Simple Options to Improve Indoor Air Quality and Overall Health

When starting to live a holistic and “green” lifestyle, it seems there are an abundant number of ways to reduce your carbon footprint on the Earth. At first, taking a few small steps towards improving your sustainability and quality of life is usually the best way to go about this. Indoor air quality is sometimes overlooked, but improving the quality of air around your homes can be of great importance. There are some small actions you can take around the house that will not only help reduce your carbon footprint and improve indoor air quality, but also help reduce the risk of certain diseases such as asbestosis, mesothelioma, and lung cancer.

One easy and fun way to cut down toxins in your home is adding a couple plants around the house. Not only can they be an attractive addition to your home as a decoration, but they can also help to improve the air quality. In its simplest form, plants can serve to purify and revitalize the air around the house. They do this by removing the chemicals and vapors floating around, then outputting clean, sustainable air. Some plants to look for that are excellent at helping the air quality in the home, are the areca palm, the rubber plant and English ivy.

Another easy way to improve your home’s air quality and reduce your carbon footprint is to make small steps in replacing some household products that may contain toxins. This may include some things like cleaners, pesticides, and paint. There are a number of alternatives as far as cleaners go and many of the brand names now sell organic alternatives to their regular products in most stores. You can even go the route of making your own cleaners, if you’re feeling up to it. If you’re taking on some crafts or projects around the house, look for some alternative paints that are labeled “low VOC.” This means they are lower in toxins than normal types of paint and they will be a great help to increase your home air quality. Some of the toxins in paint can be a cause of nausea, kidney damage, or dizziness. Looking for an alternative will keep toxins out of the home and reduce these types of risks.

Using the right type of insulation can be important in ultimately helping to reduce your carbon footprint. There are a number of green types of insulation that if installed in your home, will not only cut down on energy use, but it may also help protect you from some health risks with previous installation. If you have a home built before the 1980’s, it would be wise to have it checked for asbestos. This is a material that was previously used often for insulation purposes, but is now banned and known as a cause of some diseases such as mesothelioma and asbestosis. Mesothelioma life expectancy is severely low; therefore removal of asbestos and new insulation would be important if they’re discovered at home. As far as green alternative for insulation, one great example is loose fill cellulose. This is not only the least expensive type of eco insulation, but is also made out of recycled paper. Another option is the use of spray foam insulation, which fills crevices and cracks precisely.

As you can see, small and easy steps can have a major impact on the air quality in your home. Doing some of these things like finding alternatives will not only help reduce your carbon footprint, but also reduce the risk of health problems in the process.

Written by Krista Peterson

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