How to Create a Greener, Cleaner, Healthier Home
Making a few changes to your routine can improve your breathing, sleep, and overall health.
5 Ways to Green Your Home
Make your home a greener and healthier place to live with these
- Get on the list. Avoid products that don't list their ingredients on
the back of the packaging. And check labels for third-party certification, such
as the Green Seal and EcoLogo, environmental expert Ted Schettler, MD, PhD,
advises. These seals ensure that the products meet certain "green" criteria and
that you're not taking the claims of the manufacturer at face value.
- Take 'em off. The soles of your shoes have walked some grimy roads.
Schettler suggests simply removing your shoes at the door each time you enter
your home to prevent outside pollutants from coming in.
- Floor it. Carpets trap dust mites, mold, and other pollutants, which
get released into the air you breathe. This can be especially harmful for those
with allergies. If alternate flooring isn't an option, says Jordan Josephson,
MD, a sinus and allergy expert, consider using a vacuum cleaner with a high
efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. This kind of filter traps the very
small yet harmful particles that other vacuum cleaners send back into the
- Stay dry. Josephson recommends minimizing mold and mildew, two major
threats to quality indoor air, by keeping the humidity in your home below 60%
and keeping moist areas dry.
- Decorate with care. Parents-to-be are often eager to ready their
baby's room with a fresh coat of paint and new carpeting. Both emit toxic
gases harmful for expectant mothers, not to mention a new baby, Schettler says.
He suggests looking for low-VOC paints, which release fewer toxic fumes. He
also suggests asking the company providing your new carpet to "off-gas" it
before installing it. They will "cook" the carpet to release harmful chemicals,
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