Tips for a healthy home…

From Economic Times

Bitten by the disease bug? You are not the only one!

It’s that time of the year when winter is just starting and smog hits you hard with cough, cold, asthma, allergies, and a host of other diseases.

The air quality levels are decreasing by the day and doctors confirm that treating diseases has become difficult.

While the toxic air can literally make you gasp for breath, is it impossible to even consider cleaning or renovating your house lest you fall sick?

The Clean-Up Act

“Not really”, says Mamta Khubani and Mankeerat Singh of Delhi-based architect firm Chizzle My Design, “if you use eco-friendly paints.”

“Eco-friendly paints may be 10-12% costlier than normal paints but they are recommended because of their health benefits”, say the architect-duo.

Say Hello to a Healthy Home

Using eco-friendly paints like Nerolac Impressions Eco Clean means avoiding illnesses as the paint is odourless with low Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) that can be carcinogenic and may also cause memory loss.

The post-festive season can turn sour with the host of health problems that come with it like respiratory illnesses, skin irritation, allergies, and headaches.

“Changing season spells trouble for people with respiratory problems. Asthma patients have to be extremely careful while renovating their house since dust can spur attacks”, says Dr. Adity Puri, GTB Hospital.

So, is renovating a big no-no this season?

“Of course not,” says Neena Arora, a housewife and Asthma patient, who lives in Lajpat Nagar, Delhi.

“If dealing with high levels of pollution isn’t bad enough, imagine getting your house painted! It is a nightmare for patients with respiratory illnesses as the dust and smell would always trigger my Asthma. But we tried eco-friendly paints this year and my condition didn’t aggravate,” she says.
If you think that you can avoid the health risks by staying in another house while your home is being re-done, think again, because the health of the painters is also at risk. “Fumes from paints are more harmful for painters since they inhale it directly and for longer periods of time”, says Dr. Adity Puri and advises everyone to go eco-friendly.

Go Green

To stand out as a role-model in making your home eco-friendly, Delhi-based architect Nilanjan Bhowal advises “switching to LED bulbs and installing solar lights, since they consume less electricity.”

With LED lights, you can host a swanky party that is not only good for the environment and the pocket, but also helps you make a style statement.

Choosing the right colour can ensure a lasting first-impression but with multi-coloured LED lights you can jazz up your home with the flicker of a button.

“Whenever I have guests over, I light up the blue lights when we are chatting to create a soothing, yet classy ambience and change it to yellow or white during dinner. These LED lights are not only eco-friendly and cost efficient but have impressed all my guests”, says Ritu Khurana, a 29-year-old software engineer living in Gurgaon.

Since the electricity consumption of a single-coloured LED light and the multi-coloured one is the same, it’s time to let the festival of lights shine inside your house also. But let’s face it; going green entails a lot more than just changing bulbs.

“Recycle old things like using bottles to grow plants and make sure you use Indian materials while re-decorating. Italian marble or imported wood has a higher carbon footprint compared to locally produced wood or bamboo for floorings”, says Bhowal.

It’s time to get your old clothes out and cleaning gloves on to tidy, re-create, and recycle. Go crazy with your imagination and make eco-friendly treasure out of trash.

Experiment with boxes, beads and lights. But don’t forget to research about the changes you make because contrary to popular perception, dimmers aren’t eco-friendly.

“You can use lights that consume less voltage rather than dimmers. It is just a false belief that dimmers help save electricity. In lieu of that light sensors can be used since they automatically turn off the tube-lights and bulbs during the day to save electricity”, says Bhowal.

Make a style-statement

With multi-coloured lights, it is important to use colours according to the overall theme of the room to create the perfect setting.

Delhi-based interior designer Jyoti Mallik suggests “painting the house in neutral colours. They are much in demand this season and make the house look spacious. With neutral shades, you can try highlights to add that extra punch to the walls.”

For Arpita Khanna, going to her friend’s house meant coming back home jealous. “But then I opted for beige-coloured walls for my drawing room and to add spunk I painted one wall in wine colour with LED lights fitted in the ceiling. From being a dull home, now my house is a favourite among all our friends,” says the 30-year-old housewife.

However, dark colours are a must-avoid!”Don’t use dark-coloured paints as they make the space look small and require extra lighting. Go for pastels and light up your house. “, say Mamta Khubani and Mankeerat Singh.

Remember envying your neighbour’s swanky house? Now, walk into your house and fall in love with it. Be a proud owner and get ready to flaunt it to others as a classy and eco-friendly home!

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