Why Use Natural Materials?
At Empatika we believe in using natural materials in the home, and are thorough in ensuring our operations are as sustainable as possible in bringing this vision to life. Many unnatural materials and treatments that are often used in homewares and furnishings can contain harmful pollutants, which you are unwillingly exposed to every day. We believe in a better world for you, and for all, which is why we have such a strong emphasis on naturally made home design. Here we have listed some of the toxins that you could be exposed to without knowing, by not choosing to go natural:
Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) for flame retardants:
Wooden furniture and fabrics such as mattresses and sofas are often treated with flame retardant substances, to reduce the risk of a fire spreading. Whilst this measure in itself is sensible, some of the chemicals used in this process can be harmful to you and your family. PBDEs are one of those common substances, and are linked to hormone disruption, developmental deficiencies and cancer. When buying new products, always ask the manufacturers what type of fire retardants they use.
Perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) for stain resistant materials:
No one likes their furniture to be stained unintentionally, especially if you live with lots of playful young children or have an animal companion, so stain resistant materials are popular for many. However, PFCs that are often used to keep materials free from marking, are believed to cause birth defects and cancer. Avoid buying stain resistant furniture to reduce this risk.
Formaldehyde used in carpentry, cabinetry and glues.
The Environmental Working Group rated Formaldehyde as an extremely toxic carcinogen and a high level threat for causing cancer. Using solid wood furniture or sealed pressed wood products can protect those in your home from unwanted harm, and if in doubt, speak to your carpenter or furniture provider about the materials used.
Other ways to go natural in your home:
Use Houseplants, not just for decoration!
Many houseplants are useful in absorbing potentially harmful gasses, and can clean the air inside a home. A rubber plant or a peace lily will do the job perfectly, whilst also looking great.
Switch over to natural brands of toiletries, including shampoo, toothpaste, antiperspirants and cosmetics. These will reduce the amount of chemicals you are exposed to, and will also keep your skin free from irritants. Raw coconut oil has become widely popular recently and for good reason – a tub of the oil can be used for make up removal, moisturising the skin and whitening the teeth! Essential oils such as lavender and tea tree can also be used to replace perfume, as well as having many other cosmetic benefits. There are many more natural beauty products available, even from major supermarkets now so it is easy to keep toxin free.
Like toiletries, cleaning products can often contain lots of harmful substances that can put your household at risk, or aggravate the skin causing rashes. Many white vinegar based products are available off the shelf of many supermarkets or health food shops, or home made cleaning product can be produced easily with the vinegar, lemon and bicarbonate of soda. This mixture will keep any household surface clean and smelling fresh, leaving behind no harmful residue.</.p>
Forget the fresheners
Scents are now a popular addition to any home, with a multitude of products available to keep your rooms and laundry packed with your favourite smell. Artificial air fresheners and fabric softeners however can also contain many chemical nasties. A toxin absorbing houseplant or natural soya candle can keep your home smelling just as great, whilst adding a drop of tea tree oil to Landry can kill bacteria and leave the clothes smelling fragrant!