Healthy Yurts Happy Yurts
When we started building Yurts the first yurt we built was used in a health documentary. That means we took into consideration all the different materials that we put into it and their possible interactions with the human health system. We had first thought about buying a yurt from one of the yurt manufacturers out there, but quickly decided that not only price but materials as well did not appeal to us. This prompted us to take the path of building our own yurts exactly as we wanted.
One of the main differences between the Yurts we are building today and the other Yurts that are available is that we use a cotton canvas shell as opposed to PVC vinyl. This was a conscious decision to provide a more aesthetically pleasing, environmentally friendly, and non toxic wrapping to our Yurts. We did not see the point in going through all of the effort of building a sustainable tiny home to live a healthy lifestyle and stop short by using conventional non organic materials to cover it in.
A quick read through the article below that talks about how PVC is one of the most toxic chemicals to be exposed to on a health and environmental standpoint. This article is a good quick overview, but the science is out there as well to back up these claims and even the World Health Organization ranks PVC as a known human carcinogen.
So as opposed to using PVC we went with the 100% natural alternative of cotton canvas. We tried to stick as close to the original design intentions of Yurts while being able to provide a structure that can meet and withstand modern standards. This meant that animal skins were probably out of the question, but cotton being a natural renewable product that contained zero noxious fumes or health concerns and could be treated with organic water repellent to help it withstand weather conditions we were sold.
Our outer layer of canvas is 15oz so it is a very heavy thick canvas that wraps the yurt helping to keep it waterproof and weatherproof. We also apply a hydrophobic solution to the canvas to help protect against mold and mildew growth and buildup on the canvas. Just like any home this does require a small amount of yearly maintenance. We recommend for best results that you give a nice cleaning and re application of the product on a yearly basis to maintain integrity of the canvas.
The canvas is just one aspect of the thought and care that has gone into the making of a Great Lakes Yurt and why it matters where you purchase your yurt from.