{friday finds: no voc paints for asthma and allergies}

No and Low VOC paints have improved tremendously over the years- it’s now much easier to enjoy the benefits of a low VOC paint without sacrificing the high quality of a regular paint. Low VOC paints are especially important to those who suffer from asthma or allergies, because breathing in volatile organic compounds on a regular basis can aggravate symptoms. Now, there’s an extra way to identify the best No VOC paints.

natura_paint

Every year, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), in partnership with the research organization Allergy Standards Limited (ASL), tests and identifies products that are suitable for those who suffer from allergies and asthma. This year, Benjamin Moore’s Natura* paint has received the asthma and allergy friendly award- they’ve earned this certification with low odor, zero volatile organic compounds, and zero emissions. The goal of this certification is to identify consumer products that are suitable for those who live with allergies and asthma.

In other words, if you or a family member live with asthma or allergies, Natura might be a great choice. It can be mixed with any of the Benjamin Moore colors, and it comes in Flat, Eggshell, and Semi Gloss finishes.

Have you seen Natura’s commercial yet? This brings a whole new meaning to the phrase “painting the nursery”:

If you’re looking for a paint with no VOC emissions, allergies and asthma or not, be sure to stop in and check out Natura!

*NATURA IS AVAILABLE AT THE FOLLOWING HIRSHFIELD’S LOCATIONS:  Apple Valley, Baxter, Coon Rapids, Edina, Eden Prairie, Hopkins, Lakeville, Maple Grove, Maplewood, Minneapolis CSC, Monticello, Robbinsdale, Roseville, South Robert, Uptown, Wayzata, and Woodbury.

Since Frank and Elizabeth Hirshfield opened their first store in 1894, it has been our mission to do the best job possible meeting customer needs and solving customer problems. Hirshfield’s. People and products you can trust.

{hirshfield’s hives 2015}

bees May 2015

Friday Finds: Update on Bud’s Bees

Last Spring, Bud and Hans Hirshfield teamed up with the University of Minnesota’s Bee Lab and introduced two honeybee colonies to the environs just outside of downtown Minneapolis. Hive #1 flourished throughout the summer, but Hive #2 lagged behind and towards the end of the summer the U of MN Bee Squad replenished the hive with additional bees. Winterized and set up with plenty of food we hoped for the best.

Unfortunately, Bud’s Bees were part of the 51.2% of colonies that did not survive the winter here in Minnesota. Varroa mites and insecticides are what experts feel are putting the most stress on colonies.

Hirshfield’s bee lovers are so thankful Bud and Hans want to continue working with the University of Minnesota’s Bee Squad for another year. Approximately 30,000 bees are back on the roof and foraging for desirable food where they can find it. Bud’s Bees are lucky to be close to the Bryn Mawr neighborhood with their multitude of flower and vegetable gardens.

looking for the Queen

The Bee Squad is making certain we have a Queen in the new batch of bees.

Bees supplement

Supplementing the hives with sugar-water and a food pattie.

One thing that you can do to help the bees is to buy plants that are neonicotinoid free. Check with your local garden center (not a big box store) and see what they carry in neonicotinoid free plants. To read more about Bachman’s going neonicotinoid free last year, click on this link.

The statement below is from the U’s Bee Lab Facebook page:

“Clean food for bees is very important. We also see many different types of pesticides in pollen collected for bees. So it is important to protect our pollinators by making sure they have great nutrition sources as well as using all pesticides carefully.”

Since Frank and Elizabeth Hirshfield opened their first store in 1894, it has been our mission to do the best job possible meeting customer needs and solving customer problems. Hirshfield’s. People and products you can trust.

{breathing easy with no v.o.c paint}

Friday Finds: Zero Emissions and Zero Sacrifice with Natura Paint

Choosing a No VOC paint used to mean going green at the expense of something else. Maybe the quality wasn’t very good, or you just couldn’t find the perfect shade. Fear not – No VOC paints have vastly improved over the years. Nowadays, it’s a lot easier to enjoy the benefits of a No VOC paint – no odor, better air quality, non-toxic – without losing the great quality of a regular paint.

