I’ve got ten of the simplest ways you can begin to make your home a non-toxic, healthy environment. This environment around us and our kids makes a huge impact on the overall health of our body as a whole. Health is NOT just about what we put in our bodies for food, it’s also about what surrounds us. What changes and switches can you make?
1. Switch Your Hand Soaps
And in case you’re wondering, the list of chemicals you should avoid that are found in hand soaps is pretty extensive. You should try to avoid products that list ingredients such as sodium dodecyl sulfate, sulfuric acid, monododecyl ester, sodium salt, sodium salt sulfuric acid, sodium dodecyl sulfate, aquarex me, or aquarex methyl.
But the good news is there are plenty of safer and healthier options that are a simple, more economical switch. My family goes through PLENTY of hand soap, so I purchased these reusable foaming soap dispensers and started filling it with my own solutions.
The recipe here is an easy, non-toxic recipe that you can mix up in a snap.
But there are also a few great non-toxic pre-mixed options as well. Thieves has a foaming hand soap and refill that smells amazing and actually supports the immune system without any harmful chemicals.
2. Check Your Exterior
The great thing about this little preventative check is that you don’t need anything except for a pair of shoes and your phone. Our family shares a Google Keep list where we have a running list of home repairs and updates we want to take care of. Anytime we see something that needs a little attention, on the list it goes. And a picture is super helpful so you don’t forget where it is your needing to check.
As a home inspector, I walk through the exterior with a fine tooth comb. I’ve made an abbreviated list for you to download so you can walk through your own exterior as well.
3. Toss Those Dryer Sheets
A much more economical and healthier option for laundry is to use all natural wool dryer balls. To reduce static cling you can add a safety pin to them and for that fresh laundry scent you can add a few drops of Lavender or Stress Away, which will last a few loads.
4. Replace Furnace Filters Often
My best advice is to purchase a box of filters that you can keep around so whenever you’re ready to change the filter, you can simply go do it. If you can find a filter with a Merv 10 or Merv 12 rating, that’s usually best. This allows air to flow through the filter without making your HVAC system work harder, but catches small particles of dust and debris as well.
5. Ditch the Plastic in Your Kitchen
The other thing I found through this process of getting rid of plastic was I had WAY more than I needed in my kitchen. I’m only using one water bottle at a time, so there’s really no need to have six water bottles lined up in my cabinet. I replaced them with one glass and one stainless steel water bottle. I’ve been so happy with this switch I’m moving on to other areas of my kitchen as well.
Plastic that is scratched can leach the harmful plasticizers and petroleum based products into your food and drink, which is why getting rid of worn and scratched plastic is a MUST. Then slowly work through the rest of your kitchen.
Life Without Plastic is one of my favorite spots to find kitchen products made from safe and non-toxic materials. THere are so many wonderful options when it comes to dishes and cookware, yet we often times don’t even know about them.
6. No-Shoe Policy
An easy fix and simple solution is to have a no-shoe policy in place. Create a spot by your doors where your family and your guests can leave their shoes. Shoe trays are a great option and you can get some really nice looking ones that will also align with the decor in your home.
I pinned some great ideas from other bloggers and websites on my Pinterest Page if you’re looking for ideas.
7. Get Rid of Dust
This again is a great habit to get into the habit of at home. Dusting is probably my LEAST favorite chore, and it often gets forgotten. But I’ve learned that dusting is really an excellent way to keep my indoor air quality in the green.
The best way I know to dust is with a spray and microfiber cloth. It keeps dust away for a longer period of time and it doesn’t just push the dust from spot to spot or push it into the air. Make sure to get the often-forgotten about spots too:
8. Toss Those Air Fresheners
Spray/Aerosol Air Fresheners
Scented Wax Melts
Upholstery Freshening Sprays
An easy switch is to try out a few essential oils and a diffuser. Not only is this a great option for some air freshening options, but the benefits of diffusing certain oils can actually improve the immune function and give emotional support.
Some of my favorite blends and their benefits are below:
9. Monitor Your Indoor Air
Awair can tell you when your CO2 levels are rising or if there’s a high amount of dust in your air. The app then gives you some remedies to try and fix the problem. I love that there are helpful tips that will help you to continue to improve YOUR indoor air quality based on what the device detects.
10. Ventilate on a Regular Basis
This means for the average homeowner we need to be opening up windows and doors on a regular basis to allow fresh air inside our homes. There are other things you can do as well, such as install an air to air exchanger. These devices do exactly what you might think, they exchange your indoor air with your outdoor air. Many new homes have them already, and if your house DOES have a system such as this, just make sure you’re washing or changing out the filter and you’re a step ahead of many homes in terms of environmental health.
In addition to opening windows and doors on a regular basis, you can also run ceiling fans, vented fans and HVAC systems while the windows are open. This helps circulate the air from space to space and speeds up the process of bringing the fresh air in and sending some indoor air outside.
If it’s wintertime, you can also go through and do one room at a time for just 5-10 minutes every day, this way you won’t be wasting as much energy while bringing fresh air inside.