Eco-Friendly Rugs to Green-ify Your Home

Bamboo rug

I know, I know. Green-ify isn’t a real word. But it so perfectly describes my design aesthetic whenever I choose a new room to decorate in my house! I want to make sure that I am choosing products that are from sustainably harvested materials, are recycled, or reclaimed, or are just second-hand! There are so many pieces out there that look incredible, won’t use up more resources, and won’t leave a giant carbon footprint behind.

I love rugs. I love the way they tie a room together, and the way they can warm a space, both visually and literally! Some of the most gorgeous eco-friendly rugs are made from the most beautiful materials you can imagine – and they are often very affordable.

Bamboo is a material that seems to have no limits in its uses, and of course, is one of the most sustainable resources out there. So quite naturally, bamboo also provides the perfect material for rugs! Bamboo rugs are soft, durable, and not super expensive, so they won’t bust your budget. They come in lots of gorgeous simple earth tones, which are the easiest to fit into your existing decor. Also, they are easier to clean than a lot of other, more texturally complex rugs.

I would also recommend looking into materials like jute when rug shopping. Most rugs made from these organic materials are also made without any chemical processing, so you can feel confident about putting these kinds of rugs into a child’s bedroom or even the nursery.

Make Your Home VOC-Free

VOC home

You most likely have house guests that you’ve never even met face to face. They weren’t invited and, unless you take action, they won’t be leaving. They’re called VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, and they are hazardous chemicals typically found in cleaners, different brands of furniture, paints, mattresses, and other household appliances.
The most common VOC is formaldehyde, which is harmful to both your health and the health of the environment. Whether you’re traveling coast to coast in search of Los Angeles condos or DC condos, the eco-friendly homeowner should take up residence in and furnish their living space with VOC-free furniture and appliances. Here are the top 3 ways to keep your home cleansed of these toxins:

Get formaldehyde-free furniture

Formaldehyde is a human carcinogen that is widely found in household furniture and can cause headaches, respiratory irritation and skin rashes. It’s also bad for the environment during manufacturing and upon disposal. When you buy new furniture make sure it is made of untreated wood with natural materials such as hardwood, rattan, and iron. Consider purchasing furniture that was created with reclaimed lumber, as this is more environmentally sustainable and often times looks better as well.

Get chemical-free bedding

Many commercial mattresses contain a plethora of synthetic foams, fibers, plastics and adhesives that are unhealthy in a variety of ways. Look for mattresses that contain natural fibers, or you may want to purchase a barrier cloth that can shield you from the chemicals on your current mattress. Additionally, most bed sheets are made with cotton, which is often harvested in fields that are inundated in tremendous amounts of pesticides. For the sake of your health and the Earth, look for organic cotton sheets.

Get synthetic-free carpets

Not only are most carpets full of VOCs, they also soak up household pollutants that came embedded in the carpet fabric itself, as well as ones that are continually tracked in from outside. A couple of easy steps can reduce the toxicity of your carpet. One) Don’t walk on it with your shoes. Why would you want street chemicals on your floor? Two) Look for sustainable flooring like hardwoods, bamboo, tile, or natural carpet options like sisal and wool.

There are many health risks associated with VOCs, but by taking prudent measures you can greatly reduce your exposure to them. In the process, you will be supporting sustainable manufacturing industries, helping to prevent deforestation, and even reducing smog pollutants. Federal regulations are already working to eliminate VOCs and will eventually stamp them out for good. In the meantime, take it upon yourself to make your home safe and environmentally friendly.

cleaning coffee makers

In my house, the coffee maker is one of the most often used appliances. On some days, I brew up three pots, depending on how many visitors I get or how much work I have to do! That much use leads to lots of coffee residue and staining. A lot of people use regular cleaning chemicals to get those stains out, but I wanted a solution that would be healthier for me, and for the environment!

So, I decided to research the most eco-friendly solution, and was not at all surprised by what I discovered. The age-old favorite cleaning solution, used for hundreds of years, for hundreds of reasons. Of course, I’m talking about vinegar.

Vinegar is one of those miracle liquids that seems to be able to do so much more than just taste great on french fries! Vinegar is great for cleaning glass and other surfaces, and is an awesome disinfectant.

Here’s what you do. Mix together one part white vinegar to two parts water in the amount you need to fill up your coffee pot. Then, pour that vinegar mix into your water reservoir of your coffee maker, and turn the machine on, allowing it to run through. Once its run through completely, let the heating element cool by turning the pot off, then run cold fresh water through the cycle. It’s best to do the rinse process twice.

Doing this once a month or so, depending on how much use your machine gets, will keep your coffee tasting fresh, and your coffee maker in clean working order!