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Nature-ly friendly

Not only do eco-friendly products help the environment, they are light on the pocket and jazz up any space in the house.
Hindustan Times | By Chetna Joshi Bambroo, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAY 01, 2010 12:34 AM IST

Being eco-friendly is in vogue. Whether on the ramp or at home, a large number of people are emphasising the use of eco-friendly products, thereby doing their bit to protect the environment. “Eco-friendly products are those products that inflict minimal or no harm to the environment. Made of natural elements, these products are not only safe but also add an artistic dimension to one’s home,” explains CK Nair of HomeStop.

Beneath the look
The products are made of environment-sensitive material such as recycled wood, dead wood, recycled paper, bamboo, jute, natural fiber and natural or organic cotton. “Grasses like sabai grass and vetiver can be woven to make mats, screens, bags and baskets. Old textiles can be used to make recycled paper, which can be used for packaging, lampshades, notebooks and other stationery. Recycled plastic can be used for containers and furniture,” says Minhazz Majumdar of The Bamboo Store.

“Items like choppers ,trivets, cutlery holder, spicebox set, dry flower arrangements, rattan sea grass, water hyacinth baskets, cotton, linen etc., can be made from recycled material,” says Nair.

Light on the pocket
Though there’s been a lot of awareness about using eco-friendly products, it’s still not the first thing that people look for when buying things for their homes. But eco-friendly products not only stand out in their looks, their durability is also high. “The life cycle of these products can be up to 50 years,” says Majumdar.

“With people becoming conscious about the environment, eco-friendly products will soon be considered an important aspect [in home decor],” says Angeline Loiseau of Zolijns Designs. “And what’s more, their prices may start from as low as Rs 150,” says Nair.

Keep eco-friendly products safe from termites
*All eco-friendly products need to be kept sun-dry.
* Some products may need oil treatment particularly products used in dining.
* Products made from linen as a base can be easily washed in the machine. They do not shrink in water.&
* Eco-friendly wood preservative is available in the market.

What to check for when shopping
*If you are buying bamboo and cane products, make sure these materials have been treated.
* For all bamboo products, make sure that bamboo nails (and not iron nails) have been used for joinery and that all bindings are properly done with no loose ends, which will open up.
* If you are buying natural fibre-woven products, check that there are no loose fibres or stray threads so that the product will not unravel with use.
* If you live in a humid area, make sure all the bamboo products have a protective coat of either linseed oil or laquer. This will help prevent mold.
* If you live in a coastal area, buy more of moisture-resistant eco-friendly materials such as bamboo, palms and sea-grass.

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