It may be surprising that it hasn’t happened earlier, but formaldehyde has now been officially included in the Health and Human Services Report on Carcinogens, paving the way for further regulation of the chemical.

As Treehugger reports, scientists and politicians have known about the risks for years, but the formaldehyde industry has fought long and hard to prevent its inclusion on the HHS Report on Carcinogens.  The Report is a federally-mandated document that “identifies agents, substances, mixtures, or exposures… known to be a human carcinogen.”

The commission responsible for the report, the National Toxicology Program has noted of the particular dangers posed to certain segments of the workforce – namely, industrial workers and embalmers – which include myeloid leukemia and rare cancers in the sinuses and parts of the throat.

We at Green Depot especially care about this issue, because it turns out that urea-formaldehyde is often added to the adhesives used to produce conventional particle board, plywood, and other lumber products.  Formaldehyde is a volatile organic compound (VOC) meaning that if products made with the chemical are found in the home, they can offgas into the household environment for years to come, meaning long-term exposure.  This is of tremendous cause for concern as homeowners push for higher energy efficiency through weatherization programs, which limits the draftiness of homes – confining offgassing formaldehyde in living areas.

It should be noted that wood intrinsically contains a small amount of naturally occurring phenol-formaldehyde. The levels of formaldehyde naturally found in wood is not considered to be hazaradous, and is not a cause for concern in the same way that the formaldehyde that off-gasses from many plywoods, insulations, particle boards can be.

Green Depot carries a number of no added urea-formaldehyde plywood, flooring, green building materials and other green products.  You can visit our Green Wood Supplies department by clicking here.

For green building materials, like eco insulation, as well as many other green products for a sustainable lifestyle, visit http://www.greendepot.com.

At this time of year, when it starts to get cold we all yearn to be Warm & Cozy!  It’s that special feeling that makes winter such a wonderful time of year.

Can you just imagine…light shining in the window, the smell of coffee then rolling over and placing your feet on the floor? Justsheep feel the soft, warm wool carpet between your toes as you squish your feet around and grab your robe to lazily go towards the kitchen. Can you just picture your little one just learning to walk and oops…toppling over onto the lush, velvety wool plush in your living room? Wool carpet is the premier option for your flooring needs. It’s pure indulgence with peace of mind.

Healthy: Keep your family safe and sound with fire retardant, non-allergenic fibers that are naturally soil & moisture resistant, absorb contaminants and purify the air. Wow!

Wealthy: Excellent sound & thermal insulating factors cut your utility bills. Nice. With a 20-25 year lifespan, the resiliency of wool not only makes affordable but you end up saving in the long run.

Wise: Wool is socially conscious; not only biodegradable, recyclable, & rapidly renewable! Just makes good sense! (And no sheep are ever harmed in the making!)

Wool carpet has been around forever; no literally forever! The first wool carpets were made in 7000BC and we have not stopped using wool to adorn our floors ever since. Wool carpets have been produced in mass in America since 1791 with mills in Georgia. It’s a lifelong tradition that can’t be beat! It can be installed wall to wall, surged or bound with many different edge details and in many differing sizes.

It’s cold outside! You can’t beat the Benefits of Wool!

  • Naturally soil resistant and repellent
  • Absorbs contaminants and purifies the air
  • Naturally moisture resistant
  • Non-allergenic fiber Resistant to compression
  • Excellent thermal & sound insulator
  • Naturally flame retardant
  • More cost effective in the long-term; resilient, strong & durable fibers
  • Biodegradable, Recyclable, Rapidly Renewable resource
  • 20-25 yr. lifespan

Key components of the wool brands that we feature at Green Depot:

Most of the brands below have 5 – 50 style options available with multiple colors per style; all ranging in price depending upon style.

