Buying or Building a Home

This is a collection of the ideas I would explore if I were to be so lucky to buy or build a home.  Even if you’re looking for an apartment, you can increase the chances of selecting an apartment more conducive to health by familiarizing yourself with this information. I hope you benefit from these ideas!

Windows made of animal horn. Beautiful!
  • Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR)
    • Learn about the four forms of electromagnetic radiation (EMR) and how to select and use meters to test potential new homes for EMR. Most issues can be remediated, but there are a few that can’t, and you need to know if the home you’re considering has an issue that can’t be remediated BEFORE you buy.  Read the books below to educate yourself and/or your homebuilder.  Here are just a couple steps one can take
      • If you’re building a new home and you are installing standard electrical circuits, make sure you put the wires in conduit.  This will be extremely expensive, but will protect you for the very low frequencies from your 60Hz circuits.  Buildings in Chicago and New York typically have all the wiring inside conduit, due to zoning laws that were passed at one point in the past, but other places don’t have the wiring inside conduit, which is causing everyone to have exposure to very low frequencies.
      • Install a remote contractor, so that all of the electricity can be turned off at night as an extra precaution.  This can literally be done with a remote control.
      • Not crossing any electrical lines with any water lines, so that the water is not carrying the electricmagnetic field throughout the entire house.
      • the electricity can be grounded a bit differently to optimize health.
      • Make sure that all receptacles are grounded correctly, and that the electricians know what they’re doing, and check their work afterward with meters to ensure they haven’t inadvertently created harmful magnetic fields by crossing the neutral between circuits, for example.
      • If you’re going off-grid and you are using solar panels, consider living a bit more minimalistically so that any appliances or lights can run on Direct Current (DC) rather than AC, so that you don’t have to install a solar panel power inverter, to inver the DC from the panels to AC to use with your appliances.  These inverters are not designed with physiology in mind, and they create extremely high level of electromagnetic interference and radiates this field into the home environment.   If DC is not an option for some reason, build your home in two parts – one that has electricity, and one that doesn’t, particularly your bedroom.  This was traditionally done in European countries, where the bedrooms were in a separate building from the kitchen.  I don’t know why they did it that way, but in light of EMFs toDAY, it is a great idea!
      • i’ve heard something about installing Double Arc Fault Breakers, but I haven’t been able to find much info about this yet.
  • Research the area in which you plan to buy or build
  • Food Security
  • Heat Your Home oil-free and with one-tenth of the wood or other biomass of a wood-burning stove, with rocket mass heater technology.
  • Light Pollution – maybe you want to live in or near a community that makes sure the stars can be seen at night!  Find land or a home near a Certified IDA International Dark Sky Community – for an up-to-date list, check: http://www.darksky.org/idsp/communities/
  • Root Cellar! Read this great guide from the University of Missouri root cellars are the greatest way to store vegetables and fruits.   to see what kinds of conditions you need to shoot for in the root cellar chambers .
  • Select features to reduce toxin exposure.  Some of these ideas are borrowed from Dr. Hulda Clark’s “A Cure for All Diseases”
    • Garage: a separate building from the home is the best arrangement.You can keep all the basement chemicals into this garage. Things that will freeze, such as latex paint, don’t keep around unless aboslutely necessary.If the garage is attached, you will have toxin exposure. Never use your door between the garage and house. Walk around the outside. Don’t allow this door to be used. Tack a sheet of plastic over it to slow down the rate of fume entrance into the house, or find another way to stopgap.  Your house acts like a chimney for the garage. Your house is taller and warmer than the garage so garage-air is pulled in and up as the warm air in the house rises. In medieval days, the barn for the animals was attached to the house. We think such an arrangement with its penetrating odors is unsavory. But what of the gasoline and motor fumes we are getting now due to parked vehicles? These are toxic besides! This is even more medieval. If your garage is under your house, you cannot keep the pollution from entering your home. In this case, leave the cars and lawnmower outside. Remove cans of gasoline, solvents, etc.  Put up a separate shed for these items.
    • Basement: don’t have a basement where you stockpile toxic items. Basements invite mold, mice and radon besides toxic things. Fumes travel upward where you live! Keep your toxic things in the attic. If there is no attic, store them in the utility room. Close off the ventilation between utility room and the rest of your house. If you have none of these, perhaps because you live in a senior citizen community or condominium, don’t keep any toxic things stored anywhere. Don’t save any leftover paints, solvents or cleaners. Buy such small quantities that you can afford to throw it all away when you are done with them. Live on top of the earth as was intended by nature. Never have a basement room “finished” for actual living space. Don’t buy a house that has a “lower level” built into the earth. This will be the most polluted and dangerous room in your house. If you are ill, move out of such a room. There is no way that it can be “cleaned up”. Move to the other end of the house and furthest away from an attached garage door.  From an energy perspective, basements are heat sinks, so your home will be more energy efficinet without a basement.
    • Fiberglass: check your dwelling for uncovered fiberglass. Repair immediately. Search for small screw holes intended for pictures, or electric outlet plates that are missing.  Also remove fiberglass jackets from water heater and fiberglass filter from furnace. Replace with foam or carbon. Best of all, hire a crew to remove it all from your home, and replace insulation with blown-in shredded paper or other innocuous substance. Never build a new house using fiberglass for any purpose.
    • Say NO to Formaldehyde – formaldehyde donors or precursors.  they make up less than 1% of the volume (so it doesn’t have to be listed on the label), but as paint cures, it combines to create formaldehyde.  along those lines, this is where you can see greenwashing at its best.  It’s found even in zero-VOC paints, and will create formaldehyde during the paint curing process.  Volatile Organic Compound – they are regulated by EPA because of their propensity to react with low level nitrogen and UV to create smog.  The EPA in the 90s started regulating VOCs in products, and now you’ll see zero-VOC in the hardware stores, and that gives us the illusion that its safe for occupants, but in reality it simply means it doesn’t contain chemicals that contribute to outdoor pollution, but they can contain chemicals that are highly toxic to humans that aren’t regulated as VOCs, including acetone, ammonia, and butyl acetate.
    • Carpeting – this one is commonly known – most carpets are releasing a ton of toxic gases over the entire course of its lifetime.  If your home has carpeting, know that to reduce your toxin exposure, you should budget for replacing it with a safe alternative: use the heavily-reserached recommendations from http://www.gimmethegoodstuff.org to choose a safe carpet, or an area rug.
  • Selecting farmland to own or lease
  • Water quality – maybe you want to live in a community that doesn’t ad fluoride to the water supply.  Find a list of communities who have banned fluoridation here: www.fluoridealert.org.  Conversely, here is a list of states that have mandatory fluoridation laws: http://fluoridealert.org/content/mandatory-fluoridation-in-the-u-s/.