Mother Earth Living

How Much Does Your Home Outgas?

Find out with the Green Guard Certification program.
By Lori Tobias and Jami Lin
November/December 2002
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Before you buy that new sofa, chair, curtain, or desk, wouldn’t it be nice to find out exactly how much it’s going to outgas in your home?

Since 1999, Greenguard Certification Program, an Atlanta-based nonprofit, has been monitoring commercial products for air quality emissions. Clients—including Lexmark, Hewlett-Packard, and Steelcase—come to the firm seeking third-party verification that their products are as eco-friendly as they say. An Atlanta laboratory tests the products and turns the results over to Greenguard, which has established a universal set of air quality standards based on criteria from government agencies. If the product passes testing on an ongoing basis, it is awarded Greenguard Certification and is also listed in Greenguard’s product guide, available at

The service has been such a hit that testing on home furnishings could come as early as next year. “I actually don’t see a limit,” says marketing manager Henning Bloech. “The markets are going to drive it. If the consumers demand low-emitting products over others and voice an opinion, the manufacturers will comply.”

—Lori Tobias

Monthly Predictions

One of the most powerful and profound layers of feng shui is known as Heaven Energy, or the Flying Stars. The direction of the door most often used, typically the front door, is a significant influence because you carry its energetic effect as you move throughout your environment.


This should be one of your better months. Hang a moving metal wind chime or metal-chiming clock at your door this entire year.

Be alert for illness and friction among employees. Try warding it off with eucalyptus, lemon, and lavender aromatherapy.

HOUSE FACING WEST Make publicity efforts—you could benefit from community recognition, and special events or promotions should be successful. Put water at your door with a small red item: a bowl with a fish.

Beneficial “lessons” are learned this month through disagreements and relationships. Soften tensions with a metal bowl at your entry that invites people to pick an angel or tarot card.


This month could present your most difficult challenges. Using another door will keep this energy outside and greatly reduce the effects.

Everybody may be feeling energetically depleted, tired, and on the verge of coming down with something this month. Using another door could greatly reduce illness.

You may be in for a wild ride: really good or really bad. Do not burn candles or incense this month—the risk of fire is high. Keep the color red to a minimum, too.

Everybody appears to be cranky or angry. Arguments and emotions may be piqued. Ground the energy at your entry with a big amethyst (or favorite stone).

Jami Lin is a feng shui instructor, designer, and author of several books, including the Do-it-Yourself Personalized Feng Shui Consultation Series. For information, call (305) 756-6426, email, or visit

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