Green Home Furnishings

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Furniture
  • Buy Forest Stewardship Council certified wood
  • Buy lower quality wood and secondary species that have less demand
  • Buy furniture with no or low VOCs finish or buy it unfinished and do it yourself with products based on linseed or beeswax.
  • Avoid particle boards and other wood composites that may emit formaldehyde.
Floor
  • Avoid carpet and go with hardwood or tile, less waste, less trapped dust, no toxic off gassing.
  • Look for modular carpets, which can be sent back to the manufacturer to reuse and are made of recycled material. It is also more easily repaired.
  • Walls/windows
  • In warm climates un-shaded windows can account for ┬╝ of AC costs in the summer
  • Look for low or no VOC paint
Lighting
  • 20% of an average family electric bill is spent on lighting
  • Use CFL bulbs that use ┬╝ of the energy to produce the same amount of light
  • Light temperatures around 2700 mean warmer, redder light
  • They produce less heat and last 10 times longer than incandescents
  • Recycle all types of all light bulbs as hazardous waste (check on Earth 911 or local hazardous waste facility)
  • LED bulbs last 10 times longer than CFL (60,000-100,000 hours)
  • No matter how long you are going to be away or what kind of bulbs you have, turn off the lights
Bed
  • Look for natural latex foam for mattresses instead of polyurethane, which can release toxins.
  • Wool meets national fire safety standards without additional chemical fire retardants
  • Organic cotton or wool may be the best choice for sheets
Accessories
  • Use beeswax instead of paraffin candles
  • Look out for a stiff dark core on the wick, which is made out of lead
  • Look out for synthetic fragrances and go with essential oils instead
  • Indoor plants significantly improve air quality. Get 15 or so.
  • Some are especially good for reducing air toxins
  • The flower industry is one of the most pesticide-intensive. Buy local organic flowers.