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Eco Friendly Furniture

September 9, 2010

We have to make eco friendly products a part of our life in all means.Here is the one that, we all should make our life comfortable with recycled or environment friendly products.

In what seems like just a few years, consumer awareness about sustaining the health of the environment has rapidly increased and manufacturers for every type of product have jumped on the eco-friendly bandwagon. You can’t go shopping without seeing at least one eco-friendly product on the shelves. Home furniture is just one of those product categories that are touting eco-friendly properties. With all the costs that are associated with a home, including utilities bills, maintenance and home insurance, people are looking to invest in the best furniture that also aids in the health on the environment. When you see a piece of furniture that claims to be eco-friendly, it can be for a number of different reasons.

Eco-friendly furniture may use materials that include recycled content, which has been produced from post-industrial or post-consumer waste. Old materials such as glass, plastic, metal and wood can be transformed and incorporated into new pieces of furniture. Furniture may also utilize materials that are considered sustainable, which means the resource can be grown at a rate that is equivalent or faster than the rate that is it being used or consumed. These sustainable or rapidly renewable materials prevent the depletion of natural resources and decrease harm to the world’s ecosystems. Companies may even package furniture with recycled or renewable materials and may use less packaging in general.

Lots of handmade furniture can be considered as eco-friendly because of the less energy that is used compared to the energy it would take to run machines. An eco-friendly piece of furniture could also have been made in a plant that minimizes the use of natural resources like water and use energy in the most efficient ways. The building that the furniture is made in may have been built in a way that minimizes carbon emissions or utilizes alternative energy sources, such as solar power. Generally, furniture that requires little processing can be considered as eco-friendly also.

Eco-friendly furniture should be made of materials that emit very few or no carcinogens, toxins, irritants or volatile organic compounds (VOCs). For example, a piece of furniture covered in lead-based paint isn’t exactly eco-friendly because lead is a toxic metal, especially to small children who may ingest bits of the paint. Toxic compounds, such as some wood preservatives, and other compounds that deplete the ozone layer, should not be used during any phase of the production of eco-friendly furniture also.

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Eco Friendly Furniture

September 9, 2010

We have to make eco friendly products a part of our life in all means.Here is the one that, we all should make our life comfortable with recycled or environment friendly products.

In what seems like just a few years, consumer awareness about sustaining the health of the environment has rapidly increased and manufacturers for every type of product have jumped on the eco-friendly bandwagon. You can’t go shopping without seeing at least one eco-friendly product on the shelves. Home furniture is just one of those product categories that are touting eco-friendly properties. With all the costs that are associated with a home, including utilities bills, maintenance and home insurance, people are looking to invest in the best furniture that also aids in the health on the environment. When you see a piece of furniture that claims to be eco-friendly, it can be for a number of different reasons.

Eco-friendly furniture may use materials that include recycled content, which has been produced from post-industrial or post-consumer waste. Old materials such as glass, plastic, metal and wood can be transformed and incorporated into new pieces of furniture. Furniture may also utilize materials that are considered sustainable, which means the resource can be grown at a rate that is equivalent or faster than the rate that is it being used or consumed. These sustainable or rapidly renewable materials prevent the depletion of natural resources and decrease harm to the world’s ecosystems. Companies may even package furniture with recycled or renewable materials and may use less packaging in general.

Lots of handmade furniture can be considered as eco-friendly because of the less energy that is used compared to the energy it would take to run machines. An eco-friendly piece of furniture could also have been made in a plant that minimizes the use of natural resources like water and use energy in the most efficient ways. The building that the furniture is made in may have been built in a way that minimizes carbon emissions or utilizes alternative energy sources, such as solar power. Generally, furniture that requires little processing can be considered as eco-friendly also.

Eco-friendly furniture should be made of materials that emit very few or no carcinogens, toxins, irritants or volatile organic compounds (VOCs). For example, a piece of furniture covered in lead-based paint isn’t exactly eco-friendly because lead is a toxic metal, especially to small children who may ingest bits of the paint. Toxic compounds, such as some wood preservatives, and other compounds that deplete the ozone layer, should not be used during any phase of the production of eco-friendly furniture also.

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Carbon emissions

September 7, 2010

Carbon emissions are most dangerous for our mankind and all living beings.of course we are in urgent need of fixing the issue.Greenhouse gases are gases in an atmosphere that absorb and emit radiation within the thermal infrared range. This process is the fundamental cause of the greenhouse effect.The primary greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere are water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone.

Carbon emissions: Who cares?

