The recent purchase of a gorgeous fern got me to thinking about the environmental wellness in my home.
Environmental wellness (EW) supports and promotes healthy living. It is the quality of the habitat at home, school, the community, and pretty much every space you encounter.
The way you interact with nature and the personal environment can either create harmony with the earth and the environment or do harm to both.
Consider the quality of the air you breathe, the water you drink, the food and the beverages you consume. Environmental Wellness bolsters wellness by striving to limit our exposure to hazards that are physical, chemical, and biological in our environment.
Your home is sacred. If you have children in your home, studies and research show that your child’s development can be impacted by daily exposure to harmful elements. Adults and children exposed to lead-based, which was banned in the U.S. in 1978 (but is still around), can result in lead poisoning. However, it’s not limited to paint. Lead sometimes can also be found in:
Soil. Lead particles from leaded gasoline or paint settle on soil and can last years. Lead-contaminated soil is still a major problem around highways and in some urban settings. Some soil close to walls of older houses contains lead.
Household dust. Household dust can contain lead from lead paint chips or from contaminated soil brought in from outside.
Pottery. Glazes found on some ceramics, china and porcelain can contain lead that can leach into food served or stored in the pottery.
Toys. Lead is sometimes found in toys and other products produced abroad.
Cosmetics. Tiro, an eye cosmetic from Nigeria, has been linked to lead poisoning.
Herbal or folk remedies. Lead poisoning has been linked to greta and azarcon, traditional Hispanic medicines, as well as some from India, China and other countries.
Mexican candy. Tamarind, an ingredient used in some candies made in Mexico, might contain lead.
Lead bullets. Time spent at firing ranges can lead to exposure.
Occupations. People are exposed to lead and can bring it home on their clothes when they work in auto repair, mining, pipe fitting, battery manufacturing, painting, construction and certain other fields.
Source: Mayo Clinic
You can eat organic food, do yoga, practice meditation, manage your stress, exercise, get plenty of sleep, drink water, complete all your annual doctor visits, but the environment in your home or even work can still damage you and your family’s health.
I am not paranoid and don’t want to get you there either. I’m merely pointing out factors that you may not have considered in your home that can impact your well-being.
So. With that said, other common environmental contaminants that can railroad your health and wellness in your home are:
- Secondhand smoke
- Mold & Moisture
- Carbon Monoxide*
- Formaldehyde Invisible but has a distinct smell.
- Volatile Organic Compounds
*Invisible Killers! They are tasteless, colorless, and odorless.
What’s the takeaway?
As you would do maintenance on your body, you should do the same for your home. Here are few ideas:
- Wood burning fireplaces – Two words: 1. wood quality 2. cleaning Here’s a link with excellent tips.
- With regards to Bedbugs, personally, I NEVER sit on my bed or bedroom furniture with street clothes, but here’s an official list from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on how to protect your home from those nasty critters.
- Invest in a carbon monoxide detector(s). If it operates on batteries, make sure you replace the batteries yearly, as with your smoke detectors.
- To minimize the concentration of VOC’s, try to use non-toxic products for your home such as the 27 recipes on this list.
- Replace the air filters in your home. Depending on variables such as pets, home location (city vs. suburban), the number of residents, smokers, non-smokers, primary home versus vacation home, etc… the vents may need to be changed more frequently.
- Take note of where your fresh produce is coming from. Try to buy produce grown in the U.S. To combat costs, try to tailor your use to seasonal fruit and vegetables. You can also start your own garden, which is a great way to prevent ingesting pesticides. If space is limited, check out vertical gardens; they are very cool. Pinterest has a plethora of ideas too!
- I once was heavily into burning incense and candles but, for the past 5 years or so, I’ve fallen in love using essential oils with a diffuser. The quality of incense varies, and the dust from them got on my nerves. Also forgetting to blow out candles was dangerous.
- The diffuser is cleaner (if you clean them) and is ideal for meditation, sleeping, the office, and even older kids’ rooms. No flame. No smoke. No dust. I enjoy the flexibility of combining oils to help to relieve congestion and to relax at bedtimes.
- There is no scientific proof that houseplants improve air quality, but they certainly add beauty to your home (or office). The benefits of houseplants are endless.
When I purchased this fern, I was awed by its beauty and was undecided about where to place it, but I knew I wanted it. My initial plan was to try out the fern in different areas. The first test was the entryway foyer, where the plant sat overnight.
The next morning when I walked downstairs, I was tired and sleepy eyed but the vibrant beauty of the plant breathed life, joy, and love into my heart and soul, which brings me to the final point of this post. Protect your wellness at home by giving thoughtful consideration to what you value. Instead of filling your home with a lot of meaningless clutter, find a select few objects that absolutely warm your heart.
Peace and light!