We spend up to 90% of our time indoors – sleeping, relaxing, eating, working – it all adds up.
And while there is still a debate raging about the pollution levels in indoor versus outdoor air, the fact still remains that we do a lot of things to reduce the quality of our indoor air quality.
Try some of these suggestions for increasing your indoor air quality at home and at work.
1. Switch to non-toxic cleaners. Household surface cleaners can be full of chemicals. All that “disinfecting” marketing that makes sure we sterilize our homes may be contributing to the increase of “super bugs” while the chemicals are adversely affecting us. Feel free to read an in depth article on why we should avoid chemical disinfectants here.
2. Change your personal care products. Everything from your hand wash, laundry soap and skincare products are full of manmade chemicals. The word “fragrance” and “perfume” has been used interchangeably yet it important to know that they don’t necessarily mean natural. In fact most are synthetically derived. Avoiding these “scents” will reduce the levels of toxicity in your bathroom.
3. Get as much fresh air as you can. Unless you live in a city on a day with a smog alert, you’ll likely find air outside to be cleaner than inside. Avoid fogging up indoor air with air fresheners. The best air freshener is an open window. For some detailed information check out EPA's guide for indoor air quality.
4. Renovating or moving? Consider your materials –carpeting, paint, drywall, etc can be full of volatile chemicals. There are many directories that highlight green builders and material suppliers in different neighbourhoods. Try searching Google under search term “green home building directory.” If you live in Vancouver make a visit to Greenworks Building Supply for some great information and supplies.5. Deteriorating furniture and mattresses can be more toxic than you might suspect. Check out this great image of indoor poor air quality contributors that are found all through our homes. Treehugger does a great job of discussing the culprits –like the polyurethane found in mattresses.