Green Interiors Resource
Choosing the right interior finishes has a huge impact on indoor air quality and consequently the health of the inhabitants. Many popular products and finishes are made with dangerous chemicals that can off gas for years in a home. Contractors and interior designers have the opportunity to help their clients choose finishes that are environmentally friendly and won’t cause health problems. Here are some key considerations:
- Toxicity – Some common building products emit unpleasant and even dangerous fumes that can persist long after homeowners have moved in.
- Durability – Building materials that hold up to the rigors of family life are worth the investment over the long term.
- Resource conservation – Reusing salvaged materials or choosing products that have been made with recycled material means fewer resources have to be committed to making something new.
- Sustainability – As with other building materials, floor and wall covering come from a variety of sources. The best choices are products that are renewable.
Green Interiors’ Transition Guide
Use paint, adhesives and caulks that have low or no VOC
- Volatile organic compounds are chemicals that can trigger a whole host of illnesses.
- Carefully read the labels provided to see what chemicals are used in the product. Become familiar with chemicals that have adverse side affects.
- These products should be available at your local home store.
Look for the Green Label Plus or recycled content carpet
- Carpet and carpet backing contains chemicals that can affect the immune system. Carpets can now be made from recycled plastics, natural backing and new materials.
- Look for carpeting with low VOC emissions certified by the Green Label Plus program by the EPA and the Carpet and Rug Institute
- Carpeting should be minimized as it holds dust, dander and moisture.
Install FSC certified wood floors
- FSC wood comes from sustainably managed forests.
- A wide range of flooring products are now available from FSC managed forests
- FSC wood is not available everywhere. If you cannot get it locally, be sure to let your home-store that you are interested in having them stock FSC flooring.