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Gradually, we’re becoming more and more aware of the harmful effects chemicals contained in everyday products have on our mental and physical wellbeing, from the heavy metals found in some anti-perspirant deodorant to the chemicals injected into our mass-produced food.
There are a lot of small changes that we can make to the things that we buy and the way that we live that can collectively have a huge positive impact. The result? A happier, healthier home
Ensure Air Quality
Studies suggest that one of the areas with the greatest impact on our health is air quality. Air-bourne pollutants cannot be seen but they can cause or aggravate some very nasty diseases, especially in those with compromised immune systems. The air quality in our homes isn’t something we’ve traditionally considered much, but as an environment where it’s easy to make a positive change it definitely needs to be considered.
Try switching out your chemical cleaning sprays for natural alternatives such as white vinegar, baking soda and unperfumed solid soaps. Check out the 2 main zero waste homemade cleaning recipes I use here. If you miss the artificial ‘clean home’ smell, try adding a couple of drops of your favourite essential oil to a spray bottle solution, or dabbing some neat oil onto your lightbulbs, radiators or bedding to fill your home with a luxurious smell.
Personally, I use a homemade room spray. I got the recipe from a book called *Sustainable Home by Christine Liu. I’d highly recommend it. I’ve included the recipe below for you…
Homemade Room Spray
100 ml water
10 drops lavender essential oil
1 tbsp vodka (the vodka helps to mix the oil & water. You can leave it out if you don’t have any)
So simple! Mix it all together & put it in a reusable spray bottle. Spray it onto your bed, curtains and other soft furnishings for a refreshing smell.
Instead of relying on chemical filled products or even a toxic fume emitting logburner to make your home feel cosy, add a feeling of warmth through textured soft furnishings and decorative details like a multi photo frame frame from Best4Frames instead.
To ensure good air quality in our home with recently got an air purifier. Which might be something that you’d consider in your home, especially if you have an older property. Adding houseplants to a room is another great way to increase the air quality in your home.
Cut Out The Plastic
A huge culprit of toxicity in the home is the synthetically manufactured chemical Bisphenol A (otherwise known as BPA). This is present in most plastic containers and can be absorbed into the body though skin contact. It has a disruptive effect on the endocrine system and the delicate balance of hormones in the body.
Avoiding over processed and pre-packaged foods can really help to limit this exposure, and ensure that all baby and toddler foods are stored and served in glass and metal containers or BPA-free plastic containers. Switching to a wholefoods diet is a great way to avoid plastic leaching into your food from containers.
Tackle Home Repairs
Dust in our homes may seem harmless enough, but studies have identified up to 45 toxic chemicals which are contained in the mix. We know that dust in the home effectively acts as a trap for harmful chemical components. Luckily the steps to reduce its impact are fairly straightforward.
Simply washing your and your children’s hands regularly with plain soap and water, dusting surfaces with a damp reusable cloth and switching to a vacuum with a particulate air filter, otherwise known as a HEPA filter, can all help. Tackling sources of damp and mould can also help to lessen threats to the immune system and the risk of contracting respiratory diseases.
Start by reducing the build-up of condensation by ensuring air circulation in the home is maintained via fans, air bricks, window vents and keeping doors and windows open where possible. If you do already have mould, it must be removed carefully in order to prevent the spreading of spores.
About Gina Caro
Gina is a content creator and award-winning blogger. Her aim is to help you live a more sustainable & simple life. Her blog covers zero waste, minimalism, wellbeing & thrift. She currently lives in Cornwall with her partner, two kids and Charles the dog.