Today, more than ever, we are living in a world that is always looking for the newest and greatest things. Whether it is technology, toys, clothing, food, or medicine, we naturally want the best devices and inventions around to improve our happiness, health, and homes. Unfortunately, these advancements often come with a hidden cost. After all, it’s no secret that today’s items aren’t always created from the most eco-friendly or sustainable materials that can wreak havoc on our environment and health.
In recent years, obviously more and more people are becoming more aware of the substances and chemicals we are are bringing into our homes. Study after study is finding alarming levels of indoor air pollution, frightening amounts of harmful chemicals in our water systems, and even toxic chemicals in the blood supply of newborn babies. Which has led many of us to question the items we use on a regular basis and to begin looking for healthier solution.
Surprisingly, we may already have the answer residing in our homes and backyards: plants. In fact, plants are versatile, easy to purchase, and adaptable for any home or garden. With a little awareness, we can naturally incorporate the best plants into our lives to boost our happiness and health.
Yes, besides providing us with food and oxygen, plants provide us with many benefits that are worth noting. Plants can purify the air and remove harmful chemicals to help us breathe easier. A little flower power can brighten our homes and improve our moods, but they have also been proven to aid in the relief of anxiety, ADHD symptoms, depression, and negativity. If that isn’t amazing enough, plants have been shown to decrease stress levels, be used as remedies, improve our beauty regimens, improve the taste of food, and so much more.
For more information about the best plants for a happy and healthy home, please scroll through the following guide:
Sarah Smith is a freelance writer and content designer.
Indoor allergens can be difficult to deal with, especially when it comes to keeping the house clean and tidy. They are lurking everywhere, and so you need to be careful when you are tidying up and sorting things out.
Whether you are vacuuming or just taking part in some general cleaning work, we have a few tips and tricks that are sure to help you combat indoor allergens in the best and most efficient way possible. Take a look and see if any of these can help you on the way to a reaction-free cleaning experience.
#1 Get Rid of Clutter
Allergens thrive in clutter, and this is where you will find the largest collection of dust and debris. Throwing out or donating your clutter can lead to a home that is much less dusty, or if you don’t want to get rid of it then make sure you clean it a few times a week to keep on top of the dust levels.
While you are cleaning out your clutter, as well as in general, you should consider wearing a dust mask so that you can breathe better and without fear of an allergic reaction. This will help you to clean longer and more efficiently.
#2 Use a Vacuum with a HEPA Filter
You should be vacuuming several times a week, or every day if you have really bad indoor allergies. This helps to keep everything clean, especially carpets and furniture, and will reduce the chance of a nasty reaction.
When you are vacuuming, however, you should make sure that you use a model that has a HEPA filter as this will capture practically all of the allergens and trap them in the filter, so that the air that is pushed back out is clear and fresh. The filters themselves are hospital-grade also, which means that they are strong and reliable for use in the home.
#3 Wash Your Bedding Regularly
You would be surprised by how many allergens your bedding can trap, both in terms of outdoor and indoor. From pollen to dust mites, everything ends up in your bed, and it can lead to severe irritation as your allergens flair up while you sleep. The best way to tackle this is to put all of your sheets on a hot wash once a week to remove all of the allergens.
If you have a steam cleaner, you can use it to wash your mattress to kill allergens as well as your furniture. Do remember that these will need around 24 hours to dry though, depending on the steam cleaner you use. This is a great way to ensure that your home is free from indoor allergens.
#4 Keep the Bathroom under Control
Mould is probably one of the worst indoor allergens, and the place it occurs most is in your bathroom. As a result, it is important to keep this room clean and under control at all times. If you have mould already, wash the walls thoroughly and leave them to dry. If the room is naturally damp, place a heater in there so that it can dry out thoroughly.
Once dry, paint the walls with a mould-proof paint to help prevent it from growing back again. You should also purchase a dehumidifier to keep the air clear and dry at all times. You should also wash the shower curtain, as mould can collect there as well. Read how to clean mold naturally here
Hopefully, you have found these nifty hacks useful when it comes to keeping your home free from allergens as well as nice and clean. We know it’s tough to do, but by wearing a mask and keeping on top of the little things, you should find breathing in your home a much easier task. Plus, it doesn’t hurt to get rid of clutter on a regular basis anyway!
About the Author
Gemma Tyler is a freelance writer and blogger. You can keep upto date by following Gemma on Twitter, Facebook & Pinterest. If you are interested in reading more of her vacuum and cleaning related content, be sure to check out her ultimate guides here .
