What enters our body through our skin and the invisible pollutants in our environment are probably stronger predictors of health outcomes than our diet.
Did you know that what enters our body through our skin and the invisible pollutants in our environment are probably stronger predictors of health outcomes than our diet? They might not kill us in the short term, but if we live, work and move in a toxic environment, we’re putting such excess pressure on our already stressed physiologies that we accelerate any tendency towards ill health and enhance the expression of “unhealthy” genes (ones that predispose us towards long term chronic degenerative disease).
There are so many ways to go about improving the quality of our home environment, and some of these methods are so super simple you’ll wonder why you weren’t doing them already!
1. Be Careful Of Air Freshener; Buy An Oil Diffuser Instead
Imagine breathing the cleanest air possible – where does your mind take you? High up on a mountainside? A deserted, windswept beach?A lush green forest? None of these are accidental, from the pollution free air we breathe at altitude to the powerful ion exchange we consume from the rolling waves, to the oxygen rich environment of the dense forest – these 3 reference points provide all the direction we need to seek in order to start to remedy the health of our home environment.
We all aim to keep our homes clean and beautiful, but sometimes it’s our very efforts in this direction that leaves us exposed to harm. The scents in many room air fresheners and scented candles are themselves more toxic than the bad smells they’re designed to mask!
So always check these products, make sure they’re free from “parfum”. Parfum is the industry catch all for synthetic fragrance, it basically leaves them open to putting anything into your candle, and most of these smell-making compounds will only aggravate and sensitise your immune system. Where possible, pick products that have only natural essential oils to generate their scent.
Or why not consider picking up an oil diffuser? The old-fashioned tea light based ones look nice, but the newer electric ones are more powerfully able to distribute their scent around your home. They’re a bit of a spend, but the oils they burn are cheap and last for ages, and it frees you up to choose scents to suit your mood!
2. Watch Out For Toxic Cleaning Detergents; Use Natural House Cleaners Instead
When we clean our home and actively go killing potentially harmful bugs, we can actually introduce more harmful volatile compounds. So looking for natural house cleaners is always a great way to reduce your exposure to harmful chemicals in your home. Even if you don’t smell them, these chemicals hang around your home long after you use them. They are especially harmful to little lungs, and can be very damaging to the longterm health of your kids' immune systems.
So many of the cleaners we purchase can be substituted easily for less toxic products, even the simple e-cloth, used for polishing windows and shiny surfaces, can completely negate the need for any spray bottle cleaners, and even leaves that “streak free” finish we’re all hunting for!
3. Introduce Greenery And Plants To Your Home
Another great way to reduce the presence of harmful pollutants in your home is to introduce some greenery. Some specific plants have proven abilities to neutralise - literally mop up - toxins! Plant families such as bromiliads, and spider plants have been demonstrated in air quality tests to reduce the presence of VOC’s (volatile organic compounds – nasty things!) within 45 minutes of their introduction. Whether its broad leafed camellia or a succulent like aloe vera, these little guys are really on our side, and silently go about their job, needing little maintenance to keep up their ever vigilant, toxin-munching duties.
All that lovely greenery has another boost in store for us, as it oxygenates our environment – an oxygen rich environment is essential to life, and has the added benefit of enhancing our immune system’s capacity to cope with toxins that are hanging around. Also, your lovely green plant will be hard at work quietly emitting negative ions, essentially spare electrons, that afford our own cells the ability to do more work, be more energetic, and cope with more environmental stressors when we step outside the home.
4. Look Out For Positive Ions. Unplug Appliances And Invest In Himalayan Salt Lamps
Most of our home appliances emit positive ions, and this exerts extra pressure on our immune systems.
So you should consider scattering a few sources of negative ions (these powerful little immune protectors) around our living spaces. You can go online and spend a small fortune on ionisers, and maybe if you have a compromised immune system this would be the best option, but if you’re just looking to keep yourselves out of harm’s way, then sticking a Himalayan salt crystal lamp in your living room might be enough to keep you happy. Simply plugging out appliances when they’re not in use will also help prevent positive ion emissions!
5. Beware Of Mould And Mildew. Air Your House, Use Probiotic Sprays
Damp is a pernicious thing, and even with the advent of better building techniques our home environments are never free from the challenges that damp presents. Especially around our door and window frames, mould and mildew are a silent and invisible threat.
Well before we notice their presence visibly, these toxins are putting our immune systems under added pressure, and we need to take them seriously in order to maintain a healthy home. Airing our house on a daily basis certainly helps, and if our own health and that of our families is in a good place, perhaps this is enough to support us, but for anyone with a compromised immune system, I would highly recommend taking this issue more seriously.
You can get your home tested for mould toxins, and seek to remedy them using probiotic sprays, or perhaps taking actions to remedy the structures to remove the potential for the build up in the first place. I know this seems extreme, but having seen so many folk suffering from immune systems disruption, allergies and more serious complaints, I’m moved to take this risk more seriously. There is also a huge amount of new research being conduction on mould toxins and their ability to influence our quality of life and long term health, even as a contributory factor in diseases such as alzheimers!
6. Nature Bathing Is Not A Luxury, It Is A Necessity
As well as all of this, it’s so so important not to stay trapped in our homes too much, to get outside. To be in nature, whether up a mountain, out by the seaside, or deep in the lush greenery of a forest – frequent doses of “nature bathing” as it’s becoming known is a vital key to long term health and happiness. So maybe the secret here isn’t just to make your home healthier – but to frequently make efforts to escape it!