Sustainability is at top of the mind for many homeowners, with an increasing number of Aussies looking for sustainable solutions in their home builds, renovations and updates.
Choosing eco-friendly window coverings for your home is one way to be kinder to the planet that won’t break the bank whether you’re opting for blinds, curtains or shutters. That’s because installing them is a great way to reduce household energy usage and a big positive when it comes to sustainable living.
Let’s examine what to consider when choosing sustainable window coverings.
One of the most common forms of window coverings, blinds are composed of slats that tilt open to let in light, or close for darkness and increased privacy. Their performance on sustainability differs depending on lots of factors, let’s take a look.
- Dual roller blinds: these comprise of two roller blinds installed on one window, not side by side but one in front of the other. For the environment, a big plus is that each blind can be individually controlled giving you more ability to tailor the light and heat into the home.
- Roman blinds: constructed by mounting slats, these are made from fabric that’s designed to pleat when raised. They can be made extra eco-friendly by adding a blackout or light filtering liner, which will increase their insulation effectiveness.
- Timber blinds: traditionally made of hardwood, timber blinds are a very popular choice in Aussie households. If you opt for hardwood shutters, make sure the timber comes from a sustainable source. You could also consider recycled wood, which is an increasingly popular eco-friendly alternative.
- Faux wood blinds: If you want the look of a wood shutter but a solution that’s kinder to the environment, faux wood blinds are a good choice as they can be made from sustainable materials.
- Venetian blinds: these are horizontal slats commonly made from either wood or metal, and suspended on ladder cords. They have come a long way in sustainability, with options now including recycled aluminium, bamboo, faux wood or sustainably sourced timber.
Curtains play an important role in many homes, with sustainability considerations being increasingly taken into account. The basics on curtains: look for natural and biodegradable materials, like cotton, linen, hemp or recycled polyester.
- Drape curtains: a heavy form of curtain, drapes are often lined with thick fabric to block out light, making them a good insulator. Common materials include velvet, damask, and silk.
- Sheer curtains: sheer curtains are made from transparent, lightweight material that acts as a wonderful light filter. Sheer curtains still allow sunlight to enter your room, reducing the need for inside lighting, while they act as a light diffuser, softening the natural light.
Shutters are a great environmental solution, mainly due to their insulation properties. They drive down the loss of heat and energy in colder months and keep the home cooler in summer – which means you don’t have to use energy on heating and cooling units.
- Cafe style: cafe shutters, also known as half shutters, cover only a portion of the window. They enable privacy while letting unobstructed light in from the upper half of the window. They use less wood than their full-height counterparts and so have less of an impact on forests.
- Plantation shutters: plantation shutters are super popular as stylish options that can be made from a variety of materials. In the past, they were made of wood, but those available today come in a range of eco-friendly materials. They are also excellent insulators.
Whatever type of shutter you go for, make sure that the materials, paints and finishes used do not contain harmful toxins. Check to ensure they're certified as low-VOC and toxic-free so you can have peace of mind that the planet won’t be harmed in the product’s lifecycle.