Who cares about carbon emissions? Carbon dioxide creates the largest contribution to the greenhouse effect, which is what is slowly, yet persistently, warming our globe. That makes it the most important greenhouse gas out there; it’s currently responsible for about 10 – 25 percent of the greenhouse effect. The next two on the list is methane and ozone, incidentally, do not crack the double digits, so carbon emissions are in the lead, in a bad way, when it comes to greenhouse gas emissions.

All this is to say, really, that we live not only in a carbon-based world, but a carbon emission-based society and economy, and the scope of activities that produce carbon emissions is just huge. Anything involving coal, natural gas, petroleum has a carbon emission

Fossil fuels or mineral fuels are fossil source  fuels, that is,  hydrocarbons found within the top layer of the Earth’s crust.

They range from volatile materials with low carbon:hydrogen ratios like methane, to liquid petroleum to nonvolatile materials composed of almost pure carbon, like anthracite coal. Methane can be found in hydrocarbon fields, alone, associated with oil, or in the form of methane clathrates. It is generally accepted that they formed from the fossilized remains of dead plants and animals by exposure to heat and pressure in the Earth’s crust over hundreds of millions of years. This is known as the biogenic theory and was first introduced by Georg Agricola in 1556 and later by Mikhail Lomonosov in 1757. There is an opposing more modern theory that the more volatile hydrocarbons, especially natural gas, are formed by abiogenic processes, that is no living material was involved in their formation.

It was estimated by the Energy Information Administration that in 2005, 86% of primary energy production in the world came from burning fossil fuels, with the remaining non-fossil sources being hydroelectric 6.3%, nuclear 6.0%, and other ( geothermal, solar, wind, and wood and waste) 0.9 percent.

Fossil fuels are non-renewable resources because they take millions of years to form, and reserves are being depleted much faster than new ones are being formed. Concern about fossil fuel supplies is one of the causes of regional and global conflicts. The production and use of fossil fuels raise environmental concerns. A global movement toward the generation of renewable energy is therefore under way to help meet increased energy needs.

The burning of fossil fuels produces around 21.3 billion tonnes (= 21.3 gigatons) of carbon dioxide per year, but it is estimated that natural processes can only absorb about half of that amount, so there is a net increase of 10.65 billion tonnes of atmospheric carbon dioxide per year (one tonne of atmospheric carbon is equivalent to 44/12 or 3.7 tonnes of carbon dioxide). Carbon dioxide is one of the greenhouse gases that enhances radiative forcing and contributes to global warming, causing the average surface temperature of the Earth to rise in response, which climate scientists agree will cause major adverse effects, including reduced biodiversity and, over time, cause sea level rise.

Fossil fuels are of great importance because they can be burned ( oxidized to carbon dioxide  and water), producing significant amounts of energy. The use of coal as a fuel predates recorded history. Semi-solid hydrocarbons from seeps were also burned in ancient times, but these materials were mostly used for waterproofing and  embalming. Commercial exploitation of petroleum, largely as a replacement for oils from animal sources (notably  whale oil) for use in oil lamps began in the nineteenth century. Natural gas, once flared-off as an un-needed byproduct of petroleum production, is now considered a very valuable resource.

Heavy crude oil, which is very much more viscous than conventional crude oil, and tar sands, where bitumen is found mixed with sand and clay, are becoming more important as sources of fossil fuel. Oil shale and similar materials are sedimentary rocks containing kerogen, a complex mixture of high-molecular weight organic compounds, which yield synthetic crude oil when heated ( pyrolyzed). These materials have yet to be exploited commercially.

Combustion of fossil fuels generates sulfuric, carbonic, and nitric acids, which fall to Earth as acid rain, impacting both natural areas and the built environment. Monuments and sculptures made from  marble and limestone are particularly vulnerable, as the acids dissolve calcium carbonate.

Environmental effects

Fossil fuels also contain radioactive materials, mainly uranium and thorium, that are released into the atmosphere. In 2000, about 12,000 metric tons of thorium and 5,000 metric tons of uranium were released worldwide from burning coal. It is estimated that during 1982, US coal burning released 155 times as much radioactivity into the atmosphere as the Three Mile Island incident. However, this radioactivity from coal burning is minuscule at each source and has not shown to have any adverse effect on human physiology.

Burning coal also generates large amounts of bottom ash and fly ash. These materials are used in a wide variety of applications, utilizing, for example, about 40% of the US production.

