Popular in Europe for some time now, green roofs are becoming more and more common in the United States; good news for those concerned with city air quality. A green roof is a roof that has been covered with vegetation rather than left bare, and there are two main types that are used. “Intensive” roofs, which are thick, green, and lush with deep soil, usually are intended to be used by people in much the same way as an ordinary garden, and will often have benches and walkways for people who live or work in the building to enjoy. “Extensive” roofs, on the other hand, tend to have shallower soil and are used for the benefits that the plants provide while being generally off-limits to human visitors. Scientists are studying the benefits of both kinds of green roofs, and have found that they not only can they contribute to reducing air pollution, but they can help with things like water management and can even last longer than traditional roofing. One exciting benefit of having green roofs is in the reduction of carbon from the air, which helps to improve air quality and make local air better to breathe. One 2009 study found that in the right conditions, using green roofs throughout an urban area with a population of around a million people could remove as much carbon from the air as one would get from taking 10,000 SUVs off of the road.
The spread of green roofs should be exciting news for those who live in areas with higher density populations. Smog and other increases in air pollutants, caused by traffic or industry, can have quite a negative impact on health, from allergy-like symptoms, such as itchy eyes and congestion, to more serious ailments, such as heart or lung disease. It is hoped that widespread use of green roofs could significantly improve air quality, and that could mean a significant improvement in health as well. In the meantime, for those wanting to breathe better air at home, adding an air purifier with a charcoal based activated carbon filter, like our MinusA2 and BioGS models, can help to filter out the toxins from smog and other airborne chemical pollutants to keep indoor air quality high.
When we think of allergy season, the image brought to mind is often of flowing plants and pollen or the dry leaves of fall. Yet allergies can happen all year round, even during the months of winter. Often winter allergies get mistaken for being cold or flu symptoms and do not get properly treated, making sufferers go longer without relief. Here are a few tips on how to reduce allergies during the winter.
Control Humidity at Home
Cold winter months means that we spend more time indoors, thus making our homes warmer and more comfortable. Make sure to check water heaters and pipes regularly for signs of leaks, and if you cannot resist the urge to warm up with long baths or showers, be certain to run fans and ventilate the room once you are done so that mold does not have a chance to grow.
Decorate Without Dust
While it might be easier to pull last year’s tinsel and lights from their boxes and straight onto the tree, doing so might introduce a lot of unwanted dust into your home. Unpack boxes away from carpet and upholstered furniture, and make sure to give everything a good dusting before putting it festively on display.
Beware of Guests Bringing in Pollen Along with Presents
Although many guests will be courteous and wipe their shoes before entering a home, the truth is that we bring pollen, dust, and pollutants inside on more than just our feet. Our hair and clothes can pick up these tiny pollutants and transfer them inside. Allergy sufferers are often advised to shower and put on a clean change of clothes after coming home, but when guests come to call, this is not an option. Instead, if you have lots of family and friends coming to celebrate, make sure to clean more than usual by vacuuming carpets and upholstery, cleaning sheets frequently, and capturing any pollen that escapes by running an air purifier with a true HEPA filter.
Last month the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America had an exciting sweepstakes with a brand new MinusA2 Asthma and Allergy Friendly Edition™ air purifier as the prize. After many entries from hopeful allergy sufferers across the US, Terri M. of Plano, Illinois was declared the winner!
Rabbit Air is proud to partner with the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America to bring you the AAFA Edition MinusA2. This air purifier is certified asthma and allergy friendly™, and includes our advanced bio engineered BioGS HEPA filter to efficiently filter out common asthma and allergy triggers such as mold, pollen, and dust. Choosing products that have been certified by the AAFA is one way that families like Terri’s can help to control allergens at home.
Join us in giving hearty congratulations to Terri! We wish her and her family happy holidays, a bright New Year, and fresh, clean air all year long!
This week, millions of people across America will come together to celebrate Thanksgiving with their families, and to recount all of the reasons they have to be thankful. Rabbit Air has many reasons to be thankful too: We are thankful for our loyal customers, for our dedicated team, and for the amazing organizations that we are so proud to be affiliated with. These organizations work tirelessly throughout the year, and we would like to take the time to thank some of them for all the good that they do.
