Going green is really an ideal that’s here to stay. More and more people are beginning to focus on putting forth the effort to give back to the environment around them and support its health as best they can.
But what does our environment give back to us, polluted air that’s difficult to breathe in? Not only is the air quality poor outside, thanks in large part to those people who haven’t been doing their part to keep the air clean as you have been doing, but think about the quality of the air in your home.
Studies show that most Americans spend nearly 90% of their lives indoors. While you’re there, do you want to be breathing in air that’s just as dirty outside? Of course not! It’s your home, it’s your air quality, it’s your lungs. Here are some ideas that kill two birds with one stone: work toward a greener lifestyle and improve your indoor air quality.
Control Asbestos in Your Home
Asbestos is a tiny particle that floats through the air, too small to be seen by the human eye or even by a standard microscope, that is toxic to humans. It’s found in so many household products, though, such as some flooring, insulation, piping and old paint products, that a small amount of inhaled asbestos poses no real health concerns.
However, any larger amounts of asbestos inhalation have been proven to lead to cases of lung cancer and other lung diseases, so it’s a good idea to keep asbestos levels in your home controlled or eliminate them entirely.
Since asbestos is such a small mineral fiber, it goes airborne effortlessly, and although it is a naturally occurring mineral in the earth, it tends to sit on top of the soil when it hits the ground so it’s shifted around easily.
This means that it’s easy for asbestos to contaminate the air, water and soil that surround us. So do your family and your neighbors’ a favor and reduce the amount of asbestos in your home as best you can, as the Environmental Protection Agency has stated that a lifetime of exposure to small amounts of inhaled asbestos can pose a serious and potentially deadly health threat.
Use Homemade Cleaning Products
A simple solution of white vinegar and water shaken and sprayed onto a messy surface will do the trick for getting it clean. Popular cleaning solutions contain tons of potentially harmful chemicals to both the environment and your family and pets.
Cleaners and detergents that contain harmful chemicals can pose a threat of causing irritation to the skin, eyes, throat and lungs in people and pets, and can be harmful to the environment, as well.
Think about where cleaning products go when you rinse them away – down the drain. They are processed with other sewage and dumped. Most cleaners will break down into substances that are no longer harmful, although many detergents that claim to have the “best” cleaning power contain a chemical that could infect the water supply and harm the animal habitat where the sewage is dumped.
By using your own homemade cleaning products, you can keep these chemicals from contaminating the air in your home as well as the environment around you. Plus, they’re cheaper to make than they are to buy pre-made! And you’re saving yourself from using an unnecessary plastic bottle, too.
Stop Using Aerosols
Products such as air freshener, deodorant spray, furniture polish, hair spray and carpet cleaner all contain artificial fragrances that often contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are considered toxic or hazardous. And all the product label has to state is that the product contains “fragrances,” so you’ll never know when there is actually a deadly chemical hidden in there.
The use of aerosols has long been believed to harm the environment, as well, and it does. Most fragranced products are derived from petroleum products which are unrenewable, polluting resources. Releasing them into the air causes an irreversible negative effect on the environment.
So what can you do? Stop using aerosol products. Opt, again, for homemade products to replace them using all-natural ingredients, or choose fragrance-free products.
Let the Outdoors In
Open a window in your house! Letting in some fresh air will not only combat the potentially deadly pollutants that have been emitted into the air in your home unknowingly, but it can be a natural way to cool your home during warmer months, too.
Depending on where you live (cities and highly populated areas tend to have poorer air quality than the suburbs and open country spaces), the air quality outside may actually be better than that inside your home. The fresh air can help clear out the polluted air that you’re breathing indoors.
And if it tends to heat up quickly in your home, instead of turning on the air conditioning immediately when it warms up outside, try opening the windows for a natural breeze to flow throughout your home to cool it off. You’ll save tons of energy this way and it’s really an effective cooling technique assuming you get a good air flow.
Decorate With Plants
Just as plants outside filter the air that we breathe, indoor plants can help improve the air quality within your home, as well.
Decorate using strategically placed house plants throughout your home. They have capabilities of filtering out any pollutants that may be in the air in your home and return to you clean, breathable air.
House plants are also said to have an effect on mood and the general feeling of overall well-being. The bottom line: plants are good for you and good for the environment on all levels, so adding them to your home will only help improve your life and the air that you breathe!