Harvesting, processing, and distributing fossil fuels can also create environmental concerns. Coal mining methods, particularly mountaintop removal and strip mining, have negative environmental impacts, and offshore oil drilling poses a hazard to aquatic organisms. Oil refineries also have negative environmental impacts, including air and water pollution. Transportation of coal requires the use of diesel-powered locomotives, while crude oil is typically transported by tanker ships, each of which requires the combustion of additional fossil fuels.

Carbon emissions

September 7, 2010

Carbon emissions are most dangerous for our mankind and all living beings.of course we are in urgent need of fixing the issue.Greenhouse gases are gases in an atmosphere that absorb and emit radiation within the thermal infrared range. This process is the fundamental cause of the greenhouse effect.The primary greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere are water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone.

Carbon emissions: Who cares?

Who cares about carbon emissions? Carbon dioxide creates the largest contribution to the greenhouse effect, which is what is slowly, yet persistently, warming our globe. That makes it the most important greenhouse gas out there; it’s currently responsible for about 10 – 25 percent of the greenhouse effect. The next two on the list is methane and ozone, incidentally, do not crack the double digits, so carbon emissions are in the lead, in a bad way, when it comes to greenhouse gas emissions.

All this is to say, really, that we live not only in a carbon-based world, but a carbon emission-based society and economy, and the scope of activities that produce carbon emissions is just huge. Anything involving coal, natural gas, petroleum has a carbon emission

Fossil fuels or mineral fuels are fossil source  fuels, that is,  hydrocarbons found within the top layer of the Earth’s crust.

They range from volatile materials with low carbon:hydrogen ratios like methane, to liquid petroleum to nonvolatile materials composed of almost pure carbon, like anthracite coal. Methane can be found in hydrocarbon fields, alone, associated with oil, or in the form of methane clathrates. It is generally accepted that they formed from the fossilized remains of dead plants and animals by exposure to heat and pressure in the Earth’s crust over hundreds of millions of years. This is known as the biogenic theory and was first introduced by Georg Agricola in 1556 and later by Mikhail Lomonosov in 1757. There is an opposing more modern theory that the more volatile hydrocarbons, especially natural gas, are formed by abiogenic processes, that is no living material was involved in their formation.

It was estimated by the Energy Information Administration that in 2005, 86% of primary energy production in the world came from burning fossil fuels, with the remaining non-fossil sources being hydroelectric 6.3%, nuclear 6.0%, and other ( geothermal, solar, wind, and wood and waste) 0.9 percent.

Fossil fuels are non-renewable resources because they take millions of years to form, and reserves are being depleted much faster than new ones are being formed. Concern about fossil fuel supplies is one of the causes of regional and global conflicts. The production and use of fossil fuels raise environmental concerns. A global movement toward the generation of renewable energy is therefore under way to help meet increased energy needs.

The burning of fossil fuels produces around 21.3 billion tonnes (= 21.3 gigatons) of carbon dioxide per year, but it is estimated that natural processes can only absorb about half of that amount, so there is a net increase of 10.65 billion tonnes of atmospheric carbon dioxide per year (one tonne of atmospheric carbon is equivalent to 44/12 or 3.7 tonnes of carbon dioxide). Carbon dioxide is one of the greenhouse gases that enhances radiative forcing and contributes to global warming, causing the average surface temperature of the Earth to rise in response, which climate scientists agree will cause major adverse effects, including reduced biodiversity and, over time, cause sea level rise.

Fossil fuels are of great importance because they can be burned ( oxidized to carbon dioxide  and water), producing significant amounts of energy. The use of coal as a fuel predates recorded history. Semi-solid hydrocarbons from seeps were also burned in ancient times, but these materials were mostly used for waterproofing and  embalming. Commercial exploitation of petroleum, largely as a replacement for oils from animal sources (notably  whale oil) for use in oil lamps began in the nineteenth century. Natural gas, once flared-off as an un-needed byproduct of petroleum production, is now considered a very valuable resource.

Heavy crude oil, which is very much more viscous than conventional crude oil, and tar sands, where bitumen is found mixed with sand and clay, are becoming more important as sources of fossil fuel. Oil shale and similar materials are sedimentary rocks containing kerogen, a complex mixture of high-molecular weight organic compounds, which yield synthetic crude oil when heated ( pyrolyzed). These materials have yet to be exploited commercially.

Combustion of fossil fuels generates sulfuric, carbonic, and nitric acids, which fall to Earth as acid rain, impacting both natural areas and the built environment. Monuments and sculptures made from  marble and limestone are particularly vulnerable, as the acids dissolve calcium carbonate.

