Going green is a trend gaining in popularity and hopefully continue in this direction. As talk of environmental issues is becoming more mainstream, the general population is starting to understand the importance of being a better friend to the planet; there are many ways to make your home a greener and healthier place that are also provide the added bonus of being good for your health.
Use Natural Air Fresheners/Cleaners
Commercial air fresheners may make you home smell good, but they are not good for your health. They contain VOCs or volatile organic compounds—substances that can be dangerous when you breathe them in. WebMD reports analysis of one popular air freshener product found it contained 20 VOCs; seven of them were listed as toxic and hazardous by the Food and Drug Administration. Product manufacturers are not required to list all of these chemicals on packaging, needing to only list ‘’fragrance.’’ There are lots of natural air fresheners made with essential oils and other natural substances.
If you love that lemon-fresh smell for your cleaning needs, make your own cleaner with baking soda and lemon juice. Baking soda is great to add to your laundry or to sprinkle on the carpet before vacuuming to suck up odors. Vinegar also makes a good cleanser, especially for windows—the smell dissipates as it dries so no worries about its strong odor lingering. Essential oils with strong disinfectant properties include grapefruit seed extract, clove oil, lavender and tea tree.
Use Plants to Improve Indoor Air Quality
Plants not only spruce up your home and strengthen your connection to nature; they are also good for your health. They help purify the air by absorbing harmful agents such as formaldehyde. Research by NASA uncovered the most efficient air-filtering plants and they are as follows: English ivy, spider plant, golden pothos, peace lily, Chinese evergreen, rubber plant, pot mum, Gerbera and Barberton daisies, weeping fig, Warneck dracaena, Janet Craig dracaena, cornstalk dracaena, red-edged dracaena, elephant ear philodendron, selloum philodendron, heartleaf philodendron, snake plant and bamboo reed.
Filter Tap Water
The amount of waste created from our love affair with bottled water is astronomical. Many argue that it is not superior to tap water at all and some studies support this. A study by the Environmental Working Group found that bottled water often contained contaminants, such as bacteria and chemicals, at similar levels as tap water. The researchers tested the top 10 best selling brands of water. Tap water is regulated by the EPA while bottled is regulated by the FDA—the former has regulations governing acceptable levels of contaminants in water while the latter does not.
Plus, with the opportunity to filter tap water, you can further reduce the levels of these contaminants. Filtering tap water is easy and inexpensive and helps make a dent in plastic waste for a greener and healthier home.