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.

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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!

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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
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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.

 

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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!   


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Many people think that weatherization is just for protecting a home and its occupants from the ravages of winter storms and cold temperatures, but in fact, it is just as important in the summer. Improvements to a home’s weatherization can also help your home stay cool when the mercury rises, increasing your comfort and drastically decreasing your energy bills.

Here are some projects and tools to help you keep cool this summer!

CAULKING
When you are running an air conditioner even small cracks can be a big drag on your energy bill! Make sure that your window and door frames are sealed by checking the caulk around your window frames where they meet the siding. If the caulk appears to be dry and cracked, remove the old material with a putty knife or scraper and run a fresh bead of caulk to renew the seal.

Eco-Bond Clear Adhesive Caulk
This adhesive sealant will work in temperatures from -40 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. It has excellent bonding power and won’t shrink or pull away from the seal. It is low-odor, low VOC and non-flammable.

 

 

REFLECTIVE INSULATION
With reflective material on either side of a thin but dense insulation blanket, this insulation works by reflecting heat waves away from a building in the summer, or back into a building in the winter. Reflective insulation is less than an inch thick, so you can add an effective layer of R-value to your home or building without sacrificing square footage. We carry two kinds of reflect insulation, Nest (great for retrofit projects) and Skytech (best for new-construction, building wraps.) Both insulations are easy to install, flexible and durable; offer superior acoustical performance; and will not promote the growth of fungus or bacteria. Even better, they are made from 90% recycled materials; are 100% recycleable, and free from formaldehyde, VOCs and carcinogens.

Nest

  • – Perfect for retrofit projects – like lining the interior roof in an attic
  • – Insulation value of R 12.5 with just 1/4 inch of material
  • – Offers a thermal break and a vapor barrier
  • – Fire Rating: Classified UL

 

SkyTech

  • – Great for new construction – especially a whole house wrap
  • – Insulation value of R 13.7 and just 3/8ths of an inch thick
  • – Breathable – allows vapor to pass through
  • – Fire Rating: NFPA Class A/UBC Class 1

 

 

ATTIC VENTILATION
During the hot summer months, attic temperatures can soar and that can have a huge effect on the amount of work your air conditioner has to do – especially on the upper floors of your home. An attic fan, installed with proper vents from which to draw, can have a huge effect on the temperature in your attic, and the load on your electricity.

SolaTube Solar Attic Fan
This attic fan is one of the most technologically-advanced, environmentally-friendly ventilation solutions available. It circulates air and ventilates your attic space, to help keep your home cool and comfortable. Powered by Solar Star’s proprietary 10-watt solar panel, the Solar Star attic fan will not add to your energy bill while it helps lower it!

Click here for more suggestions for ways to weatherize and save money!

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