For most of us, our homes are our havens. But many people often overlook the vast amount of toxins present in our living spaces. The good news is, you can create a healthy space for you and your family without breaking your budget or making any huge changes. Just follow these six simple tips and and your home will be healthier and more of the haven it should be.
1. Use chemical-free cleaning products
Traditional cleaning products are full of chemicals and additives that can reduce your home’s air quality and potentially cause problems for people with sensitivities. However, you can combat this by making and using chemical-free cleaning products. They’re excellent because you can personalize them to suit your individual tastes and needs (and the possibilities are virtually endless).
For example, you can make a powerful but natural disinfectant spray using water and essential oils. Lemon oil is a very popular choice because it has a fresh and clean citrus scent combined with powerful antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. Tea tree oil is also very popular, and it effectively fights viruses, germs, and bacteria. To make your natural cleaner, get a spray bottle and add one cup of water to one cup of vinegar and mix in 10 to 15 drops of lemon or tea tree essential oil.
2. Add greenery with indoor house plants
Did you know that adding live houseplants to your home can help improve your mood and reduce your stress levels? Additionally, houseplants work to clean your home’s indoor air. All you have to do is place them around your house and let them get to work. With a little light and water, you’ll have a thriving green space.
If you’re not sure which plants to get, you may want to start with ones that are easy to care for. Devil’s Ivy, Lucky Bamboo, Jade, Peace Lily, Spider Plant, Dracaena, and a variety of succulents make great first-plant options. It’s important that you dedicate time to water them at least once a week or more depending on the care instructions.
3. Optimize your lighting
Natural light can do wonders to improve your living space, especially during the cooler months when you don’t get as much light. Natural light can help combat depression symptoms, and it’s also less of a strain of your eyesight compared to fluorescent lighting. Take advantage of any windows and opportunities to flood your home with sunlight.
To start, you can switch out heavier curtains for sheer panels. These panels allow you to take advantage of the light without having to worry about opening and closing the curtains as the light moves. They’re airy enough to let any fresh air pass through as well, and they work well for both large and small windows. You may want to spend more time in areas of your home that get the best natural lighting to take full advantage of it.
4. Let fresh air in
If it’s warm outside, you may be tempted to keep your windows shut tight and not let any fresh air flow through your space. However, this can lead to an increased number of allergens or irritants in your air, and this isn’t good for people with respiratory conditions like asthma or allergies. If you’re worried about the heat, open your windows in the cooler morning or evening hours.
You can create a nice cross breeze that flows through your home by opening windows on both ends of the home. Not only will this help to flush the stuffy air out, but it’ll also help to remove irritants or allergens that may still be floating around in your air. It’s a good idea to open several windows at the same time to get the full health benefit and the maximum amount of fresh air possible.
5. Switch to durable goods
Do you have a lot of plastic containers around your home? If so, there is a slight chance that the plastic could seep into your food items, and it’s also not healthy for the environment when you toss those plastic items out. Instead, switch over to reusable glass containers, and opt for sustainable, durable goods over disposable whenever possible.
If you use plastic cups, swap them for ceramic or glass. You can also get reusable batteries and reusable razors instead of disposable. This will work to create a healthier environment inside and outside your home, as you won’t be throwing away items that don’t break down or decompose. You can also recycle your items when you’re finished with them. The Salvation Army and Habitat for Humanity take donations of gently used items.
6. Plant a garden
A garden isn’t good for your body and mind. It’s also a great way to sustain yourself with the food you grow. You can even recycle the seeds at the end of the growing season and use them to start an entirely new crop of vegetables in the early spring months! Additionally, you can choose how large or small you want your garden to be—so even if you live in a small apartment, you can opt for a windowsill version.
There is evidence that gardening is a natural and effective way to fight anxiety, stress, and depression. Some say it can even help you lose weight. If you have an indoor garden, the greenery can boost your mood and clean the air while it grows, and you could potentially have a year-round garden in your home.
The above tips can help you create a naturally healthier environment for your entire family to live and work in. They’re quick and easy—and you’ll start to see the benefits almost immediately. We invite you to try one or try them all and get on your way to healthier living right now.
Catherine Lawson is the chief editor at WellnessAromas.com. Wellness Aromas is a community of passionate aromatherapy advocates, dedicated to providing resources and guidance to improve your wellness with essential oils