New Times: I doubt that any of my colleagues or I live in eco-friendly spaces. Are we absorbing toxins and other bad stuff?
Heidi Tourangeau: Yes, you are, indeed, absorbing toxins and other bad stuff into your body from the cleaning products you purchase, your furniture choices, and the materials used to build and remodel your home.
NT: What to do? You suggest replacing carpet with wood floors certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. What else?
HT: Have your air ducts cleaned and keep leaks repaired, as necessary, [and] purchase energy-efficient appliances. And have my mom come out to evaluate to see what you might be able to do as far as the electromagnetic current in your home.
NT: Where can I buy a green house?
HT: Many green homes today are remodeled green homes. My mom and I recently remodeled a home in Chandler, using green products. There are varying degrees of "green." Communities such as the new Crismon Peaks Community in Mesa are being built and incorporating the concepts of feng shui and eco-friendly technologies.
NT: How green are you?
HT: I am currently converting my home to be more eco-friendly. We have remodeled with healthy paints and are in the process of removing the rest of our carpeting. We have an organic garden outside and we do not use weed killers or pesticides for any reason on our lawn, flowers, etc. We also use organic cleaners and eat organic vegetables and meat. We use energy-efficient appliances and have low-flow shower fixtures. Our pool is chlorine-free and we use the backwash water to water plants.
Our house, however, does not look any different from any other home, but it does smell and feel different — at least to me. Cleaners nowadays mask smells with perfumes and chemicals and make homes smell sweet, flowery, etc.
Our home smells like nothing.