Sustainable Summer Decorating

With the summer sun shining bright and warmer temps creating a relaxing air, you may be looking for a way to bring those easygoing vibes indoors by refreshing your home’s design. Try these ideas for seasonal updates that will not only look great but be kind to Mother Earth too.


Lighten up

An easy first step is opening up your spaces. Replace heavy and dark window coverings with light-colored cotton curtains to let in the sunshine and allow views of your yard or garden. Then clear all surfaces of decor, leaving only a few items of your choice, for a soothing and clean look. However, refrain from adding anything to the landfill when possible-instead, simply store items you won’t be using for the season and donate what you don’t want to keep.


Paint it

If your walls are dark or dingy, considering brightening them up with a new coat of paint; colors like peach and teal offer both great summer vibes and versatility for the rest of the year. To keep it green, opt for paints that are low VOC, water based, or manufactured with natural pigments and ingredients and reuse any old brushes you have rather than buying new. (You can soak them in vinegar to remove hardened paint.) Also, choose canvas drop cloths, which can be washed, over plastic ones. After your project is complete, check your local municipality’s rules to determine how best to dispose of any leftover paint to avoid harming the environment. Alternatively, you could save it for a future DIY project or donate it by posting it on a local Buy Nothing Facebook page.


Bring the outdoors in

Summer is best represented through nature, so why not incorporate some of those elements into your home decor? As a bonus, you can easily find them for free-all you

need to do is venture outside! If you live close to a beach, look for delicate shells, rustic driftwood, or beautiful sea glass to bring a coastal ambience into your space. You could also use wildflowers or cuttings from your garden to add a colorful touch of summer. Just be careful to collect only a few items from each area, however, to help protect your local ecosystem. If you prefer live plants, consider ask a friend for a no-cost cutting; ones that are

easy to propagate include pothos and umbrella plants. Should you decide to buy some, stick to your local greenhouse to reduce your carbon footprint. These shops often grow plants in-house, while grocery and home-improvement stores typically ship them in. Whatever your source or chosen type, adding plants to your decor will instantly make your home feel more comfortable. As a bonus, they may even help boost your air quality by absorbing toxins, reducing pollutants, and producing oxygen.


Shop secondhand

As you begin changing your decor, you may find that you’d like to get a few new-to-you pieces. In that case, forgo the usual home-good stores and browse thrift stores, garage sales, or online sites like Facebook Marketplace for used items you can repurpose. Particularly appealing options include lightweight cotton linens and curtains, vintage glass vases, and woven baskets. Also consider thrifting to acquire sustainable and cost-effective outdoor decorations like terra-cotta pots, old-fashioned metal watering cans, and lanterns. And don’t pass over something just because it has a slight imperfection-a minor fix might be all it needs to look new again.


Make a display

To really lean into the summer aesthetic, shop garage sales and flea markets for seasonally themed postcards, sketches, and art prints you can display in thrifted frames, which you can customize with spray paint or new mat boards to make your pieces pop. Once they’re all put together, arrange them on a console table or your nightstand or organize them into a gallery wall. For another fun idea, try removing the glass and matting from a frame, then hanging it over a wall-mounted summer bouquet or wreath; this will help draw the eye to it, making it a true focal point of the space.


Shop local and go green

If you do decide to buy new, opt for energy-efficient lighting and items made from natural, renewable, or biodegradable materials like bamboo, glass, or organic cotton whenever possible. Also look for fair trade, FSC, and other certifications that indicate a product was truly sustainably produced. Finally, do your part to lower the world’s consumption of fossil fuels by prioritizing locally made goods and supporting community artisans.


With so many ways to sustainably update your home, you can easily bring summer indoors, allowing you to enjoy the season no matter where you spend it.