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Environment Day Special: How Sustainable Design Can Ensure Our Planet’s Survival

Sustainable design – sounds boring, doesn’t it? In reality, it’s far from it. This is the kind of creativity that could make sure that you have a part to play in saving the world. At OYOxDesign, it’s a large part of our design thinking. Sustainable design doesn’t just happen. A designer needs to ensure that everything in their design concept is environment-friendly – from the material itself to the means of transportation and its effect on the final consumer.

Oyo home - environment friendly

The image on the left shows how wooden scraps were used to make a decor element that is both beautiful and functional. The image on the right shows the furniture in this house which was made out of locally-sourced, sustainable material like mild steel and pinewood.

What is sustainable design?

It’s the kind of design that perfectly balances the environment, people and profitability. While the design is being developed and used, it should have a low impact on the environment. It should be non-toxic and safe for the people who create it and those who use it. While balancing the two may be easy, the hard part comes with profitability. Design can’t be a loss-making venture, so profits are needed, but they should not come at the cost of the environment or the people around the final product.

These images show how old tyres, bottles, and furniture can be re-used to make unique decor items

These images show how old tyres, bottles, and furniture can be re-used to make unique decor items.

How can a layperson use this concept in their own spaces?

Recycle, upcycle, reuse – this has been the mantra of the OYOxDesign team since its inception. And it is followed diligently. Here are a few things to keep in mind while designing a space:

1. Use every inch

Whether you’re renovating a place or creating it from scratch, use it all. Space planning is an important part of sustainable design. If you plan every corner, every nook, you won’t have empty spaces which do nothing.

how to utilize every corner

This image is a perfect example of how to utilize every nook and corner.

2. Use natural light

In India, we’re blessed with an abundance of sunlight. Use it! Wherever you can, plan windows and other openings in such a manner that you don’t need artificial lights when the sun is out.

This huge area is lit up by the skylights in the ceiling

This huge area is lit up by the skylights in the ceiling

3. Use what you have

Upcycling is the name of the game now. Use your existing furniture and fittings where you can. Instead of creating something new, you can always refurbish something that doesn’t appeal to you anymore.

Existing furniture was refurbished

Existing furniture was refurbished in this house to give it a completely new look

4. Local sourcing

This is a great way to be sustainable and environment-friendly. When you source your material locally, you don’t use heavy duty transportation for a long time. This practice will greatly reduce your carbon footprint. This also encourages local craftsmen and artisans.

decor elements

All the material and decor elements in this home were sourced locally

5. Keep an eye on your materials

A simple search online will tell you which materials are eco-friendly and which are not. Use the material that has no or low impact on the environment. These are likely to last longer as well.

colourful panes

This image shows an old door with colourful panes which was re-used as lighting for the balcony.

earthen pots used as lights

This image shows how earthen pots were used as lights in an OYOxDesign home in Goa.

Design – interior and exterior – should be a part of nature, not a threat to it. Sustainable design isn’t difficult. All it needs is, for you to make a commitment to saving the world.

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paridhi.prasad@oyorooms.com'

About Paridhi Prasad

Hi! I am Paridhi. When not downing endless cups of coffee and binge-ing on Masala Fries, I can be found deeply engrossed in contemporary novels. Delhiite by birth and nomad by passion. I travel and I know things. I write travel blogs by day and binge watch thriller and rom-com by night.

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