When looking to improve one’s health we always focus on a healthy diet, exercise, and sleeping habits but your living space is an important aspect of your health and well-being. Your home is your safe haven and for this reason, it is important to make your living spaces comfortable and healthy to promote and support your lifestyle choices. By improving the sustainability of your household, you can in turn improve the environment, lower your running costs, save water and energy, and save on maintenance of your systems and appliances. Some of these tips are for immediate action while others can be long term goals or investments to aspire to.

Keeping It Clean

It is no secret that a clean home is a healthy home. Be mindful when choosing cleaning products – opt for those which are environmentally friendly with less or no harmful chemicals as these will cause fewer respiratory problems, allergic reactions, and headaches. Cleaners containing ammonia and chlorine can irritate the skin and lungs and even cause asthma. These should be avoided at all costs. It is possible to make your own from everyday household ingredients like baking soda, lemon juice, and vinegar.

Keep your house and yard free from clutter. Piles of clutter indoors or rubble outdoors encourage rodents and other pests to make living spaces in and around your home. Seal up openings to keep pests out, always put food away, and keep rubbish covered. It is a great idea to upgrade your personal habits and start a compost bin using your kitchen scraps.

Clean areas of your house that are often forgotten: dust easily settles on ceiling fan blades, window blinds, and even on the coils on the back of your refrigerator. By keeping these coils free of dust and grime, your appliance will draw less power and perform more efficiently.

It is also important to keep your home mould and mildew free. Sometimes this takes a little more effort – with damp-proofing walls or fitting extractor fans in the bathrooms to ensure that moisture is directed out of the house.

Create yourself a Zen corner where you can practise yoga, meditation, or simply retreat for some “me time” to keep your mental health in check. You could even employ some Feng Shui tools to make this area attractive as well as functional.

Humans Are Essentially House Plants with Emotions

Just as plants require clean fresh air, sunlight, and water – so do we! It is always good to keep your home well ventilated, and often open your curtains and windows to allow fresh air in. This enables pollutants to be diffused from the air inside your home. Do not make use of air fresheners as these contain harmful chemicals. Rather opt to invest in an essential oils diffuser. Using aromatherapy in your home can make your atmosphere feel like you are visiting a luxury spa. There are oils to boost your mood, relieve headaches, and create a calming effect. You can also use an air purifier to remove dust, pollen, mould, and bacteria particles from the air. Using a humidifier when you sleep can make it easier to breathe as these add moisture to the air which promotes good sleep.

Our water also needs purification or filtering. Due to run-off nitrates, ammonia, radium and weed killer chemicals often used in gardens can, unfortunately, be detected in our water. It is important to fit a filter of taps at home or to use a jug-style filter.

To further assist in purifying your air, add some greenery to your home in the form of houseplants.

Inspect Your House for Your Health

It is a good idea to run some checks on your house to determine its safety. These include smoke and carbon monoxide alarms which should be fitted near all bedrooms. Encourage a no-smoking rule in your house.

Check attics and basements for older style insulation that may contain asbestos. Depending on the age of your house, check for any lead-based paint. These things could be making you sick without you being aware of it.

To save money on energy costs, find out more information regarding replacing old windows with new uPVC or PVC ones. These are both energy efficient and aesthetically pleasing.

Change all light bulbs to LED – these are more sustainable and save you money in the long run.

Fit a copper sink or counter if possible – this metal is naturally antimicrobial. Make sure when you buy new finishes or furniture that these are low- or no-VOC and formaldehyde-free. Swop your old vinyl shower curtain for a washable nylon or polyester one.

When deciding to create a healthier home, every detail needs to be considered including building materials and methods, your decorating choices, and energy generation in terms of solar or wind energy options.

Start slow and small, taking baby steps forward towards a more sustainable and healthier home for you and your family.