“Green” Paint

January 25, 2009

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This post is courtesy of Micah who sent me the link through Inhabit.com, a hip and smart design and technology blog that looks at sustainability in the field about yet another new “green” paint on the market. 

The EPA tells us the quality of indoor air is often worse than ourdoor air, particularly in the winter when the windows are closed. Smoke, radon, mold and cleaning products provide some of the bad air. One of the worst offenders is the out-gassing of the VOC’s from our paint. Some other obvious toxic out-gassers are mothballs and nail polish- anything with a label reading use ventilated area. However, there are many hidden and more subtle toxins that are in our air, as well.

But this post is about paint.  Sherwin-Williams has launched several lines of paint that claim to offer eco-friendly alternatives to standard VOC-laden paints. There is a no-VOC and a low-VOC line now available. I don’t really understand why they would go halfway- why not just make the change? Newly trademarked names like “Harmony, Duration and Greensure” are alluring, aren’t they? I go for names like that, but the question is do they do the job? I know that many painters still turn their noses up at the spreadability and drying time as well as quality and consistency of coverage of the lower VOC paints. I am not so fussy. I would rather live in a healthy home. Even though we use healthy paint in our house, we still do use air filters all year round- in summer for allergens coming in, and of course in the colder seasons as well.

I am also very interested if the company walks their talk and Sherman-Williams seems to be going in that direction. Using biodiesel  in their trucks and recycling and choosing a non-discharge and re-use policy for solvents that are used in their not-green paints. But why not just go green, Sherwin-Williams?

But to really understand the green-ness of a company you can always check with DegreeofGreen.com a company that does product reviews and licensing for the “green” distinction. They point out three key questions and provides answers to: What are the health, sustainable and environmental qualities of the products? 

Hats off to all the companies who have chosen to re-create non-toxic paints and feature them, hopefully phasing out the toxic paints in the near future.

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Spacious rooms, high ceilings, beautiful and unusual decor, great hosts and a non-allergenic miniature schnauzer, named Alice, welcomed me to the award-winning greenRocks Inn in Ridgefield, CT. This is the place to stay for that special weekend in Connecticut. Kim Wanamaker and her partner, Barbara Simkins are certainly walking their talk. They offer three unigue guest rooms, fully equipped with not only the expected amenities but also organic bedding and towels, filtered water in each bathroom, shower filter, and air filters are part of your experience of their natural inn. They serve organic and natural foods for your breakfast. Your  vaccinated and house-trained pet (under 15 pounds) is also welcome and you can arrange for pet-sitting, walking and feeding! The inn is just up the street from the town of Ridgefield- good shopping, great restaurants, hiking, golf and outdoor activities. 

I stayed in the largest room called the Dance Suite. King size bed, beautiful linens, asian decor, quiet and removed from the rest of the house. 

Check out the special and rates. And if you are considering a wedding, Kim is a Justice of the Peace!

Fall Allergies?

September 18, 2008

Anyone sniffling and sneezing from seasonal allergies? It’s time to pull out my ceramic neti pot, fill it with warm salty water and soothe my sinuses. Use of neti pot has been practiced for hundreds of years in India. Also known by a more clinical name as nasal lavage (I prefer neti) a saline solution washes dust, pollen, mucus gently from the sinus cavities as well as hydrating  Sound strange? It is, the first few times I attempted this I was very worried that it would be uncomforatable, like getting water up my nose from swimming. What I can tell you is that now it feels great, I can’t wait to get to it when I have allergies, the beginnings of a cold, post-nasal drip or have just returned from a long day in NYC or a long and dehydrating plane trip.

You can find neti pots online and often in your local natural food store. Here is a youtube demonstrating how to use!  There are numerous video’s- wish they were around when I was fumbling trying to figure out how to use it. You do ot have to use special “neti” salt, just finely ground sea salt with no additives is fine.

I have my Nikken Air Power 5 Pro right next to my bed every night. I run it 24/7. It senses pollutants and changes speed to accommodate dust and voc’s. Research shows that negative ions have a positive effect on our health.  Negative ions also clean and allow our internal environment to perform better. Negative ions neutralize positively charged pollutants in the air. Now that California is banning the use of air filters with ozone, Nikken stands alone as the air filter with a patented and safe process to create healthy negative ions.