Did you know that homes are now built so precisely that there is no fresh air entering into or leaving our homes? The air inside our homes is more polluted than the air outside and can be a breeding ground for illness and allergies. Everything from our furniture, paint, household cleaners, flooring choices, and décor has built-in toxins and chemicals that are emitted into our breathing air every day. These toxins, also known as VOC’s or volatile organic compounds, have been connected to higher risks for heart attack, asthma, allergies, skin rashes, cancer, and reproductive disorders.
Now for the good news! You can actively take steps to go green in your home and create a safe breathing environment for yourself and your family. Here are some ways to be proactive and go green in your home.
The trend these days for homeowners is to renovate or rejuvenate their existing home, rather than simply purchasing a new home. As a result, many new products and paints are used to bring new life to older homes. If you’re not careful in choosing eco-friendly products for your renovations, you’re likely introducing more harmful chemicals into your breathing air. Did you know that new carpet will off-gas toxins for nearly 20 years? Suddenly, that “new carpet smell” isn’t so great, is it?
Going Green Tips
1) Choose an eco-friendly paint – paint manufacturers are responding to the need for cleaner air inside our living and working environments, so there are quality choices available on the market today. An eco-friendly paint is created using recycled paint or vegetable dyes and minerals.
2) Opt for eco-friendly flooring – natural fibers are attractive in any home décor, so opt for floor coverings like cork, bamboo, or linoleum. These “green” materials are attractive and inexpensive.
3) Purchase green furniture – furniture constructed from certified sustainable wood or reclaimed wood. Bamboo furniture is also a great choice and can be incorporated into many styles of décor. Do you love the look of vintage furniture? Using furniture that has been around the block a few times is another great way to go green when choosing “new-to-you” furniture pieces.
4) Invest in a natural air purifier – no chemicals are needed to clean the air in your home. Instead, invest in a quality air purifier for your home. Green household plants absorb polluted air, so include these in your decorating plan. Burn beeswax candles instead of chemically created candles. Beeswax candles emit negative ions, which are beneficial for you. Another natural air ionizer is a salt crystal lamp.
5) Look for natural fibers – shower curtains, window treatments, throw pillows, bed pillows, etc, should all be manufactured from natural fibers. Look for products that are manufactured using natural unbleached cotton, organic wool, organic hemp, or shredded rubber latex. Products to stay away from include those made from plastic, foam, or synthetic materials.
Going green in your home does not mean you have to sacrifice quality or beauty. Manufacturers of home décor, furniture, and renovating materials recognize that savvy consumers want eco-friendly choices and they’re providing choices that are beautiful and budget-friendly.
It’s easy to go green in your home, so get started today. You’ll be breathing cleaner air that much quicker!