I think most of you out there will agree with me that having a healthy home is just about as important as having an attractive one (if not more)! Before I go any further, let me just clarify out of the gate, that this post is not about keeping your home stocked with fresh fruits and vegetables. Yes, having foods with high nutritional value contributes to living a healthy lifestyle, but I’m not going to pretend I’m even a slight expert on eating well! No, what I’m referring to are the physical and psychological benefits that can come from making some easy changes around the house.
Given health (both physical and psychological) and how it relates to interior design is a topic I am particularly passionate about, there will be several posts to follow this one in a similar vein. For today’s post, I am going to focus on one of the main things we all need for survival: clean, breathable air. It is my hope that this post, and those to follow, can offer my readers a unique perspective on design and further emphasizes the value that lies in a well designed space.
Okay, let’s be honest, we all live crazy, hectic lifestyles. We don’t have time to be worried about the quality of air in our own homes. Most people probably assume a clean house has clean air, but unfortunately, that’s not always the case. So how do I ensure the air in my house is clean? Here are some quick and easy fixes!
Let your plants do the work.
There are lots of house hold plants that help remove pollutants from the air. Many of them help tackle VOC’s (such as formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene) while others, like the Dracaena helps to rid the air of acetone (the main chemical found in nail polish remover). Each plant requires different maintenance, so find the one that’s right for you and your lifestyle; then all you need to do is sit back and breathe easy!
Recommended Plants: Aloe Vera, Azalea, Bamboo Palm, Bromeliad, Caribbean Tree Cactus, Chinese Evergreen, Chrysanthemum, Gerbera Daisy, Golden Pothos, Jade Plant, Peace Lily, Snake Plant, Spider Plant, Warneck Dracaena, Weeping Fig.
Know which chemicals you’re using to clean.
As I said before, just because a house is clean, doesn’t mean your air is. Lots of house hold cleaners include chemicals like Ammonia, Chlorine, Ammonium, Sodium Hydroxide, Phthalates and Triclosan (to name a few) and each of these come with their own set risks to your health. So, which cleaners can you use? Well that’s a tricky question to answer. Simply because a cleaner says its “green” or “natural” doesn’t necessarily mean it’s free of toxins. Products that are labeled as such, aren’t lying per say, but are often times misleading consumers; this is what is known as Greenwashing.
My Advice: Do your research, decide what your comfortable with and check out EWG’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning before heading to the store. That, and definitely rid your home of any “antibacterial” soaps recently banned by the FDA!
Pay attention and make smart decisions.
Yes, I know, that’s a generic statement, but sometimes the simple act of being aware and thinking things through can make a huge difference! For instance, your range top came with a fan for a reason. Use it! According to This Old House, it helps “reduce cooking-related air pollutants” such as carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide. I guess the point I’m trying to make is sometimes the easiest solution is free and right there in front of you; you just have to know to look for it! I could go on and on with ways to rid your home of air pollutants, but I’ll end this post here and leave you with two items worth the investment.