Improve The Air Quality Of Your Home
Our world’s population is growing by the minute. Our cities are getting bigger, but also dirtier. Keeping the air pollution out of our homes becomes more and more important. We want to provide our loved ones and ourselves with a clean and healthy environment. But, this isn’t always easy. Here’s what you can do to improve the air quality in your home.
WHAT DOES AIR POLLUTION LOOK LIKE?
You can see pollution in the outside world when you look out on a hazy day or see trash blowing around. Less noticeable, is the environmental quality inside our homes. Outdoor toxins automatically become part of indoor pollution, when tracked in by shoes, let in through windows or otherwise. Environmental quality inside homes may be even worse.
People have a strange habit of paying top prices for strong cleaning chemicals that produce toxins as bad as the ones they clean. This is one of many modern-day contradictions in our world. For example, we have banned lead in consumer products to foster overall higher IQ in children, though at the same time may have introduced enough new toxins to raise cancer rates. It’s time to have a focused plan to really achieve our intended objectives.
People spend on average 90% of their time indoors, while indoor air is 2 to 5 times more polluted than outdoor air.
In fact, many debilitating environmental toxins are produced indoors, such as second hand smoke, cleaning products, air fresheners, fireplaces, heaters, electronics and multitudes of other sources of contaminants.
HOW TO REDUCE INDOOR AIR POLLUTION
1. Air Circulation
Stale air trapped inside creates a lot of issues. If you’re like me and forget to open windows because you went inside to escape the outside, then make sure to use the air conditioner.
Take care that air quality problems are not worsened by the filter or air ducts not being well maintained. As dust collects along air vents and within the devices, pollen and mold create a bacteria breeding ground, which is then spread throughout the house. So keep that air flowing and those air ducts clean!
2. Use Dry Cleaners With Caution
Dry cleaners are particularly rough on the environment. The solvent known as perc, banned in some locales, is a powerful cleaning agent, clear and colorless with a sweet smell that disappears quickly. Perc has damaged the environment as far as improper disposal and respiratory issues of workers in dry cleaning facilities.
It might be safe enough to wear dry cleaned clothing, but it may be best to let the freshly cleaned clothes air out before bringing them inside. It is certainly a good idea to not use dry cleaners as a regular laundry service.
3. Regular Cleaning and Clutter Elimination
Regularly cleaning your house keeps dust mites from growing and you won’t have to use powerful cleaning agents if you keep things clean more often instead of doing a “big cleanse” every now and then. Making a schedule for yourself/roommates/family and spread the hours spend on household makes this even easier.
More stuff to sit around the house accumulates and spreads more particles. The American Lung Association advises reducing clutter because of the extra dust & pollen and notes that a person is more likely to get sick from home or office than being outside.
So time to clear out your closets and get rid of that old chair that has been collecting dust in the corner of the living room. And who knows you can make somebody else happy with it that actually needs and uses it!
4. Keep Floors Clean
A good amount of the air particles in the home are kicked up off the carpet and tile. Yes, the very same nasty stuff all over the street outside gets tracked inside and makes its way around the house, and we don’t want that. Taking of your shoes at the door already makes half the difference.
Curtains are also an important consideration to keep clean to reduce indoor pollution, as well as other high use objects, such as door handles, table tops and keyboards.
5. Don’t Smoke Inside
Carbon monoxide is but one of the countless toxic chemicals in cigarette smoke and it may even be more harmful as stagnant second-hand smoke lingering in the trapped environment than when it is freshly burned. For the past couple years, many countries and businesses have created indoor smoking bans for just this reason.
6. Grow A Variety of Plants
The best air cleaners are plants. Different plants serve different air purifying purposes. Keeping several different species will clean the air better than any man-made chemicals. NASA studies in the 1980’s contributed a large amount of the knowledge about which plants contribute to which air qualities. That, and your home feels and looks so much nicer with a little bit of green growing around you.
It should come as no surprise then that clearing out trees to build roads and cities has had a negative cumulative effect. Both outside and inside air quality lowers significantly without plants and trees and it can’t be stressed enough how important it is to keep our forests intact.
7. Greener Cleaners
With so many complicating factors in mind, it takes hard work to keep our living and working spaces breathable. Yet, it is counter intuitive to use some of the most toxic substances to clean.
All those elements that are impossible to pronounce aren’t helping, but actually harming the cause.
Many are explained on blog of noted environmentalist David Suzuki outlined as to what products they are frequently used in and the myriad of ways in which they may affect health. Many countries have no labeling requirements, which make it hard for consumers to purchase the environmentally friendly tested products.
If you must use man-made chemicals, make your own! This way, you can remove toxins and save money at the same time. Here’s a primer containing recipes using several natural household agents to be used everywhere from the bathroom to the kitchen to the barbecue grill. A little vinegar, baking soda and olive oil can go a long way. This is about getting back to the basics.
8. Baby Steps
Not everyone is going to be willing to make their own cleaners, nor will everyone have access to labeled and environmentally friendly products. After decades of creating disposable, convenient societies, non-sustainable practices have been widely accepted and destroyed air quality.
Becoming environmentally friendly is a process that humanity is learning about slowly.
Starting to implement little things, like cutting out dangerous chemicals where they’re not really needed, is a great start to save money and inspire others to create a more breathable atmosphere inside and out.
I hope to have given you some new insights and may have even inspired you to make some investments of your own to deal with indoor air pollution, and improving overall environmental and living quality.
Do you think about the air quality in your home? Any tips for us on your natural cleaners or homemade recipes? If you have any questions or comments please share them in the comment section below and we will get back to you as soon as we can.
Photo Credit © Siddharth Kothari via Unsplash