Green home air quality Advice

Selecting Healthy and Environmentally Sound Stains

By Alex Pennock

Many stains are made with toxic substances that come from nonrenewable resources or are energy-intensive or polluting to produce, so even low-VOC stains can have an impact on the environment. This overview provides in-depth comparisons of natural oil, acrylic / urethane, and water-based wood stains. More…

Clear Finish Buyer’s Guide

This buyer’s guide compares and contrasts clear finish materials on their environmental and health qualities, and includes selection tips. Use it to find the best clear coating for your specific project. More…

About VOCs

Low- or no-VOC is synonymous with green paints and coatings. According to the EPA, VOCs can cause respiratory, skin, and eye irritation; headaches; nausea; muscle weakness; and more serious ailments and diseases. But what exactly are VOCs, and how can you reduce their impact on your project? More…

Elements of a Green Baby Nursery

By Debra Lynn Dadd

The most important aspect of green design for a newborn’s environment is to reduce exposure to toxic chemicals as much as possible. A nontoxic nursery is especially important because newborns spend most of their life in the nursery—an average of 16 to 17 hours a day. More…

Improving Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality: From Basic to Bigger and Better Steps

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, indoor air is often more than 10 times (and sometimes more than 100 times) more polluted than outdoor air. Indoor air pollutants contribute to asthma as well as other respiratory conditions and diseases. More…

Make Floor Refinishing Greener and Safer

You can avoid exposure to toxic dust and fumes by using a good dust mask that filters out particulates and a respirator that filters out chemical emissions. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health recommends using a NIOSH-approved half-mask respirator. More…

10 Ways to Make Your Kitchen More Resource Efficient

Windows and skylights are the most energy-efficient method of clearing vapors and indoor air toxins from your kitchen. With enough openings, placed for cross and stack ventilation, you can run your exhaust fan only to evacuate the heaviest cooking odors. More…

8 Tips for Selecting Healthy and Environmentally Sound Flooring

Before shopping, create a chart that lists your desired room function, occupants, cleaning and maintenance concerns, aesthetic requirements, and other priorities. Evaluate each flooring material’s fit with the needs in the chart. More…