Recent college graduate and aspiring writer Krista Peterson* contacted me with an article for F that S that focused on common toxins found in the home and how removing them not only benefits our environment but our personal health as well.
Easy Steps and Replacements: Cutting Down on Home Toxins
One of the most beneficial areas for going green is inside our own home, where indoor toxins can be surprisingly very common. Switching out some of the household products we use every day is a great way to have an instant impact on our family’s health.
Common household cleaners have been known to litter home air with toxins. Many include toxins like ammonia and glycol. Luckily there are a number of organic options available these days. There are also numerous directions and guides online on how to make your own organic cleaners. Editor’s Note: Don’t forget to use old towels and rags instead of paper towels.
The paint that is commonly bought in most hardware stores is usually high in Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s). If repeated exposure to VOC’s occurs, the body could react with health problems such as asthma and other respiratory issues. Most hardware stores carry low-VOC paints that have minimal toxins.
Decorating with plants not only introduces a visual element, but also cuts down on toxins by purifying the air. Certain plants thrive off of common toxins and will work to kill them off–improving the quality of the air indoors in the process. Editor’s Note: Big box stores like Lowes and Home Depot carry many of these plants for very cheap. Just make sure to thoroughly check them for bugs and disease before buying them.
Keeping out pesticides
Pesticides often get tracked inside via family members’ shoes. An easy solution would be to start wearing shoes only outside of the home, either with a tray right inside the door or by storing them in the garage or mud room. Editor’s Note: Preferably, you would use only natural pesticides or stop using pesticides altogetherand employ greener methods like companion planting to manage your pest problems.
Insulation can be riddled with toxins, so replace your current insulation with a greener alternative. Although a project like this can be a large undertaking, it will be greatly beneficial. Some older forms of insulation present the risk of asbestos exposure and other toxins. Using green options such as spray foam and cellulose can cut down on toxins while helping increase your house’s sustainability (Editor’s Note: Not to mention resale value).
These are just a few of the ways that toxins can be cut down around the house. As going green has become more popular, the supply and demand for organic alternatives for household products has grown as well. Making the switch to these products can do wonders to improve the overall air quality of your home, and the quality of life for your family.
*As a health and safety advocate, Krista Peterson shares a strong passion for the wellness of others and for environmental issues. Krista uses her writings to spread awareness of such issues to encourage others to live the healthiest and most eco-friendly lifestyles possible.
Thanks, Krista! You chose an important subject with which to start spreading eco-friendly awareness. Hope to see more from you in the future. And to other would-be Green(ish) Guest Writers – don’t be shy…contact me if you’ve got an idea. Including other opinions beside my own will make F that S a much more interesting and relevant read!
Photo from Best Interior Home