Updated: Sep 28, 2022
It's funny - Indiana weather. Just two weeks ago we were all stuck at home for nearly a week, buried under a snow storm and today, it's 72 degrees out. Now we all know this doesn't mean warm weather will last in our neck of the woods, but that isn't stopping my partner, Jeremy, from pulling on his favorite shorts and pulling out all the patio furniture.
Our doors and windows are open. Fresh air is blowing through the house and our plants are absolutely adoring the breeze. Did you know that the quality of the air inside your home can be two to five times more harmful to you than the air outside, particularly if you live in a newer home? That's a scary thought when you are already battling some level of dis-ease.
Our homes really are brimming with a plethora of pollutants, even when you do take your shoes off in the home (if you aren't doing this, you're doomed). Carcinogens are found in our cleaning products and volatile organic compounds in our carpets, paints, and furniture. Everything from the street is carried in on our shoes, for our little ones to crawl upon, pick up on their hands and then put directly into their mouths.
There are a number of things you can do though, to be proactive and clean up your living environment and today is the perfect day for it. Go open your windows first, and we'll get started.
If you haven't already made the transition to natural cleaning products, go ahead and do that today. Ammonia, bleach, and all those air deodorizers you have in your home are releasing dangerous levels of VOC into your home, so take the initiative and switch to safe, all-natural cleaners in every area of your home.
Even your laundry detergent may be cause for alarm. Your dryer sheets in particular may be the most dangerous item in your home. The wool balls are an excellent replacement and safe you loads of funds. Think about the chemicals though you're adding to your clothing, towels, and bedding which surround you all day long, touching your skin and offering toxins into your environment that are breathed into your lungs.
Now peruse your pantry and move out all your expired foods. Yes, these can grow mold even when sealed (and even when frozen) and will lose their nutritional goodness over time. Toss out all the herbs which have lost their bright color and all the almost all gone items, and let's refresh our pantry with healthy grains, lean proteins, and low-carb snacks.
If you have none, visit your local nursery and welcome your new addiction with open arms. I don't accept the excuse that you don't have a green thumb. This just tells me you are so disembodied you aren't even aware of what's going on in your environment - you're overwhelmed, have far too much on your plate, and need to let go of some of your commitments. Owning a plant can help you gauge if you are managing your commitments, if you have enough space in your life.
Most all house plants give you a plethora of warning when they need watered and they are very forgiving. Sometimes we lose one it seems, no matter what we do, but overall, these are exceeding easy to give care. I water my plants every weekend and take a peek at them, observing their leaf health, pruning and turning the pot for more even growth, spritizing for humidity, and talking to them.
Plants can dramatically improve your indoor air quality. Even NASA agrees, reporting they help reduce VOC and offering them on space missions to provide astronauts fresh air in space. The recommendation is to acquire an indoor plant for every 100 square feet of space. Mother-in-Law Tongues are easy and offer great height. Snake plants are also easy and have a beautiful shape. Explore your options, but remember, I wanted you about the addiction.
I just cleaned the fan off in our bedroom, gross. Add this to your spring cleaning list and change our your air filters and vacuum the coils. While I way prefer to keep the windows open most all of the year, running the air conditioner can help pull pollutants into the filter so on occasion, I compromise.
Do you have an air purifier? The EPA recommends them to further reduce pollutants in your home. While a wood burning fireplace can be very relaxing, they do expose you to dioxin which is a considerable toxin. Consider an outdoor fire pit and using electric heat inside.
Our detox program was just inundated with a load of modules on mold because I attended an extensive masterclass last week, but did you know, mold eats dust so simply cleaning your home on a regular basis and vacuuming your floors can help reduce mold in your environment? I had no idea. Makes sense to why dust is particularly hard on those with asthma, huh?
While I do think the weather is perfect for spring cleaning, they are even better for a hike so I hope you are getting your feet in the dirt this weekend!