We got a taste of spring fever this weekend around Boston.  It was finally warm enough for all the neighbors to get outside and catch-up with each other.  We met new neighbors that moved in during early winter, we just hadn’t seen them yet!

As soon as it got warm enough in the house, I opened windows.  Really opened windows, not just the inch or so I do when it’s freezing out.  The reason I open windows, even in the dead of winter, is that our homes are polluted.  Not with smoke or exhaust like we typically think of when someone says pollution.  No, it’s polluted with chemicals from everyday items in the home.  It can come from your cleaning products, furniture, rugs and more.  People spend 90% of their time indoors, so exposure to all these pollutants builds up over time.  The EPA provides a list of various sources of pollutants in the home to further explains what causes this.  While some sources need professional help to improve air quality (such as Radon removal), increasing ventilation in your home helps a lot. Children are especially susceptible to the chemicals in the air and improving the air quality make also help improve their allergies or asthma.

There are a few things we can easily control which can improve your air quality, without purchasing an expensive air purifier.
      1. Switch to eco-friendly cleaning products.  There are so many on the market now to choose from.  Think about every time you open the dishwasher at the end of a cycle, you get a chemical facial if you are leaning too close!
      2. Ditch those air fresheners that come in ugly plastic containers, or plug into the wall.  Not only do you cut down on plastic usage, but possibly energy use too.
      3. Use the vent in your kitchen when you are cooking, especially at high heat.
      4. Get rid of dry cleaner bags once they come home to your closet. They are typically #4 plastic and can get recycled with your grocery bags.
      5. If you need new furniture, choose used.  The off gases from many new furniture items will also pollute your home. This also includes cribs.  As long as a used crib meets safety requirements (and check for recalls), it may be a healthier alternative to new wood.  Not only will you improve air quality, but you kept something out of a landfill.

Now, open your windows and enjoy the fresh air.

6 replies
  1. Andersen says:

    Hi Emily,

    I really appreciate your blog. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed. Really a nice post here!

Comments are closed.