Making a few small changes in your home could add up to big savings in your energy bill, and that’s good news for you and for our planet.
Here are some things that you can do to make your home more energy-efficient:
- Turn the heat down. Better yet, use a programmable thermostat so you don’t have to remember to do it! Starting at just $20, it will pay for itself in a very short time. We have installed them in every house we have lived in, and like the Honeywell brand. Find them at Home Depot .
2. Use window coverings – Lined draperies can reduce a window’s heat loss by 10-30%. Drapes with darker colours and tightly woven fabrics, with heavy black-out lining will provide the most insulation. Highly reflective blinds can also reduce heat gain by up to 45%. Roman shades with heavy lining also provide extra insulation, especially when mounted close to the glass.
3. Upgrade or add insulation – Adding insulation to your attic and walls can help seal air leaks and improve your home’s heating and cooling costs. Read this article by This Old House to find out the best type of insulation to use.
4. Stop drafts – Make sure all your windows and doors have good seals. Adding weatherstripping around window frames and caulking any cracks will go a long way in making your home more energy efficient. For some inexpensive ways to seal your windows read this article by This Old House.
5. Consider replacing old wood windows if there are signs of deterioration and rot, and they cannot be repaired. Single-glazed aluminum windows also should also ideally be replaced (no more condensation!) New windows are expensive, but your decrease in energy-loss will be significant and your home will be much more comfortable, and desirable if you decide to sell.
6. Replace old toilets with a Low-Flush model. Toilets are the biggest water drain in your house, accounting for up to 30% of your water use. New, low-flush toilets use 1/3 – 1/2 the amount of water as an old one. If you can’t afford new toilets, there are some no-cost ways to cut down on how much water your toilet uses. For example, you can literally fill a plastic bottle with pebbles or sand and place it in your toilet’s water tank (away from the plumbing equipment). This will displace some of the water used for the flush.
Before you do any major renovations or upgrades, check to see if there are any government grants available in your area. In Canada, you can have an energy audit done, to determine your best plan of action. Find out more info here.
If you are looking to buy a new home in Canada, look for a home that has an R-2000 or Energy Star rating. Read more about R-2000 Homes here
Arhaus, a furniture company that believes in using natural materials, has teamed up with American Forests and designers to provide insight into ways to make your house more environmentally friendly. Many of their dining room tables are made with wood certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative to ensure that their products have as little environmental impact as possible. By using green technologies and organic products, we can really have an impact! Right now, Arhaus is offering up to 60% off!
Do you have any tips you would like to add? I would love to hear them!
This month we are giving away an embroidered linen bolster pillow cover, valued at $46. It fits a 7″ x 20″ bolster pillow. Bolster pillows look great on benches, on a bed, or on a chair. This one has a delicate floral pattern of pale blues, greens and greys.
Contest runs from July 5 – July 19, 2017. Open to residents of Canada and USA, 18 years or older.
It’s time for another giveaway! I am a mom of 3 amazing daughters and I feel so blessed to have them in my life. To celebrate Mother’s Day I have teamed up with a few friends and am giving away this amazing gift package worth over $125 –
One winner will receive:
2 outdoor pillow covers, by NikkiDesigns
6 organic napkins, by NikkiDesigns
1 recycled fabric tote bag, by Sharon
1 recycled fabric cosmetic bag, by Sharon
3 delicious snack bars by Good Bite, made on Vancouver Island
Contest is open to residents of Canada and USA, 18 yrs or older.
Contest ends: May 14, 2017
Looking for ways to create an inviting, fresh look for your outdoor living space without breaking the bank? I have rounded up a few ideas that are easy to do, and don’t cost a lot.
One hot trend in outdoor design right now is to use natural materials that you can find locally. Recycled timber, local rocks, plants and grasses all create a very natural, rustic look.
Ask your neighbors if they have any plants they are dividing in the Spring that you can have. If they thrive in their garden, they will thrive in yours! Using native plants is also good for the eco-system.
Create a relaxing area to read, unwind, and maybe do some yoga or stretches. I found this beautiful Brazilian style hammock for $65 here
Repeat plantings for a bigger impact. Fill large pots with inexpensive perennials for instant colour. Larger pots also means less watering. Find 14″ terracotta plastic pots for $9.48 ea at Home Depot
Tall pots like these can be found at Home Depot for $35 each. Mix tall, spiky spider plants and wandering Jew with cascading creeping Jenny and sweet potato plants (Ipomoea batatas) for a great eye-catching arrangement.
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