I had been dreaming about my own little studio apartment with a cozy nook for all my creative endeavours, for as long as I can remember! A small, cozy place of my own where everything would be perfect. When I did get my dream house, it was time for me to pull out my décor binder and flip through the pages looking at the various ideas and brochures I had collected over the years. Before I actually moved in, I needed to make the place liveable and that meant a fresh coat of paint, furniture, and organizing utilities.
I grew up living in a large family house with my family and our labradors. Though I loved the house, buying a swanky, new place of my own as soon as I hit my mid-twenties on the top of the list! The fact that I have travelled to a new country and started life as a university student, while renting a condo and living with a roommate with habits intrinsically different than mine has been a great learning experience by itself, and having explored and moved around quite a bit in my twenties so far, the idea of finding the perfect place for myself was top of the list!
Looking for a new house has tons of advantages, but they also have certain disadvantages that are easily overlooked! For instance, new houses typically have a higher dust and particulate matter level than old houses because of the fresh construction, whereas old houses might have dangerous levels of lead in the paint. Once I found my favourite spot that I was planning on putting in an offer, I started researching ways to combat indoor pollution because you do spend a lot of your time inside your home and would like it ship-shape! To top it off, my new place was right on top of a busy main road so the indoor pollution level was definitely over the top.
While deciding on my décor, I had to take into account my ‘No Dust & Pollution’ rule and take steps accordingly. You might wonder how can there be so much pollution inside a house? But you see pollution comes in various forms and the most prominent one is air pollution. According to the information from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the indoor air can be 2-5 times more polluted than the air outside. This includes germs and unpleasant odours, fungal and bacterial spores, dust mite feces, pet dander, volatile organic compounds, poisonous gases from aerosols, furniture varnish or wall paints and tobacco smoke if there’s anyone smoking indoors. Since I had full freedom in decorating my house, I decided to invest and get myself a few household items which would help me keep the pollution away.
Here are a few steps I took to clean up my indoor air from any contaminants:
Buying Plants: The best purifier in the world is the green leafy friend who provides us with oxygen. I was researching online on which plants are most effective in eliminating indoor pollution. I created a small plant nursery which consisted of Aloe Vera which helps clearing formaldehyde and benzene from the air, a leafy Warneck Dracaena which combats the pollutants generally found in varnishes. I got a few more flowering plants which were perfect for indoor and didn’t require much sunlight.
Stop Using Air Fresheners and Aerosol Insect Killers: I had given up using air fresheners and aerosol deodorants and insect killers a long time ago so it was a bonus for me.
Keeping A Big, Sturdy Mat Outside and a Separate Designated Shoe Corner: It annoys me just thinking out what kind of pollution gets dragged in by my shoes. This is why I installed a small shoe rack just beside my main door and placed a big, strong mat so that the dust can be contained in one place. I like to clean it out weekly.
Painting My Walls With Royale Atmos: When I was figuring out which colour would look best on my walls, I was very surprised to learn that there were paints out in the market that actually helped keep pollution out. It a new innovation paint which contains activated carbon that helps purify the air while looking beautiful at the same time. I had scored a jackpot. Royale Atmos from Asian Paints helps absorb and reduce a few select foul smells like cigarette smoke, garlic, ammonia, rotten eggs to make the air fresh and pure. It is the first Asian Paints product to have a fragrance, instead of the normal chemical smell of paints making it an air freshener by releasing a mild fragrance weeks after painting. The promise of Green Assure from Asian Paints implies that this product conforms to strict international environmental and safety standards. In addition to all that, it contains Teflon surface protector which increases durability and strengthens the paint film while protecting the walls from the toughest of stains leading to #CleanAirBeautifulHomes.
Proper Ventilation and Air Purifier: Some people think that keeping the windows locked at all times makes the air cleaner as no pollution is getting in. That is a very common misconception. Keeping a room locked up without a proper supply of air makes it stagnant, damp and smelly. If keeping your windows open is not an option, getting proper ventilation shafts is one way of allowing air circulation. To make my home even more cleaner, I invested in an Air Purifier and use it when I think the air in a room need to be freshened up.
Besides all the above, I also do not allow my guests to smoke inside my house because smoking is one of the worst kind of pollution that you can willingly bring inside your house. I regularly dust, mop and clean my surfaces to make sure there isn’t any dust accumulation. A clean, fresh home is a happy home. Even though it may require a lot of our time, the end results make a home so much more comfortable and lovely.
What are your favourite ways of combatting indoor pollution?
This post first appeared in The Idea Bucket. Reproduction in any form without prior permission is prohibited.