Natural oils / Guides

Cedar deck and stairs under construction cedar naturally the most durable wood
Decks, porches and gazebos

Tips for building a deck - 10 Tips to make your deck last longer

...natural wood. It could in theory last longer, along with mineral-based powder wood treatment, but applying durability measures with any type of wood is the only sure-fire way to extend the life span of deck structures. Red cedar has natural anti-rot characteristics but comes with a pretty steep price tag, so for exam...

Non-toxic food safe wood finishing oil for counters, floors, decks and toys
Healthy indoor air quality

Naturally made non-toxic wood finishing oil

...natural wood finishing oils, and they are very transparent about the composition of their products which are mainly plants and some other natural materials. There are also no heavy metals used in the colouring pigments, so it is a completely sustainably-made and healthy product. "In our natural wood finishes we use a...

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

How to find a healthier wood finish

...Natural oils (linseed or tung oil) Natural oil finishes come from renewable resources, like flax seeds and tung tree nuts. Floor oils are not generally as durable as polyurethane finishes, but are much more natural looking as they age, and they are much easier to repair. Lacking the hardened coating of polyurethane, ...

Healthy indoor air quality

The impact of ambient fragrances on our health

...oils are similar to those found in other fragrances. Each essential oil product tested contained at least one substance that is classified as toxic. For pure essential oils, previous studies (eg Chiu et al., 2009) demonstrated that VOCs such as benzene and toluene were released when oils were heated to 40°C. In regar...

The LEED Platinum infill house in Toronto
Real estate

Farnham Avenue House

...Natural daylight from the skylights can now penetrate the core of house. The energy savings from natural daylight phases well with energy-efficient LED and CFL lighting as day passes into night. Water conservation, such as on-site rainwater drainage collection to a drywell, which will be eventually be upgraded to a c...

How Much do Sustainable Green Kitchen Countertops Cost?
Kitchens

Pricing green kitchen countertops - there's never been a bigger choice of sustainable kitchen counters

...natural stone, colours will vary by region and quarry. Also beware "cheap" laminated granite counters - they are much more prone to cracking and staining with red wine or hot oils. Quartz $2500-$6000 Similar in price and durability to granite, quartz is a manufactured product so there are more options than ...

Shou sugi ban carbonized wood siding
Exterior cladding

Shou sugi ban carbonized wood siding from Japan, what is it & how to make it?

...natural non-toxic oil to seal it. Colours usually range from a very rich natural wood colour to a deep black. The final appearance is determined by the species of the wood, the extent of the burn and how vigorously it is brushed. The colour can be further manipulated by using stain instead of oil. Benefits: Durab...

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

Choosing safe paints

...natural oils. Most products still contain some VOCs, but generally much less than varnish, and they can create a very durable and beatiful floor that can be much easier to maintain. Check out our page on eco-friendly floor finishes for more information. For more information on eco-friendly paints and wood finishes, s...

wood ceiling in Reclaimed sunken lumber
Walls and ceilings - interior surfaces

Wood Ceilings or drywall - how to choose your ceiling material & what's the difference in cost?

...natural light. But that impact is hardly noticeable in an open-concept room with cathedral ceilings and lots of natural light. A modern light grained maple wood ceiling © Ecohome Installing wood on ceilings compared to drywall: Drywall installation goes quicker than wood, or at least...

ProductiveHouse in Montreal
Choosing where to live

Green living in the city

...natural oils instead of varnish and avoiding chipboard cabinets will all serve to improve your air quality by eliminating the toxic fumes that are simply accepted in conventional building practices. Having an energy efficient kitchen is not so complicated: put lids on pots, only boil as much water as you need, wait u...

Keyhole Garden
Landscaping

The Keyhole Garden: An Introduction

...natural resistance to drought, as moisture is delivered alongside nutrients as the organic matter layered into the bed breaks down. All of this also amounts to less time being needed to maintain the garden throughout the growing season. Mix a keyhole garden with vegetables that grow in the shade , and you've a winning ...