Much attention is being directed to saving the environment. We care about the depletion of natural resources.  We are concerned about clean air and water and about healthy plant and animal life on the planet. But we also need to ask, “How is the environment inside my home?”

Many homeowners use products that contain toxins or produce odors. We want our homes to be clean and germ-free; we want clean air and water; we want a healthy environment for ourselves and our families. Yet as we introduce cleaning products, we sometimes add toxins to the air and water.

Spending a little time in the small appliance section of a home improvement store or department store can introduce you to a vast array of air cleaning or filtering appliances. There may also be an array of water filtration devices.  These air filtration devices claim to remove dust, allergens and smoke from the air. In most cases the machines trap dust and allergens in a filter. By re-circulating the air, they also remove odors like smoke. They are not outrageously expensive, they generally use relatively little electricity, and the replacement filters are not very costly.

There are, however, some other options you might want to consider in your quest to provide a clean and healthy home for your family.

  • Choose environmentally-friendly cleaning products. These products will be non-toxic (to you and the environment) and effective. More and more “green” cleaning products are coming on the market, offering you some choices.
  • Houseplants are natural air filters, particularly peace lilies and ferns. These plants do an outstanding job of removing odors, toxins and pollutants from the air. A few plants can be placed near areas where odors are often produced. According to NASA, the most effective placement of plants in the home is to introduce one plant for every 100 square feet of area.

  • Clean where the germs gather. We tend to assume that we need to pay more attention to the kitchen and the bathrooms. Recent studies have shown, however, that more germs collect in places we tend to overlook, like doorknobs, computer keyboards and monitors, and appliance surfaces.
  • As for odors in your home, there is a new solution available. Dutch Boy Refresh paint claims to remove odors from the room. This paint will cost about $4 more than other brands, but it could be a great solution for removing smoke, cooking or other odors from your home.
As you think about the environment and how it affects your health, don’t forget about the environment inside your home. Some natural solutions will keep your home cleaner, more pleasant, and healthier for your family.