Environmental effects

Fossil fuels also contain radioactive materials, mainly uranium and thorium, that are released into the atmosphere. In 2000, about 12,000 metric tons of thorium and 5,000 metric tons of uranium were released worldwide from burning coal. It is estimated that during 1982, US coal burning released 155 times as much radioactivity into the atmosphere as the Three Mile Island incident. However, this radioactivity from coal burning is minuscule at each source and has not shown to have any adverse effect on human physiology.

Burning coal also generates large amounts of bottom ash and fly ash. These materials are used in a wide variety of applications, utilizing, for example, about 40% of the US production.

Harvesting, processing, and distributing fossil fuels can also create environmental concerns. Coal mining methods, particularly mountaintop removal and strip mining, have negative environmental impacts, and offshore oil drilling poses a hazard to aquatic organisms. Oil refineries also have negative environmental impacts, including air and water pollution. Transportation of coal requires the use of diesel-powered locomotives, while crude oil is typically transported by tanker ships, each of which requires the combustion of additional fossil fuels.

Eco friendly Paint

September 3, 2010

Here is one more step towards saving our earth from global warming and our health. Lot of people give least importance, while painting the house.It shouldn’t be like that.

If your remodel plans include painting, it’s well worth your time to look at the eco friendly paint options that are available on the market today. Traditional paint emits lots of nasty chemicals that contribute to poor indoor air quality, and can cause serious health risks.

Understanding the risks associated with traditional paint and knowing your options will help you to make wise and well-informed choices when buying new paint.

What’s Wrong With Traditional Paints?

It’s been said, by the EPA, that the air indoors is up to 5 times worse than the air outdoors. Since most of us spend most of our waking hours indoors, that fact should be extremely concerning.

To understand why traditional paints are harmful, it’s important to understand something called VOC’s, or Volatile Organic Compounds.

VOC’s are carbon-based chemicals that are found in paint and other products. When the paint is applied to your wall, the VOC’s are released into the air. The highest concentration of VOC’s is released when the paint is applied, but paint can actually continue to “off-gas” these harmful chemicals for up to 5 years!

Traditional paints have a high concentration of volatile compounds – sometimes more than 400 grams per liter.

But, you’ve got to paint your house, right? The solution to having a beautiful home while being healthy and environmentally conscious is to choose eco friendly paint.

What Is Eco Friendly Paint?

There are a number of eco friendly paint options available on the market now, we’ll try to explain them all to you in terms that are easy to understand. I don’t know about you, but when people start throwing scientific terms at me, I get lost in a hurry!

In theory, eco friendly paints include any paint that is approved by the EPA as having a low concentration of VOC’s, also known as low VOC paint. Because these paints have a smaller concentration of VOC’s, they are healthier for you and the environment.

But, let’s take it a step further. Beyond low VOC paints, there are also zero VOC paints and even natural paints that are made with natural products, making them especially green. Understanding the options that are available to you is key in making decisions.

Low VOC Paint

We’ve already established that low VOC paint has less than 1/2 the chemicals that are present in traditional paints. The EPA regulates what can be marketed as a low VOC product, so you can rest assured that all paints marketed as low VOC has met certain standards.

Zero VOC Paint

There are now eco friendly paint options on the market now that have Zero VOC’s. These products, too, are managed by the EPA. It’s important to note that paints must go through an approval process before they can be sealed as a zero VOC paint.

Organic Paint Choices

Organic Paint is another option for those looking to improve indoor air quality and the health of their families. There are a growing number of options available on the market, but cost and color choice may be a factor in whether or not you decide to use a natural paint product.

Things To Remember When Painting

Even if you are using eco friendly paint, you should still protect yourself, especially during application. Use proper protection to keep yourself and your family safe.

Always paint in well-ventilated areas. Even if you are using a low VOC or Zero VOC paint, it will emit some gases, especially until the paint is dry. Good ventilation will help to reduce any negative affects.

Eco friendly Paint

September 3, 2010

Here is one more step towards saving our earth from global warming and our health. Lot of people give least importance, while painting the house.It shouldn’t be like that.

If your remodel plans include painting, it’s well worth your time to look at the eco friendly paint options that are available on the market today. Traditional paint emits lots of nasty chemicals that contribute to poor indoor air quality, and can cause serious health risks.

Understanding the risks associated with traditional paint and knowing your options will help you to make wise and well-informed choices when buying new paint.

What’s Wrong With Traditional Paints?

