With every season change comes another opportunity to recheck and maintain your home. Summertime is often a time we tend to focus on the outdoor repairs that come with homeownership simply due to the weather.
And one of the best ways you can continue to keep a healthy home environment on the inside is by taking care of the outside of your home. Water, moisture and humidity are public enemy number one when it comes to keeping your home healthy and free from potential problems and issues.
Many first time homeowner find out the hard way just how to keep water and moisture away from different areas of their first home. Often times it takes a leak or a moisture problem within the house to find out what kind of maintenance needs to be done. Homeowners figure out really quickly just where to seal up the exterior after a leak happens.
Last week I shared some ways that you can use landscaping to create a healthy indoor environment. This week I’m sticking with this outdoor theme since the weather is beautiful and I’m spending as much time outdoors as I possibly can.
Spending time is so important to our bodies. It not only gives us a break from the indoor toxins we face for the majority of the day, but it also allows our bodies to reap the benefits from sunshine and naturally filtered air outdoors. One of the best ways to get motivated to spend more time outdoors is to create a space that you can truly enjoy outdoors. An outdoor living space is a space that you can use outside as you would an indoor space. The idea of entertaining, cooking and playing outdoors can be enhanced by a beautiful space that’s comfortable too.
Living in the Midwest, it can be tough to get outdoors all year-round, but that means in the summer we really take advantage of that outdoor space and outdoor area to entertain, cook and play.
When the early months of summer hit it seems like everyone is making some sort of change to their yard. Whether it be adding a few flowers or doing some major landscaping, most houses can benefit from a little TLC in the yard department. Many homeowners aren’t aware of the fact that the choices they make on the outside of their home can play a huge role on the overall health on the inside of their home as well. I’ve also found that a home with great outdoor spaces encourages those living their to get outside and breathe fresh air. Being outdoors is so important to our overall health. Typically, the average person spends about 80% - 90% of their time indoors never giving their body a break from the indoor toxins it’s surrounded by. But when you take time away from those indoor toxins and get outside, the body has a little time to recuperate and begin to heal.
If you walk down the home and garden aisles at the hardware store, you know that there are more landscaping ideas than you’d ever know what to do with. When it comes to a healthy house, inside and out, there are some choices that rank higher when it comes to landscaping.
Furniture in our homes is what creates the feeling you get in a space, it elevates the comfort factor and it is usually the focal point of the whole room. Most of us would agree that furniture is one of our largest purchases, and one that gets the most use. For my family our furniture is definitely a large part of each and every room we have, from our couches to our kitchen table, to our dressers and beds. These pieces make up each and every room and we put them to good use every day.
But what we fail to remember often times is that by purchasing a new piece of furniture and introducing it to our indoor space, we are also bringing in potentially harmful chemicals. The biggest problem with bringing toxic chemicals inside our homes is we often offer very little ventilation to the new furniture and keep all the chemicals trapped inside our homes.
Chemicals brought into the home through furniture and furniture manufacturing not only remain in our homes for a long time due to little ventilation of fresh air, but they will continue to off-gas for the lifetime of the furniture. Some toxins actually off-gas more as they mature in age, meaning you’ve just introduced a long-term toxin source to your indoor air.
Furniture like couches, chairs and beds have the potential to off-gas at higher rates than other sources around your home. Many chemical toxins release their VOCs into the air at higher rates when the environment around them is warm and has higher humidity. Think of when someone sits on a sofa. The sofa cushion is warmed by the body heat and the skin is often releasing some sort of moisture, creating a humid environment for the cushion to off-gas at a higher rate every time someone uses it.
Still yet another problem with allowing toxic furniture into our homes is the sheer amount of time we are spending on them, sitting, sleeping and resting. When we’re spending this much time on our furniture, it means not only is our skin often times in contact with these toxins for an extended period of time, but often times our faces are in extremely close proximity. In other words, we are breathing in many of these toxins in close range when we’re using these furniture pieces.
If you’re in the market for new furniture, there are many great options and some very specific things you can look for and avoid. And if you’re not in a position to change out all your furniture, there are definitely great ways to work with what you have.