Low VOCs / Guides

Painting with zero VOC paint from Benjamin Moore
Paints, finishes and natural coatings

Choosing safe paints

...VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds): We grew to accept VOCs in our paints and not a lot of thought was put into why, or if they were actually necessary. VOCs are added by manufacturers partly to slow drying times, but predominantly to prevent paint from freezing during transportation. This process can be easily avoided...

90 year old red pine refinished with zero VOC floor oil
Paints, finishes and natural coatings

How to find a healthier wood finish

...VOCs (volatile organic compounds), or if you're a really shrewd shopper, none at all - see here for an article on zero VOC paint and the difference to low VOC paints . While the smell may be gone in days or weeks, the effects won't be. It will take years before VOCs in any surface finishes stop polluting your air, wh...

DIY Natural Earth Pigment Paint, Making it at Home is Easy
Healthy indoor air quality

DIY recipe for natural healthy paint

...VOCs. Low VOC paints may have reduced amounts of volatile organic compounds, meaning they don't off-gas as much as traditional paints, but it's important to remember that when it says "low" it's only in comparison to some other paints. There's are no standards that define what "low" means, so the labels are arbitrary, ...

Drywall and construction dust
Cleaning and maintenance

Tips for keeping air clean during renovations

...VOCs (volatile organic compounds) in paints and primers Formaldehyde and other chemicals present in building materials VOCs from adhesives and surface finishes Airborne fibers from insulation batts Off-gassing of foam insulation How to prepare for home renovations: Move furniture: Take as much of your fur...

Non-toxic building materials can improve home air quality
Healthy indoor air quality

Maintaining healthy indoor air quality

...VOCs Volatile organic compounds form a large part of household chemical pollutants . Formaldehyde, benzene, toluene, alcohols and mineral spirits are the most commonly found VOCs in our homes. They can cause many adverse health effects including dizziness, nausea, fatigue, respiratory illnesses, and cause damage to y...

Hemp fibreboard and Hemp insulation - the Green Building choice
Wood and organic materials

Hemp building supplies

...lowly replenishing timber resources, and their high demand causes a significant need to harvest vital trees in dwindling forest habitats around the world. Low-density fiberboard is typically made from waste materials such as sawdust and scraps of wood and is currently used in a wide variety of applications and is oft...

“The perfect lawn” comes with a very heavy environmental cost!
Landscaping

Which are the best bee-friendly & Eco-friendly alternatives to grass lawns in backyards?

...lowering is all that is needed. There are many varieties; Thymus vulgaris is grown as a herb but can be kept low with mowing. Mother-of-thyme ( Thymus praecox ) is a low creeping species. Thyme grows well in the sun or in shade , on slopes and through rock gardens. In spring and fall it blooms into small purple or wh...

Polished concrete floors and counters
Paints, finishes and natural coatings

Finishing concrete floors with silicate densifiers

...VOCs (volatile organic compounds). Many densifiers have no VOCs; they will seal the floor, so additional sealers aren't absolutely necessary. A surface sealer will also wear out and require re-application in as little as a year, depending on how much use they see. Any sealer will be subject to etching as well. For th...

Eco-friendly & Healthy Flooring is best for Green Homes
Flooring and stairs

Eco-Friendly Flooring material options for Green-Homes

...VOCs) in the lower layers; less durable than a floor made of solid wood only. Worthy of note: Engineered wood floors lend themselves well to in-floor radiant heat. Solid hardwood floors: Wood flooring can come either raw or pre-finished. Traditional raw wood flooring usually requires as much work in finishing as ...

Which House Plants are Best to Clean Air & Remove Toxins?
Healthy indoor air quality

Which house plants are best for purifying air? Ecohome investigates

...low, mold spores from your basement will find their way into the upper floors of your home. The first step to dealing with basement humidity is to get a dehumidifier and try to keep the Relative Humidity level (RH) to below 50%. See our pages on why basements are moldy and how to fix them for more in-depth basement i...

Kitchen and Bathroom design tips
Kitchens

Design ideas for durable kitchens and bathrooms

...Low flow showerheads use as little as 6 LPM, and you will still come out squeaky clean. Be sure you have efficient taps. If not, install aerators on them to reduce flow, at no loss of function. Energy star appliances: Energy Star appliances such as washing machines will not be the cheapest to purchase, but at...