April 18, 2012

When you think of green cleaning and toxin reduction in your home, you most likely think of green cleaning products and homemade cleaning solutions. These are very important and I highly recommend looking into purchasing toxin free cleaning products. However, you can also keep your home clean and green by limiting the number of chemicals and toxins that enter your home in the first place.  It may seem shocking but the average U.S. household consumes 2.5 GALLONS of toxic chemicals a year. Obviously people are not chugging bottles of bleach so where are these toxins coming from?

Here are five tips for keeping toxins out of your home.

Catch The Breeze

Open your windows when the weather is nice. Opening your windows can give your family a breath of fresh air and also reduce the number of toxins in your home. Homes today are designed to be leak proof. They are sealed as tight as possible. This means the toxins we unknowingly bring into our home in our furniture and household products are concentrated in the home with no way to escape. It has been shown that opening your windows for just 5 minutes a day can significantly reduce the amount of toxins in the home. So catch a little breeze and open those windows.

No Shoes Please

If you haven’t already, implement a “no shoe” policy in your home. Your shoes come into contact with a number of chemicals on a daily basis. They can track in pesticides, toxins, and residues from outdoors right onto your carpet. Toxins can cling to your carpet and remain there for years, even with frequent vacuuming. So leave the shoes at the door and keep those toxins off the carpet.

Bring The Plants Indoors

A study, performed by NASA and the Associated Landscape Contractors of America, found that certain common indoor plants greatly reduce the amount of toxins in the air. These plants were found to be especially apt at cleaning and absorbing toxins in the air: Peace Lily, Areca Palms, Boston Fern, Spathiphyllum, Gerbera Daisy, Spider Plants, Chrysanthemums, Philodendron, and the Golden Pothos. The study found that the plants take in the toxic chemicals through their leaves, their roots, and the soil, and remove “even trace levels of toxic vapors”.

Skip The Artificial Fragrances

Artificial fresheners such as dryer sheets, fabric softeners, fabreeze, and plug-in fragrance systems can pollute the air in your home. If you must have a scent in indoors, opt for essential oils. You can use a diffuser for a nice scent or dilute essential oil in some distilled water to create your own non-toxic room spray.

Change Your Filters

Change your air filters in your AC or furnace every 1-3 months. I change mine monthly to be safe. Also choose a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA  filter and change it per the manufacturers recommendations.

Toxins enter our home through a number of ways. Following these 5 simple steps can help reduce the amount of toxins in your home significantly. What measures do you take to ensure your home is as toxin-free as possible?