Eco Homes – Detoxing for 2013

oliver Furniture, General, Healthy spaces, Materials

It’s a New year and time for a fresh start. I’m sure many of us have made resolutions to ‘detox’, but how about detoxing our homes? Or even better, Smart technology that will do it for us?

Chinese based Ecovacs have created the Famibot. It’s main aim is to roam your floor and purify the air. However it can also act as a telepresence robot, providing you with a video of your home while you are away, alerting you if it detects an unexpected person, play music and give you remote control of connected household appliances such as lighting.

Smart toilets are also becoming a new luxury. This one from Toto allows for you to “go” in comfort with a heated seat, but not only that, it will also record and analyse important data such as weight, blood pressure, BMI and blood sugar levels. The data is then transported to your computer via Wifi allowing for you to monitor your health and detect early signs of some medical conditions.

 Or how about this Urinal from designer Royce Zhang, again it measures your sugar levels along with PH balance, red and white blood cells. However, with a simple touch screen it makes it fast and easy to monitor your health.

So much for the SciFi gadgets but here are some of our top tips for a more down to earth way to help cleanse your home;

As the harsh winter months approach and windows stay closed in a bid to keep warm, it is important to have a good level of ventilation to help ensure the air within your home stays clean. The Lo Carbon Tempra fan from Ventaxia is a heat recovery fan designed to be used on a room by room basis. It extracts warm moist air then uses the warmth from that to pre heat air coming back in. It ventilates the room quietly but continuously, extracting the moisture which reduces the build up of damp and so helps prevent mould growth.

Plants can also play a vital role in cleaning your air at home, the Rubber Plant contains properties that help it to remove Formaldehyde which can be found in paints, MDF, cleaning agents, and fibreglass insulation to name but a few. The plant is a great friend to first time gardeners . . . Other plants such as the Peace Lily, which removes Benzene found in nail polish, solvents and adhesives, the English Ivy, which also removes Formaldehyde, and the Golden Pothos, which is renowned for removing all indoor chemicals, will all make great additions to your home.

Or how about taking it to the next level and purchasing one of these great Andrea air purifiers. Andrea turns any household plant into an effective air cleaner for your home whilst removing any harmful chemicals. I love this combination of nature and technology- natural futures.

In any home it’s important to ensure that the environment is safe and clean, but even more so with children. As everybody knows, children love to crawl and play on the floor, opting for a 100% natural pure wool carpet in their room will guarantee a toxin free surface, it is also the easiest natural-fibre carpet to clean. Take a look at Alternative floors for a great range.

Or you could install solid wood flooring, avoiding laminate and engineered floors, materials such as solid timer, natural cork, and rubber make for a safe and healthy covering.

By ensuring you buy only solid wood furniture it will not only promise a longer life-cycle but will also be free of any toxins. Cheaper furniture manufactured from particleboard with a laminated surface will most likely use a toxic formaldehyde glue. Over time, the formaldehyde will off-gas into your child’s sleeping area creating unseen hazards. Also remember to avoid varnishes containing VOC’s, try finishing your furniture with oil instead.

Children’s PVC toys can also be damaging to your home environment. Chemicals known as plasticisers are added to the materials to make it flexible. These plasticisers have been shown to harm the liver, kidney, lungs and blood pressure, as well as the reproductive tract of boys. Toys are often chewed, meaning the toxins can quite often be ingested. Instead buy solid wood toys which are safe as well as being biodegradable.

We may all search for pieces of furniture which have guaranteed fire retardancy, but Recent studies have discovered the potentially harmful health effects of halogenated or brominated flame retardants which are found in everything ranging from baby blankets to carpets. Levels of the chemicals found in North Americans have been doubling every two to five years for several decades. These chemicals have been known to accumulate in humans, interfering with hormones, thyroid, reproductive systems and neurological development in infants and children. Environmentally friendly alternatives such as a Nanotechnology coating are proving to be a much less harmful and safer alternative. Unfortunately it may be some time before this is made compulsory due to ongoing research and development.

If you are going all out and redecorating your house why not try Claypaint from Eartborn. It is completely VOC, acrylic and oil free. The properties of the clay allow for it to minimise condensation, deter mildew and reduce dust and allergen build up. The paint also has an ultra matte finish that will both soften and enhance the light in your room.

With the New Year now firmly in place, lets think not only about detoxing our bodies but our homes as well, removing those harmful toxins can make for a healthier, happier environment all around.