I recently had a wonderful phone call with ‘Mama Maven‘, otherwise known as Tanis Frame and like most green minded mamas – an instant connection formed. Tanis’ passion is to empower parents with knowledge and is hired to speak to schools or parent groups and share her quality knowledge with topics like healthy home, baby carrier info and diapering alternatives. She can also be contacted to speak in a smaller, more intimate setting with groups of friends – very cool for a group of ladies joining the new world of parenting.
During our phone call, she suggested additional tips for naturally removing contaminants and improving bedroom air quality and I’m happy I can share. My thanks to Tanis, who with a background in toxicology and children’s environmental health is an amazing resource for information and it’s always fun to learn tips that are inexpensive and easy to source.
Tips to Instantly Improve Household Air Quality
Fresh Air! Could it be that simple? Inside our home is where many chemicals off-gassing resides, particularly formaldehyde and benzene. Released from furniture, carpets, cleaning products, along with phthalates and flame retardants in bedding and dust, these toxins tend to collect in our homes and the air we breathe. So get outside and spend time outdoors and bring the fresh air in and open your windows and flush through fresh air. Enjoy the benefits of quick recirculation and refreshing of the air you’re breathing. An instant process to remove odours and think of it as nature’s air freshener. One of the quickest ways to create a toxic environment for children is to spray air fresheners and febreeze in the air. Read more on masking odours with chemicals here.
Bring in Plants! Not only do plants freshen the air we breathe, but also the planet and our indoor spaces. Tanis mentioned a study by Nasa about how plants remove assorted chemicals in different amounts. It is SO interesting! The common philodendron, spider plant, devil’s ivy, and Boston fern naturally remove formaldehyde from the air. Peace lilies, chrysanthemums, and gerbera daisies are said to filter out benzene and trichloroethylene. Mama Maven’s personal favourite is the Snake Plant because it’s not only a top air purifier, it grow quickly, is inexpensive, and it’s very difficult to kill. (Big bonus for parents that don’t have time to manage finicky plants.) Another great plant is the Spider Plant because it hangs out of reach and the “babies” can be rooted in water and planted over the course of the year.
Added note from Suzanne… Certain plants recommended are considered poisonous houseplants so you need to keep up, away from pets and children (e.g. Snake Plant). Here is a list of Poisonous Houseplants from the Blog Houseplant Care Tips **
Added note from Suzanne… I read the Houseplant chapter of Adria Vasil’s latest Ecoholic book, called Ecoholic Home and she agrees with plants improving air purification and recommends “15 leafy creatures in a 2,000 square foot home should do the trick” for encouraging absorption of certain VOCs like formaldehyde and benzene. A great read if you are looking for extensive and quality research on greening and creating a healthier home.