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NATURAL HOME AND YOUR ENVIRONMENT

Ideas on furnishing, furniture and natural ideas that could be incorporated into our homes

Natural Home Ideas.

I think this post, might be a little bit of a hotch potch of ideas that I can find.

I wanted to give ideas on furnishing, furniture and ideas of some natural things, that could be incorporated into our homes.

One thing that could generally help our well being, was the use of plants to help detoxify our environment.

Plants are amazing they not only give us a feeling of well being by bringing a little nature into our our homes, but can also help to improve our air quality.

There is an amazing article on  EARTHEASY

They give the top 10 plants to help with our environment.

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 Areca Palm

This is one of the top plants for helping rid our home of toxic air.These amazing plants help clean our air and without any chemicals .

THE SPRUCE.COM have ways to turn your home from TOXIC to GREEN giving many new ideas and old favourites. 

CLEAN AIR IN YOUR HOME 

Enjoying fresh air in your home, I am sure I would rather be sat here breathing in fresh air than stuck in doors, they say that sitting near water is even better. When the rain comes, most of us are stuck in the house. So finding ways of making our air quality better is important.

Using a air purifier – there seems to be a load of these to chose from and all different prices. We have never tried these , we have seen them on sale , and being heavily advertised when we have been to the Ideal Home shows, they really seem to vary in size, cost and effectiveness.

MNN.com Have 12 ways to improve your air quality without using chemicals, some great ideas, it is great to have different options to try out for yourself.

There are some natural air purifiers that have charcoal in them like this called Moso Natural stand up bags. Fragrance and chemical free. They can be reused for two years.

AIR FRESHENERS 

I hate the thought of just plugging in a chemical air freshener, that just keeps pumping that in to our home, every so many minutes. That can not be good!

There is certainly a lot of money to be made by these companies.

There is enough advertising going on. They promise all kinds of experiences with scent for different seasons and masking the smells of pets and odours. But most are just a mask, and do not remove the problem.

I have seen articles, talking about the possibility of these chemicals giving depression and asthma .

ORGANIC AUTHORITY have some natural ways of scenting your home, without the chemicals. Making your own essential oil air fresheners, opening windows.

Natural ingredients like cinnamon simmering to allow the scent to release. One thing we were advised when selling our home was to put some lemon or other ingredients like coffee in some water in the microwave to release the scent .

NON TOXIC LIVING have other ideas about air freshening plus a list of the chemical you find in some air fresheners.

OZONE

We have a friend of ours who is selling an Air freshener with Ozone. These are also available for the home, but they are very useful commercially in Nursing homes, Hotels, sports clubs etc. I have put in a link if you would like to know more.

His company is called Ozofresh . The explanation is on the site . This site also explains how this product works.

KEEPING IT SIMPLE

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We have for a long time now, just used a boiled pre- filtered water, and some essential oils in a spray bottle.

At least you know what you are breathing in.

USING MORE NATURAL THINGS IN YOUR HOME 

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This could be in the form of cane furniture, cotton fabrics and such simple things as baskets used for storage in the bathroom, bedroom and kitchen.

I love baskets whether in natural wicker or wire mesh, Even boring items look better in them. We bought a few years ago a lovely two tier cake stand in wire mesh, it came with a liner that you can wash, it is so handy and looks great with bread or cakes displayed on it.

Also being aware of the items you use in your kitchen, or what you take out with you to the gym or day trips.

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This is going to be a mixture of different ideas.

NATURAL FURNITURE COMPANIES

Finding furniture that lasts with time, giving you pleasure just by the feel and quality of the materials.

I came across a few companies like these-

VERMONT WOOD STUDIOS(USA) – Beautiful wood furniture with different styles available. Hand crafted from sustainable trees. They have a lifetime guarantee.

I love Vermont and I have skied in the area, tranquil and beautiful countryside.

 Simplicity Sofas (USA)This company hand make their sofas one at a time, they are recommended on may sites. They also have sofas that will fit through narrow door ways, this sounds great, I have had this problem before, where I have had to saw a bed frame in half to get it up a windy staircase.

VAUGHAN BASSETT(USA) Again hand crafted furniture for 101 years in Virginia . Keeping a low carbon footprint by replacing every tree cut. Some very beautiful handmade furniture.

