What on earth is sustainable design? At it's root, it's a process that considers how the things we create will impact the planet and all who live here.What on earth is sustainable design?

Sustainable design is an often used – but not necessarily understood – term.  And it’s one of those terms that can have a very simple explanation, or a very complex one.

At it’s root, sustainable design is a process that considers how a building, product or service will impact the planet and all who live here. From the tiniest microorganism to the tallest tree. And of course, people like you and I.

In order for something to be truly sustainable, we have to consider how it will effect the environment in every stage of its existence. From its conceptualization, to its production, to what it becomes at the end of its life cycle.

A few important sustainable design principles include using materials that are renewable and have a low environmental impact. Employing manufacturing processes that use less energy and create less waste. And designing buildings and products so their parts can be reused or recycled when they outlive their original purpose.

Featured Posts from Sustainable Design

Sounds like a lot of work, you say?

Well, it kind of is. But only if you look at it the way most of us have been taught to see the world. As something that belongs to us instead of something we are a part of.

As Canadian activist and writer Peter Denton puts it, “Good people make bad choices because they don’t think enough (or at all) about what they are choosing.”

Sustainable design is about making better choices in the things we build and the things we create.

Of Houses and Trees focuses on the things we as individuals can do to help sustainable design become the norm. From the homes we buy and build to the furniture and decor we put in them, together we can make better choices.

All Posts from Sustainable Design

Here's how to create a modern boho living room, which balances the funky boho vibe with clean lines and neutral colours. Love the look of boho home decor, but find it a bit too much at times? Here's how to create a modern boho living room,… Read More
Need some super simple tips on how to hang art? These imaginative hacks will have you hanging your artwork with ease - and confidence! Need some confidence boosting tips on how to hang art?Yup. I do too.What is it about hanging art on our walls that feels so daunting?Is… Read More
What is sustainable art and where exactly do you find it? Here are five things to keep in mind when selecting sustainable art and five places to buy it. What is sustainable art and where exactly do you find it? If transforming your home into an eco-conscious oasis is important to you, then you… Read More
Want to create a lovely, calm space this holiday season? Here are three tips for incorporating simple and sustainable Christmas decor in your living room. It's no secret I like to keep my decor relatively simple.And though the holiday season does amp me up a bit, I try not to… Read More
Looking for DIY fall decor that's easy and not too over the top? Well count your lucky pumpkins because here are three simple, minimalist fall decor ideas! Nothing like the changing of leaves and the dropping of temperatures that makes you want to cozy up inside and create some DIY fall decor.… Read More
Learn the easiest way to create a mood board for interior design, using something you likely already have - a Pinterest account! You know those beautiful interior design mood boards you see on Pinterest? Or on the Instagram accounts of super stylish designers?Ever wish you could make… Read More
Raise your hand if you love antique home decor. Raised both hands? You've come to the right place! Here's a home tour featuring antique and thrifted finds. Raise your hand if you love thrifted and antique home decor!If you raised both hands, then you've come to the right place.Because I'm about to… Read More
Whether your decor style is Boho, Coastal - even Minimalist - there's a set of woven basket wall decor out there with your name on it! You know those images on Pinterest and Instagram featuring homes with stunning displays of woven basket wall decor? Wish you could create something similar in… Read More
If you love your home, but you also love the planet, you're in luck! Here are more than sixty tips on home decor and home design ideas. If you love your home, but you also love the planet, you're in luck! I've gathered ten Of Houses and Trees posts offering more than… Read More
Creating a space that helps you feel peaceful and productive is the key to work-at-home success. And these home office decor items will do just that! Who says you need an office to create an office space? Once upon a time, home offices took up a lot of room with oversized… Read More
Love the look of bohemian bedroom decor, but need a little guidance pulling it all together? Check out this boho bedroom shopping guide - featuring eco-conscious items from ethical marketplace Made Trade! If you love cozy, eclectic bohemian bedroom decor, but need a little guidance in finding the perfect pieces to pull the look together - you've… Read More
Ever dreamed of building a house from the ground up? Well, this family of four did it - all while trying to be as eco-conscious as possible! Watch them go from raw land to house in the trees in under 15 minutes. You'd think after eight years of planning, five months of building, one month of moving and another month of pinching ourselves in disbelief, I'd be… Read More
Our eco-friendly home is finally done and I'm so excited to show you all of its sustainable features - such as the solar panels, recycled content materials and secondhand finds! We've moved into our eco-friendly home! Just had to get that out there.I'm a little behind in posting about the process, but I've decided that's… Read More
Here's an update of our eco-friendly house construction process! Complete with LED bulbs, secondhand light fixtures and cork-backed flooring. It's a treehugger's dream come true! Wanna learn all about LED lightbulbs?No?!Okay, how about secondhand light fixtures?Maybe...?Okay, do you want a see our STUNNING cork-backed laminate floors?Now that's more like it!It's… Read More
Want to learn about sustainably-manufactured drywall, zero VOC paint and see some beautiful handmade light fixtures? This eco-friendly house is well on its way to being a happy green home! As much fun as the foundation and framing stages are (for me at least), the REAL fun begins with the interior finishes. This is also… Read More
The build of our sustainable home forges onward! Episode three covers the last half of August and includes me fawning over sustainable building materials like our gorgeous steel roof, while also trying to grapple with our decking and siding choices. Plus an appearance from oh-so-fluffy insulation made of recycled content! The build of our sustainable home forges onward! In fact, so much happened in month three that I had to split it into two.Episode three… Read More
Curious about green home design? Follow along as we build our sustainable home to get tips, inspiration - and to join in the fun! While the second month of our sustainable home build still went relatively smooth, there were definitely some moments of high stress. The continuing uncooperative weather… Read More
Looking for modern farmhouse light fixtures? Well, these five beauties are the real deal as they were all handmade! Looking for modern farmhouse light fixtures? These five lights are a little bit rustic, a little bit industrial - and all beautiful.Reclaimed barn wood. Metal… Read More

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Former architectural technologist. Current Treehugger.

I’m here to help you green your home – and your life.

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Here are a just a few eco-conscious items I own and love.  Visit the Sustainable Products page for more!

Find out more about our 40 acres of land in Parkland County, Alberta and the sustainable home we built amongst the trees.

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