Sustainable interior design trends for 2021

January 4, 2021 by  
Filed under Eco, Green, Recycle

While 2020 was defined by the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us were grateful for the extra time spent with families inside the home. As 2021 approaches, it is looking like that home-bound time will continue well into the new year, which stands to influence how interior design will trend in the future. With most Americans spending more time at home in 2020, design trends for next year are focused on creating ample space utilization, plenty of greenery to maintain connections to nature, and sustainable (and budget-friendly) features — just to name a few. Inhabitat rounded up some of the most sustainable interior design trends predicted for 2021 so you can stay ahead of the curve. Repurposed décor Kelly Hoppen, one of the world’s top interior designers, told Homes and Gardens Magazine that the pandemic caused many people to look at design in a different way this year. More of us focused on reusing and repurposing things like furniture and accessories, and that trend will likely continue into the new year. This goes along with longevity, either by investing in higher quality pieces that may cost more but will last longer, or by spending more time shopping at thrift stores to save money. There’s also something extra special about finding a unique item, whether it’s vintage or simply recycled , that makes it one of the most rewarding and easiest ways to design sustainably. Natural elements Staying indoors for longer periods of time throughout 2020 left many of us yearning for a deeper connection to the elements of nature we’ve always relied upon. It’s no surprise that more people started turning to gardening and indoor plants as a new hobby during the pandemic. One of the simplest ways to achieve this is with an interior garden or by using more organic materials in your design. Even better, adding a few plants to your place aids in better air quality and may even help brighten your mood. Related: The top 10 houseplants of 2020 and what’s trending for 2021 Energy efficiency This is an easy one, because incorporating more energy-efficient appliances can appeal to a wide range of designers. While they may be more of an investment in certain situations, appliances with high energy efficiency usually lower utility costs and can even pay for themselves in a short period of time. Not to mention, they are better for the environment as well, something that has been on everyone’s radar due to the global climate crisis. Sustainable building materials Australian-based Kibo Construction Company says that organic options like wood, wool and stone are great choices, but being mindful of where our building and design materials come from is something that is becoming more important. This is partly because it has become much easier to access fair-trade materials and find out if they were extracted with minimal environmental impact. It’s also important to be aware of legitimate certifications, like FSC-certified wood from sustainable forests, for building materials to avoid potential greenwashing. Modular spaces It’s no secret that we are big fans of modular design at Inhabitat, so we’re definitely hoping to see more throughout 2021 . Modular spaces have the ability to create a fully hybrid experience in a smaller area, but it also has environmental benefits in terms of construction as well. Incorporating modular design into your home is an amazing space-saving technique, meaning you can do more with less space. Minimalism Modular spaces and objects also promote minimalism , a movement that is gaining more and more popularity each year as the earth’s resources continue to dwindle. The idea of only purchasing what you absolutely need and minimizing single-use purchases is one of the best ways to live sustainably. “Luxury Minimal Design is a top inspiration,” according to Trend Book . “The clear spaces are becoming more desirable for decor enthusiasts. Spaces with few pieces of furniture are the inspiration for 2021.” Minimal furniture and accessories, especially those made by hand or with natural materials, can add a touch of luxury to any space. Smart tech According to Ben Wu, winner of the International Interior Designer of the Year Award 2020, smart tech that makes the home more eco-friendly will be another big trend going into 2021. “Diversity and globalization will go hand in hand,” he told Homes and Gardens . “Future technology like 5G will take place more and more in the home design.” Smart home technology is already on the rise with popularity gaining for gadgets that connect to your smart phone such as the self-learning Google Nest and smart doorbell cameras. It makes sense that that trend will continue. Images via Press Loft and Unsplash

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Sustainable interior design trends for 2021

Researchers test seawater air conditioning as a renewable cooling alternative

October 20, 2020 by  
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A new study led by the International Institute of Applied System Analysis (IIASA) indicates that using seawater air conditioning is a greener alternative to conventional AC and could reduce cooling costs significantly. The study, which was published in the journal Energy Efficiency , was conducted to determine the pros and cons of seawater air conditioning (SWAC). The researchers behind the study say that there is a need to find renewable air conditioning alternatives to conventional options as global warming worsens . The study looks at the possibility of pumping deep seawater from 700-1,200 meters deep at the temperature of 3° to 5° Celsius to the coast, where it exchanges heat within a cooling system. The study now shows that just one cubic meter of seawater could provide cooling energy equivalent to that provided by 21 wind turbines. To better understand the pros and cons of SWAC systems, the researchers developed a computational model used to estimate the cost of cooling around the world. The model was also used in determining the possibility of using this approach in all parts of the world. Related: Cool ways to skip the air conditioning and still keep your home chill The results showed that while it is possible to use SWAC systems in many parts of the world, they would require heavy initial investments. But in comparison to conventional air conditioning, the research determined that SWAC would offer lower operational costs. Further, the study found that in some coastal cities and islands, the cooling costs would drop as much as 77% of the normal cooling costs via conventional AC. According to the study, the primary consumers of this technology would be airports, hotels and resorts among other establishments that consume high quantities of power. According to Julian Hunt, lead author of the study, SWAC systems have the potential of increasing efficiency over time. “We call this approach ‘High-Velocity Seawater Air-conditioning’,” Hunt explained. “This design configuration allows such projects to be built with an initial cooling load and expand the cooling load modularly through smaller additional capital costs.” While the study has established many positives of using seawater air conditioning, there are challenges that were identified. The systems would need to be handled and monitored carefully to preserve marine life and not disrupt the ecosystems. Hunt said, “While it does have its challenges, seawater air-conditioning is an innovative and sustainable technology that has great potential for expanding into a benchmark system for cooling in tropical locations close to the deep sea and will help fulfill our cooling needs in a warming world.” + IIASA Image via Dean Moriarty

