Healthy at Home How to improve indoor airflow and quality

(Family Features) More efficient, tightly built homes than those constructed in previous generations are generally well-regarded, for the most part with good reason. However, when you consider people spend 90 percent of their time indoors on average, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), such airtight environments raise some concerns. All that efficiency cuts down on airflow, effectively trapping allergens and toxins inside. According to estimates from the EPA, the air inside the average home may be as much as five times more polluted than the air outdoors, even in a bustling city. “We know instinctively that spending so many …

5 Sustainable Home Exterior Trends Every Homeowner Should Know

Many homeowners are making more efforts to go green. What is a better way to join in sustainable living than to begin where your life starts, at home? Many homes are now designed to be eco-friendly and sustainable. They’re constructed from green materials are responsibly sourced to reduce the effects to the environment, and can be kept up with minimal damage to the environment. Sustainable architecture and green technologies have transformed the outside of a home from merely the dressing on the house to an energy-efficient and green option for homeowners with a passion for the earth. Mixing Home Siding …

Energy Savers That Make ‘Cents’

  (Family Features) A home that operates efficiently isn’t just better for the environment. Ensuring your home systems are as efficient as possible can also help reduce the financial burden of maintaining your home throughout the year. These tips from Gary White with JCPenney Home Services can serve as areas of focus for lowering your energy bills and lessening your appliances’ negative impact on the environment. Water Heaters The cost of heating water for bathing, laundry and kitchen use is a common home energy drain, so it’s an area that deserves attention when you’re looking to upgrade for efficiency. To …

Top Eco-Friendly Home Design Ideas

Creativity is king in 2018! Unlike decades past when only a handful of resources satisfied eco-friendly standards, many innovative products, and building methods are now accessible to make your projects environmentally friendly. Check out these current top trends in green home construction! Innovative Use of LEED-accredited Materials You may be familiar with LEED-accredited materials, but did you know that you can use these products in a variety of applications? One of the hottest trends in 2018 is to integrate LEED-certified building materials into unexpected places. Sure, energy-efficient light bulbs are standard in green buildings, but what about LEED-certified siding? Innovative …

How your lawn equipment is harming the environment

(BPT) – Spring is upon us and our yards are beginning to bloom. The grass needs to be cut, the hedges trimmed and the debris blown away. This is an exciting time of year as we all look forward to getting outdoors after a longer than desired winter season. As we begin our list of warm-weather chores, is it possible that our lawn equipment is actually harming the environment? Unfortunately, the answer could be yes, depending on the type of equipment you’re using to keep your lawn in tip-top shape. If you’re still using gas-powered outdoor gear, here are some …

8 simple things you can do at home to improve indoor air quality

(BPT) – A clean house always looks and feels good. But did you know a clean environment goes a long way toward keeping you and your family healthy? For starters, dust holds dander and pollen, which explains why dust so easily triggers an allergy attack. But common household dust contains other bad stuff you just wouldn’t want to breathe in, such as 45 kinds of toxic chemicals used in consumer products, according to a study by George Washington University. Exposure to these chemicals is linked to cancer, hormone changes, developmental problems and more. “This does sound quite alarming, but it underlines …

What Is Better—Recycled or Natural?

Is it better to choose materials made of recycled content or raw, natural materials when selecting products for your home? What came first, the chicken or the egg? A lot of designers and experts will agree that in most projects, there is a need for both types of materials. Natural hardwoods from the Forest Stewardship Council on the first floor, recycled content fiber carpet on the second; recycled content, high performance fabric sofas with organic down cushions; and so on. There is no blanket, one-size-fits-all when it comes to building products and design products for your home. The smartest way …

Exploring Green Interiors – Design Ideas Borrowed from Sustainable Design

One of the basic tenets of sustainable design is reduce, reuse, recycle. However, we often see residential projects—both new construction and renovations—that ignore this basic principle. The U.S Green Building Council estimates nearly 30 percent of the waste generated in the United States is from the construction industry with half of the nearly 325 millions tons of waste coming directly from residential construction. These figures are staggering and, sadly, are only one side of the puzzle. We haven’t even quantified the emissions or energy needed to power these homes after they are built nor have we looked at Life Cycle …

6 ways to revive your home with essential oils

(BPT) – Essential oils, highly concentrated essences of plants, have the power to improve our lives, revive our spaces and boost our mood, whether it’s through diffusing them to add a fresh scent to the kitchen, creating a spa-like oasis in your bathroom or whipping up DIY cleaning products to use all over your home. “How we care for the everyday spaces we live in impacts our well being,” said Charlynn Avery, an aromatherapist and educator for Aura Cacia, a company that sources and sells essential oils. “It’s all about the power of positive change. Clean, synthetic-free living is good …

Outdoor Living Downtown – Vertical Gardening & More

        To say Nashville is changing would be an understatement. Vertical, residential developments are becoming the new norm as more and more people want to live in downtown, urban environments. The shift has inspired us to focus on outdoor living for everyone, not just homeowners with under utilized screened porches. Here are our top 3 tips for outdoor living, urban dweller edition!   Terrace/Patio Gardens As we see more and more Nashville high rise buildings go up, we think it’s high time we paid attention to vertical living and the implications it has on urban living. If …