Lovely Green Living Room Designs
54c 1 hbx green cottage living room frances schultz 0211 xln
What do you think when you hear the word “green living” and “creating a healthy home”? As an interior decorator / designer and former respiratory therapist, I think of ways to improve air quality both inside and outside the home, as well as improving energy efficiency. Inside your home, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) of gas affect the quality of your home environment and your health. Outside our homes, greenhouse gases affect the environment and carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere.
Both indoor and outdoor air quality are controlled by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) through public education and legislation. In this article we will discuss some ways to improve indoor air quality in your home thus creating a healthy home and improving your overall health. We will also explore the energy efficiency and impact you have on the world’s environment. At the end of the article, I will include a list of sources where you can learn more about green living and how to create a healthy home.
Green Living and Healthy Homes
Did you know that air pollution is 2-5 times larger in the room than outdoors because of the enclosed space? Many of our household products can emit VOC gas into the air you breathe. VOC gas can cause headaches, sneezing, respiratory problems and allergic reactions. VOC gas is found in carpets, floors, glue, paint, particle board, stain and finish coating. When choosing a product for your home, here are some healthy alternatives:
Look for wood products containing the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) label. This product comes from integrated managed forest. FSC members use the concept of “responsible forest management and conservation” to address issues such as illegal logging, deforestation and global warming.
* Use reclaimed or recycled wood. Many of these pieces are repetposed in the use of entrances, dining rooms or coffee tables.
* When choosing a floor, consider natural resources such as bamboo flooring, derived from fast-growing grass or reclaimed / used wood. Use the floor with low VOC finishing.
* Use low or zero VOC paints like Sherwin Williams Harmony (0 VOC), paint Benjamin Moore Aura (low VOC) or Yolo Colorhouse (my favorite because 0 VOC, non-toxic, low-smelling environmentally friendly paint).
* Good floor selection is natural linoleum, cork or natural stone.
* If you must use glue, choose low VOC glue.
Choose a freezer and a formaldehyde free table.
* Other good choices are recycled glass or ceramic.
Many VOC gases are absorbed into your soft furnishings such as upholstery and carpet. Try to avoid carpeting in warmer climates and often empty your seat. In fact, it is recommended by the American Lung Association (ALA) that you siphon your home 1 day a week for every occupant at home, including pets. ALA has been a great supporter of healthy life and has built a “Health House” across the country to promote environmentally friendly materials and products.
Green Living Room Designs
Healthy House Includes a Healthy Bedroom
We spend more than a third of our lives in our bedroom, so it’s important to create a healthy sleeping space. Some ways to improve the quality of your indoor air in the bedroom are:
* Do not let animals enter the bedroom. Pet wool can trigger an asthma episode.
* Dust mites are small insects (associated with spiders) that live on the bed and carpet. They are one of the most common allergic and asthma triggers. They eat human skin fragments. Their lifetime is 10-19 days. Regular cleaning and sucking can make this creature as minimal as possible.
* Dust frequently. Most of your dust contains dust mites and dirt.
* Anti-dust mites are recommended. Or attach your matresses with tight cotton to prevent the mites from reaching your skin.
* Use a cotton blanket without organic insecticides.
* Wash your bed every two weeks with hot water.
* Use a hard window cover.
* Buy a portable air purifier with washable filter (I like the Honeywell model HPD-010. It has a 4 1/2 star rating on Amazon.com)
* Eliminate carpet or use carpet made from recycled materials (such as soda bottles).
Green Living – Cleaning and Laundry Products
Many cleaning products also affect the indoor air quality in our homes and create “smoke” VOCs. The enclosed spaces allow VOC gas to build and create chemical compounds in the air. By changing your cleaning product, you are promoting a green environment with better air quality and a lower VOC. Some of the changes you can make are:
* Use fragrance-free products. Fragrance is a common allergy trigger.
* Read labels for environmentally friendly materials.
* Use wheat alcohol vs. isopropyl alcohol. Grain alcohol is a natural product in which isopropyl alcohol comes from fossil fuels.
Switch to a natural cleaning agent. Vinegar clears stones and glass. For a mirror use white vinegar with water. Use lemon juice to remove stains from the fabric. Use mineral oil for furniture polishers. Baking soda clean and polish metal and plastic.
* Natural laundry soap – Make your own soap 1 bar shaved bar (like Ivory), 1 C Borax, 1 C Arm & Hammer Washing Soda.
Avoid toxic materials: petroleum and formaldehyde.
* 3,000 tons of paper towels are delivered to landfills. Use a used cloth. They can be recycled and can save money.
* Save money on cleaning hands. The FDA has found that regular soap and water are good anti-bacterial agents.
Green Living Includes Natural Resources Conservation
The other major area in green life is the conservation of our natural resources by using less water, energy and creating less waste in our landfills. Here are some simple, low-cost ways you can save and save money:
* When the light bulb is on, replace the energy-saving CFL lamp. You can save about $ 400 / year.
Use low-flow faucet and shower head to save 50% of your water consumption.
* Use programmable thermostats to reduce energy use.
* Spray your hot water heater or use a water heater without tanks that heat up on demand. Change the hot water heater to 120 degrees and save up to 15% per month.
* Toilets use 45% household water. Change to low flush toilets that use less than 1.5 gal / flush.
* Use a solar-powered LED accent light for your path.
* By turning on your computer, you can save approximately $ 186 / year and reduce carbon dioxide in the air.