When is the last time you gave the air quality of your home any thought? I bet for most of you unless there has been a specific problem you haven’t really given it much thought. My husband was recently taking an environmental health course related to indoor air quality in homes. He shared with me some of the common issues that may arise in a home. He mentioned mold, radon, and asbestos as some of the three major factors that contribute to poor air quality and environmental issues in the home. He also spoke about VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) that are released from common everyday products that we all have in our houses. Products such as furniture, beds, counter tops, flooring, wall materials, tiles, and other items have the potential to release these harmful chemicals. With all of these potential hazards I began to wonder if there was anything we could do to improve the quality of the air we breathe in our home.
To begin it is suggested that everyone have the quality of the air in their homes tested for mold, radon, and other harmful chemicals. Since this is not my area of expertise I suggest you check with a local environmental testing company or check out this website from the EPA. Now as far as steps that you can take now to improve the air quality within your home I have a few suggestions:
- Keep your floors clean. Use a vacuum with a hepa filter to reduce the amount of dust that accumulates on your floors. You would be amazed at how many chemicals including lead end up on your floors. After vacuuming you should also wet mop your floor to remove any chemicals and dust left behind.
- Circulate the air. Even when it is a bit chilly outside it is a good idea to open up the windows and let the air circulate. Bring in the fresh air and let the dirty air escape. During the winter I will open up our bedroom windows when we are sleeping. This allows for some cool fresh air to come in and the bad hot air that we breathe to escape. You will also sleep better at night with the fresh air.
- Reduce Moisture in the air. Excess moisture can lead to an increase in mold and fungus. If you are cooking in the kitchen open a window and run the fan above the stove. When you are taking a shower or bath run the vent fan in the bathroom and open a window. If you find that the moisture in your home is still too high you can try using a dehumidifier as well.
- Clean with green, unscented products. Minimize chemical pollutants. Whenever possible use environmentally friendly or all-natural organic cleaning products. Choose low-emitting products that have been 3rd party certified by organizations such as GreenGuard or GreenSeal. Look for labels that say “No Vocs.” Try using mixtures of lemon juice and vinegar for everyday cleaning. You would be surprised of these household uses of lemons and how well vinegar cleans and refreshes.
- Leave your shoes by the door: When we walk from one place to another, we are actually walking through a mixture of viruses, bacteria, and chemicals sprayed on the streets to melt ice. Imagine if someone walked through your home after stepping on a lawn that has been sprayed for ticks and mosquitos—you definitely don’t want to track that into the house.
- Start with the bedroom: Transitioning your entire home into a green space can be a daunting task; I suggest starting with the bedroom, the room we spend the majority of our time in, and use a combination of all of these tips to refine the indoor air quality. Keep the bedroom clean and clutter free so it doesn’t accumulate dust and dust mites, and use organic pillows and sheets. Our body detoxes while we sleep, so the bedroom should be a pristine environment. Fortunately, today we have the option of choosing wool or organic cotton filled cushions, recycled filling for pillows and organic upholstery fabrics. Some of the world’s healthiest fabrics are also the most luxurious, including cotton, hemp, linen and wool.
With the search for organic cotton and organic pillows I found a company called Essentia. It’s a family owned business and Jack, the creator, started, when one of his family member was diagnosed with cancer and physicians made him aware of toxins in everyday items like TV, couches and especially pillows.
I got to test 2 of their pillows – Ergonomic and Comfort pillow. I really liked the way they feel. Ergonomic pillow cradles the neck and provides the neck support and is great if you sleep on your side. The Comfort pillow is my favorite. It is most likely a traditional pillow on the soft side and is filled with shredded natural latex and natural memory foam. I like that I can customize my comfort simply by digging a hole and moving the pieces of memory foam around with my hand.
The one on the top is the Comfort pillow. You can even see the shredded lumps peeking through the cover. It can feel a little lumpy at first but once you get past that the support is great. I like that it’s fill doesn’t shift at night so your neck is always supported.
It comes with a thick zip pillow cover which you can remove and wash and dry. It is made of 100% unbleached Organic fabric.
I suggest you check out MyEssentia.com and discover their items because not only the sell pillows, but Organic sheets too.
Please share any other methods you use in your homes to keep the air fresh and clean.
Disclosure: I received the items mentioned above so I could form an opinion to share with you. Regardless of this arrangement, I was not required to give a positive review. All opinions expressed above are my own honest thoughts. Thanks for reading!