It’s been said, by the EPA, that the air indoors is up to 5 times worse than the air outdoors. Since most of us spend most of our waking hours indoors, that fact should be extremely concerning.

To understand why traditional paints are harmful, it’s important to understand something called VOC’s, or Volatile Organic Compounds.

VOC’s are carbon-based chemicals that are found in paint and other products. When the paint is applied to your wall, the VOC’s are released into the air. The highest concentration of VOC’s is released when the paint is applied, but paint can actually continue to “off-gas” these harmful chemicals for up to 5 years!

Traditional paints have a high concentration of volatile compounds – sometimes more than 400 grams per liter.

But, you’ve got to paint your house, right? The solution to having a beautiful home while being healthy and environmentally conscious is to choose eco friendly paint.

What Is Eco Friendly Paint?

There are a number of eco friendly paint options available on the market now, we’ll try to explain them all to you in terms that are easy to understand. I don’t know about you, but when people start throwing scientific terms at me, I get lost in a hurry!

In theory, eco friendly paints include any paint that is approved by the EPA as having a low concentration of VOC’s, also known as low VOC paint. Because these paints have a smaller concentration of VOC’s, they are healthier for you and the environment.

But, let’s take it a step further. Beyond low VOC paints, there are also zero VOC paints and even natural paints that are made with natural products, making them especially green. Understanding the options that are available to you is key in making decisions.

Low VOC Paint

We’ve already established that low VOC paint has less than 1/2 the chemicals that are present in traditional paints. The EPA regulates what can be marketed as a low VOC product, so you can rest assured that all paints marketed as low VOC has met certain standards.

Zero VOC Paint

There are now eco friendly paint options on the market now that have Zero VOC’s. These products, too, are managed by the EPA. It’s important to note that paints must go through an approval process before they can be sealed as a zero VOC paint.

Organic Paint Choices

Organic Paint is another option for those looking to improve indoor air quality and the health of their families. There are a growing number of options available on the market, but cost and color choice may be a factor in whether or not you decide to use a natural paint product.

Things To Remember When Painting

Even if you are using eco friendly paint, you should still protect yourself, especially during application. Use proper protection to keep yourself and your family safe.

Always paint in well-ventilated areas. Even if you are using a low VOC or Zero VOC paint, it will emit some gases, especially until the paint is dry. Good ventilation will help to reduce any negative affects.

Indoor Air Pollution

August 26, 2010

Indoor air pollution is also dangerous like outdoor air pollution, cause we keep ourselves indoor most of the time whether it may be in office or home. So, we need to take steps to avoid indoor air pollution more effectively.

One of the top five threats to human health is poor indoor air quality. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has determined that indoor air is typically between two and five times as polluted as outdoor air. In some cases, indoor air can be as much as 100 times more contaminated.

Indoor pollution sources that release gases or particles into the air are the primary cause of poor indoor air quality. Inadequate ventilation can increase indoor pollutant levels by not bringing enough outdoor air to dilute emissions from indoor sources and not carrying indoor air pollutants outside the building. A condition known as “low exchange rate” where the the indoor air is not exchanged for outdoor air quickly enough is responsible for this
condition.

Indoor tobacco use High temperatures and humidity can increase concentrations of some pollutants. Combustion sources are common indoor air pollutants and include oil heating and lighting, gas stoves, kerosene lighting, coal heating, wood heating and tobacco use. Indoor combustion gas pollution can be prevented by installing sealed-combustion furnaces and power-vented gas burning water heaters.

Other sources of pollutants are building materials and furnishings (off-gassing), insulation containing asbestos, wet or damp carpet (see mold), pressed wood products, household cleaning and maintenance products, humidification devices, and outdoor sources such as radon, pesticides and outdoor air pollution from industrial sources. Indoor pollutants can be reduced by choosing building materials wisely. Use of low volatile organic compound (VOC) paints, carpets, cabinets and substitute wood products can help reduce the concentration of these pollutants.Indoor Air Pollution sources

The health effects of indoor air pollutants may be experienced soon after exposure to these conditions. Symptoms may include irritation of the eyes, nose or throat, headaches, dizziness and fatigue. Long term effects may include respiratory disease, heart disease and cancer.

