Just imagine yourself sitting on a beach …. maybe a more isolated beach where there's not so many people. Or, maybe you're walking or hiking on a snow-covered mountain. Or maybe you're just in your local area and you are enjoying one of the many hiking trails throughout the parks in your area. What is it about these experiences that you really, really appreciate? For me, personally, I can tell you …. besides being away from all the people and all the cars, away from the city.... besides all that, it is the fresh air that I am able to enjoy and breathe in. Because I know that air is clean.
Your body needs clean air. When you breathe in clean air, you are breathing in the oxygen that every cell in your body needs. On the flip side, when you breathe in polluted air, it causes carbon dioxide, toxic compounds, infectious microbes, the potential for allergies. And, all of this affects your lungs, right? Now, since you breathe all the time …. it is a requirement for staying alive …. the air that is around us is really, really important. That is what you are breathing every minute of the day. Now, where do you spend most of your time? Where does the air you breathe come from the majority of the time?
Where do you spend 90% of your time?
Indoors! This doesn't just mean your home. It can be your work. It can be where you go to exercise or where you shop. Ninety percent (90%) of your time is spent indoors which means 90% of the air you breathe is NOT from the great outdoors.
It has been determined that your indoor air is more polluted than your outside air. It has now been called the new secondhand smoke. We all know how bad secondhand smoke is for us. So, why is this bad for us?
Why indoor air is so bad for you
Because you are breathing in a bunch of toxins. Where are these toxins coming from?
- Cleaning products
- Scented candles and products
- Beauty products
- Personal care products
A large majority of them are coming from the products that we use in the home and, most come from fragrances. But there are other things too, you might get a product that says fragrance-free on it. Have you ever looked at the label …. at the ingredients …. to see what is actually in it? They can actually put a chemical in it to cover up the fragrance it contains. Believe it or not.
This is what they call green washing. So-called “green” products can be labeled as “organic” and only contain one organic ingredient. They can have a green label on it so you might think “oh this is really a good product”. But, in reality, it's really just green washing, making you think it's what you're looking for and is nothing more than a sales tactic. So, it's really, really important to look first, in the areas where you can control because we know you can't necessarily control all the air where you shop, in theaters or where you work out. You can do some things within your immediate work space. However, for the most part, most of the air you breathe in your work area is out of your control. So, what are some things to consider?
Things you can do
- Ventilation – Make sure you have good air circulation. Consider a whole-house fan as an example.
- Plants - Remember high school science, we breathe in oxygen and we give out carbon dioxide plants breathe in carbon dioxide and put off oxygen. Adopt some plants to so they can oxygenize and help clean the air for you.
- Air Filters – Have good high-quality filters and replace frequently (every 2-3 months)
- Humidity – If your air is too dry, your skin is going to be dry and your lungs are going to be dry. You need moisture for good movement in your lungs. Your furniture is going to be dry. Anything that's wood is going to dry out. But, on the flip side, you don't want too much moisture either because that can promote fungus and bacterial growth.
- Ditch & Switch – Replace toxic products with clean, plant-based products
- Essential Oils– Replace chemical fragrances
- Antibacterial/antifungal properties
- Natural air purifiers
Essential oils are known to have antibacterial and antifungal properties. If they are high-quality oils and used properly, they have the capability of cleaning the air. However, every company and its brother have jumped on the essential oil band wagon adding them to their product lines. “Natural” does not automatically mean it is a good or reliable company to use. Greenwashing can happen here too so it is vital that you do your research and verify the purity of the essential oils you plan to use. There is also a right and wrong way to use oils.
As you can see, having clean air is very important. Why not start by switching out some of those chemical-laden household products you may be using with clean, plant-based products like these. If you have them in your home and you're using them day after day, they are on your clothing. You are sleeping on them. You are breathing this in constantly. Don't be surprised at how much better you will feel simply by improving the air you breathe in your home.
Learn more about “Greenwashing” here
Learn more about the dangers of chemical fragrances and “the new secondhand smoke” here.
Learn more about the dangers of indoor air quality here.
Want to learn more about essential oils and how to use them? Let's chat.