Ah, springtime! That time of year many people roll up their sleeves to clean out their homes following a whole winter of feeling a bit boxed in. Well, this year, don’t just clean out the closets. Clean the air too, while you’re at it.
The EPA estimates that some pollutants can be 2 to 5 times worse in indoor environments than outside. And an average of 90% of our time is spent inside our homes.
Reducing toxins anywhere we can is vital to our well-being. Knowing that our own home air could be potentially hazardous, it’s a great place to start. We might not be able to eliminate all toxins in our lives, but anything we can do will absolutely help.
Here are some simple ways to improve the quality of the air inside your house, so you can sit in your favorite comfy chair and breathe a great big ‘sigh’ of relief.
One easy way to help make your home environment healthier is to bring more plants into your home. The main reason is that plants can help clear the air of toxins. According to a study done by NASA, plants have the ability to “recycle” Volatile Organic Compounds in the air. VOCs are a primary cause of indoor pollution and they’re released by so many household products and materials, like paints, cleaners, air fresheners, furnishings, and more.
Though some other studies have since cast doubt on their toxin-clearing abilities, we know for sure that plants can only help and won’t make it worse. Plus, there are a handful of other benefits to having houseplants, like aesthetics and stress relief. So, the case for adding some greenery is still strong.
2. Regular Cleaning and Dust Control
A clean home is a happy home. Getting rid of dirt, grime, and dust is essential to staying healthy. That’s because germs love to hide in these things. And nobody likes germs, eww. Don’t let them hide. Take away their favorite things to cling to and they’ll stop hanging around.
But there is a caveat. You need to use cleaning products that don’t contain toxins and are made with all-natural ingredients. Some ingredients to avoid are chlorine, ammonia, sodium hypochlorite, perchloroethylene, lye, and many others. There are many natural cleaners to choose from these days, but you can also easily make your own.
3. Open Windows
Now that spring is finally here, you can start opening your windows and letting in some fresh air. Good ventilation is key to decreasing the pollutants and keeping your indoor air fresh and clean. You might have to be strategic about this if the weather is hot, cold, rainy or windy, but do it whenever you can.
In winter, you can wait for a really mild day, or just open them when it’s cold out for just a few minutes at a time. Even keeping them open for 5 minutes can help clear the air. Open two windows and go for a cross breeze!
4. Buy Non-Toxic Fabrics
We typically think about avoiding pesticides and other toxins when we go to the grocery store. But the fabrics we choose to use throughout our homes can also emit chemicals that are damaging to our health. It’s time to start looking at exactly what’s in our bedding, curtains, towels and other textiles to reduce our exposure.
Fabrics can be dyed, processed, and treated with all kinds of chemicals, including chlorine, formaldehyde, PVC, flame retardants, azo dyes, and many others. Some of these chemicals can be off gassed into the air, and others can break down into tiny particles. Either way, we’re likely breathing these into our bodies and there’s evidence they might be behind some major health problems.
Check labels to see what your textiles are made of and if they’re organic or not. Natural fabrics like organic cotton, linen, silk, hemp, and bamboo are good alternative choices.
5. Use Natural Air Fresheners
The smell of your home can make a big difference in the ambiance and the air quality. There are so many things that can add an unpleasant and unwelcome odor. But reaching for the chemical-based air freshener is not the healthiest way to get rid of it.
Taking steps to avoid smells from starting will help a lot. For example, cleaning out your fridge regularly to dispose of any science experiments happening. And, naturally, keeping up with taking out the trash. Washing your home fabrics (and dog beds) every so often will help too. And it might just be time for Fido’s next bath!
But if you want to go a step farther and have a great smelling home, some options are soy-based candles, essential oil diffusers, or potpourri. You can also make your own fabric spray with just a few non-toxic ingredients you probably already have hanging around.
We don’t always realize that the air inside our homes can be quite polluted. With just a few tweaks to your indoor routine, you can make a big dent in how many toxins you expose yourself to. It’s worth a little extra time and effort to protect yourself from what you can’t see that may be harming your health. Make your home a safer and healthier environment because, well, as Dorothy once said, there’s no place like it.
Also...don't forget to take advantage of 15% off through the end of March! Use code STPATTY at checkout. Happy shopping!