The Dangers of Asbestos

Asbestos fibers is a mineral fiber that was added to various to a variety of products to provide insulation and fire protection. Until the 1970’s, many types of building products and insulation contained asbestos. Common products in buildings that may contain asbestos (if manufactured before 1970) and may release fibers include: steam pipes, boilers and furnace ducting; certain floor tiling containing vinyl, asbestos, rubber and asphalt; soundproofing or decorative material; door gaskets in furnaces, wood and coal burning stoves; patching and joint compounds; cement roofing, shingles and siding; and artificial ashes and embers sold for use in gas fireplaces.

Evidence of the health effects of asbestos use can be seen in the health problems being experienced by the rescue and cleanup workers who were present for the cleanup effort at the World Trade Center site after the attacks of September 11, 2001. Many workers experienced upper and lower bronchial tract problems, lung ailments and in some cases death.

Most household and/or building products today do not contain asbestos. Today, products that are made with asbestos that may be inhaled are required to be labeled as such. We are all exposed to small amounts of asbestos in our daily lives but most people do not develop associated health problems. Breathing in
high levels of asbestos fibers can lead to an increased risk of lung cancer, mesothelioma (a cancer of the lining of the chest and abdominal cavity), and asbestosis (scarring of the lungs with fibrous tissue.)

Asbestos fibers, of which there are several types, can only be positively identified by with a scanning electron microscope and should be left to qualified contractors to identify and remove them.Health effects of asbestos ingestion.

Houseplants: The Cure For Indoor Air Pollution

While there are numerous things you can do to significantly prevent  indoor air pollution (we’ll cover that in another post), adding houseplants is something you can do today to reduce the pollution that currently exists in your home or office.

When they were handing out green thumbs, I was too engrossed in my enjoyment of a fine, handcrafted ale to pay attention. For those of you that know me, that should come as no surprise. I regret that now. The green thumb, not the ale.  I never regret a really good handcrafted ale….

Growing green thumb as houseplants do more than add beauty to a space. Did you know they can filter out pollutants such as formaldehyde, benzene and other VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) from the air? That’s a very good thing considering indoor air pollution can be up to 100 times worse than outdoor air.Given the rise in asthma and other chemical sensitivity illnesses, and the fact that most of us spend 90% of our day indoors, it’s time to take the quality of the air we breathe seriously.

Indoor Air Pollution

August 26, 2010

Indoor air pollution is also dangerous like outdoor air pollution, cause we keep ourselves indoor most of the time whether it may be in office or home. So, we need to take steps to avoid indoor air pollution more effectively.

One of the top five threats to human health is poor indoor air quality. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has determined that indoor air is typically between two and five times as polluted as outdoor air. In some cases, indoor air can be as much as 100 times more contaminated.

Indoor pollution sources that release gases or particles into the air are the primary cause of poor indoor air quality. Inadequate ventilation can increase indoor pollutant levels by not bringing enough outdoor air to dilute emissions from indoor sources and not carrying indoor air pollutants outside the building. A condition known as “low exchange rate” where the the indoor air is not exchanged for outdoor air quickly enough is responsible for this
condition.

Indoor tobacco use High temperatures and humidity can increase concentrations of some pollutants. Combustion sources are common indoor air pollutants and include oil heating and lighting, gas stoves, kerosene lighting, coal heating, wood heating and tobacco use. Indoor combustion gas pollution can be prevented by installing sealed-combustion furnaces and power-vented gas burning water heaters.

Other sources of pollutants are building materials and furnishings (off-gassing), insulation containing asbestos, wet or damp carpet (see mold), pressed wood products, household cleaning and maintenance products, humidification devices, and outdoor sources such as radon, pesticides and outdoor air pollution from industrial sources. Indoor pollutants can be reduced by choosing building materials wisely. Use of low volatile organic compound (VOC) paints, carpets, cabinets and substitute wood products can help reduce the concentration of these pollutants.Indoor Air Pollution sources

The health effects of indoor air pollutants may be experienced soon after exposure to these conditions. Symptoms may include irritation of the eyes, nose or throat, headaches, dizziness and fatigue. Long term effects may include respiratory disease, heart disease and cancer.

The Dangers of Asbestos

Asbestos fibers is a mineral fiber that was added to various to a variety of products to provide insulation and fire protection. Until the 1970’s, many types of building products and insulation contained asbestos. Common products in buildings that may contain asbestos (if manufactured before 1970) and may release fibers include: steam pipes, boilers and furnace ducting; certain floor tiling containing vinyl, asbestos, rubber and asphalt; soundproofing or decorative material; door gaskets in furnaces, wood and coal burning stoves; patching and joint compounds; cement roofing, shingles and siding; and artificial ashes and embers sold for use in gas fireplaces.

