When homeowners purchase window treatments for various rooms, they can choose curtains and other window treatments wisely, to be good for the environment and more efficient in managing energy use, or loss. Using natural fibres like cotton, linen, silk or wool rather than synthetic fabrics will help, as will choosing wood blinds over vinyl ones. The initial cost of installing natural fibres or wood may be a little more, but the energy savings and better carbon footprint will make up for the difference.
When fabric curtains or draperies are used, the natural fibres are the best green choice. They take less chemicals to produce and are made of a renewable resource. Natural fibre window treatments do not have the harmful off gassing that many synthetic fibres can. When it comes time to dispose of natural fibre curtains, they break down in 13 years or less, while plastic and synthetics can take 100 years. Window treatments are exposed to large amounts of sun and heat, so it is a good idea to line them with a good cotton lining fabric. Lined curtains and draperies are more energy efficient, saving energy costs over the span of their use. A lined window treatment will keep more heat in in the winter and more heat out in the summer. Fabric window treatments can also be very effective in controlling light coming into a room. For absolute light control, there are black out linings. The key to having the best light and energy control is to have a window treatment that is properly sized.
Another very good green choice for window treatments is wood blinds, either horizontal or vertical. Wood and bamboo are natural, renewable materials that can be made into blinds to cover windows, sliding doors or French doors. Wooden blinds can be combined with natural fabric curtains if desired. One very nice energy efficient window treatment is an inside mounted wood or bamboo blind with a curtain outside mounted. When both are closed, no cold or heat is getting past them. The manufacturing of wood blinds is very eco- friendly with few harmful chemicals used, so there are less chemical bi products being released into the air. Wood products degrade in 13 years rather than the 100 years plastic takes.
When choosing window treatments to enhance one’s green credentials, it is important to do a little homework. Look into the manufacturing practices of the fabric manufacturer and the window treatment maker. Choose companies that only use green practices and few chemicals in their manufacturing process. Purchase from companies that have policies to cut down on waste and adhere to strict recycling regimens. If wooden or bamboo blinds are to be used, make sure the manufacturing company used ecologically friendly practices from cutting the lumber and bamboo, all the way through making it into blinds. There are many companies making window treatments, so it only makes sense to choose the ones with the best environmental practices. There are even some companies using recycled materials in their window treatment products.
Have you found any green window treatments that you really like?