Widely Available Low-VOC Paints

At Metaefficient, we try to only feature products that are toxin-free. Take interior paint, for example — how can a paint be considered “efficient” if it leaks toxic substances into your home for months or even years? According to the EPA, VOC-laden paint is a primary contributor to unhealthy indoor air, and it can significant impact your health. As anyone …

Inexpensive, Non-Toxic Solvent: Washing Soda

Washing soda is an efficient substitute for conventional toxic solvents. It cuts grease, cleans petroleum oil, removes wax, and neutralizes odors in the same way that baking soda does. Washing soda is sodium carbonate — it is in the same family as baking soda, but it has been processed differently. It is much more caustic/alkaline, with a pH of 11, …

A Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides

Consumer Reports recently published a guide (subscription required) detailing which fruit and vegetables contain the most pesticides. They recommend always buying organic when purchasing the following fruits and vegetables: Bell Peppers, Celery, Cherries, Grapes (imported), Nectarines, Peaches, Pears, Potatoes, Red Raspberries, Spinach and Strawberries. Their report was based on the free Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides created by the EWG (Environmental …

How To Grow Fresh Air

Author B.C. Wolverton originally began his research to investigate creating a breathable environment for a NASA lunar habitat. What came of that research was the discovery that houseplants are the most efficient filters of common pollutants such as ammonia, formaldehyde and benzene. (See our list of the top plants for cleaning the air).