Now that we’ve been homeowners for a few months…with a tiny human, pups, and pregnant, my brain is been in severe overdrive figuring out ways to detoxify our 100 year old bungalow. As a part of a three part series, I’ll be sharing how we have made progress towards detoxifying our lives and home.
I’ve done so much research, it’s insane. From looking up housing construction materials, kid furniture, food, medications – I’ve read a lot to be scarred. Ignorance is not bliss in my book. Without getting too much into detail and on top of a soapbox, I’ve made it a goal that whenever I find an easy and cost effective way to minimize the toxic blow to my family, I jump at the opportunity.
The first and EASIEST way that I’ve found to clean up your living space is by adding plants. How did I realize this? After browsing on the internet, I stumbled upon one of Cassy Joy’s (Fed and Fit) older podcasts with another blogger, Anne (Grass Fed Salsa), who gave awesome ideas on how to create a non-toxic home. After hearing such a seemingly obvious option, it never ever occurred to me how simple getting plants was. Here are some options the ladies gave on the podcast:
Boston Fern– This plant removes more formaldehyde in the air than any other plant. Amazing!
Palm trees and Bamboo – In addition to these plants removing formaldehyde, they also remove benzene. Benzene is a widely used industrial chemical. It’s found in crude oil and is a major part of gasoline. It’s used to make plastics, resins, synthetic fibers, rubber lubricants, dyes, detergents, drugs and pesticides.
Mother-in-law’s Tongue – This plant removes trichloroethylene. Aka a VOC (Volatile organic compounds – organic chemicals that have a high vapor pressure at ordinary room temperature) that’s found in everyday wood finishes and adhesives, as well. Just a little concerning, right?
Rubber plant – According to studies conducted by NASA, they improve indoor air quality. Their large leaves can absorb airborne chemicals and break them down, rendering them harmless. They absorb exhaled carbon dioxide and convert it to breathable oxygen.
Golden Pothos – So I’ve heard, one of the easiest plants to grow and actually thrive on low light and neglect. These plants serve to purify the air of formaldehyde, benzene and carbon monoxide while also helping eliminate odors. Pothos can also help alleviate eye irritation after long days of staring at screens. **FYI Be sure to not over water during the winter time – I’ve embarrassingly killed ours by over watering ours one week.
If you’re into candles like me, but are looking for something other than the artificial smells, an unconventional way to have your cake and eat it too is Beeswax. Beeswax candles produce negative ions when burned, and those ions help to neutralize pollutants in the air. Why is this important? It helps eliminate dust, odors, and mold in the atmosphere, easing allergy and asthma symptoms and improving breathing for anyone nearby. These candles certainly not as cheap as Yankee or the other typical brands ($5-20 depending on size), but beeswax candles last a long time and are super effective. I very frequently let these candles burn in my son’s room after a bad #2 and within 20-30 minutes, there’s a dramatic decrease in the stench. DRAMATIC. Since then, if there’s a strong smell inside of our house that’s unpleasant, I light these bad boys up. My favorite brand to use is Bluecorn (NOT sponsored).
Air Purifiers (NOT sponsored)
These are DEF the most expensive option out of the three, however, I’m paranoid, and have chosen to invest in a reputable air purifier as a backup. Coming in at a (minimum) price of $299 and an annual $80 filter, our Dyson removes 99.97% of pollutants and allergens as small as 0.3 microns. I don’t know exactly how small that is, but it seems super small and efficient which is why I went with the brand. For the most part, I’m satisfied with our Dyson, however, I regret not getting the hot/cold add on of the purifier. My son’s room gets extremely cold in our new house, so it would have been perfect to keep him warm and purifier at the same time.
Another purifier brand that I recently read about was the brand Molekule. I’m honestly planning on investing in this purifier for both of our kiddos because it’s capabilities poops on Dyson. The Molekule Air Mini replaces the air in a 250 sq. ft. room every hour. It’s designed to sit on an elevated surface like a table or counter and pull in pollutants from all sides. It uses PECO technology to destroy them and release clean air evenly across the room. What’s PECO you ask? Traditional HEPA filters (used by Dyson, Honeywell, etc) only collect some pollutants. PECO destroys them, including VOCs and mold, with modern, breakthrough science. The PECO-Filter that breaks down VOCs, bacteria, mold, viruses, allergens, and other pollutants at a molecular level when activated by light. Coming in at almost the same price as a Dyson, I’d rather invest $100 more in a purifier that destroys all the junk in our home that our plants aren’t able to. Sorry Dyson.
At the end of the day, I’ve chosen to invest in all three options listed, but everyone’s lives and capabilities are different. Pricey and fancy air purifiers are by no means necessary or a requirement in a home, but just remember to do what works for you. Little steps like just buying a plant or candle will make a HUGE different. Stay tuned for part two and three of my home series over the next couple of weeks.