As the saying goes, “Home is where love resides.” So, you want that place to be as clean, comfortable, and full of love as possible. And healthy, too. You want your home to promote well-being and, well, be a place where you can breathe easier. What can you do to make that possible? Keep reading, then take a look around your home and see what feels right to incorporate into your abode.
Keeping your home clean is a given. But there are many more things you can do to make it a healthier place to live, from adding plants to incorporating sun lamps to improving ventilation. The bonus is that it won’t just benefit you and those you love but also likely help the planet. We have several simple ways to make a big difference.
Plants don’t just make things prettier; they also make them healthier. Indoor air pollution can be two to five times higher than outdoor air pollution. When you think about how much time we spend inside, that’s startling. But you can add house plants with air-purifying qualities and attack some of the toxins from your home. Think of things like English Ivy, Aloe Vera, Peace Lilies, and others. They’ll filter the air by absorbing CO2 and releasing oxygen. You can add them to any room. In fact, some people say you should have one plant for every 100 square feet in your home. You can put them in any spot that works for you, and it will help not just clear the air but also improve your mental health and reduce stress.
A NASA study found certain plants are better than others at purifying the air. How is that so? Well, to put our science hat on from grade school, you may recall it’s part of photosynthesis. That’s when plants convert carbon dioxide into fresh oxygen, removing the toxins from the air around us. For example, English Ivy and Bamboo palms diffuse toxic chemicals, including Formaldehyde, Benzene, and Trichloroethylene. Formaldehyde can irritate our nose, mouth, and throat. Benzene can cause drowsiness, dizziness, and headaches and can eventually cause harmful effects on your bone marrow and a decrease in red blood cells. Trichloroethylene causes dizziness, headache, and confusion. Some of the best plants include the following:
Aloe Vera: This succulent needs sunlight but not much watering, and it’s easy to keep this one alive. It also has benefits for your skin, so that’s a bonus.
Queen Fern: This one is also easy to grow and doesn’t require direct light. You need to keep the soil moist, and it does well in kitchens or bathrooms.
Snake Plant: This can survive with minimal water and light and can go weeks without care.
Weeping Fig Tree: This one is large and needs a lot of light and to be watered regularly. It can grow a few feet, so you’ll also need to think about repotting it each year.
Gerber Daisy: This smaller plant can add color to your home, brightening your mood while clearing the air.
Chrysanthemums: These are another colorful option and are among the best air-purifying houseplants out there. The downside is they won’t stay alive for long indoors.
Most people spend about 90% of their time indoors. That’s a ton. And it’s essential to add as much sunlight as you can. There are multiple negative health impacts if you don’t. It can play a role in your mood, contributing to things like Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD. If you can’t add more sunlight by building more windows or a sunroom, you can add sunlamps to your home to help with your mood and health. Research shows that light alters the small messenger molecule nitric oxide levels in the skin and blood, reducing blood pressure. Lower blood pressure cuts the risk of heart attack and stroke. More light also reduces stress and anxiety. So, go with the saying, “Let there be light!”
You should also be sure to keep your home dry with a dehumidifier, which will help prevent mold. You can also leave your bathroom fan on for 20-30 minutes after you shower and keep the door cracked a few inches for airflow. Improve ventilation by changing out your air filters at least every three months. When you can, open the windows to let fresh air in. Also, take your shoes off at the door. Your shoes pick up dirt and chemicals from outside, and the last thing you want is to drag them through your home.
All that “stuff” takes its toll, so get rid of what you can. If you don’t touch it after a year, odds are you never will again, so let those great goods find new homes. You can go drawer by drawer or room by room, whatever feels manageable. If you take one space each day for a month, you may make it through your entire home by March!
All of this may sound like a hassle, but where you sleep, wake, and spend most of your time should be soothing AND healthy. These steps should get you on the right track, and if you make them part of your daily routine, it’ll become second nature. Then, your home truly will be where love resides, even if it’s just you living there. Love yourself enough to make your home a healthy one.
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