FLOYD Furniture is a more modern look but still want furniture to be long lasting and not to fill up the landfill, they produce all furniture from tables to beds.

LIVING COZY have a list of 14 American made furniture companies.

YOUR KITCHEN

Finding furniture and cupboards that you can live with, bringing back natural materials into our homes. Cupboards that just look fashionably distressed with a few scratches, other than peeling veneers or materials that lose their newness.

Kitchens like these from THE WHITE KITCHEN COMPANY – really beautiful designs.

How about kitchens made in the Amish way-

BARN FURNITURE (USA)They offer a large wood selection .

KITCHEN TOOLS

I love to cook, being in the kitchen preparing food is very relaxing for me, not everyone is the same.

I love beautiful things around me, as I spend a huge amount of time in the kitchen. As they say the kitchen is often the heart of the home.

When I was moving from NY back to the UK, the movers forgot a whole draw of kitchen equipment. There was no way my wooden rolling pin was being left behind! It ended up being very well travelled , it went travelling with me via Hong Kong ,Singapore and other countries. I still have the rolling pin! I often use wooden spoons, you don’t have the problem of them scratching your pans or putting plastic particles into your food.

LOCALWE have a number of places that you can buy handmade wooden utensils.

I would love to rummage in this guys shop.

THIS VIDEO BY BRIGHT SIDE Covers the risks in using certain cookware and solutions. 

THE HEALTHY HOME ECONOMIST

has ways of using your Aluminium pans safely if you just cant afford to change everything in your kitchen( who can? not me, much better to be aware of what not to use them for until you can change them for something safer)

CANCER.ORG – go into some of the chemicals( PFOA & Related chemicals) associated with non-stick and Teflon pans and the long term effect these can have on your health, as the stick around long term.

COOKING LIGHT.COM have an article referring to the FDA -( PFAS CHEMICALS ) Confirming that Toxic Non- stick Cookware are Contaminating our Food and Water Supply. They say that these chemicals have also been found in cleaning products, chocolate cake from grocery stores, seafood and meats to name just some of the items that they can be found in.

They say these chemicals are in the blood of 98% of the American population.( leading to this article on the fears of health and the vaccine effectiveness for Covid 19)

VELAZE have a set here similar to the ones I have been using for year in stainless steel. At least without a coating they keep their appearance much better.

I just found the make I have been using,they are called STELLAR amazing pans, which clean up great, whatever I have burnt on them!

These have literally lasted me years , probably been going 30 years now! so if you consider the cost per year, it is probably less expensive than buy cheap pans constantly.

TIN FOIL – This of course is also made from Aluminum . I don’t use this at all now after seeing the effects that Aluminum can have on your body. Fantastic information here on Aluminum by NCBI.

Medical News Today have ideas on How We Reduce Our Exposure to Potentially Harmful Aluminum

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PLASTIC WATER BOTTLES

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I guess everyone has seen stories on the effect these can have nowadays. Not only the terrible effect on the environment, but through the chemicals that can leach into our water and drinks.

There are a couple of in depth articles below that go into both these issues. I know it is very difficult to get away from these in certain countries where the water just isn’t suitable to drink.

When I was travelling you also had to be wary that the lids of water bottles hadn’t been tampered with ( someone making a bit of money on refilling them with tap water which wasn’t safe) There were venders selling coconut water, where they just cut off the tops off coconuts and added a straw, a really lovely idea.

GET GREEN NOW has an in depth article on the effect on the environment from plastic and single use bottles.

AZO CLEAN TECH go into the effect plastic can have on our health as well as the environment.

BBC NEWS has an article in conjunction with the WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION on the health risks with plastic.

I have also seen water bottles made out of Aluminum which I am not happy using. Seems crazy to me, leaving water in them to leak into your drinking water.

Doing a search, I came across a list of Stainless Steel water bottles, though I haven’t checked out all the descriptions on them. This seems a much safer option.

We have just managed to pick some these in bright colors from Lidl. Really pleased that they were at such a great price.

PLASTIC WRAP FOR FOOD 

DR WEIL has an informative piece on the chemicals found in plastic wrap, and the dangers of using these in the microwave.

I just cant use this product anymore after seeing some of the articles, again on your health and the environment, after all this is a one use plastic. With all of the problems associated with it. I hate that the supermarket just puts it on everything.( it could be around 1,000 years!)

