Pollution and other forms of contamination are rampant in all parts of the world. Toxic chemicals from different industries and practices contaminate the different bodies of water, cover cities in smog, and puts people at risk of contracting diseases.
Although we can’t do enough to put an end to pollution, we can start with our homes and try to do whatever we can to safeguard our family from its ill and deadly effects. We can do this by creating a less toxic and eco-healthy home for our loved ones.
To help you get started, here are different tips and simple lifestyle changes to slowly transform your humble abode into a green and eco-healthy home:
Practice electricity and water conservation.
Only use what you need. Refrain from keeping your tap on when not in use. Likewise, make sure to turn off or unplug lights and appliances when not in use. Set the temperatures of your electronic thermostat, air conditioner, heaters, and refrigerator properly. Just make sure they’re not working harder than they need to. Here are more helpful tips:
✔ During the day, let the sunshine in. Open your windows, drapes, and blinds to let Mr. Sun brighten and warm your home the natural way.
✔ Fix leaks as soon as you can. By keeping your home leak-proof, you’ll not only see your utility bills drop; you’ll do the planet a favor too.
✔ Replace your incandescent light fixtures with compact fluorescent light bulbs and LED lights. They’re energy efficient and longer lasting.
Clear indoor air pollution at home.
According to the Environment Protection Agency, the air within homes and buildings is more polluted than outdoor air. Even if you see nothing, the air within your home can be two to five times worse than the air outdoors. Most often, this pollution comes from household products, tobacco, building materials, combustion-related tasks, etc.
Keep an eye on any item that goes into your home. Be on the watch for items that carry lead (kitchenware, paints, toys, gasoline), formaldehyde (textiles, wood products, furniture), asbestos (home insulation), and VOCs (glue, markers, pesticides).
Eliminate the use of toxic products.
Since the 1940s, people have been exposed to harmful synthetic chemicals that are used in everyday products like cleaning agents, home furnishings, toys, and cosmetics. Although most of the chemicals being used today are deemed safe by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, we can’t be as sure as some aren’t thoroughly tested.
In our day to day lives, we come in contact with these harmful chemicals whether we like it or not. However, in our homes, we can limit and eliminate these harmful exposures by eliminating our use of toxic products. Here’s how you can get started:
✔ Skip using cleaning products altogether as they are mostly made from toxic chemicals. Instead of cleaners, use microfiber cloths instead.
✔ Use baking soda instead of the store-bought toxic cleaners. You can also use borax, white vinegar, lemon, etc. as cleaners and disinfectants.
✔ Get rid of toxic pesticides and insect repellants altogether. Skip detanglers and hair and body sprays. Practice the “less is more” principle.
Switch to eco-friendly home appliances.
Whenever you’re buying fixtures and appliances for your home, always look for an Energy Star certification or label. Products that carry the Energy Star label are tested and verified as energy-efficient, money-saving, and safe for the environment.
Growhouseplants and an edible garden.
Live plants are effective in filtering the air by absorbing harmful pollutants emitted by different household items. Besides air purification, other advantages of houseplants include stress relief and healing. Among the many houseplants you can plant are English ivy, spider plant, dracaenas, peace lily, aloe vera, bamboo, lavender, and oregano.
Apart from having houseplants in your home, you can also grow an edible garden. To get your home garden started, here’s a list of plants you can grow:
- Herbs: thyme, cilantro, basil, sage, parsley, chives, spearmint, tarragon, chervil, chicory, dill, chocolate mint, salad burnet, savory, marjoram, society garlic, bergamot, and more.
- Vegetables:beets, asparagus, eggplant, parsnips, artichokes, potatoes, turnips, carrots, pumpkins, squash, sweet peppers, onions, garlic, spinach, lettuces, mushroom, and peas.
- Fruits: heirloom tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, papaya, grapes, watermelon, peaches and nectarines, apricot, mulberry, figs, strawberries, lime, pomegranate, tomatillos, and more.
Have your home tested for radon, etc.
One of the harmful gases that may be lurking in your home is tasteless, odorless, and colorless. It’s hardly noticed but when inhaled can lead to death from lung cancer. Radon, a radioactive gas, is naturally present in soil. However, radon can enter your home through well water, the ground, and cracks and crevices in your home’s foundation.
To make sure you’re not putting your and your family’s health at risk for lung cancer, have your home tested for radon. You can screen your home for radon by purchasing a test kit for $15 sold at www.sosradon.org and most hardware stores.
Start with little yet effective steps to achieve a healthier and less toxic life by starting in your own home. See and practice the tips above and give yourself and your loved ones the clean, eco-healthy, and hazard-free home you all deserve!