new flooring based on which types have the least impact on air quality and the environment. Bamboo flooring is great because it is often heat cured, not varnished, and it is a wonderful sustainable natural resource. Cork flooring, natural fiber carpet, and rubber flooring are other options.
3) When replacing shelving, consider reusing old cabinets and shelves. Repurpose an old dresser. Recycle boards from your previous arrangement. Reusing what you can and salvaging old hardware, nails, hardwood, and other materials is the best way to be environmentally friendly. If you need to buy new wood, look for the FSC stamp. This stamp means that the wood is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. They certify that the wood comes from a well managed forest. If you use particle board pieces, choose ones without formaldehyde binders. Again, bamboo is a great sustainable resource. It is the fastest growing plant on Earth and doesn’t require varnish or stain to achieve a glossy sheen.
4) Bamboo hangers are also a great choice over hardwood. There are lots of bamboo closet accessories on the market. Choosing to recycle old materials and use sustainable resources like bamboo will help you to create a non-toxic closet that is as friendly to your health as it is to the Earth.