antrim-athenaANTRIM CARPET: Antrim is a line of undyed top quality wool. The undyed wool receives its color by the careful hand blending of different color wool fibers to give it the beautiful natural heathered colorways. Antrim Carpets does not use any chemicals or pesticides in any of their products. Their shipping containers are not fogged previous to shipping, and the very strict procedures they follow to insure the safety and cleanliness of their wool products does not make this a necessary step. The latex used in all of Antrim’s products is a natural latex extracted from a species of the rubber tree. Area rugs that Antrim manufactures are finished on the back with a pure cotton backing, and the ends are finished with hand serging using the same wool that the face of the product is made with. On the broadloom rolls, there is a very small polypropylene scrim as the very last layer of the backing. These materials used in the products a make a floor covering that is 99% natural. $6.29 – 19.99/SF http://www.antrimcarpet.com/

CAVAN CARPETS: Their carpet can also be blended with wool & bamboo or can be made of microfiber depending upon the style. What’s more is that I have ascertained that they use Action Backing on their carpets which is a name for a woven polypropylene secondary backing; the secondary backing being the one you see on the bottom. $7.29 – 21.29/SF http://www.cavancarpets.com/products.html

EARTH WEAVE CARPET: Earth Weave starts by using only pure wool. No dyes (New Catskill – OrganoSoftColors product has organic dye), No pesticides, nor stain protections. The primary backing is also an industry first combination of hemp and cotton. They chose to use the hardy hemp fiber, due to its durability, strength, and mold and mildew resistance. The all-natural primary backing is specifically designed to be used in their biodegradable flooring and is exclusive to Earth Weave. The wool yarns are locked into place with a natural adhesive that is derived from the rubber tree. This adhesive is completely biodegradable and nontoxic as well. Then for the back of the carpet they use a jute secondary. No Mothproofing used. $6.79 – 12.29/SF http://www.earthweave.com/

NATURE’S CARPET: The Nature’s Carpet collection consists of fine carpet pile made entirely from wool, a renewable resource. The wool is cleaned in a dedicated cleansed scour, and none of the chemicals employed in the mothproofing of other wool products are present. As a result, the clean scoured wool is totally biodegradable and even recyclable at the end of its long life as a floorcovering. Spinning of the wool takes place in a plant which has been carefully allocated for handling only 100% natural source material. The chemical latex used in regular carpet, is replaced with a nontoxic latex made from a natural rubber tree. The natural qualities of this latex are evident in the softness and flexibility of the carpet. Finally, the dual backing of the carpet is manufactured from natural jute, a vegetation fiber product produced without the use of pesticides or chemical fertilizers. The low percentage of chemicals, at every stage of the carpet’s manufacture and composition, means there is little or no toxic off-gassing. $4.69 – 9.69/SF http://www.naturescarpet.com/

Luxury home living roomUNIQUE CARPETS LTD: Most Unique products are manufactured with 100% pure wool. Unique Wool Carpets use Permethrin as a moth resistant agent. It is not only environmentally-friendly, it is an exceptionally effective and safe. Accepted world-wide and endorsed by the World Health Organization, it is also used to control insects on a variety of crops such as hops, cotton, fruit and vegetables. Permethrin is widely used in greenhouses, market gardens, and vineyards and is applied in a variety of ways. In regular use as described above, it has shown to be completely non-toxic to humans and, if ingested, passes through the system quickly and completely with no residual effects. However, when used as a moth resistant agent, Permethrin is used in much smaller quantities since it is not intended to control insects but rather as an agent that limits the ability of eggs to hatch or larvae to feed. It will not kill adult insects that walk across the carpet. There have been no reported cases worldwide of health related issues in humans from exposure to Permethrin. *Softer Than Sisal Naturals is not treated. Natural rubber latex is not used by any producers of quality broadloom carpets for two reasons: First, it is not an effective adhesive so de-lamination and poor tuft-bind are constant problems. Second; and more importantly, are serious health concerns. Natural rubber latex has over 100 known allergy related proteins and allergy to natural latex is a very common problem. Synthetic Latex is a petroleum-based by-product and is very effective as an adhesive, thereby increasing replacement intervals. Further, it possesses none of the health risks associated with natural rubber latex. Polypropylene is used as a primary backing and sometimes as a secondary backing in carpet manufacture. It is also a petroleum-based by-product and is so safe that it is commonly used as air filters, bandages, and protective netting in hospitals. Used in lieu of polypropylene as a primary backing in products marketed as 100% natural is burlap, which, like many natural fibers, contains allergens and, in moist and damp locations, is prone to rot, mildew, and mold. Formaldehyde is not used at all in any phase of carpet manufacturing (but may be present in some other household products). Many materials used to furnish or decorate the inside of homes emit small amounts of volatile products. Volatile Organic Compound, or VOC, emissions from carpets are among the lowest: only a fraction of those emitted by other materials used in new construction and renovation. $2.79 –14.69/SF http://www.uniquecarpetsltd.com/

