We all already know mother nature is an incredible force and we really love our planet,
Its been proven time and time again - nature improves our wellbeing and as a knock on effect, our productivity. So what exactly should we be doing in our homes to create a healthier connection with nature to enhance our wellbeing all while lowering our environmental impact?
There has been a major shift to Biophilic design, defined as “an innovative approach that emphasizes the necessity of maintaining, enhancing and restoring the beneficial experience of nature in the built environment.”
Without the expense of a complete remodel or renovation, but more than the now mainstream organic sheets, eco lunch boxes, bio cups and natural cleaning products…
We have bundled 4 not-so-quick, but attainable fixes…
Our demand for less toxins in our homes means non VOC paints are now readily available. Volatile Organic Compounds are carbon-containing solvents that vaporise into the air readily as paint dries and can continue to release toxins for several years causing many health problems.
If you opt for toxin free paints you will have a better level of air quality within your home, no strong chemical odours while painting or after. These paints are easier to clean and cost effective; high demand has meant prices are no higher than standard paints so why choose the hazardous alternative?
Many Australian companies offer eco paints; Rockcote have an extensive range at the ready, including primers, low sheen, satin and gloss finishes etc. while Ecolour paints are accredited by Good Environmental Choice Australia (GECA) and its range is suitable for interior, exterior and timber finishes. Porters, Resene and Dulux all also have similar offerings.
Can we have a couple of corks please?
Last year we saw cork at the forefront of design-led applications across interiors due to its array of properties; including sustainability, thermal isolation, sound absorption and tactile warmth.
Cork is a highly sustainable material; in addition to being lightweight and impermeable, it is biodegradable, renewable and recyclable. Cork is made from bark from the Cork Oak, this bark regrows without chemical herbicides, fertilisers or irrigation. Research carried out by the University of Porto reveals cork has antioxidant and anti-carcinogenic properties. Furthermore, when it is applied to flooring and footwear, cork contributes to improving posture. Its flexibility means it can be condensed and moulded into many shapes and forms - anything from a polished floor to plant holders, phone cases and cushion covers.
A natural bed for all those organic cotton sheets;
Beds made from 100% natural materials are gaining traction; brands such as Auping or Coco-Mat are bringing the restorative and regulating properties of plants to the sanctuary of the bedroom. Coco-Mat use naturally replenished organic materials inside duvets, mattresses as well as the bed frame itself, “Each material brings its natural properties to the service of a better night's sleep”. Cactus fibre and horsehair regulate humidity, while eucalyptus and seaweed soothe the breathing system. All handmade in a factory they boast has a virtually neutral carbon footprint at 96%.
Emulate that fresh air feeling;
One step ahead of having naturally air purifying pot plants in your home is integrating tech options to further clean your environment. As mentioned earlier exposure to VOCs, especially indoors, has adverse health effects. Air purifiers remove these as well as other common air pollutants and odours. A lesser known benefit of air purifiers is that they remove mosquitoes and other little insects that may otherwise be difficult to get rid of without toxic sprays. Breathing in cleaner air is calming and mood enhancing, a bold way to imitate nature in your home.
Airpurifiers manufactured specifically from environmentally friendly materials so that they can be fully recycled are available! In terms of energy consumption, Blueair air purifiers use very little energy, no more power than a single light bulb; from 5 to 20 watts on low speed to 10 to 120 watts on high speed, depending on the unit. InovaAir also only build with environmentally sound materials and boast a plastic free purifier, (we all have enough plastic in our lives by now).
Materials and products that enhance our wellness continue to grow in importance as we invest in protecting ourselves and our living spaces against our increasingly polluted world. Nature cannot truly be imitated but we can make the time we must spend indoors more positive.