PARCHMENT PAPER

Again this is a product that you normally don’t think of , most of the papers I see is packs of white sheets. I remember years ago the paper being brown.

So looking at this, the white paper seems to have been bleached, not great!

Though to keep the paper non stick, from what I have seen so far this has probably been treated with a silicone. This blog by Kitchen Feeds goes into the two types of paper available. Asking the question – Is Parchment Paper Safe : In Oven, Cooking, Toxicity & Burning.

I cant say that makes me too happy either, though as yet I have not looked into silicone coating .

I think I am back to greasing stainless steel pans! Then a smile to my husband to do the washing up!

ANAPPLEADAY have a well written article on using different papers.

THEKITCHN have an article on the difference between Bleached and Unbleached Parchment Paper.

I have seen a paper called – IF YOU CARE PARCHMENT PAPER

They make unbleached paper and different sizes available. Also here on Amazon

MAKING YOUR OWN PRODUCTS 

DIY BEESWAX WRAPS by SIMPLY KLAIRE 

IDEAS 

There are a number of books on the internet, which give lots of ideas on how to incorporate these ideas into our homes.  such as

NATURAL STYLE: USING ORGANIC AND ECO-CONSCIOUS MATERIALS FOR EARTH-FRIENDLY

By  Janet Sobesky (Author) 

NATURAL LIVING STYLE BY SELINA LAKE ( Author ) 

gives many ideas on living more naturally, with ideas on paints to use as well. This link to my other blog gives you a list of companies that make natural paints, toxic free, non fume alternatives.

FOOD SHOPPING 

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Maybe being more aware of what is covering our food when we go to the supermarket ,would be helpful to make better choices to protect our families.

Even if we don’t want to use plastic wrap in our homes, it drives me crazy that so many food stuffs are covered in it in the supermarket.

There seems to be a movement, starting to demand that the plastic not to be used on our foods.

Even vegetables are plastic wrapped, how long has that been sitting in it? How can you even see the condition of the vegetables ?

I would prefer just to choose our vegetables fresh and displayed as they should be. I know at times the cost of the bagged produce is less expensive too.

CANNED FOODS 

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I must admit after hearing concerns with canned foods, I have tried to find alternatives in a glass jar where I can.

BPA which can be found in canned goods, has concerns with Cancer and birth defects. This chemical is used in the lining of the tins and can seep into the food.

Although I know the convenience of having a stand by tin in the cupboard is very attractive.

CBS NEWS has a good article with a video, explaining the BPA is still found in canned foods.

HEALTHLINE.COM also have an in depth article written about the dangers in canned foods.

ORGANIC AUTHORITY.COM have a list of 8 companies not using BPA in their canned goods. Also ways of reducing your risk while searching for safer canned goods.

EWG

Have a market survey and analysis on BPA in canned foods.

I absolutely love this site, they are so informed and easy to read.

CHEMICALS IN YOUR FURNISHINGS 

From what I have found so far, one of these problems comes from the FIRE RETARDANT Chemicals that can be on your sofas and soft furnishings.

It is such a balance of safety, against fire, which is of course right up there on the list.

THE WEBSITE TOXIC FREE FUTURE

has a very informative information on all the chemicals used on furnishings and in children’s articles.

They explain very clearly about each chemical and offer some solutions too.

Looking into some more simple ideas with natural fabrics.

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I came across LEEWADEE which do a variety of natural cushions, that can be used to prop yourself up while reading or watching TV. Other natural products too like bedrolls.

CASA FURNISHINGS also offer a wide range of rugs made with jute or beautiful baskets for storage solutions.

INSPIRING FURNITURE LIMITED

Have some wonderful natural furniture, just the sort of chairs to sit and relax with a good book and a glass of wine!

BEDROOMS

Making your bedroom a haven , somewhere to relax and just totally chill out is important. Everyone has their own kind of style. But who doesn’t like the look of a fluffy comfortable bed to jump onto?

Finding the right style bed, really sets off the rest of your bedroom. If you are like me, the frame is often there for years, even if you change the mattress.

I thought that I would add a few companies to the list – The frame I bought in NY years ago was a cast iron frame with a higher bedhead and the base board is cut away at the bottom. I had a good friend who was an interior designer, she said if the base board raises up, then it can cut your room visually in half. I guess that is ok if your room is huge, not so great if you are living in a small space.

