Whether you work from home, work remotely or just use your home office for paying bills, it’s probably a place you or someone in your house spend a decent amount of time. As part of our movement to make EVERY house the Healthy House on the Block, it’s time we took a deeper look at that home office.
Personally, I spend a lot of time in my home office. It was the most recently finished room in our house and I’m in love with it’s hardwood floors and light blue walls. I will admit it has a toy area for my kids, but overall it’s my space for creativity and uninterrupted, focused work time. WIth all the time I spend in the office, I want to make sure that it’s a healthy environment. I want it to be a space that helps me achieve the goals I set and that makes me more productive. That’s why I enlisted the help of Kim Bost from High Vibe Home to help give me some ideas, which I will share later in this post.
So how can you be sure your home office is a healthy environment to work in and play in? Here’s a few of the areas I checked out:
Springtime and early summer have everyone outside and tending to their lawn and gardens. It’s a great time to prep your lawn and gardens so they’ll be green all year. But for many homes that means using dangerous lawn fertilizers, weed killers and pesticides of all kinds. You might be thinking, “Those don’t matter, they stay outdoors and then dissipate.” Even though the bottle might say it’s completely safe to be in your lawn after an allotted time has passed, this isn’t necessarily accurate.
Pesticides and lawn treatments hang around in your yard for a longer duration, not to mention they easily get tracked inside your home on your shoes and clothing. Often times these applications cause the air to become polluted for a period of time during use as well. This is especially true of sprayers that can have a large area of over-spray, allowing the solution to end up in more places than intended.
If you have pets or kids, these risks are amplified due to their smaller bodies and systems that come into contact with these problematic lawn treatments.
While we don’t usually spend a lot of time in the bathroom, it can harbor a lot of unwanted chemicals, toxins and bacteria, which in turn can affect the quality of the indoor air. Bathrooms tend to be a room with the highest humidity in the house, and because of that, toxins generally produce VOCs at a much higher rate. Not only is the high humidity a problem, but the sheer amount of toxic materials in our bathrooms are a huge problem as well.
Cleaning products, to vinyl shower curtains to the personal products we use every day are made and created with toxic chemicals that off-gas into the bathroom air. The small, enclosed space of the bathroom leaves them no place to dissipate and they remain in the air for long periods of time.
A secondary concern in the bathroom is the mildew and mold that can quickly form due to the high levels of humidity. Mold and mildew once started can be difficult to remove and keep at bay. Mold is an organic toxin and it’s actually a living organism. This means it needs a “food” source, which could be just about anywhere in the bathroom. Once the mold has a porous surface, it continues to grow and spread. Things like woodwork, rugs, grout and underneath caulking are the main culprits.
By paying attention to a few key areas in your bathroom, you can dramatically reduce the toxins and VOCs in the air as well as keep the risk for mold growth low.
Sometimes the thought of making your whole home environment healthier can feel REALLY overwhelming. I always felt like I didn’t know quite where to start and if I wasn’t changing the WHOLE house, then my small changes really didn’t matter. I want to tell you my old thinking was completely flawed. Any change you make to your home is a step in the right direction. And for me personally, I found that my small changes (like removing scented candles, changing my cleaners over, etc.) snowballed into bigger changes (like removing electronics from my room, switching over to glass from plastic in the kitchen, etc.)
I’ve got ten of the simplest ways you can begin to make your home a non-toxic, healthy environment. This environment around us and our kids makes a huge impact on the overall health of our body as a whole. Health is NOT just about what we put in our bodies for food, it’s also about what surrounds us. What changes and switches can you make?