Monday, March 05, 2007

The Eco-Friendly Home

This is an excerpt from an article I read awhile ago, but it still applies today.

The Eco-Friendly Home
by Lisa McLaughlin

One the domain of hippie holdouts, organic home decor has gone mainstream. From fume-free paint to chairs made from sustainable wood, a growing number of products are manufactured without the chemicals used in traditionally-made furnishings.

They still cost a little more, but now they're easier to find and surprisingly chic.

PAINT When regular paint dries, it can release compounds that contribute to smog and irritate your lungs. Benjamin Moore EcoSpec can help keep the air cleaner. The upside: no new-paint smell. The downside: you'll pay up to $5 more per gallon. (I do believe that Sherwin Williams also has an eco-friendly paint too.)

FURNITURE Both elegant and environmentally friendly, the Q collection's James chair is made of wood from sustainable forests, low-impact dyed cotton upholstery and polyurethane-free stains. Pillow stuffing comes from free-range ducks.

BEDDING Sales of organic pillows and mattresses topped $1 million in 2004 and are expected to grow nearly 15% annually, according to the Organic Trade Association. Gaiam's sheets come in a variety of colors and boast a 205-thread count.

CARPETING Studies indicate that a baby crawling across a carpet can inhale the same amount of carcinogenic materials that it would if it had smoked three cigarettes a day. You can change that by vacuuming regularly, using nontoxic cleansers and buying special flooring, like InterfaceFLOR carpet tiles, which you can mix and match for a custom look.

Of course, I recommend these non-toxic cleaners for safe, effective and economical cleaners. Also, if you're not ready to replace all the carpet in your house, I recommend an air purifier. This purifier is powerful enough to clean the air in your whole house, requires maintenance only once a year, and is quite cost-effective.

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