By Maria Paulia Belgado
Special to Relocation.com
When decorating your home , have you thought about the impact your decisions make on the environment? These days ‘going green’ usually means paying a premium, just to save the environment. Organic food, biodegradable packaging, eco-resorts – all these things cost at least 25 percent more than their regular counterparts. However, no one said this was a rule – in fact, doesn’t it seem silly in a way, that to be environmentally friendly has to cost more?
But, you don’t have to spend a lot just to save Mother Earth. In fact, you can still be eco-chic, without breaking the bank, with these green design ideas :
First things first – recycle!
Don’t just throw out everything you own. See if there’s anything at all you already have that can be reused in any way. Maybe all you need to spruce up your living room is some new pillows. You can sew new pillow covers using fabrics you have lying around the house. How about those pretty curtains you’ve never put up or maybe some pretty scarves which have gone out of fashion. Before you go to the store and reach for your wallet, look around the house first.
Also, you don’t have to buy everything 100 percent brand new. Go to thrift shops, the Salvation Army  or garage stores and turn someone else’s junk into your treasure. You’ll never know what fun and unique items you’ll find, at cheap prices too!
One of the cheapest ways to really change up a room is with a coat of paint . Choose eco-friendly, non-toxic paint with low or no VOC (volatile organic compounds). These might end up costing a little bit more, but instead of calling an expensive painting company do it yourself! This way, you can save money and you can reduce your carbon footprint since you don’t have to ask someone to come in and drive to your home.
Make your own décor.
Why pay a lot for artwork  for your walls, when you can make it yourself? Have your own photos done at your local printshop and frame it, so you can hang it on your empty walls. Or why not assemble some old jars and bottles, fill them will pretty stones or seeds and use that as an accent or centerpiece? Eucalyptus leaves last for a very long time and can be used to decorate your bathroom , as well as give you some natural aromatherapy. Cut some stems and wrap them at the end with some recycle ribbon or string. Hang it upside down your shower curtain rod to bring some real green into your bathroom.
There’s no need to replace your entire kitchen or living room and spend a fortune just to be eco-friendly. Replace your light bulbs with more energy-efficient ones. Or why not get some inexpensive heat-inductive cookware – these make sure your food is heated up evenly, and therefore you use up less energy to cook. Instead of using harmful chemicals to clean your countertops, use some good ol’ vinegar and water.
There’s no need to blow your budget, especially in today’s tough economic times, just to go green. By thinking creatively, you can save a lot of money, have an eco-chic home and help save the planet.