Your home should be a haven – one where you can take comfort and relax from the hustle and bustle of your daily life and not worry about anything else. But if your house or apartment is harboring allergens, harmful toxins from the air, or perhaps even from the walls themselves, you might be doing more harm to yourself than good. Luckily, there are a number of things you can do to make your home healthier and greener. Making your home healthier doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Just a few minor changes in your routine can improve the health of your home and everyone in it. That is why we here at homify have created this Ideabook and put together a list of a few things you can do to have a healthier, and subsequently happier home.
Dust is a major allergen and contains more hazardous chemicals than you might be aware of, including lead, fire retardants, pesticides, and other chemicals. So, needless to say, dust control is something you should not take lightly. But not to worry – you do not have to rip up your expensive wall to wall carpeting in favor of hardwoods or tile to get rid of these hazards. A little bit of work and good old fashioned elbow grease will do the trick. What you need to do is make sure you dust your knick knacks and whatever you have hanging on your wall once a week, followed by a good vacuuming. You should make sure you get into those cracks and crevices in the corners, along the floorboards, and you should also move your furniture to get those dust bunnies underneath. And don’t forget to clean your vacuum bag! That way, dust doesn’t spew back into the air every time you vacuum.
Both lead paint and radon are very serious hazards that could be in your home that you really cannot afford to ignore. Lead poisoning is known to cause brain damage in a developing fetus, as well as in young children if not treated, and radon is a carcinogenic radioactive gas. The main source of lead is old paint and dust that forms when paint chips erode. So if you have an older home, say anything that was built or painted in the 70s before lead paint was banned, chances are you could be housing this dangerous toxin. If you’re unsure whether or not you have lead paint in your home, all you have to do is check with your local health department about lead paint testing. It costs about 20-40£ for the test, so it’s well worth the investment. With radon, it can be trickier. It is a colourless, odorless gas that comes from the breakdown of soil and rock underneath your home, which means that any home, old or new, can have this problem. But you can buy a home radon test kit at most hardware stores for about 20£.
Pesticides kill mice, ants,
roaches, and many other common pests, but overexposure may put children at risk of a multitude of health problems, including asthma, learning disabilities, and problems with brain development. Not only that, but pesticides are expensive, so the question now is, why would you buy these things in the first place? Getting rid of these harmful pesticides will save you money and promote a healthier lifestyle overall. For example, you can keep roaches away by doing things like washing dishes and making sure all food residue is cleaned up, or keep your food in tightly sealed containers so as not to attract unwanted insects. And instead of using pesticides on your lawn, don’t be so worried about weeds and get used to a little imperfection by adopting some Wabi-Sabi lifestyles.
You may think your tap water is healthy to drink, but even places that have “good” tap water can contain trace amounts of chemicals that could be toxic to you and your family, so a great way to get a healthier home is to install a filter on your faucet. First of all, it will save you tons of money when switching from buying bottled water. Additionally, filtered tap water may be a better choice of drinking water than bottled water. Recent studies have shown that bottled water brands have similar levels of bacteria, fertilizer, and industrial chemicals that tap water does. And luckily, filtering your tap is easy, cheap, and will save you from a lot of the pollutants found in ordinary tap water.
Cleaning products are filled with all kinds of chemicals that fill our homes, and the air we breathe, with harmful toxins. If you want a healthier home, it is best to avoid these altogether, and aside from breaking the habit of buying a powerful bleach cleaner at the store, it is relatively easy to have a home that doesn’t use these cleaning products. There are a bunch of natural or organic cleaning products on the market, and they can be found in almost any grocery or hardware store you can think of. If you don’t want to buy any pre-packaged or pre-bottled natural cleaning solutions, you can do amazing things with just a little bit of vinegar or baking soda. Vinegar and baking soda are natural and not harmful for you, your family, or your pets, not to mention they do a fantastic job getting things really clean.
There is one more really important thing to having a healthier home and a healthier you we have not yet discussed, and it has to do with the kitchen For an overall better lifestyle for you and your family, having a simply designed kitchen outfitted with organic food is a great starting point. Why? Because it promotes healthier eating habits. When you eat organic food, you take in fewer pesticides, and you’re also helping the environment. If you’re worried about the cost of going organic, there are a few things you can do to save money, like only buying in-season produce. But, of course, you can still reap the benefits of an organic lifestyle without solely eating organic food. It’s advisable to buy organic with the foods you eat most often, but for fuits like bananas, you don’t have to buy organic, because they’re protected by their peel, so the pesticides don’t penetrate like they would in berries, for example.