5 Ways to Make Your Home Healthier Today | Sustainability Series
Updated: Mar 29, 2022
Welcome to the first "episode" of our new sustainability series! Designing healthy homes and promoting sustainable lifestyles is a huge drive in what we do at BYoung Design. So, in our sustainability series we're not only going to talk about how we can help you design a sustainable home, but also what you can do today to lead a more sustainable life. Today we're going to keep it simple - what are 5 ways you can make your home healthier today.
A lot of the air we breathe in, the bacteria we come into contact with and the chemicals we are exposed to can be harmful to our bodies. While we might not be able to avoid these all the time, we can have control over our own homes. Creating a healthy home will promote wellbeing - for us and for our planet. Here are 5 strategies for making your current home healthier.
For a comprehensive list of my favorite sustainable products for your home, check out my Kit.
1. Decorate with plants
House plants add a touch of greenery to your home, while also purifying the air. Plants like pothos, ivy, peace lilies, aloe vera and snake plants can remove some of the most common pollutants like benzene, xylene, trichloroethylene and formaldehyde. Stay tuned for an entire post about plants!
Image via The Jungalow
Image via The Jungalow
2. Reorganize and declutter
Clutter can not only create stress and anxiety, it also collects dust particles. Try to organize your home, donating or selling any items you no longer need. Start by tackling one room at a time and don’t move onto the next room until the first is done. Spend a couple hours organizing and break it up across multiple days or weeks. Read my post all about Minimalism to get inspired how to get started!
3. Filter your water
Some cities are fortunate enough to have tap water that is safe to drink. However, most tap water can have traces of lead, chlorine and pesticides. There is so much information on the types of filters you can purchase and all the harmful chemicals that are in water. I'll keep it short and simple, but you can go on a deep dive here. Here are some strategies to protect yourself from harmful pollutants and avoid buying plastic water bottles:
Invest in a kitchen faucet filter or a pitcher-type filter. These filters are affordable and ensure your drinking water is clean.
Buy refillable water jugs from a local store. This will also help avoid the waste that comes from buying plastic water bottles. You can also purchase a reusable water bottle to decrease plastic water bottle use. Make sure you purchase a good quality bottle that ISN'T plastic! Especially if it is sitting for long periods in the sun or hot car. There are so many amazing options these days, my favorite has always been Kleen Kanteen. Their insulated ones are incredible and I love the super big options to keep my water consumption on track. My other favorite canteen that is ultra chic are Swell bottles.
Purchase a shower head water filter. These filters are easy to install and can help with healthier hair and skin.
4. Use your range-hood fan when you cook
Stoves, especially gas stoves, release carbon monoxide into the air. Turn on your kitchen exhaust fan while cooking to draw particles and gases out of your home. If your home does not have an exhaust fan, open a window while you cook.
5. Swap out finishes and furniture for healthier finishes
There are many fabrics in our homes that contain harmful chemicals, collect dust and absorb bacteria. Here are some changes you can make:
Replace carpet with wood, tile or laminate flooring. Carpets collect dust and allergens. The best solution is to replace carpet with a finish like wood flooring. You can always use an area rug on top to make the space more comfortable. If replacing flooring isn’t economically feasible, you reduce dust by vacuuming and shampooing frequently and meticulously. Whether you replace your carpet or not, aim to vacuum at least two times a week and clean the vacuum bag and filter every time.
Look for chemical-free furnishings. Invest in furniture filled with batting made from natural fibers and pressed-wood furniture and cabinets made with little or no formaldehyde. In addition, furnishings with stain-resistant coatings contain perfluorochemicals which may be harmful to our health.
Replace plastic blinds with washable fabric curtains. Many plastic products contain Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). Once these products are in our homes, they release or “off-gas” harmful chemicals into the air we breathe. Avoid VOCs by investing in fabric curtains. In addition, these curtains are typically washable so keeping them dust-and allergen- free will be that much easier.
Avoid vinyl shower curtains. Vinyl can contain phthalates which can be hazardous to reproductive health. Investing in a washable nylon, polyester or cotton shower curtain will help you avoid these chemicals. Being able to wash your shower curtain will also help you prevent mildew or mold build up.
That's it! Easy, simple, and doesn't have to take a lot of work. There are so many more strategies that we didn't go into today, so stay tuned for more posts! Let us know, what did you do today to get one step closer to a healthy home?