Children’s rooms and play areas are always an area of concern for parents and care givers. When deciding to change paint color, refinish furniture, or renovate their rooms, being eco-friendly for their health and the Earth’s health need to be considered. Products that are natural and green will help you rest easier at night, and help the environment of your home. Here are tips to renovate your kid’s room the natural and safe way.
WOOD FINISHES: From wood trim around windows and doors, to nursery furniture, your children have wood that may need to be refinished. Especially for toys and cribs that young children may chew on, here are some suggestions for refinishing products. Consider using food safe wood oils that are used on wood cutting boards. For furniture painting and sealing use products that derive from linseed and hemp seed oils that are non-toxic and safe for ingestion. Several eco-friendly manufacturers’ make non-toxic tung oil and beeswax wood finishing products that are also safe for coating and protecting wood.
FLOORING: If removing the current flooring is in the renovation plans, consider these tips when using carpet. Ask the carpet installer how they apply their carpet products. Adhesives can be toxic and/or irritating to allergy sensitive family members. Many carpet installers’ will use tacks instead of adhesives to secure the carpeting. When choosing carpet, opt for natural fibers instead of synthetic. A wool or cotton carpets with a jute backing would be a good alternative to wall to wall synthetic fiber carpeting.
PAINTING: When painting walls in children’s rooms use low or no volatile organic compound (VOC) paint. Fumes from VOC’s can emit into the air, causing unhealthy healthy conditions for you, your child and the environment. Check to see if your favorite paint manufacturer sells eco friendly paints and finishes for your painting job. Your favorite home improvement store may also have a selection of eco-friendly paints too!
WINDOW TREATMENTS: When choosing window applications make sure there is a way to block out direct harmful sun rays. Valances are beautiful, but there needs to be a way to protect against direct heat which can be damaging for children and fabrics. Here are some green suggestions for choosing window treatments. Use materials such as hemp, jute, cotton, or wool to provide aesthetics as well as keeping out the heat. If using roller shades, opt for PVC-free varieties.
PROTECTING ROOM: If you are considering renovating while still living in your home, take precautionary measures while using building tools and methods. Seal off construction areas from the rest of the home, and open windows and doors to allow construction dust, and air particles to leave the home. Change air filters immediately after the renovation job is complete to allow the ventilation system to filter out particulates in the air. Once the renovation is complete, clean all surfaces, bedding, and carpet with eco-friendly products and allow the room to air out for a few days following. If possible have children stay out of room and sleep in another room for days following as well.
Renovation is always a process that requires preparation and planning. With these eco-friendly tips you can feel comfortable in your remodel and your children and the Earth will reap the benefits!
Freshome reader’s share with us your most recent green home renovation projects. How did you keep yourself and your kids free from renovation debris?