4 Simple Ways to Create a Healthier Home Environment
Here at Integrative Nutrition, we believe that health is about much more than what’s on your plate. Woven into our curriculum is the idea of primary food, which states that your relationships, career, level of fitness, and hobbies all contribute to your well-being.
Your home environment is no exception! It’s where you spend much of your time, and should contribute to – rather than undermine – your health and happiness.
What does that mean? Here are 4 ways to create a healthier home environment:
- Remove dust regularly.
Pthalates, flame retardants, and phenols, oh my! The dust in your home can harbor a stew of toxic chemicals, so it’s best to remove it frequently. Dry dusting can kick up the dust particles into the air you breathe, so use a wet mop on uncarpeted floor, microfiber or moist towels on furniture, and your vacuum cleaner instead. This will help to absorb and remove the dust with minimal agitation.
- Be mindful of what you buy.
Aim to prevent the accumulation of toxins in your home by paying attention to what you buy in the first place. Plastics – such as for food containers, children’s toys, and vinyl shower curtains – are linked to health effects related to hormone disruption, behavioral changes, and even cancer. Other materials such as carpets, paint, and furniture can release harmful gases, and synthetic materials in clothes can rub off and be absorbed into your skin. The point, of course, is not to avoid all purchases or become consumed by paranoia, but to make more conscious choices. Choose natural or organic fibers when you can, use glass or ceramic food containers, find BPA-free and non-PVC plastic, and make your own cleaning products. And sometimes, yes, see if you really need to buy something new at all.
- Get more plants.
Houseplants offer immense benefit to us, mind, body, and soul! They remove toxins from air and lower the amount of dust that accumulates, release oxygen and humidify the air, and even lower stress. They also improve our moods, reduce pain and discomfort, and can apparently make us more productive and smarter by improving attention span. Beyond that, they remind us of nature, which creates a sense of equanimity and balance, and they make our homes look welcoming, fresh, and clean.
- Create your special wellness zones.
Many of us share a home with others, so we can’t always control what happens in our overall surroundings, but you can create your own special pockets of wellness, small spaces that simply make you feel healthy, calm, and good. For example, your bedroom can have a meditation corner with some candles, crystals, and a singing bowl. Your kitchen could have a special cupboard or drawer just for your favorite superfoods, herbs, and tea. Your living room can have a cozy cushion next to a small table with a plant on top and some essential oils that you like. The point is to create your wellness zones and go there when you a need to get grounded and balanced.
Additional ideas to maintain a healthy home environment:
- Get an air purifier if you live in a city.
- Share your wellness intentions with whoever you share a space with.
- Don’t wear outdoor shoes inside.
- Clean up diligently after pets.
- Clear out old clutter and “piles.”
- Open windows regularly to let in fresh air (even in winter).
What are your favorite ways to keep a clean and clutter-free home? Share with us in the comments below!