Indoor Air Pollutants
One of the most important functions of a home is to control the temperature of the air inside of it, right? We want our homes warm when it's cold outside, yet cool and comfortable when it's too hot outside. All that climate control means insulating our homes as best we can to keep all the warm or cool air inside when we want it there, but what else are we keeping inside at the same time?
There are loads of indoor air pollutants that are commonly found in modern-day homes, and while some may go unnoticed, others can have direct physical effects on your daily health and well being. It's important to be aware of potential indoor air pollutants because you could be facing them on a daily basis, and prolonged exposure could result in long-term health issues.
What Are Indoor Air Pollutants?
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's list of indoor air pollutant sources includes:
What Are Symptoms Caused by Indoor Air Pollutants?
Knowing whether or not you're experiencing health issues related to indoor air pollutants can be tricky since the symptoms often present themselves like the common cold. However, if you've noticed that you have recurring, continuous, or chronic symptoms, you may want to consider what pollutants are floating around your home since you’re more than likely encountering them on a daily basis. Common symptoms caused by indoor air pollutants can be:
How Can I Improve the Air Quality in My Home?
The first thing to consider when improving the air quality in your home is the type of climate that exists outside your home. For example, if you live in an area of the world where it rains a lot, excess moisture may be one of your greatest problems and perhaps the first one you'll want to tackle. However, there are other smaller, simpler steps anyone can take regardless of their location and climate. These factors are more related to the things we keep and use in our homes on a daily basis, which are more easily controlled and perhaps require less of a financial investment:
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Toxins and unwanted chemicals lie in more places than you might think, and when it comes to bedding and linens, the last thing you want is to sleep in residue all night long. Naturally laundering your linens and avoiding harsh chemicals benefits you and your local environment in a number of ways. If you're looking to clean up your laundry routine, here are some natural practices you might like to consider:
Fabric softener and dryer sheets are perhaps one of the biggest offenders in conventional laundry practices. Quaternary ammonium compounds, called "quats" for short, are the chemical compounds found in liquid softeners and dryer sheets that make your clothes feel soft. The problem is that these compounds can trigger asthma and linger on the clothing you wear and linens you sleep in long after they've been removed from the dryer. That means you're carrying these chemicals with you all day and sleeping with them all night long. Combine quats with all the other fragrances, colors, and preservatives found in fabric softeners, and you've got yourself a wearable chemical cocktail that sticks to your clothes, pollutes the air in your home, and gets dumped right into your local water source with every wash.
The great news is that avoiding fabric softeners doesn't mean you have to wear stiff clothing or sleep in scratchy sheets. You can use vinegar in the washer and wool dryer balls instead to help soften your clothes and linens naturally. Wool contains a natural oil called lanolin that is released from its fibers when heated by your dryer. As an added bonus, if you want to naturally scent your clothing, just put a few drops of your favorite essential oils right onto your wool dryer balls before each cycle. Most wool dryer balls are about the size of a baseball and can be purchased online, or you can make them yourself by balling up and felting some 100% wool yarn.
Chemical bleaches and stain removers might be effective at removing stains, but they are harmful for the environment, harsh to breathe in, and can damage your skin if you accidentally come into direct contact with them. Did you know that you can actually remove stains by drying your clothes and linens out in the sun? Even some of the most stubborn stains can be bleached out in a sunbath. The next time you have a rough morning and spill your coffee on your shirt, don't sweat it. Save yourself the cash, time, and hassle of dealing with stain removers by simply hanging your stained fabric outside in full sun after it's just come out of the washer. Usually, two to three hours will do the trick. Keep in mind that sun bleaching is often more effective when the fabric is wet, so even if you don't want to wash the whole thing, wet down the stained area before hanging your fabric out in the sun to get the best results from this all-natural, chemical-free, age-old stain removing method.
Fortunately for conscious consumers, new all-natural laundry detergents are being added to the market all the time. You can find a small selection at almost any grocery store, and if you're someone who enjoys an occasional DIY project, you can even make natural laundry detergent yourself! There are all sorts of easy DIY laundry soap recipes online, so you can experiment as much or as little as you please to find whatever concoction works best for you.
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10 Ways You Can Get Better Sleep
It's 7:00 AM and your alarm goes off. It went off ten minutes ago, but you couldn't pull yourself out of bed. You still feel like you can't, so you hit the snooze button one more time, roll over, and pray your coffee maker was set correctly the night before so you can get some caffeine in your system ASAP.
Sound familiar? When it comes to modern day living, sleep can feel like a scarce commodity. We often go through our days already exhausted right off the starting line.
Sometimes improving the quality of your sleep means making a few lifestyle adjustments and taking a good look at what you're sleeping on every night. Here are 10 ways you can get back to giving your body and mind the rest they need to wake up feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, and ready to go in the morning.
Sleep is something that directly impacts your life every day. Keep up to date on all the latest and greatest tips for getting the best sleep by subscribing to our newsletter here!
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