Not only is it important to have a healthy body for good overall wellness, but it is also important to have a home which provides a healthy environment to live. Your home space is where you spend a lot of your time, so it is well worth looking at ways to naturally detox your home to make it one that will support your health goals.
1. Use Natural Cleaning Products
A healthy home environment is much more than giving it a good clean and tidy or declutter. The products that you use when cleaning your home can have a huge impact on the toxicity in your environment. Most chemicals you buy from the supermarket are highly toxic and contain synthetic substances that when exposed to long-term can have negative health effects. It is much better to use natural yet easy-to-find products for cleaning, such as lemon, vinegar, bicarbonate soda, castile soap and essential oils to create DIY home cleaning products that are not harmful yet are still effective.
2. Clear Out Your Kitchenware
Avoid using cookware with “non-stick” surfaces such as Teflon, as these coatings have been found to be toxic when used at high temperatures or if consumed as fine particles when the surface is scratched. Teflon’s key chemical, called PFOA, is linked to cancer and organ damage in lab animals, so it is worthwhile tossing out items made from this (especially if they have scratches) and replace them with stainless steel, cast iron or enamel-coated cookware which are safer. For more information on the risks of Teflon, check out the Environmental Working Group’s Consumer Products page at http://www.ewg.org/featured/228 which gives the latest research and news releases on Teflon and PFOA.
3. Watch the WiFi
Electromagnetic pollution is caused by radiofrequencies emitted from electronic appliances and through items such as phones and your WiFi. Limit the amount of emissions by turning-off appliances when they are not in use, keep switches, handphones and electrical outlets away from where you sleep and turn off your WiFi and computer at night when you sleep.
4. Have More Houseplants
Having indoor house plants is an easy way to green your home’s environment and to clean the air you breathe. You can read our suggestions for good houseplants in this blog. (https://www.thailandfitnessbootcamp.com/the-10-best-houseplants-for-cleaning-indoor-air/)
5. Reduce the Plastic
Most homes contain huge amounts of plastic, yet most plastic is not good for our health due to the volatile organic compounds (VOC) they are made up. VOC gases are emitted from plastics when they are at room temperature and these can cause symptoms such as headaches and nausea. Be especially mindful of plastic containers with the numbers 1, 3, 6 or 7 as they contain BPA, phthalate and styrene which can cause long-term health problems when we are regularly exposed to them. This is particularly important for plastics which are used for storing food, as these chemicals can leech into the food we eat which then enter our bloodstreams. You might also like to minimise your plastic bag usage by taking recyclable shopping bags with you when you go shopping.
6. Recycle and Upcycle
Make sure you recycle as best you can by keeping separate bins for your different waste items such as plastics, paper and aluminium. Also upcycle- items such as jars that your spaghetti sauce come in can easily be cleaned and re-used to store nuts, seeds or spices for example. Minimising waste is not just good for your home but also helps to reduce landfill.
7. Ditch the Dust
When you dust your home, use microfibre cloths which attract particles, as opposed to scattering them around your home. Also avoid using chemical sprays which will contribute to the toxic load in your home rather than cleaning it up.
8. Go Organic
Conventional produce is coated in chemicals and pesticides which can be toxic to our bodies when consumed long-term. Take a look at the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 list and take it with you next time you go shopping. Even if you cannot afford to buy all your produce organic, you should try to avoid the Dirty Dozen which are known to be the most contaminated products, whereas the Clean 15 will expose you to much fewer chemicals even when they are not organic.
9. Personal Products
Take a good look at the ingredients list of your skincare, cosmetics and shampoo. Toss anything which contains these harmful ingredients: formaldehyde, lead acetate, DEA, MEW or TEA compounds, petroleum (including mineral oil), phenylenediamine, alpha hydroxy acids and silica. Instead use non-toxic skincare and haircare products made from certified organic ingredients to reduce your exposure. The EWG Skindeep database (http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/) is a great resource for learning more about this.
10. Keep the Shoes Outside
In Asia, it is customary to take your shoes off and leave them at the front door before entering. This used to seem a bit strange for me when I first came to Thailand, but it actually makes completes sense and wearing shoes inside the home now seems strange! Going barefoot or wearing slippers when in the home means that dust, dirt and lead from your shoes don’t get traipsed around inside, where it can settle into carpet and furnishings and keeps the floors free from possible bacteria and dirt.
11. Use Air Filters
If you live in an urban environment, then you no doubt have air pollution. Minimise the effect of this in your home by using an air filter that will keep the air in your home fresh. A quality filter captures harmful bacteria, moulds, as well as pollutants like dust and car fumes.
12. Minimise Moisture
Excess moisture should be avoided as it can lead to the growth of mould and mildew which can lead to health problems if kept unchecked. Pay attention to areas such as showers, bathtubs and sinks where moisture accumulates and mould can grow.
13. Get a Water Filter
Depending on where you live, there can be up to 300 chemicals and pollutants found in the water you drink. These contaminants can include VOCs, heavy metals like lead and mercury, and substances such as fluoride. Consider using a water filter or a filtration system to clean the water you are exposed to and which you drink daily.
14. Detox Your Dry Cleaning
Your clothes come back from dry cleaning containing a solvent called perchloroethylene, that sticks to the fibres in your fabric. It is recommended to remove the plastic bag at the store or to air your clothes out in your garage before bringing them into the home so you can air-out this solvent. If you are able to find an eco-cleaner which uses liquid carbon dioxide or wet cleaning methods then this is even better in terms of reducing your toxin exposure.
15. Avoid Chemical Hand Sanitisers
Of course you need to wash your hands regularly, but be sure to use a non-toxic soap such as castile soap, and always avoid chemical hand santisers which expose your skin to harsh chemicals.
16. Switch to Pure Beeswax Candles
Not all candles are the same. Most are made from paraffin which emits chemicals into the air when they are burned, or made from soy or palm oils which are hydrogenated and then scented with harmful fragrance which are emitted into the air when they are burning. The best choice of candle is pure beeswax which has minimal side effects.
17. Kill Pests Kindly
Using harmful chemicals to eradicate pests can cause you to be exposed to toxins that are worse than the pests themselves. Find alternatives for pest elimination by going to www.panna.org. Also look for the root cause of the reason why you have the pests and work on resolving that before resorting to the chemicals.
18. Beware Your Bedding
Most sheets, pillows, mattresses and blankets are full of chemicals and flame retardants that can interfere with our health. Opt for using organic products as much as you can so you are not sleeping in chemicals. An organic mattress can be a worthy investment when you consider the amount of hours you spend in your bed every day.
19. Polluting Paints
It is worth checking up on the kind of paint used in our home because many paints contain VOCs that may have an adverse effect on your health. Conventional paints also produce fumes that pollute indoor air and contribute to outdoor air pollution. There is not a lot you can do (other than re-paint) if your walls do have toxic coatings, except to air your house out by opening the windows daily to allow invisible fumes to escape the indoor space.
20. Love it Up
Keep the emotional toxins in your home at bay by ensuring you have love, compassion and forgiveness as the cornerstones and avoid anger, resentment and jealousy as much as possible.
Once you come home from detoxing your body at Thailand Fitness Bootcamp, it is time to look at ways to detox your home to really keep your body and mind optimally healthy. Hopefully these tips will help you to know where to start in cleaning up pollutants in your home.