DIY the toxin free way!

Young couple in their kitchenMany paints, carpets, vinyl wallpaper and upholstery release VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and other pollutants. They are a major contributor to pollution and global warming.

VOCs have been linked with allergies, depression and headaches and some are suspected carcinogens.

Fortunately there are lots of healthier and holistic alternatives readily available.


Many companies now offer water or oil-based paints which contain low or no VOCs and improve indoor air quality. Check out Ecospaints which is free of all pesticides, herbicides & toxins.
Other ideas are lime washes, natural pigments or natural clay plaster. If you are on a tight budget, it is surprisingly easy to make your own paint! Read “The Natural Paint Book” by Julia Lawless for inspiration.[amazon-product align=”right” small=”1″]1856267067[/amazon-product]


For natural flooring choose either cork, bamboo, local slate, floorboards (seal with an oil-based finish, such as linseed) or natural linoleum.
If using wood, remember to select woods that are not on the endangered list and make sure that they come from sustainable forests. Carpets or rugs can be made from coir, sisal, jute or seagrass. Try the natural rug store for all sorts of designs and inspiration.

Soft Furnishings

For soft furnishings use natural fibres like wool, cotton or hemp; preferably organic.
Remember to re-use and recycle wherever possible as this will help keep your costs down and is the more sustainable option. Check reclamation yards, charity shops and Freecycle.