Over Stock ( based in Utah) a really interesting site of many designs of bed frames.

Vermont Wood Studios– hand crafted wooden bed frames.

Countryside Amish Furniture– Hand crafted Amish bed frames. ( many other furniture options too.)

Get Laid Beds– Hand crafted.

Amazon – Hand crafted beds , some unusual ones like hand carved Balinese head boards.

MATTRESSES 

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We spend a third of our lives sleeping, so it makes sense to wonder what you are actually sleeping on.

There seems to be an advertisement on most weeks for a new mattress, be it a foam one or spring type.

There is an in depth article on how memory foam is made and the chemicals associated with different types.

SLEEP ADVISOR Give some really helpful advice if you are thinking of buying these products.

I understand that there is a need for some fire retardant too

( see the part on these chemicals) Though I was reading some information today, which mentioned that wool is naturally fire retardant. ( more info on the crib mattresses)

SLEEP JUNKIE.ORG has information on these products with the list of chemicals to be aware of.

They are based in America , and do give a link to a mattress they have found which is healthier.

THE MATTRESS AND SLEEP COMPANY based in Canada have in depth information on all the particles too that can come as the mattress ages.

I came across these mattress toppers today on a french website called GREENWEEZ

They have a bamboo fabric covering and a vegetable base, really interesting. ( not all bamboo mattresses seem equal, better to look deeper to see what the covering is made from too)

I have not seen these before. I saw them as well on the Amazon site, but not in stock, not sure why, there was also a pillow which looks like the same type of material, again on the GREENWEEZ site. I wonder if these are a French product?

Today I came across a website which are selling Organic non- toxic mattresses.

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They are called AVOCADO GREEN MATRESS

This company is so impressive to read about. Their commitment to quality and care of the environment ( a 1 % of profit goes back) all their mattresses are environmental.

They own totally the complete supply chain, so they are able to control the product from start to finish. They are involved in the Organic latex production ,grown ethically, sustainably, and responsibly — without persistent pesticides and herbicides.

They even use their own organic wool, and are offering a 25 year warranty. They are the only Mattress company to own their own organic latex company. They are an ethical company, and even this is powered by wind turbines!

They offer different mattresses, even a Vegan alternative! There are different mattresses to choose from, and even crib mattresses for babies and toddlers.

They also have organic cotton sheets and bedding, with bed toppers also available.

Made in L.A. America. They also sell recycled wooden furniture. Really lovely looking products.

BEDDING

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Using Organic bedding to go with your mattress seems logical. Cotton is one of the most pesticide covered crops. Of course this is going to be in the fabric of your sheets. The feeling of a freshly made bed is a little bit of pure luxury for me, I love the feeling of crisp sheets and soft duvets. When we were growing up , duvets weren’t around in the UK , my parents always had blankets, feeling the weight of those on your legs, or a curl up on the sofa with something soft, great.

Organic sheets – Magnolia Organics Dream Collection Sheet Set – Queen( Amazon )

Target – more reasonably priced ( 300 thread)

Amazon- Mixture of bedding

Avocado Mattress Organic Bedding Great mattresses , furniture and bedding.

The Shocking Cotton Industry

THE WORLD COUNTS has shocking statistics on just how much is been spent on chemicals in the production of cotton, and the amount of child labor and slavery involved. These chemicals can be found in your t-shirt. A very powerful website.

WORLD WILDLIFE.ORG – Also go into the impact on animals , land and our environment through cotton production. The major problems of pollution both water and land.

APPARTMENT THERAPY has a list of- The 15 Best Organic Bedding Sources

WATER FILTER 

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I don’t know about your area, but where we are in France the water is very hard.

We end up with water leaving its scale in kettles and in washing machines.

Here in France, there is a map which you can pull up on the internet .

You put in your postcode and that gives you the water quality in your area.

That can be an eye opener, as to what you are drinking.

Since then we bought a water filter, and even the dogs get filtered water.

It is amazing the difference that it makes in the kettle.

MONEY.COM has a list of the best water filters to look at.

has an interesting article on some new ideas on water filtration – they are USA based 
or companies such as ONLINE WATER FILTERS which seem to have a variety of the ones that you plumb into your tap system.
DIFFERENT WATER FILTERS on AMAZON
 
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