Q: I'm trying to be all eco-friendly and add a shower volume control knob onto my shower head to use less water. However, the directions for installing it call for Teflon tape. I know that tape is used commonly in plumbing, but Teflon is made by DuPont which has a less-than-stellar environmental record. Is there an alternative that doesn't contain toxic chemicals? What did plumbers do before Teflon tape?
As anyone who's ever tried doing some DIY projects at home, you'll know that a lot of the products that you use improving your home—glues, paints, varnishes—can be somewhat toxic. Are there better alternatives? In some cases, definitely. Read on for more after the jump.
Q: Can you recommend a nontoxic waterproof wood sealer for my outdoor window boxes? I'm building and planting my own outdoor window boxes this year, and I'm having a hard time finding a nontoxic waterproof wood sealer that won't poison my plants or the environment, and that doesn't need to be reapplied every year. Any advice?
Green Glue is a new water based, non-toxic, and non-carcinogenic noise proofing compound that'll improve sound isolation and significantly lessen noise without being harmful to the environment. It’s very low in volatile organic chemicals (VOCs), containing less than 5 grams per liter, has virtually no odor, and can be cleaned up with soap and water.
If you're in the unfortunate situation of having to regrout your shower, this will help you! Quartz-Lock Grout is made with urethane and quartz crystals, and is free of epoxy (no horrible fumes), cement, and pigments. It comes premixed, has great resistance against stains and mildew, is water soluble, and contributes to LEED credits via its recycled content and low-emitting materials.
When we needed to re-caulk our bathroom, we went straight over to the experts at Green Depot and bought the Titebond Tub & Tile caulk. This caulk provides a flexible and water-tight seal around tubs, sinks and showers, and has low VOCs.
Just the other day we were starting to think about winterizing our home for the season, when we got a great tip from one of our favorite home improvement gurus, Lou Manfredini. Lou suggested that as an alternative to covering drafty windows with plastic, caulk them with a temporary and removable sealant such as Zip-A-Way. A removable sealant is a better alternative to unsightly plastic and is great for oversized or irregular windows…