What About the INSIDE Air You Breathe? 5 Steps to Keeping it Clean.



We spend at least 85% of our time breathing indoor air, yet we spend 85% of our time worrying about outdoor air pollution! I asked Lori Denis (photo below right)for ideas on simple steps that keep the air inside fresh and clean. She should know. She's the star of HGTV's "The Real Designing Women" and author of Green Interior Design, a book I highly recommend. Here's what she said:

Green Interior Design Here’s to your health!  When I first heard that our indoor spaces were more polluted than outside, I didn’t believe it.  Not in my house – I’m a neat freak!  But everything from furniture to plastics to electronics is constantly off-gassing, polluting our safe haven.  These toxins cause headaches, nausea, sore throat, dry skin, itchy eyes, and even loss of concentration.  Outdoor air quality is not only better for you, but Vitamin D production from sun exposure can actually help ward off sickness.  Here are a few ways to make sure you are enhancing your spaces to keep you, your family and friends healthy and happy.

1.      WINDOWS – Open the windows and let the sunshine in!  Sunlight is a natural disinfectant.  Even if you live in an apartment, you can place pillows, blankets and mattresses in front of an open window to allow solar rays and fresh air to help sanitize them.  It's a lot easier than steam cleaning them, too!

2.      PLANTS – Rooms with plants have been shown to have 60% less airborne molds and bacteria than rooms with no plants.  They soak up all the toxins your home is emitting and act as purifying organs.  Plants can also improve our mood by increasing positive feeling, improving creativity and reducing stress by producing higher dopamine levels.  They can even produce a healthy drop in heart rate.  As an added bonus – plants can make a room seem more expensive, making it look good and you feel
good.

Lori denis 3.      PAINT – Paint is one of the biggest culprits of poor indoor air quality.  By not purchasing eco-friendly paint, you’re opening yourself up to a host of VOC’s, or what some lovingly refer to as “New Paint Smell.”  These carcinogens can cause kidney damage, headaches, loss of muscle control, dizziness and irregular heartbeats.  No thanks.  Instead look for Zero VOC paint that is water based, or natural paints made from plant oils and minerals.  It’s one of the least expensive ways to upgrade your home and stay healthy at the same time.

4.      VACUUM - Vacuuming once daily is one of the most effective and easy ways to improve indoor air quality and prevent allergies.  You would be amazed at the amount of dust that accumulates on a floor in a 24-hour period.  In addition to human and pet skin and hair, fine particles from furniture, fabrics and other surfaces end up in the air and eventually on the floors as the items break down over time.  If you simply don’t have the time or money for a full-time cleaning crew, I highly recommend the Roomba vacuum robot – it has changed my life!  Seeming too good to be true, the Roomba travels around the entire house or office all day long if you’d like, picking up anything that isn’t nailed down.  It’s powerful and goes effortlessly from hard surfaces to plush carpet.  Now you can sit back and let something else do the work for you.

5.      CANDLES – When we think of candles, we think of setting the perfect mood for relaxing and creating a spa-like environment.  But did you know that most candles are toxic when they’re burned, releasing harmful chemicals and soot into the air, damaging walls, furniture and your health?  Gross.  A healthier option would be Soy or Beeswax candles* that burn 3x longer and much, much cleaner.  In fact, they actually diffuse the air when burning and when unlit.  Aaaaaaaah, now you can relax!

Thanks, Lori! And note to readers: you can purchase many of these products directly from Lori at  www.loridennis.com.

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10 Responses to What About the INSIDE Air You Breathe? 5 Steps to Keeping it Clean.

  1. Rachel May 15, 2011 at 12:53 pm #

    Great tips! Especially about the candles. I have used them in a while and when I come acoss them, I usualy get a headaches. Good idea about trying the soy or beeswax ones. btw, I started a new link up for sharing healthy ideas, suggestions, going “green” tips, etc. and I hope you and anyone else interested will join me this Wednesday! (Healthy 2day Wednesdays) Have you’re having a great weekend!

  2. Rachel May 15, 2011 at 12:54 pm #

    meant haven’t instead of have… sorry!

  3. Rachel White May 25, 2011 at 7:24 am #

    These are all great tips. I think there are a couple more worth adding to this list (which actually may be more important than some of those listed):
    –Use exhaust fans in your bathroom and your kitchen. These fans aren’t just for getting rid of bad smells: they are for evacuating moisture that can lead to mold problems (especially in air tight homes) and cooking fumes that contain harmful combustion byproducts). Oh, and make sure, the vents exhaust to the outside (not, say, into your attic).
    –Leave your shoes at the door. Over 2/3 of the dust in our homes comes into our homes via our feet (according to “Before You Design, Build or Renovate,” a guide to building healthy housing produced by Josh Lstiburek & Terry Brennan, two well-known building science gurus).

  4. Diane MacEachern May 31, 2011 at 6:32 am #

    Yes to leaving the shoes by the door! It’s such a simple way to keep the house clean.

  5. phoenix air conditioning July 18, 2011 at 2:48 pm #

    The shoes by the door thing CAN work, but it doesn’t always. We do that at my place, but everyone else is such a slob that it doesn’t help matters all that much, to be honest.

  6. perth home renovations November 27, 2011 at 9:58 pm #

    I like these green interior tips. Not only that they look great, but they also are healthy due to natural oxygen.

  7. waste management services January 18, 2012 at 1:12 am #

    Air pollution is one of the biggest problems that we are facing today. And cars are not the only thing on the street that emit dangerous smoke. Factories, ships, and other facilities consuming fossil fuel and coal add up to the pollution as well.

  8. 4rx January 30, 2012 at 5:20 pm #

    Air pollution is everywhere and let’s admit it, we people cause these pollutions. Let’s make our environment and ecology greener and cleaner by planting trees and other plants. It’s also a good idea to promote eco-tourism in our place. As such, I love the idea of making your interiors green which is very soothing to the eyes.

  9. security shutters perth April 1, 2012 at 11:37 pm #

    Environmental friendly home designing has been a growing trend as of late. These are some good principles and guidelines for those who are looking to try it.

  10. Building Renovations Perth December 11, 2012 at 8:03 pm #

    Thanks for sharing this information.

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