Greening your Home
Your choices really do make a difference, especially when it comes to the environment. Make your living space a healthy and tranquil haven by selecting eco-friendly elements that not only add to the beauty of your surroundings but were produced with respect for the planet.
Greener living doesn't have to come at the expense of style. Check out these companies that offer products and services that are both eco-friendly and beautiful.
Proof that beautiful paints don't have to be toxic, Mythic Paint offers a full line of high-performance, premium primers and latex paints that reflect the company's environmental commitment. Durable, non-toxic, low-odor, andfree of carcinogens and the off-gassing that comes with the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) found in conventional paints, Mythic's products are created from natural resources, without dangerous additives, chemicals, and toxins, safe for people, pets, and the planet. Available in multipurpose and drywall primers, and in flat paint, semi-gloss, exterior satin, and enamels, Mythic offers 1,232 colors that range from brights and off-whites to soothing earth tones. Mythic will even match colors from other companies if you provide them with the company name and color chip identification. (888) 714-9423, mythicpaint.com
Who needs wallpaper? American Clay's line of earth plaster finishes provides an eco-friendly alternative wall covering that's appropriate for most wall surfaces. A variety of textured surfaces create warmth and depth with effects that range from polished to rustic. Options include American Clay Loma, made from a variety of clays, aggregate, mineral pigments, and a non-toxic mold inhibitor. The earthy colors can be troweled on just like traditional plasters, or sprayed on with a drywall hopper. (866) 404-1634, americanclay.com
Add eco-sensitive accents to your home and outdoor living space with the wide selection of environmentally responsible home decorating products from VivaTerra. The extensive collection includes organic bedding, towels, pillows, and fabrics; plus book shelves, tables and chairs constructed from railroad ties, foot stools and side tables created from twisting roots and branches, and even floor mats made from river stones. (800) 233-6011, vivaterra.com
Since 1974, The Old Fashioned Milk Paint Co. has offered environmentally friendly, authentic milk paints made from milk proteins, lime, and earth or mineral pigments. Totally non-toxic, the paints are free of lead, chemical preservatives, fungicides, hydrocarbons, or any petroleum derivatives, making them especially appropriate for those with allergies or chemical sensitivities. And, yes, they're entirely green, but they still come in 20 rich colors, packaged in a dry powder form that allows you to control the thickness or mix them to form your own custom tones and colors. (866) 350-6455, milkpaint.com
An international, multi-disciplinary design firm specializing in sustainable building design, Moran Architects, P.C. is comprised of international architects from Mexico, Canada, India, and the U.S. who create beautiful spaces with a reduced carbon footprint. Designs honor individual settings, working within existing ecosystems to enhance the surroundings and generate holistic solutions for local environments and communities. Architects consider all aspects of a building and its integration, including site orientation, engineering systems, and materials, with the goal of positively impacting each location. (480) 990-8448, moranarchitects.com
To accent your floors, consider a naturally dyed, chemically free Tibetan area rug from Garuda Woven Art. Hand-carded and hand-knotted at Garuda's weaving center in Nepal, rugs are made from pure, handspun Tibetan wool, superior quality Chinese silk, and unbleached Nepalese hemp. They're finished with natural vegetable dyes from indigo, madder, cutch, walnut, and pomegranate plants wild-crafted in Nepal and India. Choose from contemporary, traditional, and custom designs. (303) 442-2096, garudawovenart.com
With an array of products that includes organic clothing, bedding, yoga gear, cleaners, personal care, art, books, CDs, DVDs, sustainably produced furniture, and eco-conscious household goods, Gaiam has green living covered from every angle. The company can also help you create your own renewable energy with its solar and wind powered installation products, and the Solar Living Institute. (877) 989-6321, gaiam.com
At Furnature, Inc., you can find everything from mattresses and bedding, to sofas, chairs, futons, bed frames, ottomans, and a variety of home fabrics, all made from organic materials. Production methods avoid chemicals, dyes, polymers, and toxins. The line of elegant, designer sofas and chairs are free of foam, vinyl, formaldehyde, and synthetics. Frames are built of kiln-dried, untreated, hard-rock maple, with water-based glues, and recyclable and biodegradable upholstery. (800) 326-4895, furnature.com
At their Colorado ranch, husband- and wife-team Jim Howell and Daniela Ibarra-Howell of Del Cerro Textiles produce handmade textiles for the home, sourcing fibers that were grown, harvested, cleaned, dyed, and spun into yarns on the owners' farm. To add to the sustainability of their company, local artists and weavers who use ancient weaving techniques are employed to create blankets, pillows, curtains, coverlets, and upholstery items from a wide array of cultures. (970) 240-1979.
The completely biodegradable hemp and wool carpets available from Earth Weave Carpet Mills, Inc. are made from 100 percent natural raw materials. With a goal of manufacturing and promoting renewable resource floor covering products for the modern consumer that are both beautiful and environmentally responsible, only naturally pigmented wool fibers are used for color. Products are free of harsh dyes, chemical bonding agents, moth proofing, and chemical stain protections. Carpet adhesives are made of natural rubber, while carpet backing is constructed from sustainable jute. (706) 278-8200, earthweave.com
Not sleeping well? Green your bedroom by replacing sheets, blankets, and mattresses with organic, non-toxic bedding. Environmentally responsible choices from Nirvana Safe Haven include organic cotton and wool mattresses, comforters, pillows, mattress covers, and mattress pads. (800) 968-9355, nontoxic.com