Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Green Tips for a Nursery or Child's Room

Well I'm finally back. Things have been a little hectic and I'm sorry. But today I wanted to talk about something that might interest new parents or anyone with children in their lives, which is most of us...or maybe we are just concerned with our own health, also a very good thing and nothing to be ashamed of. 

A Few Things to Consider


Indoor air quality is a big concern for many people, and justifiably so, the vast majority of us spend most of our time inside a building or our home. Often the concern is heightened when you have young children or a new infant in the home, but I think we should care even if we don't have small children in the home, I appreciate my life as well.

Painting is often a key item on a homeowner’s to-do list when preparing a nicely decorated nursery or child’s room. There are some concerns over chemicals used in some paints and the effect they could have on indoor air quality.

Some of the obvious solutions to the painting dilemma are zero VOC paints which we've talked about here. However, even zero VOC paints can have trace amounts of VOC.

The LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) standard for ventilating green construction prior to a new homeowner moving in is 
two weeks 

So if it is possible even after you paint with a zero VOC paint allow the room and area to be properly ventilated for two weeks before you move your child or infant into the freshly painted room.

Window treatments or shades are another item in a child’s room where a homeowner may want the most non-toxic and energy efficient product available, and one we may not immediately think of.

 A good resource for products that will meet your needs is the Greenguard Environmental Institute.In my opinion this is not the easiest site to navigate but you can look up manufacturers of specific window treatments and MANY other items you will be putting in your child’s room in order to make sure you know as much about the materials you are using as possible. 

The site offers several ways to search based on various certification standards. I would say it is a good resource and worth it if you are looking for a very specific certification or product you are concerned about.

Flooring and Carpet

Flooring is another significant contribution to chemical release and indoor air quality. It is also a major item that parents and homeowners look to replace for a fresh new space for a child.

You can check the Greenguard Environmental Institutes website listed above or the Carpet and Rug Institute’s Indoor Air Quality Website. I personally think checking several sources or standards of testing is the best policy, if this is something you are very concerned about do your homework on what you are buying. It will be worth it.

As with paint and LEED advising to air out the room or freshly painted area prior to actually moving yourself or your child into the room the same can be done for flooring options to reduce the concentration of chemical emissions trapped in your home. Ask your carpet installer to unroll and air out the carpet prior to even installing it in your home.

Location of your child's room in the home

If you have a child’s room next to the garage
make sure you seal even minor holes or cracks to reduce the chance of vehicle emissions transferring into the home and room. 

There is almost no limit to what you can pay attention to when designing your child's room with reduced chemical products. So take the process as far as you want. You can find certified mattresses, adhesives for carpet glues, insulation, baby cribs, bedding, wood flooring, carpets, the list goes on and on. 

Until the next time...

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