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Sustainable design can keep the green in your wallet

Planning, making small changes can make a big impact
Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Riding your bike, eating more organic foods and recycling are three common, easy ways of incorporating sustainable practices into everyday life. Small changes add up, according to Marciann Patton, senior instructor of interior design at Missouri State University.

Patton teaches the concept of green design in home planning. Although a primary way to incorporate sustainable practices in a household is to reduce the consumption of resources, Patton warned against getting intimidated by the expense of replacing all windows and appliances for high-efficiency ones. Instead, she said you should start with simple lifestyle changes then continue to add sustainable practices and green design as you can.

“Once you see the rewards, both personally and for the benefit for the environment, you will be motivated to continue to add more green features to your home,” said Patton. “Just like when you’re trying to lose weight, if you think about the end goals, you’re never going to get there. It is just overwhelming. Instead, do it inch by inch, piece by piece and item by item. You can actually make quite a bit of difference.”

Opening windows and pulling back curtains are two easy ways to begin utilizing nature’s resources, she said, while also improving indoor air quality. Americans spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors, and indoor air quality is often compromised by paints, adhesives and cleaning products (among other items). In addition to improving air quality, Patton noted that letting in fresh air and sunlight make an impact on electric bills.

For those who are building a home, Patton suggested planning the placement to make the most of available sunlight. Careful selection of high efficiency appliances, renewable materials, durable and safe products and finishes, as well as high-performance textiles, can save money in the long-term, while also helping the Earth.

“We do have the ability to solve a lot of our environmental problems,” she added. “It takes research, time and money.”

“Hot Topic – Expert Source” releases are a tool the office of university communications provides to assist media in locating a university source to comment on a particular subject or issue. The opinions expressed by the expert are those of a specific individual and are not necessarily representative of the views of the university.


College of Business
The College of Business is one of the largest business programs in the Midwest. The college includes four departments: computer information systems, finance and general business, management, marketing and the School of Accountancy in the business unit, as well as two separately-accredited departments: fashion and interior design, and technology and construction management. The COB, along with the School of Accountancy, hold the prestigious full accreditation by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

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