Eco friendly Window Treatments Eco friendly Window Treatments
If you’re like most people, you probably don’t spend too much time worrying about how Eco friendly your window treatments might be. Even if you did think about it, you’d probably conclude curtains and shades aren’t really going to impact the environment so why worry about it. However, the reality is curtains and shades do have an impact on the environment and the choices we make can either help or harm the planet. Here’s some thoughts on how to ensure your window treatments are Eco friendly.
How can window treatments impact the environment?
- Windows make up approximately 20% of a home’s exterior wall area and it’s estimated uncovered windows allow 20 times more heat flow than covered windows. This translates into potentially twenty times more solar heat gain inside your home in the summer and as well as twenty times more heat loss in the winter and that means extra energy is needed to provide both heating and cooling
- Blinds and even curtains are often made from artificial materials including PVC and synthetic fabrics that require petrochemicals. Plus, fabric dyes and treatments that prevent cloth shrinkage traditionally contained petro chemicals, formaldehyde and even acids.
So how can I find Eco friendly window treatments?
There are lots of new products made from recycled materials plus older natural product are enjoying resurgence and making it easier to have Eco friendly window treatments. For example, here’s some Eco friendly window blind options
- Wooden blinds made from recycled sawdust and scrap wood provide natural appearance and make use of products that would have traditionally gone into a landfill.
- Bamboo (actually a grass that has wood like characteristics and grows quickly) has become a popular option for wooden blinds.
- Woven blinds made with natural materials such as jute and grasses are regaining popularity.
- Draperies are still made from a wide range of fabrics both natural and synthetics, however more and more natural fabrics are becoming readily available. Look for curtains made from cotton, silk, linen or even wool and avoid those made from petroleum based synthetics such as nylon, rayon and polyester.
- Also avoid curtains that have been treated to resist stains or be fire retardant. The chemicals used for these treatments are toxic and wool is naturally fire retardant.
- While ‘ready to hang’ organic cotton drapes have become easier to find, if you have trouble finding a style you like, an alternative is to purchase cotton fabric and have it made into custom curtains.
- Minimize your environmental footprint even more by selecting cotton fabric colored with ‘low-impact’ dyes.
- Be sure to give your curtains a light colored backing to help reflect the sun’s ray during the summer and minimize your summer cooling requirements. Also try to close your curtains during the day in the summer (and open them during the day in winter) to take the maximum advantage of the sun’s warmth.
- Finally, no matter what material you choose for your Eco friendly window treatments, be sure to recycle the cardboard and other packaging materials they came in.
Murray Anderson is an experienced freelance writer with over 500 articles published on the web as well as in print magazines and newspapers in both the United States and Canada. He writes on a wide range of topics and is a regular contributor to DoItYourself.com. He can be contacted at [email protected].