Did you know that one of the most toxic places you can be is your own home? That’s because homes are built with mainly manmade materials, and those materials break down over time. As these materials break down, they release a gas, a process called “off-gassing.” As you research the materials in your own home, you do start to realize how every part of your home is probably off-gassing, from your furniture to your carpet, your hardwood floors and even the paint on your walls.
Do NOT panic. All of this can be remedied, and healthy living can start in your own house. Just to put things in perspective, we all grew up with lead paint, and we all are seemingly normal.
In the past, using nontoxic materials was extremely expensive, and they were hard to find. All of that has changed with technology and industry innovations. Prices of nontoxic materials are now extremely competitive.
We visited green lifestyle store Honest Home, located in NuLu, which specializes in nontoxic, long-lasting, sustainable materials for the home. They have recently expanded their inventory to include retail space and furniture, as well.
This world of green living is a little daunting at first, so we wanted to see if there was a simplified list of ways to get started. Honest Home owner Sandra Perry gave us four ways to immediately help detoxify the home with sustainable materials.
1. Repaint your home with zero-VOC paint.
Paint releases volatile organic chemicals (VOC) into the air … the air you breathe. Since paint covers the most square footage in your house, repainting with this nontoxic paint is the best bang for your buck inside your home. Zero-VOC paint, sold at Honest Home, is $15 less than a competitor paint, and they can color match to your pre-existing paint.
2. Change or seal your carpet.
Again, carpet, like paint, covers a lot of square footage in your home. You have two options here. You can seal the existing carpet with a nontoxic sealant, which prevents it from off-gassing. You simply wash the carpet with a professional carpet cleaner and use the sealant then, and it lasts for four years. Honest Home has people you can hire to do this, or you can replace your carpet with natural carpeting and natural carpet pads, the traditional versions of which are also notoriously toxic.
3. Refinish or replace your floors.
There are two options for floors, like carpets. You can finish the wood floors you already have with a nontoxic finish, actually made from a whey product. Or you can replace your flooring with a natural product, such as bamboo, cork, nontoxic hardwood or low-VOC vinyl. Bamboo flooring is the top seller at Honest Home.
4. Refinish or replace your furniture.
Furniture off-gasses as well, considering the building materials from which it is made. You can finish wood furniture with a nontoxic finish (shown above with the wood floor finish) or start replacing your furniture with ecofriendly furniture. These occasional tables (shown below) are sold at Honest Home.
There you have it … four easy changes that can have a huge impact. If you want to take your eco-efforts a step further, there are many more options and avenues to take, but it starts with the basics, using toxic-free and sustainable materials.
Honest Home is located at 804 E. Market St., Louisville. Hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Learn more at (502) 365-3373 or visit the website.