Here are some simple changes you can make in your home to create a healthier living space!
1.) Add More Plants! You can read my post here all about the science behind the benefits of having plants in your home.
Studies have shown that having plants in your home can increase feelings of happiness, productivity, help filter toxin out of your air, and can improve sleep quality depending on the type of plant you use.
What to do: Add some green to your living space! You can put lavender or jasmine next to your bed to promote sleep. Any plant in the home or workplace can create a happier, more productive environment.
For improving your air quality, add plants such as the Arcea Palm (Chrysalidocarpus lutescens), Lady Palm (Rhapis excela), Rubber Plant (Ficus elastica), English Ivy (Hedera Helix), Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata) or the Peace Liy (Spathipyllum Wallisii).
2.) Eliminate BPA Containing Plastic Containers. Bisphenol A (BPA) is a compound used to manufacture polycarbonate plastics commonly used in food and drink packaging and water bottles.
Because it can leach into food and liquid, it has been linked to a variety of problems such as infertility, obesity, aggression, prostate and breast cancer, decreased sperm production and testosterone levels, decreased immune function and early onset of puberty….just to name a few (read more about this topic here).
What to do: Get rid of plastic containers that have the numbers 3 or 7 on the bottom, as these will be made with BPA or Phthlates. Also containers that have the letters PC or PVC on the bottom, as they indicate BPA/Phthalate made containers as well. Look for “BPA Free” when purchasing plastics or store food in glass containers,
I love using Pyrex containers as they are made of glass and BPA free lids, are pretty affordable and can be found at many common stores.
3.) Switch to less toxic cleaning products. Most of the common household cleaning products have a variety of toxic chemicals in them that can wreak havoc on your health.
Ingredients like Formaldehyde, found in Pine-Sol and Simple Green products, have been designated as a known carcinogen and toxic to the immune system.
Benzene, found in detergents, gasoline and pesticides, is a known carcinogen linked to leukemia, aplastic anemia and bone marrow abnormalities. Inhaling many of these products or getting them on your skin could cause serious health issues. Read more on this topic here.
4.) Make your own produce disinfecting wash. I am a big fan of buying organic produce when I know I will be eating the outside of the fruit/veggie.
But buying organic is more expensive, and may not be in everyone’s budget. A simple way to help rid our produce of some of the pesticides, germs from people touching them and any other bacteria that may be growing on them is to give them a thorough cleaning.
What to do: For most of your produce with hard skins, you can soak them in a solution of 25% distilled white vinegar and 75% water[i]. Soak in this solution for 10-15 minutes then really rub them to finish off the cleaning. You can also soak lettuce leaves in this solution[ii]. Put it in a spray bottle for quick, easy use.
5.) Switch to soy candles or diffusers. I am just as much a fan as anyone for having a yummy smelling home, but scented candles (made of paraffin wax) emit hazardous chemicals, such as benzene, which I talked about earlier.
These candles and their synthetic fragrances produces small pieces of matter that can be deposited in the respiratory tract. It also causes more indoor air pollution (iii). Synthetic fragrance can also trigger asthma attacks and migraines. Researchers at South Caroline State University found that paraffin candles released unwanted chemicals in the air while vegetable-based candles did not [iv].
What to do: Switch to soy candles that are scented with organic essential oils. You could also switch over to a diffuser (here's the one I use).
Many essential oils have also been shown to have researched and proven therapeutic benefits. Some of my favorites of these are lavender, bergamot, ylang ylang and peppermint. My favorite brand is Plant Therapy. Going organic is beneficial because you are still inhaling these compounds and want to avoid putting any harmful chemicals into your air or lungs.
Start making a few of these simple changes and you will be on your way to making your home a healthy haven! I would greatly appreciate it if you shared the below infographic to your Pinterest! :) Comment below some easy tips you have for helping to clean and green up your home! Love you all!
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[i] Lukasik, J, et al. “Reduction of Poliovirus 1, Bacteriophages, Salmonella Montevideo, and Escherichia Coli O157:H7 on Strawberries by Physical and Disinfectant Washes.” Advances in Pediatrics., U.S. National Library of Medicine, Feb. 2003, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12597475.
[ii] Zander, A, and M Bunning. Guide to Washing Fresh Produce. Colorado State University, Guide to Washing Fresh Produce.
[iii] Knight, Lynn, and et.al. CANDLES AND INCENSE AS POTENTIAL SOURCES OF INDOOR AIR POLLUTION: MARKET ANALYSIS AND LITERATURE REVIEW. nepis.epa.gov/Adobe/PDF/P1009BZL.pdf
[iv] “Frequent Use of Certain Candles Produces Unwanted Chemicals.” South Carolina State University, 24 Aug. 2009, www.scsu.edu/news_article.aspx?news_id=832.