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Design/Decorating

Monday
May042009

Sustainable Wood Furniture Cooperative Donating 15% of its Profits to Conservation Groups Until the Summer Solstice

VERNON, Vt.- In continuing honor of Earth Day and the forests that supply them with the wood for their craft, Vermont Woods Studios has launched its ‘15% For The Forest Initiative,’ which will run until the Summer Solstice on June 21.

Cherry moon bed. Photo courtesy of Vermont Woods Studios.

This is the first year that Vermont Woods is holding this particular initiative, though the company has been both volunteering for and donating to local conservation groups for many years, said Peggy Farabaugh, the company’s co-owner.

Among the organizations that will be donated to are the Vermont Reptile and Amphibian Atlas Project and the Vermont Center for Ecostudies.As part of this initiative, Vermont Woods will also donate 15 percent of a purchase price to any environmental charity of a customer’s choice.

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Sunday
Feb082009

What’s in Your Home Environment Can Be Making You Sick - Airborne Lead

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Are you renovating or restoring your home, then you and your family may possibly be exposing yourselves to dangerously highly levels of lead vapors in the air.

The highest concentration of lead found in homes comes from paints produced prior to 1978, when the U.S. Product Safety Commission banned lead from use in residential paints. In addition, older furniture can also contain coatings of lead paint, which can resurface even after it has been recoated by nonleaded paint due to flaking or restoration. Test kits to check for lead in paint are available both in hardware stores and online.

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Tuesday
Jan132009

What’s in Your Home Environment Can Be Making You Sick - Formaldehyde

Leakage of formaldehyde from new furniture is preventable by varnishing, painting and sealing the furniture with a waterproof finish such as polyurethane. Photo provided by preteenagerstoday.com

Washington, D.C.- Traditionally, when we buy our homes and the furnishings in them, we take into account things like the number of rooms in a house, what style and size of furnishings we want, but rarely do we think about what the stuff we buy is made of.

While to many the chemical composition of things might not matter, it can make others very sick. Personally, I remember being young and having to help my father paint the fence of our house in Greece, getting nauseous from the paint fumes, and throwing up. The smell had no affect on my father. I don’t know what was in the paint, but it made me sick.

Today, many homes are constructed with materials that contain formaldehyde, in addition to many of the furnishings that we buy which also contain the substance - and it’s where you least expect it.

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Monday
Dec292008

What’s in Your Home Environment Can Be Making You Sick - Biological Pathogens

Graphic provided courtesy of AirAdvice, Inc.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - With all the fuss about President-elect Obama’s daughter, Malia, having allergies and needing a hypoallergenic dog, it got me to thinking about allergies and environmental conditions in general, which was the inspiration for what will be a three-part series of the issue.

When we consider the elements in our home environments-the animals, the paint on the walls, the furnishings, linens, cleaning solvents, and general maintenance- we also need to consider our family members’ sensitivities to these conditions.

With this in mind, I found a great study that I wanted to share called “Indoor Air Pollution,” which was a collaborative effort between the American Lung Association, the Environmental Protection Association, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and the American Medial Association. The following issues that will be covered (each in a separate installment), are health problems caused by:

  • Mold, Dust Mites and Other Biological Pathogens
  • Volatile Organic Compounds (Formaldehyde, Pesticides, Solvents, and Cleaning Agents)
  • Airborne Lead

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