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Interior Design with Recycled and Natural Products: Redu...

Interior Design with Recycled and Natural Products: Reducing the Impacts of Outgassing

For our generation of architecture, urban design and sustainability, environmental design is constantly developing, but before upgrading your home to appear contemporary or mimic a more modern design, first contemplate if that decision will adversely affect your health. By thinking environmentally first, you can avoid the harmful aspects of home design. There is an array

by Benjamin Ha December 29, 2011 No comments

Recycled furnitureFor our generation of architecture, urban design and sustainability, environmental design is constantly developing, but before upgrading your home to appear contemporary or mimic a more modern design, first contemplate if that decision will adversely affect your health.

By thinking environmentally first, you can avoid the harmful aspects of home design. There is an array of environmentally-friendly options to choose from, including materials made from recycled or natural resources.

  • Carpets, for example, can be made from natural material, such as wool. Though expensive, wool carpets will last longer than most carpets so the cost balances out with quality. For the more contemporary follower, colors will not be a problem, and more importantly, wool material insulates heat and is soft for the floor;
  • As for paints, varnishes and stains, these can all be made from natural ingredients. Companies, such as Eco-Wise and Safecoat, produce water-based paints utilizing water as the primary solvent, greatly reducing the hazardous toxins of using regular paint. Some safe and natural ingredients include:
  • Beeswax: a natural moistener for Casein paint;
  • Boric salts: non-volatile mediums for wood preservation;
  • Clay: a natural mineral used as paint filler;
  • Turpenes: oils from orange juice production used as solvents for resins and waxes.

Taking some of these details into consideration when selecting interior design products does not necessarily suggest replacing everything you already own since that can have harmful effects on health too.

  • Warning: New products, including carpets and paint, not made from natural material can be toxic when bought in bulk. Consequently, the longer you have a product, the better, because it has had the time to outgas the toxins; hence, buying new products can be worse because it contains different types of vinyl, plastics or chemicals that outgas into the floor and walls every month resulting in poisonous toxins in the air.

It is important to think about maxing out a product’s sustainability prior to investing in something new. What products do you own that may produce outgassing effects?

Credits: Images and data linked to sources.

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Benjamin Ha recently graduated as an Honors Scholar from New York University with a Bachelor’s in English and American Literature with a concentration in Creative Writing. Prior to Global Site Plans, Ben’s experiences revolved primarily around issues...

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