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Chemicals are everywhere; not all are bad but many can affect us with nausea, headaches and fatigue. This is due to Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) which accumulate in our homes. Reducing the use of chemicals can minimize the build up of VOC’s and improve indoor air quality.
How to Reduce Chemicals and Improve Indoor Air Quality
Step 1: Ditch Conventional Air Fresheners
Air Fresheners such as sprays, candles and aromatic plug-ins are riddled with a chemical stew that should be considered chemical-warfare on your lungs. Get rid of the artificial, phthalate-filled fragrances and sub it out by scenting your home naturally.
Step 2: Switch to Fragrance-Free Laundry Detergent
Scented laundry detergent is also one of the worst offenders when it comes to indoor air quality. Clean doesn’t have to have a scent. (see: J.R Watkins Laundry Detergent)
And while you’re at it, switch to wool dryer balls and get rid of those dryer sheets! If you’re someone that needs that clean smell, add a couple drops of essential oils on the wool dryer balls about 15 minutes before the drying cycle is complete. Fresh, clean and toxin-free!
Step 3: Declutter your Household Cleaners
Believe it or not, you don’t need a separate cleaning agent for each surface of your home! In fact, Castile Soap mixed with a few other household ingredients can do a great job for everyday cleaning. It’s easy to green clean your home with only a couple different blends!
Step 4: Get Some Air Purifying Plants
Plants are an under-rated staple to any household. Not only can they help purify the air, but they can also improve our wellbeing among many other great things.
Examples of Clean Air Plants that can remove benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene from the air include:
- Snake Plants (Sansevieria) thrives from neglect which is perfect for beginners.
- Pothos (Epipremnum Aureum) do well in low-light and can pretty much only die from too much water.
- Dracaenas can survive well with medium-light and don’t need much water.
- Spider Plant (Chlorophytum Comosum) are easy to care for and do well in many lighting conditions. Yellow leaves mean it needs more water and brown tips mean the water is too salty or there’s too much fluoride.
- Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum) best to keep in a medium light and do not over water.
Step 5: Don’t purchase new furniture
That new scent is full of VOC’s which reduces the indoor air quality in your home. The chemicals range from flame-retardants to waterproofing agents that are used during the production of furniture. If you can, avoid purchasing furniture that is brand new by opting for the floor model instead which has had time to off-gas, plus you will save some money!
If you plan to purchase new furniture it is best to wait until the spring or summer when you can leave your windows open and allow some fresh air circulation into your home.
How do you reduce VOC’s in your home?