While the good news is carbon emissions have dropped around 17 percent in recent months, due to coronavirus quarantines put in place around the world, indoor air pollution continues to be an issue we’re all dealing with day in and day out.
According to the EPA, the average American spends around 90% of their day indoors (whether indoors at work, in their vehicle or at home). As a result of Stay at Home orders, people have recently been spending the majority of their time at home.
As the concentration of indoor air pollutants can often be between two and five times higher than the concentration found outdoors, this could lead to a significantly lower air quality for you and your family. This means, with more people staying at home and/or working from home, each of us needs to take action to improve our indoor air quality by lowering indoor pollution levels. Doing so will also help remove harmful toxins and make your home a safer place for you and your loved ones to be.
To get you started, the team here at Biofriendly Planet Magazine has put together some biofriendly ways you and your loved ones can improve indoor air quality at home. Many of these are DIY and natural ideas you can use on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.
Many of these actions/ideas will also assist you in keeping your home clean and, therefore, minimizing your risk of exposure to unnecessary health risks.
10 Ways to Reduce Indoor Air Pollution
1) Minimize incoming toxins. One of the first things you’ll want to do is minimize the toxins you are bringing into your home. This means leave your shoes at the door. You might consider keeping a natural hand sanitizer near the door as well, so you can use it right when you come in.
2) Clean your home regularly. This is kind of a no-brainer, especially in this day and age. You’ll want to clean your home on a daily, weekly, monthly basis to help keep it germ-free. In some instances, depending on what you are doing, you’ll might even want to clean surfaces more often.
To minimize toxicity, and yet still help protect yourself against COVID-19, you can use one of the cleaners on the EWG’s safe and effective products list for a deep cleaning. You can also make some DIY natural cleaners for use around the house. Whatever you choose, please remember to exercise caution and never ingest products meant for cleaning.
3) Air out your house. Open your windows and/or doors daily to let fresh air in and stale air out. This is a simple, biofriendly way to cool your home down or warm it up, as the case may be. As we’re experiencing a streak of warmer weather here, I like to open the windows in the morning to cool the house down. Then, after it gets dark, we open a few windows and doors to cool things down again. This lets also the stale air out as a result of us being inside all day, before we go to bed. (Of course, I don’t recommend leaving windows or doors open and unlocked overnight or while you’re away.)
4) Seal doors and windows. Since you’re now thinking about your windows and doors, take this opportunity to check for any places where air could be leaking in or out. If you find any such places, you’ll want to seal those up. You should look for any moisture damage or mold as well. Clean the area thoroughly and, if needed, you can use these natural black mold remedies.
5) Use a clean filter in your HVAC unit. If you cool/heat your home using an HVAC unit, it’s extremely important you replace your filter regularly. A clean filter can only attract so much dust, dirt and dander. If you continue to use your HVAC after the filter should have been replaced, you are basically spewing allergens back into the house.
6) Bring in some plants. Plants are a simple, natural way to green up your home and bring some of the outdoors in. Certain plants have been shown to have wonderful air purifying qualities. These air purifying plants are exactly what your home needs right now.
7) Use a diffuser instead of chemical air freshener. In addition to cooking and baking, which can make your house smell great, a diffuser with essential oils is an effective way to freshen your home without the use of chemical sprays and aerosols. Pick your favorite essential oil, add it to the diffuser and let it go to work.
8) Opt for non- or low-VOC only. If you’re planning to do any renovations around the home, be use to use low- or non-VOC paints, stains, adhesives, lumber and insulation. You’ll also want to make sure any new furniture and carpets are not loaded with toxins.
9) Get a Himalayan salt lamp. Although not everyone believes in the healing benefits of Himalayan salt lamps, these salt lamps have been known to act as a natural anti-depressant, rid the air of pollutants, deodorize and promote deep sleep, among other things.
10) Switch to beeswax candles. If you’re going to use candles around the house, why not choose beeswax candles? Beeswax candles produce negative ions when burned, which aids in neutralizing pollutants like dust, dander and other allergens.
Having done each of those steps, if you want or need to bring in a store-bought air purifier to aid in purification, you can check out this “best air purifier list” to see reviews and specs on purifiers big and small.
The key is to take the necessary steps to remove harmful toxins and chemicals likely to pollute the air. This will allow you to breathe easier, reduce indoor pollution and improve indoor air quality. It can also have a positive impact on your overall health and well-being!