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  • Writer's pictureLori A. LaRochelle, asid, midc

Maine Interior Design: Sustainability

April 2024


Finding furniture in a world filled with chemicals! Where to look? Check out my top 5 sites below and why you should consider a little sustainability.

Photo from Maiden Home website

My top five favorite sites for sustainable furniture

  1. Maiden Home

    1. Maiden Home is known for its luxury sustainable pieces

  2. Eva

    1. Eva is an Australian top sustainable pieces that focus mostly on bedrooms

  3. Parachute

    1. Simple modern pieces that focus on bed and bath furnishings.

  4. The Citizenry

    1. Simple elegant design for everyday life.

  5. West Elm

    1. Not everything at West Elm is sustainable but they do have a great collection.

Why sustainability is important!

Where do I begin? There are so many reasons, but let's start with our health. Did you know we as humans on average spend 90% of our time indoors? Think of what happened with the pandemic. Most buildings don't have the proper HVAC system to reduce the spread of gems within a building. This is just one reason the air exchangers are required for all new construction. Health risks are a big reason. Those were germs in the pandemic but air pollutants are a great place to start removing harm from your life.

Here are the "Terrible 10" health risks from breathing polluted air from American Lung Association:

  1. Premature death: Science shows that both short-term and long-term exposure to unhealthy air can shorten your life and lead to premature death. Medical experts have known about this risk for decades —remember our blog about the great smog event depicted in "The Crown"?

  2. Asthma attacks: Breathing ozone and particle pollution can lead to increased asthma attacks, which can result in visits to the emergency room and hospital admissions, not to mention missed work and school.

  3. Cardiovascular disease: Air pollution can increase the risk of both heart attacks and stroke.

  4. Lung cancer: In 2013, the World Health Organization determined that particle pollution can cause lung cancer, which is the leading cause of cancer-related death in the U.S.

  5. Developmental damage: Exposure to air pollution can slow and stunt lung development in growing children, harming their health now and reducing their lung function as adults.

  6. Susceptibility to infections: Air pollution increases the risk of lung infections, especially in children.

  7. Worsened COPD symptoms: Exposure to air pollution can make it even harder for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) to breathe. Severe symptoms can lead to hospitalization and even death.

  8. Lung tissue swelling and irritation: Even people with healthy lungs are susceptible to irritation and swelling. For those living with chronic lung diseases, such as asthma and COPD, these effects can be especially harmful.

  9. Low infant birth weight: Some studies show exposure to air pollution may increase the risk of low infant birth weight and infant mortality.

  10. Wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath: Like many of the other conditions in this list, these can be caused by both long-term exposure and short-term exposure to high levels of air pollutants.

So what does this have to do with the furniture we buy? A lot of furnishings off gases which contribute to air pollution inside and outside. If your home is not equipped with an air exchanger or HEPA filter in the HVAC system you could be at risk. By supporting sustainable products we can create a healthy world to live in. It's not that difficult. If we all pick one thing to work on we be taking steps for healthier living. Don't get me wrong we will never eliminate everything because some of these products make life safer in other ways. It's a double-edged sword so to speak. Hospitals generate a lot of trash and use materials that help and hurt us at the same time. Radiation is just one example. It can help kill cancer cells, but can be deadly to our overall health so we need to pick and choose things carefully. But from an interior design perspective removing as many products as we can that off gas will help many people.

I could go on forever but I think you get the point. A small juster can go a long way to a healthier environment.

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