Most of us have done a detox of some sort, acting to help clear internal toxins, but have you detoxed your home? It’s surprising how many unpleasant chemicals can be found around the average household. Spring time, and the traditional spring cleaning, is the perfect time to give your home a detox. Indoor air is typically more polluted than outdoor air thanks to thinks like home insulation, wall-to-wall carpeting, cleaning products, adhesives, and all the things we use to keep our homes nice, neat and pleasant to be in. While it’s not possible to completely eliminate potentially harmful chemicals from our lives, it is very possible to reduce the number of them in our homes, and their impact on us.
- Make your home a no-shoe zone and go barefoot or wear slippers. Shoes track in some pretty yucky stuff.
- Place a sturdy welcome mat outside your door to wipe shoes before you even come in.
- Regularly ventilate your home by opening windows to get fresh air in. Use plants as natural air filters and give up artificial air fresheners in favor of more natural options like baking soda and fresh flowers.
- Swap out your cleaners for green options like Mrs. Meyer’s, or make your own.
- Reduce plastic use and choose what plastics you use wisely. Avoid items with BPA, phthalates or PVC.
- Keep dust to a minimum. Use a HEPA air filter, damp mop all hard surfaces and vacuum (also with a HEPA filter) to help reduce allergens.
- Don’t let mold and mildew get a toehold in your home. Check for moisture accumulation and leaks in bathrooms, your kitchen and basement. Fix what can be fixed and regularly clean all surfaces, and ensure there is plenty of air circulation to help keep mildew at bay.
- Use water filters (instead of bottled water) if there are chemicals or contaminants in your water.
- When installing carpet, tile, or anything that requires adhesive, reach for the greener options, and natural fibers over synthetic.
- Switch to natural pet products, especially when it comes to ticks and fleas. Check with your pest control company for greener extermination options as well.
- Use low- or no-VOC paints and make sure to only paint in a well-ventilated space.
- Have your home checked for carbon monoxide leaks – usually around stoves, fireplaces, furnaces and gas water heaters.
This is just the beginning. It’s not possible to do everything on this list, and we’ve missed or skipped many options. The point is that every step you take to help reduce the toxins in your home is one step better for the environment as well.
Do what you can, do what makes sense for you, and above all, make your home a place of love and happiness.
Inspired Habitat is written by local environmentally-conscious lifestyle website Bambeco, a company committed to advancing a more sustainable world.
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