How to Buy Eco Friendly Paint

Eco-Friendly Paints
CC flickr photo courtesy of ewan and donabel

Painting the interior of your home should be a wonderful experience. It makes everything look new again, brightens up a room, and helps you create the ambiance you envision. Common commercial paints can do all that, but at the same time cause dangerous problems from fumes that can harm both you and the environment.

What Is Eco-Friendly Paint?

Eco-friendly paints are specifically designed to do everything those other paints do, but without the toxic fumes. The most common fumes, known as VOCs (volatile organic compounds), are not only present while the paint is drying, but can last long after the paint is applied. In fact, paints that contain VOCs can release those toxins into the air for years after application.

See our previous post about our own use of no VOC paint in a construction project.

In addition to VOCs, there are other ingredients to be wary of as well. Ammonia, acetone and formaldehyde are often used in paint products and are toxic, but are not covered under the EPA’s VOC rating. Read your labels carefully when choosing your home’s paint. Check the ingredients that are used to extend the shelf life of most commercial paints. Mold-inhibitors, biocides and fungicides can also off-gas chemicals for years. These chemicals can impact your air quality and can contribute to breathing problems.

Eco Friendly Furniture Options

Eco-friendly furniture
CC flickr photo courtesy of David Stanley

There are few things as satisfying as furnishing a new home, or choosing new furniture to update a home.  The items we choose to make a place feel like a home do so by creating a feeling, and by reflecting our own unique style. Home is sanctuary.  And the furniture options we have to choose from are almost limitless. However, furniture production is resource-intensive and can involve chemicals that are bad for your health.  Seeking out eco-friendly furniture can be a great way to make a difference without any sacrifice of comfort or style.

Eco-friendly choices are widely available in today’s market of home furnishings.  However, there are also many retailers using “green washing” tactics to market their goods, so it is important to know the basics before you start shopping.

Eco Friendly Flooring Options

Eco-friendly Flooring
Bamboo floor - CC flickr photo by anathea

There are two main reasons to choose eco-friendly flooring when looking for materials to renovate old surfaces or create new structures. The first reason is your family’s health. Many of today’s flooring options off-gas harmful chemicals and negatively affect your home’s indoor air quality.

The second reason to choose eco-friendly flooring for your home is to reduce the impact on the environment. Most carpet and vinyl production is energy-intensive and uses up our petroleum reserves. The dyes, adhesives, sealants, etc. used in flooring manufacturing and installation also contribute harsh chemicals to the environment.

What Makes Flooring Eco-Friendly?

Choosing eco-friendly materials for your flooring eliminates both the impact to your health, and the impact to the environment. Ideally, eco-friendly flooring:

Eco-Friendly Pet Products, An Overview

Eco-Friendly Pet Products
CC flickr photo courtesy of kevin dooley

American Pet Products Association estimates that in 2012 there are more than 72.9 million homes with pets. They are a big part of our lives, but can also have a big impact on the environment around us.

There’s a lot of waste that can be reduced effectively by choosing green pet products. Here are some ways that you can decrease the carbon footprint your pet leaves, and make pet ownership more responsible.

The Planet-Conscious Pooch

What dog doesn’t love a good game of fetch? Whatever toys your dog loves best, there are eco-friendly versions to make their play more eco-friendly. EcoChoices offers a wide selection of dog toys, from nontoxic balls to hemp-stuffed toys.

Solar Pool Heaters: an Overview

Wondering about your options for a solar pool heater?

If you love your pool and want to use it more of the year, but don’t want the expense of using fuel to heat it, you may want to consider a solar pool heater.

Swimming pool solar heaters use the energy of the sun to warm your pool’s water. The way a solar heater works is by channeling water through your pool’s pump to the heater. The heater is a mesh of tiny, black rubber or plastic tubes that hold your pool water and maximize the amount of surface area receiving the sun’s heat. The sun heats the water and it is recirculated into your pool, warming it. Other devices such as timers and control valves can regulate your desired temperature and only run water through your filter during daylight hours. In the US, solar can extend your use of your pool to year-round in southern climates and extend it significantly if you live in a cold climate like the northeast.

Swimming Pool Solar Heater
CC flickr photo courtesy of Phil Wiffen