What Makes a Window Treatment “Green”?
It seems like there is a “green” option for every type of home furnishing these days and window treatments are no exception. Most window treatment manufacturers are now offering at least one product that they promote as being eco-friendly in one way or another. The following are a few ways that a window treatment can be “green.”
Green Window Treatments: Energy Efficiency
This is probably the most commonly found trait in a green window treatment. All window treatments provide at least some insulation, but there are certain window treatment products that are made specifically for the purpose of preventing heat loss or gain. Cellular (or honeycomb) window shades are probably the most energy efficient window treatments available right now. When installed as close to the glass as possible with the sides of the shade held close to the walls, cellular shades can reduce heat loss by up to 50%. Some of these products even come with certification statements that make them eligible for tax credits.
Green Window Treatments: Natural and Renewable Materials
Window treatments that are made from natural materials like cotton, silk or hemp are better for the environment because they can be re-used or recycled. Most window treatment companies now offer products made from innovative raw materials and non-chemical fabrics that can be used for standard Roman and Traditional pull-up shades. If you are going with wood treatments, only buy wood that is Forest Stewardship Council certified. FSC accredited certifiers evaluate both forest management activities and tracking of forest products.
Green Window Treatments: Air Quality
How a window treatment affects the air quality is the final big factor in how “green” it is. More often than not, if you have a treatment that is made from natural materials, it does not affect the air quality negatively. However, plastic and faux wood window blinds may contain polyvinyl chloride (PVC). PVC releases carcinogenic dioxin into the air during production and contains plasticizer called phthalates, which can set off respiratory problems and inhibit the body’s hormonal systems.