Beauty, Eco & Human – Friendly … Area Rugs

Good news! I am officially a certified Green Accredited Professional by the Sustainable Furnishing Council. While preparing for one of the six exams I had to take to receive my certification, I learnt about carpets and rugs. Did you know that “the standard carpet that covers 70% of floors across the U.S. often contains materials that can be hazardous” and can even affect our health? I am sure many of you recognize the “new carpet smell”. Well that smell comes from “volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are emitted as gases. Some side effects of exposure to VOCs are headaches, allergic skin reactions, irritation in the nose and throat, fatigue and dizziness”. The US Green Building Council doesn’t recommend that “carpet containing VOCs be used in baby nurseries as the gases emitted are not something that should be looming in the air around a new baby”. Allergies are also a common problem for people exposed to carpet VOCs.

So let’s imagine that we all decide to move towards hard surface environments. Well, the downside of that is that spaces may become colder and hard on the feet. Of course, we can always use area rugs. Let me introduce you to the beautiful world of natural fiber area rugs. A world that doesn’t cost more and can make you a healthier human being as well as a more environmentally friendly citizen of this planet. These rugs are made out of: wool, bamboo, jute, sisal, shag, seagrass and other natural fibers.

Wool rugs can be so much fun. Only imagine walking on this hand tufted rug by Gan Rugs.

The textures are sophisticated and unique.

You may even bring the look and feel of natural elements such as pebbles shown in this Pebble Rug by 2Form Design.

And may even have fun around the house with rugs such as the Brain Dead Rug by Timothy Liles.

Of course there are choices for everyone. You may visit Pottery Barn’ wool rug selection.

Bamboo shag rugs are so beautiful and soft that no one can resist relaxing on them.

Shag rugs may also come in leather. So pure and sophisticated.

Here a shot of our famous shag rug where many of my girlfriends enjoy laying down while having a chat and a glass of wine.

There are also beautiful sisal rugs that can be used in more classic environments.

And they also come in darker colors such as the Tonga Deep Sea Rug by Merida Meridian.

Seagrass rugs can be used on foyers and they look so good.

They also come in different shapes and patterns, so you can play with them.

Jute area rugs look and feel so delicate and natural.

They also are fun to mix and match.

Get in your zen zone, be good to your body and respond to the planet. Enjoy a natural fiber area rug!

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Ciao ciao incandescent lighting

Ikea makes an environmental statement by removing incandescent light bulbs from their North American stores. The process will begin on August 1, and the goal is to have incandescent lighting completely eliminated from their shelves by January 1, 2011.

According to Mona Astra from Ikea “When you walk into the store on Jan. 1, you will not see one incandescent light bulb,” (NY Times). Ikea wants to make a difference first by eliminating plastic bags from their registers and now by phasing out incandescent light bulbs.

from incandescent to halogen

In order to keep offering light bulbs that fit in standard sockets and have a similar color rendering from incandescent lighting, the Swedish company will be introducing halogen light bulbs.

IKEA also provides solar-powered lighting alternatives such as the SUNNAN desk lamp and the SOLIG outdoor lights.

Some facts:

  • Approximately 90% of the power consumed by an incandescent light bulb is emitted as heat, rather than as visible light.
  • An incandescent bulb lasts about 750 to 1,000 hours in normal use. It’s not very efficient as in the process of radiating light, it also radiates an immense amount of infrared heat – much more heat than light.
  • Halogen bulbs include a lifespan which is twice as long as that of an incandescent bulb.
  • A halogen bulb produces around 25% more light from the same wattage of an incandescent bulb.  This makes it incredibly energy efficient.
  • Incandescent light bulbs are already banned in Europe.
  • CFLs last from 6-10 times longer than incandescent light bulbs (6000 – 10,000 vs. 1,000 hours) and use 80% less energy. Due to this lower energy use, they can save $30 or more in energy costs over each bulb’s lifetime. (EnergyStar.gov)
  • If every American household replaced 1 incandescent bulb with a CFL bulb we would save enough energy to light 3 million homes for 1 year.(EnergyStar.gov)
  • According to 18seconds.org, if every American home replaced just one light bulb with a CFL, we would prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions of more than two million cars and families would save more than $600 million in annual energy costs. The average American family spends $1,900 on energy bills each year. (green.yahoo.com/18seconds)

Read more at Ikea’s press release.