Evidence of the health effects of asbestos use can be seen in the health problems being experienced by the rescue and cleanup workers who were present for the cleanup effort at the World Trade Center site after the attacks of September 11, 2001. Many workers experienced upper and lower bronchial tract problems, lung ailments and in some cases death.

Most household and/or building products today do not contain asbestos. Today, products that are made with asbestos that may be inhaled are required to be labeled as such. We are all exposed to small amounts of asbestos in our daily lives but most people do not develop associated health problems. Breathing in
high levels of asbestos fibers can lead to an increased risk of lung cancer, mesothelioma (a cancer of the lining of the chest and abdominal cavity), and asbestosis (scarring of the lungs with fibrous tissue.)

Asbestos fibers, of which there are several types, can only be positively identified by with a scanning electron microscope and should be left to qualified contractors to identify and remove them.Health effects of asbestos ingestion.

Houseplants: The Cure For Indoor Air Pollution

While there are numerous things you can do to significantly prevent  indoor air pollution (we’ll cover that in another post), adding houseplants is something you can do today to reduce the pollution that currently exists in your home or office.

When they were handing out green thumbs, I was too engrossed in my enjoyment of a fine, handcrafted ale to pay attention. For those of you that know me, that should come as no surprise. I regret that now. The green thumb, not the ale.  I never regret a really good handcrafted ale….

Growing green thumb as houseplants do more than add beauty to a space. Did you know they can filter out pollutants such as formaldehyde, benzene and other VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) from the air? That’s a very good thing considering indoor air pollution can be up to 100 times worse than outdoor air.Given the rise in asthma and other chemical sensitivity illnesses, and the fact that most of us spend 90% of our day indoors, it’s time to take the quality of the air we breathe seriously.

Eco Friendly Floors

August 23, 2010
Bamboo Wood

Building a house with great effort should be cost effective and environment friendly. Choosing the floor is one of the main criteria in building a house.Eco-friendly floors are rapidly gaining in popularity. When you see some of the choices that are available today, you may have a better understanding of why these green choices are becoming so popular.

Eco Friendly Floor Samples

As you choose new flooring for you home, don’t forget to consider the environment. For many years, carpeting was the floor covering of choice for many people, but it’s known now that carpet has some serious issues.

One of the major issues is off-gassing, which is what happens when vapors from the glue used to lay it enter the air in your home. It’s also now known that carpet is a safe haven for allergens, dust mites, and pet dander. If you’ve ever seen water that’s been used to clean a carpet, you might think twice about using it in your home!

Some traditionally used hard floor coverings are concerning as well.  As concern about the environment grows, hardwood becomes less popular because of the trees required to create it. Raised concern over the future of natural resources has many people thinking twice about marble and travertine flooring as well.

Some manufactured flooring, including vinyl, is just plain bad for the environment and the chemicals it lets off during and after installation are harmful to the occupants of a home.

Thankfully, there are many other alternatives on the market today! Consider the following eco friendly flooring options before making a choice about new flooring in your home. Green Living Made Easy has information on all of them.

Cork Flooring

Probably the most sought after eco friendly flooring on the market right now, cork flooring is great for a number of reasons. First of all, it’s extremely green. It’s also attractive, moderately priced, and easy to install.

cork floor

If you are interested in Cork Flooring for you home, be sure to take a look at our page dedicated to cork. You’ll learn how it’s made, what it costs, the different options available, and even get some installation tips.

Bamboo Flooring

Bamboo is an extremely renewable material that’s now being used to make all sorts of things, ranging from sheets to clothing, and counter tops to flooring.  We love bamboo because it’s strong, it’s eco friendly, and it looks great. If you are considering bamboo as a flooring option, there are some items that you should take into consideration. We’ll explain them all in our section dedicated to Bamboo Flooring.

Recycled Glass Tiles

Recycled Glass

If you want something different in a bathroom or kitchen, tile floors made from recycled glass may be a perfect choice for you. Check out our Recycled Glass Tile flooring section to learn more about this great option, including information about where to buy it and what it will cost you.

Concrete Flooring

Another popular flooring option today is concrete. Until people realize how pretty concrete can be when stained or colored, they often think that it’s a tacky choice. However concrete has lots of benefits – it’s extremely cheap if it’s installed when your house is built. It can also help to cut down on heating and cooling costs as it absorbs the heat of the sun and releases it when needed.

Wool Carpeting

For people who just have to have carpet, wool remains the best option on the market today. It’s far more eco friendly than any other carpet and it has the added benefit of lasting much longer. It’s definitely more expensive than most other carpet on the market, but the increased cost is well worth it over the life of the flooring.