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Researchers test seawater air conditioning as a renewable cooling alternative

International Young Eco-Heroes Inspire a Brighter Future

October 19, 2020 by  
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Young people around the world are powerful players in protecting … The post International Young Eco-Heroes Inspire a Brighter Future appeared first on Earth 911.

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International Young Eco-Heroes Inspire a Brighter Future

Earth911 Podcast: Rent-a-Romper Founder Lauren Gregor on Reducing Baby Clothing Waste

October 19, 2020 by  
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The fashion industry is a profligate source of pollution, even … The post Earth911 Podcast: Rent-a-Romper Founder Lauren Gregor on Reducing Baby Clothing Waste appeared first on Earth 911.

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Earth911 Podcast: Rent-a-Romper Founder Lauren Gregor on Reducing Baby Clothing Waste

Partnership is key for InterContinental Hotels Group’s circularity goals

September 18, 2020 by  
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Partnership is key for InterContinental Hotels Group’s circularity goals InterContinental Hotels Group, which has tens of thousands of properties currently in operation or development, has a large footprint. But did you know that many of its properties are run by third parties? That makes working toward sustainability goals challenging, according to Catherine Dolton, vice president of global corporate responsibility at the company. “It’s all about influencing those third parties to make changes,” she said. Still, it’s striving toward big goals. Earlier in 2020, the hotels group set science-based targets to address its water and waste impacts, as well as how it works with the communities in which is operates. And it’s started working in partnership with other companies to try to reach its circular economy goals. “We do have the power to make a difference,” Dolton said. “It’s not just about collaboration outside the industry. We also work with out peers through the International Tourism Partnership.” Shana Rappaport, vice president and executive director of VERGE at GreenBiz Group, interviewed Catherine Dolton, vice president of global corporate responsibility at InterContinental Hotels Group, during Circularity 20, which took place August 25-27, 2020. View archived videos from the conference here . Deonna Anderson Fri, 09/18/2020 – 16:34 Featured Off

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Partnership is key for InterContinental Hotels Group’s circularity goals

UPS is aiming to be better, not bigger

September 18, 2020 by  
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UPS is aiming to be better, not bigger When Carol Tomé joined UPS as the company’s CEO on June 1, 2020, she put a stake in the ground around social justice and equity. “We announced actions to address the racial and social justice challenges facing communities here in the U.S. and around the globe,” said Suzanne Lindsay Walker, chief sustainability officer at UPS, noting an internal equity task force and legislative advocacy. “It’s a huge focus area for us and one that I’m excited to continue and see where we go.” Related to the circular economy, Walker said UPS has an important role to play in enabling it through its own operations and its customers’ circular strategies.  John Davies, vice president and senior analyst at GreenBiz, interviewed Suzanne Lindsay Walker, chief sustainability officer at UPS, during Circularity 20, which took place August 25-27, 2020. View archived videos from the conference here . Deonna Anderson Fri, 09/18/2020 – 15:58 Featured Off

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UPS is aiming to be better, not bigger

Don’t be square: How to tell a successful, circular story that sticks

September 15, 2020 by  
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Don’t be square: How to tell a successful, circular story that sticks How can companies effectively communicate circular initiatives without confusing or alienating customers and stakeholders? The circular economy is becoming a centerpiece of many corporate sustainability strategies. Yet companies often struggle to translate this into stories that inform and engage employees, customers, investors and other stakeholders. This poses a problem because if we hope to unlock the circular economy’s full potential, we’ll need to make sure that it’s understood and embraced by all — and not just sustainability wonks. In this session, panelists explore how companies are learning to leverage the power of narrative to educate and inspire stakeholders on their circular ambitions, products and service offerings. Speakers: Mike Hower, Managing Director, Sustainability & Social Impact, thinkPARALLAX Devin Giles, Sustainability Project Leader, International Paper Tamay Kiper, Project Director, McDonough Innovation  Holly Secon Tue, 09/15/2020 – 10:36 Featured Off

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Don’t be square: How to tell a successful, circular story that sticks

International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer

September 15, 2020 by  
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People think of the ozone layer as a past-tense environmental … The post International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer appeared first on Earth 911.

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International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies

September 7, 2020 by  
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The biggest problem with fossil fuels is their contribution to … The post International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies appeared first on Earth 911.

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International Day Against Nuclear Tests

August 25, 2020 by  
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Most people are opposed to the use of nuclear weapons, … The post International Day Against Nuclear Tests appeared first on Earth 911.

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International Day Against Nuclear Tests

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