This year has brought about some pretty nerve-wracking revelations regarding air pollution. For instance, the Global Burden of Disease project estimated that - on an annual basis - over 5.5 million people are dying prematurely from illnesses associated with increased levels of air pollution. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has stated that Americans spend between 80-90% of our time indoors and that indoor air pollution can potentially be more harmful than ambient air pollution. The EPA has even named indoor air pollution as one of the greatest public health risks!
It is essential, then, to reduce your home of indoor toxins in order to better your own health and the health of the planet. As Dr. Margaret Chan, WHO Director-General, said: “A healthy environment underpins a healthy population.”
So, here are four easy and efficient ways to make the air within your home cleaner and more conducive to a healthy lifestyle:
1. Open your windows
The easiest and most inexpensive way to improve indoor air quality is to simply open your windows. Just a few minutes of fresh air can reduce the accumulation of damaging pollutants which - left undisturbed - can stagnate inside of a home. Just be mindful of the allergy count in the area you live in. Some regions have seasons that are more likely to activate your allergies and cause more irritation for your health.
2. Decorate with Houseplants
Beautiful and cleansing, indoor houseplants are not only great for brightening up your home but are also powerful detoxifiers of various air pollutants. The American Society for Horticultural Science reported that plant species such as snake plants, spider plants and golden pothos are most effective in reducing pollutants such as ozone. Add a few to your home decor and you'll obtain a spa-like botanical aesthetic while cleaning the air from within!
3. Start Using an Essential Oil Diffuser
Essential oils smell great while inducing a sedative effect that can increase positive feelings. As if that doesn't sound great enough, these oils are also proven to clear your mind AND harmful toxins from the air. How? Essential oils have antibiotic and anti-carcinogenic properties which can significantly inhibit the growth of airborne bacteria. So, when diffused throughout your home, they are actively working toward cleaner indoor air.
4. Exchange your Current Lamp for a Salt Lamp
Salt lamps are made from Himalayan salt crystals and work as a powerful air purifier. When the lamp is lit it emits negative ions that bind to positively charged toxins while helping to remove them from the air. Additionally, they have been shown to naturally remove allergens such as smoke, pet dander, pollens and other air pollutants - all while radiating an amber glow that is beautiful and relaxing!
- Stacia Sheputa