GODFREY HIRST WOOL CARPETS: Godfrey Hirst, one of the largest wool manufacturers in the world, leads the market in style, color, performance, and quality with an extensive range of carpets to choose from. The yarn used in Godfrey Hirst carpets is 100% New Zealand wool, widely considered to be the best carpet-wool in the world. The yarn is semi-worsted, carded and tightly spun for excellent performance and longevity. Godfrey Hirst carpets have been independently tested for VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) and comply with Green Star criteria, thus minimizing the impact on indoor air quality. Godfrey Hirst has also independently tested for Green Label Plus compliance, and all products achieved emission levels for VOC far below the levels that Green Label Plus allows. Godfrey Hirst takes a proactive approach to environmental issues. $1.99 – 11.89/SF https://www.godfreyhirst.com/

DESIGN MATERIALS: Design Materials, Inc is a manufacturer of naturally made carpets and flooring. DMI (Design Materials International) exotic carpets are made from all-natural fibers: sheep and alpaca wool, mountain and sea grass, sisal, and coir from the coconut. Rugs are available in multiple sizes, styles, and textures, including wall-to-wall carpets and area rugs with customizable cloth bindings. Specially-designed Sisal cleaner and sealant available. DMI is known for their unique textures and durability. DMI carpets are made from rapidly renewable resources and environmentally friendly. $1.99 – 14.89/SF http://www.dmifloors.com/index_new.php

STANTON: The Natural Choice … Environmentally Friendly. Wool is the classic choice for floor covering material. Wool has been used for carpet making since ancient times and is still made to last with Stanton. Fine quality, all natural wool offers numerous advantages when used in flooring. It has been the standard in floorcovering for centuries and represents all the qualities that synthetic fibers try to only emulate. Stanton uses only the finest wools from around the world, which provide all the benefits that wool has to offer. When you are ready to make an investment in your home choose Stanton Wool Carpet. $1.99 – 9.29 http://www.stantoncarpet.com/

woolshire-paradise_southbeachWOOLSHIRE: Woolshire uses only the most superior raw materials, combined with the finest 100% New Zealand wool carpet fiber, to make all of their distinctive and highly fashionable carpets. All of Woolshire’s carpets exceed the rigorous test to qualify to carry the Wools of New Zealand prestigious brand label. Woolshire has latex and jute backing (soy backing upon request), and is certified as “Green Label Plus” for healthy indoor air quality by the Carpet and Rug Institute. 12 foot wide broadloom. $7.59 – 16.29/SF http://www.woolshire.com/

Take care of you and yours with luxurious wool carpeting.  Stay Warm & Cozy!

 

2015 is just around the corner and it is time to set our New Year’s resolutions. Winter time is the time of the year to get cozy with warm socks, hot-chocolate, and sit by the fire until Spring arrives. We at Green Depot believe that while winter is a great time for relaxation and spend it with our families, it is also a great time for fun, refreshing, and creative indoor home projects that will reduce your energy bills and make your home extra cozy. Here is a short list of projects that we recommend.

Clean Windows: Wash the inside of your windows with Green Depot’s Glass & Window, a biodegradable and nontoxic cleaner. It’s an effective glass cleaner that uses a plant-based non-ionic surfactant that easily breaks up grease and dirt. We also love what is not in it; alcohol, petroleum distillates, heavy metals, ammonia, bleach or formaldehyde to name a few.

Interior Paint: VOC-free paints are the best choice to paint interior walls. Colorhouse paints offers great coverage and have very low odor. Colorhouse performs like a premium conventional paint but we love it because it has no odor, harmful chemicals, or added solvents. Tinted with 0-VOC tints for a true VOC free color paint.

