It is completely irrelevant if you wish you could lose 10 pounds, if you have a pimple on your nose, if you think you are too tall or too short, or if your hair sticks up in weird places after you take off your hat – you breathe. This is one thing that unites us.
And it turns out that you breath somewhere between 10,000 and 70,000 litres of air in just one 24 hour period. Which is a lot.
If you are like most modern people, most of those breaths are taken indoors, where the air quality is 2 to 5 times worse (unless it’s 100 times worse, which it can be if you really make an effort to pollute a space).
Consistently breathing air with contaminants can aggravate asthma, give you headaches, irritate your eyes, and it is suggested that it can even lower the IQ of children!
So what do you do to make sure that the air you breathe inside is as clean as the air you breathe outside?
First step – open a window, if you can. Letting air circulate will help to diffuse the contaminants that are in your flooring, your paint, etc. Even on a cold day, a little fresh air can do wonders for your mood and for your air quality. Otherwise, make sure all of your exhaust fans, including for the stove and bathrooms, are working properly.
Reduce chemical cleaners. You can hire a company such as ours to make this step extra easy, or check out other blog posts for ideas on how to keep a clean house, naturally.
And, because a lot of the contaminants are in your furnishings and décor, try eco-friendly options, or at least try not to buy brand new stuff too often. The chemicals (VOCs) will break down and be released over time, so buy things that you will love for a long time, instead of cheap things you replace often. New furniture, new paint, new carpet – all of these have smells. That is the chemicals that you are breathing in, and they will be releasing long after the smell is gone.
You might also have heard that some plants will help to clean the air that you breathe, and this is absolutely the case. Peace Lilies are my personal favourite, because they not only are incredibly effective at cleaning the air, but they are really hardy and easy to care for, and beautiful! Aloe is great for a sunny window to help clear the air AND provide a little natural first aid for burns – a great thing to grow in the kitchen. Spider and Snake plants aren’t nearly as scary as they sound, and they will filter out formaldehyde and other chemicals, and make the room cheerier. You can also pick Gerber daisies, chrysanthemums, or azalea, if you prefer flowers; English ivy, if you like your greens to spread and drape. There are, in fact, many plants that clean the air – this is but a taste of the wonderful greens that adorn cleaner aired buildings.
Making your air fresher and cleaner will help your health and well being, and that of your children and pets. Especially if you have strange respiratory symptoms that cannot be explained, this is a great place to start.