These days, more and more homeowners are looking at their dwellings as a respite from the uncertainty we are facing in the “real world”. As they look to “cozy up” existing space in their homes, many are turning to the “green” products that not only produce beautiful results, but are also environmentally friendly.
It can be overwhelming to find “green” products in a sea of mass-marketed products that claim to be “natural” or “earth-based”. To help you wade through the confusion, I’ve dug in and found some great Connecticut retailers that can help you in your quest for gorgeously green décor. Not only will you be supporting local business, but you’ll enjoy the benefits of your beautiful newly decorated home, too!
Color Your World Green and Beyond…
You may have heard the term “low VOCs” if you’ve ever shopped for eco-friendly paint. VOCs are Volatile Organic Compounds; basically, they are “solvents that get released into the air as the paint dries. VOCs can cause acute symptoms, including headaches and dizziness” (www.consumerreports.com). If you’ve ever been in a room with wet paint, you know the importance of proper ventilation! There are now many different lines of low-VOC paint, though, and they provide both a beautiful color palette and great coverage.
Who Makes Eco-Friendly Paint?
There are some lesser-known lines, such as Yolo Colorhouse, that offers zero-VOC paints, along with poster-sized swatches to make trying colors a cinch: http://www.yolocolorhouse.com/index.php
After 25 years in the business of creating a “safe coat” of paint for your walls, AFM Safecoat offers an array of paints, enamels & sealants with which to beautify your living space: http://www.afmsafecoat.com/index.php
And there are some more mainstream lines, such as Olympic, which is carried exclusively by Lowes and offers over 1,000 colors of zerio-VOC paints:
What If I Have Questions About All This “Green” Stuff?
You now know you want to become an eco-conscious consumer. But what if you have questions about “greening” your home and need some face-to face customer service to help you along the way? The Center for Green Building, in Bridgeport, CT is your go-to stop for all things eco-friendly. Not only do they carry LEED-certified, non-toxic (and recycled) insulation, but flooring alternatives, decorative plasters, an array of low or no-VOC paints, and natural cleaning products (such as Branford-based Seaside Naturals). www.seasidenaturals.com
What began as a carpentry business (“Measure for Measure”) has now grown into a 5,000 sq. ft. showroom with owners that are dedicated to helping consumers renovate & decorate their homes using environmentally friendly practices. The Center also offers seminars on healthy life practices, Feng Shui, and home improvement. Check out their site for the latest up-to-date info! http://www.centerforgreenliving.com
Written by Amy Flyntz-Morehouse, Director of Positive Mojo, Calcagni Associates