Detoxing Your Home
Your living space should be more than simply beautiful; it should also be a haven of comfort and health. There are numerous ways to clear the air in your home, many of which are quite simple and easy to implement. Here are a few you may wish to consider:
STEPS TO A TOXIN FREE HOME
• Leave your shoes at the door. Shoes track in all manner of pollutants and grime from the outside world, which is why people in many cultures find it off-putting to wear street shoes indoors.
• Change your dusting habits. Toss out those chemically laden spray cleaners and dust-scattering feather dusters. Instead, try dry, unscented cotton cloths that are designed to attract dirt and dust particles.
• Open the windows. By some estimates, indoor air is up to five times as polluted as outdoor air. If the weather permits, freshen the air in your home by leaving a few windows open.
• Blessed with a green thumb? Consider introducing some air purifying plants to your home. As previously mentioned in our “Naturally Purify the Air You Breathe” blog, the Snake and Peace Lily plants help to naturally purify indoor air by removing harmful chemicals such as formaldehyde. So, just in case some of your furniture is off gassing formaldehyde, bringing in some of these plants can help you bring down toxicity levels in your home.
• Skip the softener cycle. Most commercial fabric softeners contain harmful chemicals, such as acetone (the caustic main ingredient in nail polish remover) and quaternary ammonium compound (which may contribute to asthma.) Bonus: bath towels will be more absorbent sans the chemical coating.
• Leave pest control to the organic professionals. Home pest control formulas are highly toxic, and contact could harm or even kill your pets, and cause nerve, skin and eye damage, headaches and nausea in humans.
• Understand off-gassing. Off-gassing is the release of noxious gasses that were trapped in a manufactured material. Low quality furniture is often a culprit, and particle board is a common offender. If you notice a strong, unpleasant odor coming from a new purchase, you should always let it “air out” before use. If placing the item outside is not feasible, open as many windows as possible until the gasses evaporate.
Of course, there is a much better solution to this problem: avoid purchasing items that contain dangerous levels of toxic gasses, in the first place. For example, bamboo furniture is produced cleanly, using no toxic chemicals or finishes. In general, quality furniture companies are becoming increasingly aware of their customers' desire for eco-friendly furniture.
Copeland Furniture is an industry leader when it comes to clean furniture with minimal off gassing. This Vermont-based company uses a post-catalyzed conversion varnish that is certified for low chemical emissions by a testing program of UL (Underwriters Laboratory) that is dedicated to indoor air quality, called Greenguard. Copeland furniture understands that your health is incredibly important, so they strive to make lasting, beautiful furnishings that are better both for you and the environment.
Another important factor to consider is the actual furniture construction quality. Solid wood or bamboo furniture constructed using high-quality joinery techniques require minimal adhesive compared to furniture consisting of smooth panels needing to be entirely glued together. English dovetail, for example, joins pieces of wood (or bamboo) by interlocking “pins” cut in a trapezoidal shape which keep the two pieces from being pulled apart. Some glue is used to keep the pieces from sliding at all; however, it is considerably less than pieces not constructed using strong joinery techniques. Less glue means less chemicals, which equals less off-gassing.
All of our Copeland and Greenington case pieces feature this time-tested, classic joinery technique ensuring strength, durability, and significantly reduced off gassing. Create for yourself and your family a home filled with fresh, clean air. Our homes are already our safe haven from the stress, chaos, and dangers of the outside world. Let it also be your escape from the toxicity of our industrialized, polluted world. While society works towards a greener planet, we as individuals can turn our little worlds into clean, healthy bubbles. We may never be free of all hazardous materials, but we can certainly work towards lessening our exposure, right?