Install New Flooring: Freshen up your kitchen, hallways, or bedrooms with sustainable cork flooring that is easy to install from Natural Cork Floors. Cork floors have a warm and soft underfoot. If you’re looking for a harder surface then we recommend Foundations Bamboo Click flooring.

Insulate Pipes: Reduce your energy bill and heat loss by insulating hot water pipes.

Install Dual Flush Toilets: Toilets are a primary source of needless water waste. You can save water and money by installing a dual flush toilet. Caroma dual flush toilets offer superior water savings and performance.

Change To LED Light Bulbs: Making the switch to energy-efficient LED light bulbs can save money and energy. While LED’s are initially more expensive than traditional incandescent bulbs and CFL’s, you will save over time. LED’s are long lasting, more energy efficient, and mercury-free.

From everyone at Green Depot,

Happy Holidays!

Creating a room for your new baby is a very big part of getting ready for his or her arrival! But, picking the colors and prints for fabric and walls and finding the right furniture are only part of the picture. It is important to make sure that the materials and supplies you choose for the room support your child’s health and development as well! Babies and small children breathe in more air for their body weight than adults do – which means that their exposure to air pollution can actually be greater than for adults – at critical stages of development too.  In this blog post, we offer Green Depot solutions to reduce your child’s exposure to chemicals of concern in the nursery like Formaldehyde, PVC, Flame Retardants, and more.

Flooring
Flooring is one of the greatest sources of chemical off-gassing in a home – and since small children often spend a lot of time on the floor, their exposure to those chemicals can be greater. Choose flooring that is PVC-free, has no-added-urea-formaldehyde, a non-off-gassing finish or chemical treatments of other kinds.

Wool Carpet is an excellent choice for a nursery. Naturally flame resistant and easy to clean, wool carpet does not need the stain treatments and flame retardants that can get added to synthetic carpeting. Wool feels great soft and cozy underfoot and is known for its durability too – so it should last well into (or past) your baby’s college years!

Cork Flooring is a quiet and resilient flooring option. This beautiful flooring is available in planks that click together and “float” without the need for adhesives.

Natural Fiber Area Rugs are a great way to add a pop of color or pattern to baby’s room! Put one down over your wood floor to quiet footfalls during naptime.


Paints & Finishes
People say that high contrast and colors are great for a baby’s nursery so go bold if you want to, but choose a zero-VOC paint! We have several paint lines that are high on performance and  low on toxins. Click here to see our full selection! The finishes that you choose for flooring and furniture are equally important. Look for wood finishes that are low-toxic and won’t off-gas into the room for months. OSMO’s Polyx Oil wood finish meets German regulations for safety on children’s toys; and Vermont Natural Coatings is made from whey – a by-product of Vermont’s cheese industry!

 

Clothes and Bedding
When choosing bedding and clothes for our child make sure that there are no chemical hazards lurking. Believe it or not, some baby bedding and even pajama’s can contain toxic flame retardants! These chemicals are added with good intentions, but scientists are beginning to tie them to serious health and developmental concerns. Fortunately, we have a full line of organic cotton clothing and bedding products that are free of chemical treatments.


Baby Care and Toys
When buying baby care items avoid plastics as much as possible as they can contain chemicals called pthalates, many of which are known endocrine disruptors. We have a full category of options here.

Diapers: 60% natural materials, and chlorine free for when you need diapers on the run
Baby Bottles: made from glass with silicone sleeves for grip
Silicone nipples: latex, BPA, phthalate and PVC free

Latex, BPA, phrhalate and PVC free
Latex, BPA, phrhalate and PVC free


Laundry & Cleaning
It is a little ironic that many of the cleansers available on the market today can actually pollute our homes with toxic fragrances and dangerous anti-bacterials at the same time that they claim to be making homes cleaner. Check out the Environmental Working Group’s website to see how the cleaning products in your home rate for chemical safety. We’d like to highlight these healthy options for keeping your house cleaning as clean as possible:

Charlies Laundry Soap: hypoallergenic, non-toxic, biodegradable and concentrated – use approx 1 oz per load!
Green Depot All Purpose Cleaner: our house brand, biodegradable, non-toxic and refillable at our refill stations
AFM SuperClean: super concentrated, tough enough for toilets and safe enough for dishes!


