5 Ways to Create an Eco-Friendly, Non-Toxic Home

Sustainability is far from a new concept, but what about creating a non-toxic home? Everyone knows about lowering energy consumption, eliminating plastics, and being conscious of our carbon footprint. These choices help protect our environment, but are they doing anything to promote cleaner air and decrease the toxins within our walls? Not really.

To create a healthy home that benefits both our planet and our families, we have to consider the materials we invite through the front door. After all, it’s estimated that we spend 90% of our lives indoors — what we’re breathing and touching during that 90% matters. Here’s what we suggest…

1. Non-Toxic Paint for Healthier Air

There’s nothing better than freshly painted walls. Unless, of course, that new wall color begins polluting your air. Many interior paint selections “off-gas” high levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that pollute the air and have been linked to many harmful health conditions. This is why we always opt for non-toxic options for our clients.

Benjamin Moore Eco Spec is our favorite non-toxic and eco-friendly paint. It’s 100% acrylic, which makes for a much easier clean-up than its oil-based counterparts, and it has virtually no odor. This means you no longer have to worry about exposing your family to those harmful fumes — wet or dry.

San Francisco Style | Photographer: David Duncan Livingston

2. Beautiful, Local, and Sustainable Tile

Reduce, reuse, recycle…right? Fireclay Tile checks all the boxes, and then some. This San Francisco-based company is committed to making beautiful, modern tiles crafted from recycled materials with sustainable and mindful manufacturing practices. Yes, please.

Fireclay Tile selections are also durable and low maintenance, with a low energy finishing process that is naturally free of VOCs. If that’s not enough, there are 40 rich, deep, and striking colors to choose from, making it the perfect option to elevate the look and health of your home. (Designers love Fireclay!)

Photo Credit: Fireclay Tile

3. VOC-Free Rugs Made From Renewable Fibers

Remember to look under your feet when selecting non-toxic, sustainable materials for your home. Many rugs are manufactured with harmful toxins and dangerous flame retardants. (I guarantee you have smelled them before.) We intentionally avoid that long list of chemicals and opt for a natural alternative instead: wool.

Wool rugs are always a client favorite, specifically NIBA Designs. Artfully crafted to elevate the vibe of your home, these hand-woven wool rugs are timeless, stylish, and incredibly durable. Plus, wool is ethically and sustainably harvested and remains as one of the best fabrics for those who suffer from allergies and asthma. Any rug from NIBA Designs is sure to make a lasting statement.

Photo Credit: NIBA Designs

4. Chemical-Free Mattresses

We spend nearly one-third of our lives sleeping, so a luxuriously comfortable mattress is a must when designing a bedroom sanctuary. However, most traditional mattresses are imported and filled with various harmful chemicals. Who wants their face in that?

For the best of the best, consider making a trip to McRoskey Mattresses. This family-owned Bay Area business has been operating since the 1800s — and they know what they’re doing. With organic and natural mattresses crafted with only the finest materials, you’ll be well on your way to the healthiest sleep of your life.

5. Luxurious and Eco-Friendly Sheets

When you select your toxin-free mattress, it’s essential to pair it with a peace-inducing set of organic bamboo sheets. Not only is it a healthier option, with fewer chemicals and pesticides, but the manufacturing process uses much less water than cotton, making it better for the planet. We love bamboo sheets from Cozy Earth, the leader in luxury bamboo bedding. They’re sumptuously soft, temperature regulating, moisture-wicking, and hypoallergenic.

Beach House Project | Photographer: David Duncan Livingston

Certifications to Know for Ethical & Non-Toxic Home Products

Identifying the real deal regarding non-toxic and environmentally friendly products can be confusing. Researching brands can be time-consuming and frustrating, so let’s make it easy. Here are a few standards and certifications to look for when selecting safe products for your home and the environment:

Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS): This international standard sets rigorous requirements for fabrics to qualify as organic, including harvesting raw materials through environmentally and socially responsible manufacturing.

OEKO-TEX Standard 100: This standard ensures the manufactured fabric is chemical-free, making it non-toxic and safe for home use.

Green Business Certification: Offered by Green America, this certification ensures that textiles are manufactured from certified organic or recycled materials that can be easily recycled or composted. They also ensure that manufacturers use fair, ethical, and sustainable labor practices.

For more tips and advice, read How to Design Your Home for Daily Wellness. Need a hand? That’s what we’re here for. We’d love to help you create a healthy home that brings ease and comfort to your high-achieving lifestyle. Believe me, we get it.

Reach out, and let’s start the conversation.

Melanie