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.
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, and will help keep costs down in the long term. After all, the cleaner the filter, the less it has to struggle to get the air it needs to run. Keeping your furnace in working order is essential, especially during the winter when it’s used all the time. Look for reusable furnace filters in your area to reduce waste!
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. Adria Vasil’s Ecoholic Home is a great resource 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. You can also check out this infographic about healthy home improvement.
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.