Home is where health begins. From wall colours to window coverings and the amount of natural lighting, your home can become a player in how much you weigh, your mood, and even your cancer risk. It’s important to eliminate toxins, pollutants and other health risks from your home. There are many free and easy small changes that you can do right away to make your home healthier and improve your mood.
1. Keep Pollutants Outside
With every step you make outside your home, your shoes come in contact with all kinds of toxins (oil, gasoline, pesticides, cleaning chemicals, dirt and more). Leave those pollutants outside.
Make it a habit to take your shoes off as soon as you walk in the door of your home. This will cut down the amount of dirt and allergens brought into your home.
2. Use Natural Cleansers
Commercial cleansers may make cleaning easier, but they may also contain carcinogenic ingredients, respiratory irritants and even pesticides. Try safer cleansers such as a mixture of baking soda and vinegar to clean tubs and toilets, salt to scrub kitchen sinks and borax for laundry. Not only do they work just as well, they smell better, don’t make you dizzy and don’t pose a health risk.
3. Clean Smarter and More Often
The greatest health risk for children at home comes from the dust that gets on their hands from crawling on the floor and touching dust-covered surfaces, exposing them to dust mites, mould and pet dander, all of which can trigger allergies and asthma attacks.
To keep dust to a minimum, dust every few days with a slightly damp cloth, to prevent the dust from returning to the air. Wash curtains and slip covers regularly in hot water.
Use a vacuum with a high-efficiency particulate air filter, and use it twice a week. If you are building a new home consider a central vacuum system that vents outside. This will help remove dust and debris from settling back into your home.
4. Breathe Fresh Air
Fresh air saturated with oxygen is essential for healthy indoor living. A properly ventilated home will also help release humidity that may build up, condense and cause bacteria, dust mites and mould.
Whenever possible, open the windows to allow old air out and fresh air in. In colder or humid months, use a mechanical ventilation system to help keep indoor air fresh, dry and comfortable.
It’s very important to ventilate areas of your home that may have increased air pollutants such as the basement, laundry room and workshop. Glues, paints, solvents, laundry detergents and even just dirty clothes can all cause unwanted air pollution. Keep all of these stored properly in a well ventilated area..
5. Give Your House a Mood Boost
Research shows that a naturally lit home will help ease blues, insomnia and may even boost concentration. Whenever possible open the curtains and allow sunlight in. Equip your home with broad-spectrum light bulbs that closely resemble daylight. Research also shows that good lighting helps prevent overeating.
Keep a bright bunch of flowers in the living room. A vase of vibrant flowers along with green plants help generate a positive mood around the house and helps reduce stress, fatigue and illness. Indoor green plants also help reduce carbon monoxide.
The choices we all make on a day-to-day basis can make a huge impact on living a healthy lifestyle. With just a little forethought and initiative, we can make our homes healthier and happier for all family members.