Figuring out ways to improve indoor air pollution is always on my mind when thinking about how to have a healthier home.
So whenever new research about the state of our health, and the products we use in our homes comes to light, like the data Environmental Defence released in their Dirty Truth report on cleaning products, it's only natural that one of three reactions likely occur.
Either we want to retreat and do nothing, or we attack the problem by changing everything at once. These two reactions can cause you to sink into a state of stress which is why my instinct is to direct my energy towards the third option… finding solutions rather than freaking out about the situation.
31 Steps To Improve Indoor Air Pollution
Improving your indoor air quality can start with the quick, easy and sometimes obvious, to earning a place on your wish list. #29 sat on my to-buy list for over six months! Here are 31 ways to improve indoor air pollution in your home and reduce the impact of the sources of indoor air pollution:
- Open your windows every day. Yes, even in the winter, and especially while cleaning.
- Keep your children out of the room while cleaning.
- Microfibre reusable cloths are the workhorses of green cleaning, grabbing dust, cleaning mirrors, and scrubbing out stains.
- Choose green cleaning products with clear ingredients. Look for EcoLogo or Cradle to Cradle labels.
- Wet mop floors regularly to pick up allergens, pollen, and pet dander.
- Take on a little do-it-yourself action, by making your own products with castile soap, baking soda, and vinegar. These DIY cleaning recipes will help you get started.
- Be aware of signs of VOC exposure such as headaches, asthma, allergies, or rashes. This is especially important for pregnant women.
- Plants make oxygen, and oxygen equals good air. Add some kid-friendly plants in your home.
- Shift away from conventional sprays and candles, these artificial fragrances can contain phthalates and other chemicals linked to respiratory issues including asthma,
- Make your own air freshener, try this citrus & cinnamon stove top recipe.
- Avoid bringing products that list the ingredient fragrance or parfum into your home, fragrance may contain phthalates which mimic estrogen and trick our bodies into thinking the hormone is our own.
- Shop from brands who disclose their fragrance ingredients and are using natural fragrances found in essential oils.
- No smoking, obviously!
- Forgo the dry cycle on your dishwasher, it lets out toxins and heavy moisture.
- Purchase a hygrometer to monitor humidity levels.
- Wrap all mattresses, and pillows in allergy-proof covers to protect your family from dust mites.
- Enforce a strict shoes-off rule, you can reduce the outdoor toxins that are tracked into your home.
- Place a jute or another all-natural material shoe-mat at all entrances. No PVC backings, please!
- Dryer sheets are coated in nasty chemicals, switch to wool dryer balls.
- Get your fireplace inspected yearly to make sure it is venting properly.
- Check your furnace filter’s regularly and replace it approximately every three months. Fresh, good quality filters keep the air flowing in your home and your furnace functioning properly.
- Run a fan to outside when cooking, showering, or even drying clothes inside. Ventilation is important!
- Gather your household products together-it's time to give yourself a cleaning products audit
- Determine how toxic exposure is occurring in your home, and do something about it, with my free Healthy Home Detox workbook.
- Keep furniture away from exterior walls, let the air in your home circulate.
- Off-gas any new furniture, or textiles before bringing them into your home. Better yet, if the product smells strong, leave it be!
- Forget the PVC-based wall stickers for your child's bedroom, and choose a healthier nursery decor.
- Choose natural material rugs that can be removed to be cleaned outside.
- Use an HEPA-filter vacuum, like the ones from Dyson. They are one of your best defence's against the toxins often found trapped in rugs and carpets.
- Buying new furniture? Opt for real wood over composite wood which may contain formaldehyde.
- Insist on transparent labeling practices, by signing this petition or contacting your local government official.
I'd love to know which of these thirty-one healthy indoor air suggestions, you can already cross off as job done?!