Is Your Home Good for Your Health?
Everyone appreciates a beautiful home, but creating the ideal home goes beyond decorating choices. More than beautiful, your home should be a place that boosts your family’s health and well-being. Here are a few ways that you can modify your home and lifestyle for healthier living.
1. Improve Indoor Air Quality
While a well-insulated home is great for keeping utility bills low, it also means contaminants get trapped inside, polluting the air you breathe. According to the EPA, indoor air can be two to five times more polluted than air outside, even in a smoggy city. This contributes to a range of health problems, including headaches, respiratory problems, heart disease, and cancer. Thankfully, there’s something you can do about it:
Do you know what’s in your cleaning products? If you don’t, you could be exposing your family to asthma triggers, endocrine disruptors, and even carcinogens. Use the Environmental Working Group’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning to select safer products for cleaning your house.
Dust, dirt, pet dander; your carpet clings onto lots of nasty contaminants. Vacuum regularly using a vacuum cleaner with HEPA filters to keep allergens at bay. Better yet, get rid of your carpet completely, opting for easy-to-clean hard floors instead.
Open the windows
There’s something invigorating about a fresh breeze blowing through an open window. Crack your windows for a few minutes each day, even when it’s cold out, to let pollutants out and fresh air in.
Upgrade air filters
Replacing your furnace air filter every 30 days is great for minimizing dust, but it’s not that effective at trapping the microscopic contaminants that hurt your health. Upgrade your HVAC system to accommodate an electronic or ultraviolet filter for added protection.
2. Go Green(er)
Going green is more than a catchy marketing slogan. When you make an effort to conserve energy and reduce waste, you’re both helping the environment and improving your own lifestyle. These easy changes will make your home more sustainable:
If you want to save money on utilities, cutting water usage is the easiest place to start. Turn off the faucet while brushing your teeth, install a low-flow toilet and shower head, restrict the dishwasher and washing machine to full loads, and reuse cooking water for houseplants.
Xeriscape the yard
Lawns require a lot of water and maintenance. Free up your weekends and cut your water bills even further by xeriscaping with native plants adapted to your regional conditions.
Say no to junk mail
Junk mail isn’t just annoying; it’s also incredibly wasteful. Stop all that paper and plastic from accumulating by following the FTC’s instructions for stopping unsolicited mail and requesting electronic delivery from companies you do business with.
3. Create a Soothing Setting
Wellness at home doesn’t stop with physical and environmental health. Your home should be good for your mental health, too. While you can’t eliminate the stress of kids bickering and begging for snacks, you can design a setting that lifts your spirits each and every day.
Increase natural light
Natural light improves moods, aids sleep, and promotes good health. Absorb the sunshine even when you’re inside by keeping the curtains open to let natural light in.
Go clutter free
A cluttered home is a constant reminder of everything that needs to be done, a visual to-do list that distracts you and stops you from fully relaxing. While spending a weekend deep cleaning and purging isn’t fun, it creates a more stress-free home going forward.
Cultivate a quiet space
Despite your efforts, you can’t stop stress all of the time. Make sure you have a relaxing space to retreat to when you feel your patience wearing thin. Choose a quiet area of your home, add a comfy chair, use your trusty hammer to hang your favorite artwork, and make sure the kids know not to interrupt unless it’s an emergency.
Your home is more than a place to live. It’s your family’s haven, your refuge from the outside world. So shouldn’t it be a place that promotes total wellness? With these tips, you can make your home a healthier environment for your whole family.