Healthy Child, Healthy World
For 20 years, this organization has pursued its mission to protect children from dangerous chemicals and environmental toxins. When the organization was founded, there was little research on the affect that these chemicals had on the health of children, or how they may have contributed to the increase in ailments, such as cancer in young children. Since then, the group has been instrumental in promoting research in this area, and working with government agencies to put better protective measures in place. Healthy Child Healthy World reaches out to parents across the globe to empower them to take action and work toward making the world a safer place for our children.
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
When this foundation was first started, its aim was to reach out to allergy specialists to help create more effective allergy treatments. As the foundation grew, its goals expanded with it, and today they have broadened their efforts to not only fund research, but to provide support and education to those who suffer from these conditions. Just this year, the AAFA celebrated its 60th anniversary, and with every passing year, they are able to provide more exceptional services, from support groups and forums, to their important certification program that labels products, like our MinusA2 Asthma and Allergy Friendly™, that help sufferers to create healthier home environments.
The Breast Cancer Research Foundation
The most important goal of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation is to find a cure for Breast Cancer as soon as possible, and to develop new preventions and treatments for this serious disease which affects one out of eight women in the United States. The BCRF was founded more than twenty years ago, and has awarded millions of dollars to researchers studying this illness. Currently 91 cents of every dollar donated to the BCRF goes directly toward research or their awareness programs, and they have been an invaluable resource for scientists and patients alike.
We feel extremely lucky to be able to partner with such important organizations, and we thank them all for their unending hard work and determination to make the world a better place.
Since its debut in 2006, our BioGS air purifier has been providing excellent filtration and allergy relief for thousands of customers throughout the United States and even around the world. Although the original BioGS has been extremely popular, one of Rabbit Air’s core values as a company is the belief that we should always be looking for new ways to improve ourselves and our products. With that goal in mind, we set out to revamp the BioGS and make it even better than before. We listened to the opinions of over three thousand customers to see where they saw room for improvement, and we searched far and wide for the latest technology and the most modern, stylish design. Finally, we are proud to introduce our new BioGS 2.0!
Our BioGS 2.0 starts with the advanced, efficient filtration technology that you have come to expect from Rabbit Air. The BioGS 2.0 has a four stage filtration system, including our bio-engineered HEPA filter and our Charcoal Based Activated Carbon filter that uses real pellets of porous charcoal. Taking our next cue from our customers, we updated the user interface of the BioGS to be even more user friendly and easy to use. The BioGS 2.0 is a smarter machine than before – with new features such as an adjustable Automatic mode and a filter replacement countdown so you always know how much life is left in your filters. Our unique display makes each function easy to understand, and will automatically dim after five minutes to reduce light pollution. To wrap all these features in an exciting package, we went to Brazilian designer Guto Indio da Costa, who created a whole new look for the BioGS that was sleeker, more sophisticated, and that embodied the idea of “flow.” We are excited to present the new BioGS 2.0, and we hope that you will love it just as much as we do!
Identify the Allergens
Knowing the primary causes for outdoor allergies is an important step in keeping your symptoms down and your spirits up. With the changing of the seasons, different plants come into bloom, so there are new sources of pollen in the air to make you sniffle and sneeze. Ragweed is a common allergen in the fall, and it is one of the worst offenders when it comes to making allergies flare up. Learn to identify ragweed and make sure to remove it from your yard on sight. Other weeds and mold are also lurking around in fall, so removing weeds frequently will not only make your yard look its best, but will help you to breathe better in the long run as well.
Make a plan before you get to work on your garden to ensure that you are protecting yourself as much as possible from allergies. Keep track of daily pollen counts to see when they are highest, and make sure you avoid spending time outdoors during those times, even if it means working during odd hours. Wearing the right clothing can help as well to keep allergens off your skin. Make sure to wear long sleeves and pants, and gloves to prevent as much contact as possible. If you know your allergies are more severe, consider taking an antihistamine before going outside so that you can help stop symptoms before you start.
