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9 Easy Tips For a Healthier Home

Blog by | July 26th, 2008

9 Easy Tips For a Healthier Home
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Home is where health starts. From carpets and wall colours to window shades and overhead lighting, your house can play a role in how much you weigh, your mood, even your cancer risk. It's imperative to eliminate toxins, pollutants and health risks. There are many small things that you can do to make your home healthier and  improve your mood, these tips can be implemented immediately and cost you nothing.

1. Keep Pollutants Outside
With every step you make outside your home, your shoes come in contact with all kinds of toxins (oil, gasoline, pesticides, cleaning chemicals, dirt and more), leave those pollutants outside.

Make it a habit to take your shoes off as soon as you walk in the door of your home. Place a chair on bench near the door and put a shoes basket or shelf to make easier for you family members and visitors to take off their shoes at the door. This cuts down of the amount of of dirt and allergens in your home.

2. Use Natural Cleansers
Commercial cleansers may make cleaning easier, but they may also contain carcinogenic ingredients, respiratory irritants, and even pesticides. Try safer cleansers such as a mixture of baking soda and vinegar to clean tubs and toilets, salt to scrub kitchen sinks and borax for laundry.

Once you try cleaning with non-toxic cleaners you’ll find it hard to believe you ever used harsh chemicals. Not only do they work just as well, they smell better, don’t make you dizzy, and don’t pose a health risk.

3. Clean Smarter and More Often
The greatest risk children get at home comes from the dust that gets on their hand from crawling on the floor and touching dust-covered surfaces, exposing them to dust mites, mould and pet dander, all of which can trigger allergies and asthma attacks.

Dust every few days with a slightly damp cloth, to prevent the dust from returning to the air. Avoid furnishings that trap dust, such as drapes, carpeting, throw pillows, and stuffed animals. Wash curtains and slip covers regularly in hot water.

Use a vacuum with a high-efficiency particulate air filter, and use it twice a week. If you are building a new house consider a central vacuum system that vents outside. The idea is to remove dust and debris without kicking it into the air inside your home.

4. Breath Fresh Air
Fresh air saturated with Oxygen is essential for a healthy in-door living. A properly ventilated home will also help release humidity that may build up, condense and cause bacteria, dust mites and mould.

Whenever possible, open the windows to allow old air out and fresh air in.  In colder or humid months, use mechanical ventilation system to help keep indoor air fresh, dry, and comfortable.

It’s especially important to ventilate areas of the home which may have increased air pollutants such as the basement, laundry room and workshop. Glues, paints, solvents, laundry detergents, and even just dirty clothes can all cause unwanted air pollution. Keep all of these stored properly and well ventilated.

5. Stop Smoking
Take the smoke-free pledge. Choose not to smoke in your home and do not permit others to do so. Small children are especially vulnerable to the health effects of second-hand smoke such as allergens and respiratory disease. If you must smoke, go outside. Moving to another room or opening a window is not enough to protect your children.

6. Drink Clean Water
Clean water is essential for good health. If your water comes from a municipal supply it is tested regularly by the water authority. If you have a private drinking water well, test it periodically.

On the way to our taps, water can pick up asbestos from old concrete pipes, rust, lead particles, and dirt. The glass of water you take from the tap has had a long eventful journey but is it clean enough to drink, it could be cleaner and better if you use a good in-house filtering system.

In order to keep your water filter functioning effectively, it is important to change the filter cartridges on a regular basis.

7. Inspire Healthy Eating Habits
Keep a bowl of fresh fruits and vegetables on your kitchen counter to inspire healthy eating and cut down on bad snacks.

Fruits are best for you and your kids. Aim for different colours to give you the widest variety of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that your body needs. Choose whole fruit over fruit juice. Often juice has lots of added sugar and preserving chemicals. Even if not, whole fruit still has more fibre and will leave you more satisfied.

8. Give Your House a Mood Boost
Researches shows that a well nature-lighted homes help ease blues, insomnia, and may even boost concentration. Whenever possible open the curtains and allow sunlight in. Equip your home with broad-spectrum light bulbs that closely resembles daylight. Researches also show that good lighting helps prevent over-eating.

Keep a bright bunch of flowers in the living room, a vase of vibrant flowers along with green plants help generate a positive mood around the house and reduce stress, fatigue, and illness. In-door green plants also help reducing carbon monoxide.

Cut down on heavy and loud music, play a soft, classical, or country background music to set up an easy atmosphere and help you unwind.

9. Encourage Family Activities
Reduce the use of TV in your home and encourage family activities. Excessive TV watching has been linked to obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Put a chess or a board game in the living room. Playing board games familiarizes young children with letters and numbers, builds hand-eye coordination, and encourages kids of all ages to interact with others. They can be a steppingstone for discussion about almost anything. Strategy games like Chess or Monopoly provide opportunities to talk about not only the game itself, but how it applies to the real world, real problems, etc. and most importantly help build family bonds.

The choices we all make on a day to day basis can make a huge impact. With just a little forethought and desire,  we could make our homes healthier and joyful to all family members.