Linoleum

Linoleum Floor

You may have forgotten about linoleum back in the 70’s, but it’s actually an extremely eco friendly floor option. A great choice for a playroom, bathroom, or office area, this flooring is biodegradable and very environmentally friendly.

Recycled Metal Flooring

want something fun and different, recycled metal tile may be perfect for you.  It looks great in homes with a contemporary flavor and it’s definitely an eco friendly floor option.

Reclaimed And Sustainable Hardwood

If you love hardwood and just have to have it, you may want to consider reclaimed wood or wood that’s been grown in a managed forest. Both options are greener than some other hardwood alternatives and can allow you to enjoy the beauty of hardwood without the concern that you may be harming the environment.

Ref:http://www.green-living-made-easy.com

Eco Friendly Floors

August 23, 2010
Bamboo Wood

Building a house with great effort should be cost effective and environment friendly. Choosing the floor is one of the main criteria in building a house.Eco-friendly floors are rapidly gaining in popularity. When you see some of the choices that are available today, you may have a better understanding of why these green choices are becoming so popular.

Eco Friendly Floor Samples

As you choose new flooring for you home, don’t forget to consider the environment. For many years, carpeting was the floor covering of choice for many people, but it’s known now that carpet has some serious issues.

One of the major issues is off-gassing, which is what happens when vapors from the glue used to lay it enter the air in your home. It’s also now known that carpet is a safe haven for allergens, dust mites, and pet dander. If you’ve ever seen water that’s been used to clean a carpet, you might think twice about using it in your home!

Some traditionally used hard floor coverings are concerning as well.  As concern about the environment grows, hardwood becomes less popular because of the trees required to create it. Raised concern over the future of natural resources has many people thinking twice about marble and travertine flooring as well.

Some manufactured flooring, including vinyl, is just plain bad for the environment and the chemicals it lets off during and after installation are harmful to the occupants of a home.

Thankfully, there are many other alternatives on the market today! Consider the following eco friendly flooring options before making a choice about new flooring in your home. Green Living Made Easy has information on all of them.

Cork Flooring

Probably the most sought after eco friendly flooring on the market right now, cork flooring is great for a number of reasons. First of all, it’s extremely green. It’s also attractive, moderately priced, and easy to install.

cork floor

If you are interested in Cork Flooring for you home, be sure to take a look at our page dedicated to cork. You’ll learn how it’s made, what it costs, the different options available, and even get some installation tips.

Bamboo Flooring

Bamboo is an extremely renewable material that’s now being used to make all sorts of things, ranging from sheets to clothing, and counter tops to flooring.  We love bamboo because it’s strong, it’s eco friendly, and it looks great. If you are considering bamboo as a flooring option, there are some items that you should take into consideration. We’ll explain them all in our section dedicated to Bamboo Flooring.

Recycled Glass Tiles

Recycled Glass

If you want something different in a bathroom or kitchen, tile floors made from recycled glass may be a perfect choice for you. Check out our Recycled Glass Tile flooring section to learn more about this great option, including information about where to buy it and what it will cost you.

Concrete Flooring

Another popular flooring option today is concrete. Until people realize how pretty concrete can be when stained or colored, they often think that it’s a tacky choice. However concrete has lots of benefits – it’s extremely cheap if it’s installed when your house is built. It can also help to cut down on heating and cooling costs as it absorbs the heat of the sun and releases it when needed.

Wool Carpeting

For people who just have to have carpet, wool remains the best option on the market today. It’s far more eco friendly than any other carpet and it has the added benefit of lasting much longer. It’s definitely more expensive than most other carpet on the market, but the increased cost is well worth it over the life of the flooring.

Linoleum

Linoleum Floor

You may have forgotten about linoleum back in the 70’s, but it’s actually an extremely eco friendly floor option. A great choice for a playroom, bathroom, or office area, this flooring is biodegradable and very environmentally friendly.

Recycled Metal Flooring

want something fun and different, recycled metal tile may be perfect for you.  It looks great in homes with a contemporary flavor and it’s definitely an eco friendly floor option.

Reclaimed And Sustainable Hardwood

If you love hardwood and just have to have it, you may want to consider reclaimed wood or wood that’s been grown in a managed forest. Both options are greener than some other hardwood alternatives and can allow you to enjoy the beauty of hardwood without the concern that you may be harming the environment.

Ref:http://www.green-living-made-easy.com