Our new mindful shopping series will help you sift through the overwhelming variety in stores today and home in on the products that deserve your attention. We’ll be highlighting household staples that are just as easy on the eyes as they are on the planet. Keep checking in every other week for more green goods to add to your home sanctuary.
If you’re in the market for a rug, you've likely noticed the overwhelming number of options in every color, pattern, and price range imaginable.
But in the search for a cozy new carpet, it's important to look beyond the design to find a healthy, nontoxic product. Plenty of less-than-healthy floor coverings can reduce the air quality in your home and have a negative environmental impact once they're disposed of.
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are chemical gases that can give off some pretty nasty pollutants. Emitted by all types of home staples from paint to mattresses, they have been linked to everything from itchy noses to headaches to nausea. According to the EPA, VOC concentrations can be up to 10 times higher indoors than outdoors.
And why, you might be wondering? Well, synthetic fibers—which are used in many upholstered fabrics and other home textiles—are often petroleum-based and made with chemical flame retardants and stain treatments that give off the gas, even when they’re not in use. Since rugs are often placed in high-traffic areas of your home, it's important to make sure that they stand up to the wear and tear without emitting harsh chemicals that can have adverse health effects on your family and pets.
If this all sounds overwhelming, fear not! A few simple tweaks to your purchasing patterns can make the whole process easier and help make your home a safe, relaxing space.