Sustainability and Ethics, Lesson Summary, Alison
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Module 1: Sustainability and Ethics

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Sustainability and Ethics - Lesson Summary

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Green design and eco-friendly decoration is becoming increasingly important in the face of climate change and environmental concerns. In addition, designers are becoming more aware of how furniture and accessories are produced. This raises ethical concerns, including those relating to modern slavery and exploitation of workers in LEDCs. Ethical, energy-efficient design starts in the earliest stages of a project, with a life cycle analysis conducted on all new builds. As a general rule of thumb, small spaces are the most eco-friendly and energy-efficient. When decorating a space, you should take into account the impact of the materials you are using. For example, paint is often manufactured in a way that is harmful to the environment and low-emission varieties should be used whenever possible. Sustainable materials such as bamboo and cork are preferable to those that take many years to replenish. Minimising heat loss – and by extension, energy bills – is another primary concern in developing eco-friendly interiors. The carpets, rugs, curtains and windows all affect not only how a space appears, but how well it retains heat. Further measures, such as insulating lofts and repairing structural defects, will also help to create a more environmentally-friendly space. Sourcing furniture and other supplies is another area of concern. Where possible, choose suppliers that follow environmentally-friendly practices, pay their workers a living wage and dispose of their waste products in a considerate manner. Finally, you must always think through the options available to you when it comes to getting rid of a client’s unwanted items and any hazardous waste produced during a project. Discarded items may be given away, recycled, or redecorated. Hazardous waste must be disposed of in line with local authority guidelines.

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