It's all well and good to live a healthy lifestyle, but there might be parts of your life that you haven’t considered making even healthier. Or rather - maybe parts of your home. Keeping your home as pollution-proof as possible could help you in a number of ways. Reducing the number of toxins and allergens might increase your energy levels or reduce your risk of respiratory problems - but there are a whole number of benefits! Nevertheless, wherever you can improve the air quality at home you'll be improving yours and your family's health.
Swap toxic air fresheners for natural scents
Spritzing air fresheners into the air might not be as innocent as you think. In fact, aerosol air fresheners are large contributors to pollution. The effects these have on health include nausea, skin issues and respiratory problems. Even more detrimental is that many harmful ingredients aren't required to be included on the label - so you never really know what these products are made of.
As alternatives, try reed diffusers made with essential oils which can enhance mood and improve your home's aroma. You might consider ditching air freshening altogether, and incorporating essential oil into your everyday routine. This could include lavender drops on your bedding, cleaning products with essential oils in or even essential bath oils! Chances are, if more parts of your life smell good, your house will smell fresher and all-round delicious.
Another small lifestyle tweak to make is opening your windows more often. Increasing ventilation in rooms reduces the need for air fresheners altogether!
Be wary of candles
We all love candles. They are aesthetically pleasing, bring a cosy atmosphere and a sense of calm. But they might not be so appealing when talking air quality. Candle smoke can diminish air quality, increasing carbon and reducing oxygen. To help this, open the windows after blowing out candles.
Also be aware of the material the candles you buy are made out of. Paraffin wax is the most common candle wax, which is made from petroleum waste. When it's burned, paraffin wax releases toxins and chemicals into the air.
Instead, opt for natural candles (usually made of soy). You can physically see they are less damaging to the air as they don't emit black smoke. Natural candles should also be scented with essential oils, which can have numerous benefits to the ambience and your mood. Check out Wildheart Organics for some of our favourite all-natural candles!
Cut out the carpets!
Try to avoid wall to wall carpets because rugs and carpets attract allergens. When you walk on them, you recirculate dust and pollutants back into the air. It's also worth thinking about curtains; if they're heavy they'll likely attract allergens - light, washable curtains are better for your home environment!
You could also take your shoes off before entering your home as they carry toxins like fungal spores, cigarette ash or industrial toxins. A doormat could also help with this issue!
And while we're on the topic of fabric… dust mites! They love cozy environments like beds and carpets, but are bad news for people who suffer with allergies. Wash your bedding regularly to kill dust mites and keep your linen fresh.
Cleaning, cleaning, cleaning!
Is crucial! But clean consciously. First and foremost: swap your toxic cleaning products for eco-alternatives. Conventional cleaning products will get rid of bugs and diseases, but they might get you more than you bargained for - they also get rid of good bacteria which we need to be healthy! Harsh chemicals could be sterilizers but if they’re linked to asthma, infertility, diabetes and more, do you really want them in your home? Cue our eco-friendly cleaning products which include 0 harsh chemicals or synthetic fragrances.
Another quick tip is not just relying on the vacuum cleaner for ridding your home of dust. A damp cloth will trap particles rather than spreading them through the air. The same goes for mopping floors.
Download a clean air app
You can't see pollution - at least not in your day to day life, you can only see the effects. Sadly, once we see the effects, it's usually too late. There are a number of apps to download which can indicate the air quality in your local area. We've tried and tested the app Breezometer (free on iOS & Android) and is definitely our favourite! It provides information on air quality right down to your street, including pollutant concentrations (e.g. sulphur dioxide, carbon monoxide etc), pollen, how the area's air quality might affect you and even hourly forecasts.
These stats will indicate when it's a good idea to open your windows (or close them!), go for a run and much more.
There are many ways you can pollution-proof your home. We've listed our most important ones above, but others include: opting for safer house paint, turning on extractor fans, investing in an air purifier and bringing indoor plants into the home!