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Considering eco-friendly products for the home can be a confusing step for many, but it's about to get much easier.
Drew and Jonathan Scott, hosts of HGTV's "Property Brothers," hit the TODAY plaza on Tuesday with tips for adding environmentally-sustainable products to the home, creating a beautiful space inside while protecting the planet outside.
When looking to paint a room or piece of furniture, there are a few small things to keep in mind. Paints marked VOC—volatile organic compounds—create harmful fumes that often lead to headaches and even respiratory problems. Instead, consider water-based paints with labels that note that they are biodegradable and phosphate free. While they are often more expensive, non-VOC paints are better for you, a higher quality and require fewer coats than the alternative.
If there isn't enough time to paint the walls, reach for the wallpaper. It isn't as messy and takes less time to apply than a can of paint. Keep an eye out for paper that doesn't contain any vinyl, and if you spot wallpaper made from recycled paper, all the better. Also, look for prints with water-based inks and avoid PVC-coated products as they contain harmful chemicals.
Eco-friendly furniture has come a long way in recent years and is now available in comfortable, on-trend designs. Pieces marked with the FSC logo means that they were approved by the Forest Stewardship Council, making them a great green choice. Upholstery made from organic wool and cotton is another eco-friendly option.
When shopping for pillows, choose those that are made from natural materials, like soy, wool, cotton and hemp. Another logo to look out for is the Oeko-Tex symbol, which indicates the fabric has gone through Oeko-Tex's textile certification and does not contain harmful substances.
Bamboo has become a strong competitor for wood and is a great eco-friendly option as it can grow up to four feet in 24 hours. The material is also as durable as wood and comes in beautiful stains for a customized appearance. It's also easy to install and can be easily done without using costly professionals.
A poorly-regulated thermostat is a solid way to use excess energy and spend too much money in utility bills. Fortunately, the Nest thermostat learns your living patterns and adjusts itself appropriately. The thermostat can also be controlled with a phone, making it easy to regulate when away—or when you're too tired to get off of the sofa.