With allergies on the rise it is important to consider how you can reduce the way allergens negatively impact your daily life. You may not even realize how many allergens are floating about your house. Common household allergens can include pet hair, dust mites, mold and pollen that have blown in from the outside. These allergens can aggravate someone with allergies and exacerbate pre-existing conditions such as asthma. Cleaning, dusting, and doing laundry regularly helps reduce the amount of dust mites in the house as well as keeping down the amount of pet hair and pollen trapped in fabrics, such as bed sheets. Regular cleaning is all well and good, but how often do you clean your curtains?
Curtains can be a hassle to take down and clean, but they can also trap allergens such as dust and pollens in their soft fibers if they aren’t cleaned. Rather than battling with the curtain rods and rings every time you want to get rid of a few allergens you may want to consider using blinds. Blinds are much easier to clean. They can still accumulate dust, but they do not trap allergens deep in their fibers the way that soft fabric curtains do. Once you have wiped down the blinds you can be sure that they are allergen free. You can use a rag or try a fancy duster or blind cleaner. You may be surprised at how much better your house feels without so many allergens hiding in the curtains.
Even if you don’t have allergies it always a good thing to reduce the number of dust mites in your home and if you do so by choosing to install wooden blinds you will have the added benefit of being eco-friendly too. It may surprise you to think of wooden blinds as eco-friendly but there are a number of reasons why they are slightly better than other options. Blinds are slightly better than curtains when it comes to regulating the heat transfer through windows while still allowing in sunlight. The blinds can act as an insulating barrier to stop heat loss in winter while still allowing the precious natural light to enter. By angling the blinds up the light can infiltrate the room and help heat it without losing all the heat through the glass.
As far as the wood goes it is important to consider the other options for materials. For a start wooden blinds are better than plastic or aluminium blinds because no toxic by-products are created in the production process of wood. Wood is also a renewable resource. It can be grown and harvested in an environmentally responsible way. In fact, the Forest Stewardship Council and several other organizations exist to promote responsible and sustainable forestry practices and make environmentally responsible wood available to the public. Wood from sources approved by the Forest Stewardship Council is a much better option than plastic or aluminium blinds.
Now, forgetting for a moment that curtains are allergen traps, let’s consider the materials they are made from. There are many synthetic fabrics such as polyester, rayon, and nylon that are essentially plastics and are clearly not good for the environment. Then there are fabrics made from natural fibers, two of the most common being cotton and linen. While natural fibers are better than synthetics these materials have their share of problems too. Cotton and linen are both incredibly labour intensive crops. They are often grown with the aid of a large amount of fertilizers and pesticides. These chemicals are often washed into local water systems and cause a great deal of harm to the eco-systems they affect. With careful research you can find cottons and linens that have been grown organically to avoid these problems, but there is some evidence that suggests organically grown cotton can actually use more water.
All in all, wooden blinds seem to be the best way to make your home both environmentally friendly while simultaneously reducing the amount of allergens present. As with everything, your health and the environment are complicated things. You need to do research to make sure you are choosing the best products for your needs and the health of the environment. Whether you decide to clean your existing curtains or search for organically grown and sustainably harvested products is up to you. The important thing is that you try to do your part to make the world a better and healthier place.
This is a guest post written by Melinda Wilson on behalf of Wooden Blinds Direct, a manufacturer of products that are environmentally responsible.