Weather is starting to cool down, in some parts of the U.S. there has been snow!
Before you shut those windows for the cold, did you know that the EPA has named indoor air quality one of the top five environmental risks to public health? In fact, indoor air quality can be almost 2-5 times more polluted than outdoor air.
Curious as to why?
When we bring things into our home, or use certain products in the our home...the pollutants get stuck inside. We have gotten really good at making our home energy efficient, so it traps VOCs (volatile organic compounds) inside.
Want a quick easy way to help your indoor air quality?
Open the windows!
That is right, even for 10 minutes a day.
Now before you start worrying about wasting energy or freezing...you don't have to open them all the way. Even just cracking a few throughout the house can help get fresh air in...and take bad air out.
If you want to go a step further, bring in some indoor plants...such as English ivy, peace lily, Gerbera daisy or spider plant. These will help clean your indoor air.
Might I encourage you to dig even deeper?
Look at the cleaning products you are using. Many of them are giving off some pretty strong chemical smells. Those aren't healthy.
When you bring in new furniture made from particleboard there is some off-gassing (release of VOCs)of VOCs that can pollute your air.
Fresh paint, unless you used a no-VOC formula, gives them off.
Kids toys, new beddings...all these things off-gas in some way (organic/natural fabrics are safe as well as actual wood if it hasn't been treated with a harsh finish).
Scented candles, plug-ins and some fragrance oils (essential oils are not fragrance oils and are safe) pollute your air.
Now, not all of these can be avoided...they can be hard to find and out of our budgets...but opening your windows (and switching to more natural cleaning products) can make a big difference.
Are you concerned about your outdoor air quality? Head over to the AirNow, put together by the EPA, to check out current air quality.
Jacki can be found blogging about natural living, parenting and homeschooling over at Crafted by Mama. She is on Facebook and Twitter. Her shop, Crafted by Mama, sells kids clothing and a little something for mama. She recently opened her reusable item store Green Mama Shop to provide reusable, earth friendly items for home and family.