The importance of eco-friendly design

Environmentally conscious design can be beneficial in numerous ways. This applies from small items, like decking furniture, to entire houses.

There are difficulties in negotiating our survival alongside caring about the planet. Of course, we too often take it for granted that the land and resources we need will remain or replenish after our using them. As we know, this is simply not true. We are doing enormous damage to the planet and it will take drastic shifts in our thinking to right the wrongs of our past and present.

Just recently, the Great Barrier Reef was hit by severe damages from what’s known as “bleaching”. Scientists think this is a direct result of human-caused climate change. There are other ways, too, that humans hurt the planet. As Mother Jones reports:

Humans are “eating away at our own life support systems” at a rate unseen in the past 10,000 years by degrading land and freshwater systems, emitting greenhouse gases and releasing vast amounts of agricultural chemicals into the environment, new research has found. 

A key way to become more eco-friendly is to think of working with the land itself.

Building with the world in mind

Every building must take into consideration the land surrounding it. Whether from a mere design perspective or to avoid violating zoning laws, design must consider where the building will be placed. While often we assume human habitation to be at odds with the environment, that need not (and has not) always been the case.

As the Financial Times notes, modern architects and design firms are focused on integrating even living trees into modern homes.

Arboriculturist Sharon Hosegood, a member of the Institute of Chartered Foresters, warns that construction “must be done with extreme care”. Trees need sufficient air, nutrients, sunlight and water, and protecting the root system is vital. Improved technology, such as non-invasive “root radars”, which determine the location of roots, can help make this feasible.

Elsewhere, there are many homes created against mountains, using the natural landscape to aid – rather than obstruct – the home.

Why caring about nature matters to design

Whether it’s being concerned about resources or smart design decisions, caring about the environment benefits design in many ways.

First, you will use fewer resources and have less of an impact on the planet, in terms of your creation. For example, if you opt for wooden decking, you have better, greener options. Wood is a good example of environmentally conscious options that are beneficial.  It is also representative of the entire work ethic of being eco-friendly.

If entire houses as well as small garden furniture can be created with a green approach, there’s no excuse for us to start examining all manner of our lives in the same way.