Home is where the heart is. Home is our sanctuary away from it all, our place to regroup, recharge. Our home base. We sleep here, get dressed and washed up here, eat here, love here, grow a family here, and much more. We take for granted that it’s a safe environment, but that’s not always the case. There are plenty of things lurking unseen, on the floor and in the air, that you’d do better to get out of your house. Here are 4 easy ways to make your home a safer living environment for you and your loved ones, if you have any.
1: Vacuum the house once or more per week.
Dust is a primary cause of allergies, as well as a host for all sorts of hazardous chemicals either used in your home, or outside and tracked in on your shoes.
Regular thorough vauuming goes a long way towards cutting down the impact of dust, and reducing your exposure to allergens and chemicals.
If you don’t already have one, invest in a good HEPA vacuum. Standard vacuums shoot a significant amount of the dust back into the air in your home. HEPA vacuums suck up nearly all of it, meaning a better result and less effort.
Although carpeting is comfy, in reality it’s extremely unhealthy for indoor air quality, since it traps allergens and dust. If you can afford to, think about ripping up your carpeting and replacing it with a hard floor made of tile, cork, wood, or linoleum (non-vinyl). If you can’t, make sure to be extra diligent about regularly cleaning the carpets.
2: Switch to non-toxic cleaning products.
If you have standard cleaning products, then you’re unwittingly polluting the air in your home (as well as the environment to which the chemicals go after they wash down the drain). Avoid products with chlorine, ammonia or petroleum-based chemicals.
Instead, you can make your own cleaners, using common household ingredients like vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, baking soda and lemon. There are lots of recipes online for homemade cleaners, Google is your friend here!
Alternatively, look for cleaners at the store that are labeled with biodegradable, phosphate-free, petroleum-free, or a combination of those. People have become more aware of the dangers of traditional cleaning products, so there are lots of options these days.
3: Wash Your Hands!
This one is obvious, sure, but do you really wash your hands as much as you should? I slack off at times. Every time we use the bathroom, come home, prepare food or sneeze on our hands, we should properly wash our hands. Frequent handwashing is one of the biggest factors in keeping from getting sick. As a plus, it also cleans off invisible chemicals you may have brought home with you on your hands. Do you remember everything you touched?
4: STOP SMOKING
If you’re reading this, I hope you’re already on board with this one, but I put it in because it has the biggest impact in the shortest amount of time of any of the fixes mentioned here.
If you live alone and smoke in your home, then you’re exposing yourself to dangerous chemicals every minute you’re home. If you have a family, you’re exposing them to it as well. Smoking is a primary cause of asthma in children, not to mention all of the other increased risks we know only too well.
If you’re still smoking it means that you’ll likely need help to quit. There are numerous organizations out there that will help you do it. It’s not easy, but then again neither are most things in life worth doing. Your health is worth it.
The nice part about doing all of these things is that you’ll end up saving money. Once you get the hang of it, living a less toxic lifestyle is cost effective, not just in the day-to-day spending, but more importantly in the improved long-term health of you and your family. And when you’re done improving the situation in your home, why not improve your personal health?