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Building an Eco-friendly Home: 5 Things You Need to Do

Poor indoor air quality is always a tricky situation for any home. It’s easy to clean up spills and dust because we can see them, but airborne pollutants are invisible to the eye. In fact, you probably don’t even know that the air quality in your home isn’t as good as you think it is. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the air quality in many homes and offices is often as bad or even worse than the outdoors.

It shouldn’t be a surprise that poor air quality can lead to a host of health problems, including asthma, stroke, heart disease, lung cancer, and respiratory infections. Constant exposure to toxins and pollutants is bad for you and your family. If you want to safeguard your home, you need to remove these sources of pollution.

A few small changes to your home can have a profound effect on your health and well-being. Health shouldn’t just be a buzzword that motivates people to sign up for a gym membership. Here are a few simple ways to detoxify your home:

1. Use natural materials

People have been using natural materials for furniture and construction for thousands of years. Wood and stone are both a safer and more durable option than synthetic materials like plastic. When designing your home, make sure to use materials that have been harvested in a sustainable manner. For instance, some types of wood have been harvested from rainforests. You also want to make sure that any paint or varnish used is eco-friendly.

Wood is often the material of choice for furniture. Whether you’re building a new home or looking for a new table, you can always find many kinds of wooden pieces at different price points. While wood is often more expensive than plastic, the material lasts longer and can support heavier loads.

You can also use natural fabrics for carpets, pillows, and bedding. For instance, wool is a popular option for people with allergies: it’s easy to clean and hypoallergenic. Some types of natural fabrics are fireproof. While many synthetic materials are fireproof as well, they’re often made with toxic additives that are released into the air when burned.

2. Install energy-efficient lighting

If you’re truly serious about building a healthier home, you need to replace your old lighting with energy-efficient LED bulbs. Incandescent light bulbs are terribly inefficient and produce a lot of heat, so much so that they have been banned in certain places. On the other hand, fluorescent lights have a short lifespan and are made with toxic compounds.

Switching to energy-efficient lighting lowers your energy costs and the amount of pollutants released into the atmosphere. On top of that, they also last longer, translating to bigger savings down the line.

3. Let the light and wind in

Instead of relying on artificial lighting, you might want to brighten up your home by installing eco-friendly windows. Ideally, the window should be large enough to allow fresh air to circulate and let enough light into indoor spaces. Keep your windows open as much as possible for natural ventilation. It also helps to hire an air duct cleaning service.

Make sure to choose a window that’s made of sustainable material. The material you choose can have a great effect on your home’s carbon footprint. For instance, wood and fiberglass are durable and cost-effective options. You also need to ensure that the window’s design allows for maximum light and airflow.

4. Fill your home with plants

home with plants

Your home can’t be truly detoxified without some greenery. When decorating your home, make sure to choose plant species that are hardy and low-maintenance. Aloe vera, snake plant, and bamboo palms are always a popular option. Stay away from flowers though: they require lots of water and have a short lifespan.

Houseplants can remove harmful pollutants such as xylene, benzene, and formaldehyde. These chemicals have been known to cause headaches, irritation, and even cancer. Green is also a soothing color and can impart a sense of peace and tranquility to your home.

5. Use non-volatile paints

Just because you’re building an eco-friendly home doesn’t mean you can’t paint. Just make sure to use non-volatile paint. Most commercial paints are made of volatile compounds that can cause health problems such as headaches, irritation, and dizziness.

The bottom line

There’s no escaping pollution, but there are things we can do to minimize its effects on our bodies. The best place to start fighting pollution is at home. Adopting eco-friendly and sustainable methods will help ensure a greener and healthier lifestyle.

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