Keep it Outside
Once your hard work is done, resist the urge to flop right down on the couch to enjoy a break. After being in the yard, you’ll be tracking in pollen and mold on your clothing, shoes, and even in your hair, and they will just transfer to any surface you touch. Instead, relax by taking a warm shower and wash allergens down the drain. Keep windows closed and sealed to keep pollen and mold from coming in, and run a good HEPA air purifier like our MinusA2 to eliminate any pesky allergens that do make it inside. With planning and awareness, you can keep your yard looking great and yourself breathing better all throughout the season.
Although the dangers of long-term exposure to secondhand smoke are well known, a study conducted by the University of Athens and the Hellenic Cancer Society in Greece, and the Harvard School of Public Health found that short term exposure to high concentrations of secondhand smoke, as little as 20 minutes, can cause immediate impairment of airways. Researchers exposed healthy adults to a concentration of secondhand smoke designed to mimic the levels found in bars or during a car ride with a smoker present. Although none of the participants in the study reported feeling negative effects, when their breathing was measured it was found that the exposure was in fact “invoking such physiologic changes as increased airway impedance and resistance.” This new research will help public health workers more thoroughly understand the risks and consequences of secondhand smoke in public places, and will add to the growing body of data about the effects of secondhand smoke.
While the best way to protect oneself from secondhand smoke is to avoid it altogether, for many people, this is not always possible. Smoke can easily drift into workplaces from the street, or into homes from neighbors nearby. Secondhand smoke is difficult to deal with, but there are a few steps you can take to help protect yourself if controlling the smoke at the source is not an option. Stopping the smoke from entering is the first defense, and sealing not only windows and doors, but even electrical outlets can help to block the smoke from coming inside. Operating an efficient ventilation system can also keep your indoor air clear. For the smoke that does make it inside, using an air purifier, such as our MinusA2, that combines a true HEPA filter with a charcoal based activated carbon filter can help to filter out the chemicals and odors from secondhand smoke.
Located in the beautiful Sonoma Valley of California, the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center celebrates the life and work of the beloved creator of the classic Peanuts cartoon strip and characters. Since its debut in 1950, Peanuts has become an iconic part of our culture with Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and the rest of the gang adored by children and adults alike. The museum not only displays examples of Schulz’s artwork and the Peanuts characters, but it seeks to foster understanding of the work of cartoonists and to inspire and educate all visitors who pass through.
Since 2012, Rabbit Air has offered a special MinusA2 Peanuts Edition air purifier, with two fun front panels featuring the imaginative beagle Snoopy – one with his red doghouse (VIP-Very Important Puppy) and another with Charlie Brown and his friends (Airborne). Rabbit Air was happy to donate one of these special MinusA2s to the Charles M Schulz Museum, and they recently sent us some photographs of their delightful office and the MinusA2 in action. We are so glad to have provided this bright, happy office with clean, fresh air!
The Maine Project for Fine Art Conservation is the only non-profit studio of its kind in the state of Maine, helping to restore not only artwork from museums and public collections, but pieces of artwork privately owned by families and individuals as well. The project is based in Portland, Maine, where they work out of a small studio. During the conservation process, their artists are exposed to a number of volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, from the chemicals used in restoration, including acetone, alcohol, naptha, turpentine, methyl-ethyl-ketone, toluene and xylene. While these chemicals are vital for the restoration of the artwork, they can be irritating or even dangerous when inhaled in high concentration. For years, the project has been searching for an air purifier that would effectively reduce these VOCs from the air and protect their conservators, who were working to restore artwork in order to preserve and promote the cultural heritage of Maine.
Rabbit Air donated two of our MinusA2 air purifiers to the project, for use in their “in-painting” rooms. We equipped them with our specialized Toxin Absorber Customized filter, designed to increase the air purifier’s efficiency at removing VOCs from the air. After running our air purifiers, the project was happy to report that they noticed a significant reduction in VOCs from the air, and they sent along these fantastic pictures of their team and our MinusA2s in action. We thank the Maine Project for Fine Art Conservation for their great work and we look forward to continuing to provide them with cleaner, more breathable air!