April 18, 2012

Sunday April 22nd is the day we celebrate the earth. Short of being an extraterrestrial or part of the space program, we pretty much engage with our planet every day of our lives. It’s our home — or our hell — and whether we tend to bury our heads in the sand or charge directly at the challenges it is clear that the earth needs a little help.

At our architecture studio we believe that every little bit helps. Our clients, when they browse our material selections, are being shown a carefully curated collection of green building materials. If they can find something gorgeous and within budget why look elsewhere?

In the same spirit, our design work starts with the premise that green architecture takes some advance thought and, with simple solutions, any project can lessen its impact on the planet.

As an interior designer, especially in this blog, I have talked about cleaning up your spaces – and reducing the stuff in our lives is a big step to reducing our impact.

How does that fit with our consumer culture? If you are mindful and focus on only adding objects that have great beauty to your home rather than disposable, badly-made “junk” you have a chance to create an inspiring space.

I was excited to work with Kouboo.com because they have a commitment to the handmade, to using natural materials and to dealing directly with small communities and the artisans who produce the products on this website.

At home, we have a toddler who is learning the difference between a green bin, a blue bin and the black garbage bin. We minimize plastic and I ask enthusiastic relatives to please give us books rather than toys.

These are baby steps.

Car in snow - photo © catherine holliss

Not very many of us can claim a perfect eco-record – so it makes a big difference to take those baby/big steps down the green road. We need to do our personal best “to follow the green brick road” (rather than the “yellow brick road” to Oz) especially if we want to live in the real world.

The people I admire the most are among those who are working tirelessly to raise awareness of problems – and their solutions.

I am not even discussing the entire debate of global warming. How about something completely tangible like global garbage?

Marcus Erikson and his wife Anna Cummins of 5 Gyres Institute are working hard to raise awareness about plastic. I am a green designer and I had no idea that we only recover about 5% of the plastics we use — and the rest goes to landfills or worse, the ocean. I encourage you to explore their website to find out more.

Whether you shop from mindful companies who care about the earth, support worthy causes or simply reduce the clutter in your own homes, you are helping to protect this planet. This year, on Earth Day, I will celebrate everything that I love about our global home – and I hope that you will join me.

Written by Catherine Holliss


Interior Design Blog Writer, Kouboo.com, LLC



Director of Interior Design, Sander Architects LLC.  






Photographs © Catherine Holliss unless otherwise noted. 



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