Green Depot Registry!
If you’re expecting, our online registry program makes it easy to share the products you’d like with your community! Click here to sign up!

 

Want to look deeper into chemical safety for kids?

+ The Center for Environmental Health has an excellent page on Children’s health at home here.
+ CHEJ is another informative resource for information about chemicals and child health.
+ The State of Minnesota also has some great information here.
+ Read what the American Lung Association says about Indoor Air Pollution here.
+ The Environmental Protection Agency has a very informative website about child health here.

http://www.greendepot.com/greendepot/product.asp?s_id=0&prod_name=Naty+Diapers&pf_id=NATYUD&dept_id=3500&mscssid=C99TK80948RA9P2XRTB9L61CLD500439

Are you thinking of remodeling your bathroom this year? Good news! It is now easier than ever to work sustainable and low-toxic elements into a bathroom renovation. From the flooring to the accessories, here are some examples of product choices to help you make your bathroom more healthy and more environmentally friendly. You will see that you don’t have to compromise style!

Water Savings
For a sustainable bathroom remodel, water savings is “low-hanging fruit”. With just three simple fixture choices (toilet, shower head and faucet), your bathroom can become a paragon of water conservation. Caroma dual-flush toilets combine cutting-edge efficiency with stellar performance. These water saving fixtures have an average flush of just 1.2 gallons, and their 4″ trap practically eliminates clogs! For water savings in your shower, Oxgenics Shower Heads are designed to use up to 70% less water than standard fixtures while delivering an invigorating and spa-like shower experience. Finally, when considering the bathroom sink, one of the easiest ways to save water is to turn off the tap while brushing your teeth! You can also install an inexpensive faucet aerator to cut your use even further.

Caroma Somerton: This Dual-Flush fixture has an average flush of just 1.2 gallons. Water Sense Certified. Oxygenics Shower Heads: A full-power shower head for  spa-like experience – using 70% less water than normal showerheads! Faucet Aerator: Save water, increase velocity and reduce splash! Great for kitchen and bathroom sinks.

 

Vanity and Surround
A gorgeous sustainable vanity is easy to achieve. Start with a base of cabinetry with no-added-formaldehyde and sustainably harvested materials like Executive or Bellmont Cabinets (pictured above). You can get the gorgeous lines and visual textures of marble or granite with an american-made countertop like Cambria, Vetrazzo or IceStone. These surfaces are durable enough to withstand the frequent cleaning and exposure to toothpaste, cleansers, and personal care products typical in the average bathroom while continuing to look great! Tile backsplashes, accents and tub-surrounds can provide splashes of color and offer an easy-to-clean surface. Choose a company that uses recycled content like Fireclay Tile or Oceanside that use post-consumer waste like recycled glass bottles and old toilets for their raw materials.

Bellmont Cabinets: Beautifully crafted cabinets with recycled wood fiber and no added formaldehyde. Fireclay Tile: A myriad of gorgeous styles and colors – made from recycled ceramic and glass in California. Cambria Vanity Top: Twice as strong as granite, Cambria will resist most stains and is easy to clean.

 

Flooring
When choosing flooring for a bathroom one simple phrase rules: EASY TO MOP UP! Many people love the look and feel of tile on the floor of their bathroom which has the benefits of being very durable and generally easy to clean. Another classic choice for bathroom flooring is Marmoleum, a kind of classic linoleum. Completely PVC free, Marmoleum is made of Linseed oil, wood flour, wood resin, natural pigments and a jute backing. Unlike your grandmother’s linoleum, Marmoleum comes with three layers of factory finish and does not have to be waxed  on a regular basis. It is also super for bathrooms because it comes in sheets (uninterrupted surface makes it easy to clean), it is naturally anti-microbial, and it comes in a vast array of colors so it can fit into any design. If you like the idea of using sheet flooring in your bathroom but want something new and a little different, Capri Sequel may be the option for you. This  engineered combination of cork and rubber offers a subtle slip resistance and longevity.

