Creating a Sustainable, Yet Healthy Home by Reducing Toxic Chemicals in Your Sanctuary
By Lana Hawkins
As an attempt to contribute to the environment preservation, many members of our society have started recycling, riding bicycles to work or using public transport. However, we often fail to recognise hazards hiding in our own homes. Despite our efforts to turn them into our spotlessly clean sanctuaries, our living spaces are much more polluted than we can imagine. We are exposed to air pollutants, allergens and various toxic chemicals in our own homes, which can have a detrimental impact on our health. Therefore, detoxing our homes is of utmost importance, both for our own well-being and for our environment.
The Dangers of Carpets
Carpets are often home to many allergens, such as dust and mites, and toxic chemicals, including flame retardants, leading to a significant decrease in your indoor air quality. Even if you clean your carpets on a regular basis, they can never be completely toxin- and allergen-free. Therefore, you should consider removing them altogether and opting for a healthier and greener alternative. Materials such as cork, bamboo and reclaimed wood are not only sustainable and environmentally friendly, but they are also a very popular choice for stylish and green homes. To learn more about interior decoration using these specific materials try searching for professional courses online.
Paint is another possible source of harmful VOC chemicals, whose concentration tends to be two to five times higher indoors than outdoors. VOCs represent a group of chemicals that can cause serious health issues, such as respiratory problems, eye irritation, dizziness, headaches, while a prolonged exposure can lead to an increased risk of cancer, kidney and liver damage, etc. Since paint can contain high levels of VOCs, it releases these chemicals which are then absorbed in high concentrations by furniture, drapes and carpets. Therefore, you should consider repainting your home with VOC-free paint, which will help you eliminate a major source of these chemicals and create a toxin-free home.
Safe and Healthy Cleaning Products
Cleaning products are an essential element for proper house maintenance, and as such, they are widely used. Although they can help you make your home spotlessly clean, they are fraught with Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and other toxic chemicals. When you consider the ease with which cleaning products can remove even the most stubborn stains, you cannot but wonder about the hazardous materials they contain. It goes without saying that replacing toxic cleaning products with a healthier and more environmentally friendly alternative will significantly improve the air quality in your home. You can save money and protect your health by opting for chemical-free cleaning products or by making your own cleaning solutions. This way, you will create a healthier and equally clean environment for you and your family.
Building materials can also be sources of hazardous substances, such as formaldehyde, a highly toxic colourless gas, VOCs, heavy metals, etc. Since it’s impossible to know which materials were used for your house, unless you’re about to build a new one, you cannot completely replace your old materials with greener ones. However, you should take every opportunity, such as renovation or refurnishing, to use renewable, recycled and organic materials in order to detox your home.
Indoor Air Quality
The quality of your indoor air can be easily improved with just a few simple, yet efficient measures. The simplest and cost-free practice is opening your windows as often as possible, even during the winter – just a few minutes are enough to let the fresh air in. Another simple solution is adding houseplants to your home. Not only are they stylish décor accessories, but plants are also natural air purifiers, which can significantly improve indoor air quality by absorbing harmful substances and producing more oxygen. However, due to numerous airborne pollutants, it’s advisable that you add additional air filters. In order to maximise your indoor air quality, you should take a look at air purifier ratings and find one of high quality. By combining these simple practices, you will easily purify your indoor air from harmful substances.
Creating a clean, sustainable home will ensure your and your family’s safety and health. With the help of these measures, you will reduce levels of toxic chemicals within your home – after all, the best way to protect the environment is to protect your own home first.