Unlike other low VOC paints, Natura Paint can be tinted with any of the Benjamin Moore colors, without adding VOCs. This gives you more than 3,000 shades to choose from. Also, Natura not only offers No VOC paint, but takes it one step further with “No Emissions” Paint – a guarantee that there are zero VOC emissions detected from the paint. In other words, you and your family won’t be inhaling emissions from compounds like formaldehyde and acetone – talk about breathing easy!

Check out their latest commercial. This may be the most challenging project we’ve ever seen:

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{window treatments that warm a room}

Create a Cozy Home Vibe with Window Treatments

It’s the time of year in Minnesota that we aim for cozy – as in warm and cozy. When the temperatures plunge to the single digits (sometimes above zero, sometimes below), we Minnesotans seek ways to stay warm both physically and emotionally, and that extends to the confines of our homes. By adding warm colors and textures to our surroundings, we can feel warmer. And with window treatments, that even extends to the insulated materials that can literally keep the cold out and the heat in. So, here are our favorite ways that window treatments can warm a room in a Minnesota winter.  Read the rest of this entry »

{low and no VOC paints are perfect for winter projects}

Odor-free indoor painting solutions

So you decided to put off that indoor painting project for the winter, eh? You figure it’s a good use of your time when the temperature is 10-degrees outside, right? Well, that “great idea” for many new painters is perfect up until the first coat goes up and the scent of fresh paint fills your home and overwhelms you and your family. This can be a health risk for some, and for others, the odor can simply be a nuisance. Next time, remember, low and no VOC paints are perfect for winter projects.

Benjamin Moore paints

Courtesy Benjamin Moore

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{pvc-free window shades}

Window Treatment Wednesday: PVC-Free Window Shades

If you’re trying to keep chemicals out of your home or business, one item to consider is your window shades. PVC, or polyvinyl chloride, is used in a number of household products, including furniture, housewares, and a few particular styles of blinds, such as vinyl horizontal blinds, which are not sold at Hirshfield’s.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), even short-term exposure to high levels of PVC may lead to headaches or dizziness.

Hirshfield’s own Shannon Scarrella says that the roller shade industry has changed greatly since roller blinds that operate via a spring roller were common (those were vinyl). Now, many blackout roller shades are made out of polyester, although some are made out of blends that include a vinyl product.

For homeowners who are concerned about PVC exposure, there are a number of PVC-free window coverings. Scarrella’s favorite PVC-free window shade is the Alustra Woven Textures. “You have the appeal of a natural shade with some of the strength of a screen shade, without vinyl or PVC,” she says.

Scarrella warns homeowners that when it comes to faux wood, they are not all created equal—many of the faux woods on the market contain a form of PVC. However, Hunter Douglas has its own line of PVC-free faux woods called the Everwood collection.  These are made using a technology that’s exclusive to Hunter Douglas.

“If you’re looking for PVC-free products, you can also look at fabric treatments, such as roman shades, Silhouettes, or honeycomb shades-something made of a more pliable, natural material.”

roman shades

Courtesy of Horizons

Whether you’re concerned about PVC products or not, Hirshfield’s has a variety of window coverings, including PVC-free window shades, to fit your home and your style.

Since Frank and Elizabeth Hirshfield opened their first store in 1894, it has been our mission to do the best job possible meeting customer needs and solving customer problems. Hirshfield’s. People and products you can trust.

{what your windows say about you}

Window Treatment Wednesday: What Your Windows Say About You

“Personal style is not something that is just in the air. It is something you have and that you apply to yourself.” – Paloma Picasso

Our individual flair also permeates the atmosphere of homes—from furnishings to color.  Shannon Scarrella, Hirshfield’s Shop at Home, says that almost everything we put into our homes is a reflection of us, more so if a home is new construction. “If you move into a home that was built per someone else’s specifications, the finishes and selections may not be 100 percent you,” says Scarrella. “By adding custom window treatments, you can control the look that you want to achieve.”

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