 

Marmoleum: PVC-free and available in every color imaginable, Marmoleum comes in sheets and can even be inlaid Capri Sequel: Sequel is comfortable under foot, durable, slip resistant, and contains post-industrial recycled content Green Depot Tub & Tile: Formulated with a low pH organic salt, this  concentrated, non-corrosive tub & tile cleaner emits no irritating fumes.

American Clay is a great alternative wall finish for bathrooms.

Walls

A great challenge for bathrooms, especially full bathrooms, is the potential for mildew growth. Fortunately there are some wall finishes that actually work to frustrate the growth of that unsightly and unhealthy stuff. American Clay, great for well ventilated bathrooms, is a dynamic and versatile earth plaster that is naturally resistant to mold growth. If standard paint is more to your liking, use Moldex or Yolo Colorhouse Paints which both contain mold-inhibiting ingredients.

 

Cleaning and Accessories
Once you’ve got the big renovation done, here are some products to keep the healthy, green theme going:

Grunge Buster Grout Brush: Made of  recycled plastic and bamboo, this brush is perfect for cleaning tile AND hard-to-clean grout simultaneously. EVA Shower Curtain: These stylish non-PVC shower curtains do the job without off-gassing Poly-vinyl choride toxins! Green Depot Tub & Tile: Formulated with a low pH organic salt, this  concentrated, non-corrosive tub & tile cleaner emits no irritating fumes.


Click here to see more of our green bathroom accessories.

 

Renovating a basement can be a great way to add living space to your home without the expense of building up or out! Here at Green Depot we have several products that lend themselves so well to this kind of project, you could almost say they were made for it! Because they are usually at least partially underground (below-grade) basements are often cold and even a little damp feeling, but they don’t have to stay that way.

Insulating your basement:

   
Tyroc Underlayment:  Created for basement applicatons, this subfloor
paneling evens out small variances, acts as a vapor barrier and allows the cement under your flooring
to breathe. This subfloor is impervious to mold, mildew and moisture. Install your flooring of choice over it.
Nest Radiant Barrier Insulation:   This reflective insulation blanket adds an R value of 12.5 with just 1/4 inch of material. A water proof vapor barrier, moisture will not affect the insulating qualities. Reflects warmth back into your basement. Ultratouch Cotton Insulation:  Made from cotton, this insulation is pest, mold and fire resitant. Available in a range of R values Ultratouch adds a cozy cotton blanket to your basement without any fiberglass, or formaldehyde.

  

Finish your basement with products that bring warmth and coziness – and protect your Indoor Air Quality:

   
Cork Flooring:  Made from a rapidly renewable resource, cork floors are warm, resilient and comfortable underfoot.  This natural flooring is durable, quiet, and comes in a wide range of styles and applications. Wool Carpet:  Few materials invite you to take your shoes off and feel cozy like wall to wall carpeting can. Wool carpets bring warmth, style and comfort without the need for chemical stain masters and flame retardants that  can offgas, plus wool is a fast growing, renewable fiber! YOLO Colorhouse Paints:  Basements tend to be short on natural light, so the warmth and vibrance provided by their designer colors makes YOLO a great choice for a refinished basement. In addition to a harmonious palette, all YOLO paints are intrinsically mold and mildew resistant whatever color or sheen you choose.

 

Complete the job with a couple of essential appliances to maintain the comfort of your new living space:

   
BioSmart Heaters:  Infrared heat is perfect in a basement because it creates a much cozier feeling than more common heaters.  The unique shorter wavelength is a penetrating, direct source of heat, much like the sun. BioSmart heaters heat the space evenly from floor to ceiling – warming up the objects rather than simply the air.   Austin Air FIlters: Keep your new basement living space feeling clean and comfortable with a high quality air filter that will help control dust, mold spores, chemicals, pet dander, odors and more!

If you are thinking of finishing your basement – whether for extra guest space or craft space,  an office or a game room, the healthy and environmentally friendly materials above will contribute to making your space comfortable and inviting.  Work with a contractor to be sure that your basement is suitable for renovation (no leaks), and that you have the proper building permits as required in your area. A contractor will also know the proper tools for framing in a concrete setting – which can be a little tricky.

Click here for a helpful post about basement renovations on Diynetwork.com!