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7 Steps to a Healthier Home

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Is your house making you sick? We try so hard to eat a healthy diet, but so often we neglect the health of our living spaces. Materials in your home - from cleaning supplies to your sofa - can contribute to poor indoor air quality. Check out these tips to creating a healthier home for you and your family.

1. Ditch the Flame Retardants

From the sofa to the carpet to your child's pajamas, flame retardants can be pretty common in any home. On the surface, they seem like a good thing, right? You don't want your matress to burst into flames! The problem is that these chemicals are linked to serious ailments like diabetes and reproductive disorders.

With flame retardants, starting big is best, if you can. Donate that old sofa and area rug and look for replacements that don't contain these toxic chemicals!

Read more about Flame retardants.

2. Choose Plants to Improve Air Quality

House plants are great for filtering toxins in the air, so choose a few potted plants, and you can breathe easier. Any house plant is going to help improve the quality of your home's air, but there are three in particular that are indoor air-cleaning superstars:

  1. Areca Palm
  2. Mother-in-Law's Tongue
  3. Money Plant
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From the Organic Authority Files

These three actually work best together, so if you can have one of each, do it up!

3. Fight Mold and Mildew Naturally

Mold and mildew are bad news for your respiratory system, and you don't need toxic chemicals to eradicate these dangerous home invaders! Kirsten Hudson shares some great tips on preventing and removing mold and mildew from your home using common ingredients like tea tree oil and vodka.

4. Avoid Toxic Household Cleaners

You'd think that cleaning supplies would leave your home...clean. Unfortunately, many common cleaners are full of chemicals that wreck your home's indoor air quality and damage our health. Check out this list of household cleaners to avoid, then replace them with green cleaning supplies. You can even whip up your own homemade cleaning supplies, the greenest option of all!

5. Ditch the Incense

I love incense as much as the next hippie, but creating smoke indoors is bad news for your health. Instead of burning a stick of Nag Champa, try these tips for scenting your home without incense. You can use an oil burner, homemade room deodorizers, or even your oven to make your house smell great without lighting up.

6. Just Say No to Artificial Air Fresheners

No incense, you say? No problem! You can just spray some air freshener, right? If you're trying to create a healthy living space, those cans and plug-ins are a definite no-no. They're full of questionable chemicals, some of which companies don't even have to disclose! Boo!

Next time you're thinking of reaching for the air freshener, check out some of these natural alternatives instead!

7. Remove Odors Naturally

I hate to name names - *cough*Febreze*cough* - but those sprays meant to neutralize odors on fabrics are terrible for your health! Like air fresheners, they're full of chemicals of concerns and proprietary ingredients that are barely tested. Luckily, you can create your own fabric refresher and use a couple of other natural methods to de-stinkify fabrics without risking your family's health. Try these 3 tips to naturally bust the stink instead!

Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by clogozm

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