I posted about my top energy-saving tips already, so I thought I’d also post about how to have a healthier home environment. We don’t often think about what surrounds us in our homes and what we are breathing in. So here are my tips for keeping your home cleaner and healthier (i.e. reducing exposure to toxins):
1. Get houseplants!
Plants are wonderful for combating toxins and offering cleaner air for your home. (Don’t worry, there are many houseplants that are very hardy and easy to maintain!) Some popular and durable plants include the spider plant, snake plant, cast-iron plant, peace lily, and chinese evergreen. The Mother Nature Network and Mother Earth News have some great articles on what houseplants are appropriate for your home environment, what they are effective in fighting, and how to care for them. The plant pictured is a Dracaena Marginata or dragon tree (which I got from IKEA for $1.99!).
2. Change the filter on your furnace every 3 months.
This will improve your air quality as well as improve the efficiency of your furnace. Keeping your furnace in working order is essential, especially during the winter, when furnace repair services are in higher demand.
3. Consider what you are bringing into your home.
When you need to replace furniture, put a fresh coat of paint on your walls, or do any kind of home renovations, think about the potential for polluting your indoor environment. DavidSuzuki.org’s Sustainability at Home Toolkit, and Adria Vasil’s Ecoholic Home are great resources for deciding what to spend your money on. The possibility of off-gassing of VOCs (volatile organic compounds), formaldehyde or other toxins is very real and present in furniture, flooring, and paint.
4. Dust often with a damp cloth.
I must admit that I am horrible at dusting. It feels like a waste of time. But it really isn’t. Toxic dust containing flame retardants or PBDEs from your TV or other electronics settles into the air and then gets breathed in. Get rid of that dust on a weekly basis.
Want to learn more eco-friendly home tips? Check out Direct Energy’s Facebook page to share your tips and learn more tips from others! Use the hashtag #DEsmarthome in your tweets, pins, facebook or instagram posts to share ideas with Direct Energy!
If you live in Alberta, consider signing up for the Direct Energy Comfort & Control Plan. This 5-year dual fuel plan includes a fixed rate for your Alberta electricity (which won’t change for 5 years!) and flex-through Alberta natural gas with the security of a winter cap, plus a Nest Learning Thermostat (a Smart Thermostat that you can control from your mobile device!). Learn more on their Facebook page.
How do you make a healthy home environment?
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