8 Simple Ways to Turn Your Home from Toxic to Green

8 Simple Ways to Turn Your Home from Toxic to Green

Did you know that air pollution can lead to Alzheimer’s and other degenerative diseases?

Unfortunately, that’s just how toxic the air that we breathe has become. Constant exposure to harmful air is bad for the health, but there are several simple measures that you can take to protect yourself and your family against toxic air at home, which gives you one less thing to worry about in this day and age.

With a few simple steps, you can make your home a truly healthier and safer place to live in by using eco-friendly household products. Educating your kids about green living also starts at home. Thinking of remodeling your home to make it green? You can try these eight environment-friendly home design ideas to improve indoor air quality and your quality of living, all while reducing your carbon footprint for a healthier planet:

Wooden Furniture

Using natural materials, such as wood, for your furniture is both a sturdier and safer option than artificial materials like plastic. Be sure to look for woods that are sustainably harvested and finished with Earth-conscious varnishes, oils, and/or paints. This will ensure that the process is both healthier for the environment and your home.

This is perfect for purchases and projects big and small. From buying a new dining table to decorating your home.

You could even use wood or any similar material to create a DIY photo holder that will definitely fill your home with love for family and the environment. Wooden fixtures can be pricey, especially if you're choosing to support local artisans, but they can withstand time, making them a worthy long-term investment — perhaps they could even become an heirloom to pass down to the family one day.

Energy-Efficient Lighting

Instead of using incandescent light bulbs that produce large amounts of heat and carbon dioxide, switch to energy-saving LED lights at home. While compact fluorescent light bulbs are cost-friendly up front, they still contain harmful toxin and often do not last nearly as long as promised. LED lighting continues to come down in price and offers reliable lighting without the heat and other hazards of more traditional lighting.

Making the switch will keep your home from emitting harmful greenhouse gases and pollutants. On top of that, eco-friendly lights last longer—and are therefore more cost-efficient—than incandescent lights. Make sure to use lights with eco-friendly labels and pay attention to the need for special bulbs if you hope to use them in fixtures that offer the ability to dim the lights; not all LED (or CFL) bulbs are dimmable.

Energy-Saving Windows

Achieve a bright, eco-friendly indoor space by installing energy-efficient windows that will let ample sunshine into your home and have large openings that will allow fresh air to circulate. Even a few minutes a day to allow for an exchange of air can do wonders to help improve indoor air quality.

Of course, environmentally the construction matters too, from materials to the energy savings that they provide.

Windows made of wood, vinyl, or fiberglass are among the most eco-friendly options. When it comes to energy-efficient window designs, you can choose from casement windows, double-hung windows, picture windows, and awnings.

Decorative Plants

Of course, you’ll need something literally green inside your home. Decorate your home with cute little plants such as peace lilies, bamboo palms, aloe vera, spider plants, Dracaena, snake plant, and chrysanthemum.

These plants can remove air pollutants like benzene (a leading cause of cancer and anemia), formaldehyde (that causes certain types of cancer and irritation of the skin, eyes, nose, and throat), and xylene (that causes headaches, dizziness, and breathing difficulty).

Aside from the physical health benefits, houseplants can also provide some great psychological benefits.

Keeping plants in your home help create a balance in it with their calming and soothing effects. Studies also show that having plants around can increase concentration and memory retention by up to 20 percent.

Organic Wool-Stuffed Materials

As for your bedding, pillows, mattresses, carpets, and other furniture items - consider the use products that are made of organic wool-stuffed materials. These can protect you and your family against dust mites or bed mites that can cause allergies and asthma.

Additionally, wool and some other materials are naturally fire retardant, preventing them from requiring chemical retardants that can be toxic to the skin and the air. While it is important, and often a legal requirement, to have items that are flame retardant, chemical additives used to make products more fire safe are extremely dangerous. While they may slow fires, some of the chemicals used even increase the danger of toxic gases during a fire, which is the leading cause of death in fires. Chemicals, like bromine, actually increase amounts of carbon monoxide and hydrogen cyanide released during fires.

These reasons, among others, make it all that much more important to seek out materials that meet fire retardant regulations and requirements naturally, without the addition of known and potentially unknown consequences.

Eco-Friendly Wall Paint

If you plan on adding life to your walls by painting them, consider not just the color but also the chemicals and materials that the paint contains. Volatile organic compounds or VOCs, which are often used in making paints and even carpets, cause health issues like dizziness, nausea, and headache.

Building a green home always translates to good health. Make sure that you use only low-VOC or no-VOC paints. Go for natural paints made of plant oil and other extracts that are good for the health and beautiful for the home. Thankfully almost all big building supply stores now offer, at least, low-VOC standard, but be sure to check the label to be sure — especially when painting rooms for infants, children, and those who may already have compromised health.

Solar-Paneled Roofs

Solar-paneled roofs are a must for every green home, as they don’t create harmful emissions and wastes. Instead, they create clean and reusable energy without the need for excavation or combustion.

Not only that, solar-paneled roofs can also help you save a lot of money and give you tax rebates. It’s an investment that can be used for about 20 years or more. Just imagine how healthier your family will become and how much money you can save in that span of time.

And you don't have to stop there! There are a variety of green energy solutions for the home. compact wind turbines, geothermal energy systems, and others can help you to provide a cleaner environment for you home and the planet while offsetting costs over time. You may even be able to take advantage of tax credits and subsidies depending on the route you choose and what is available at the time.

Recycled Glass Tiles

If you want a practical use of glass tiles, install them on your kitchen and bathroom. Glass tiles don’t soak up water or stains that breed bacteria, molds, and other disease-causing organisms like some other materials can.

Using glass tiles is also good for the environment, as it reduces the amount of glass products piling up in landfills. According to the Glass Packaging Institute, glass is 100% recyclable and can be recycled endlessly without loss in quality or purity. Recycled glass, unlike most other recycled materials, can be substituted for up to 95% of raw materials. Next time you decide on replacing your flooring or tiles, recycle glasses and install chic and stylish glass tiles all over your home. Win-win!

Half of America is exposed to polluted air, and it can lead to many adverse health effects in the long run. Working to improve your indoor air quality is the best place to start living healthy and safe. Start having a green lifestyle by using environment-friendly design ideas for remodeling your home.