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How to Green Your Indoor Air Quality

Learn how to improve your indoor air quality in this Howcast video featuring Alegre of Green and Greener.


Hi. Alegre from Ember Living, here today to talk about how to green your indoor air quality. Your first question might be why would I even want to green my indoor air quality. Well there's actually something known as sick building syndrome, where people are exposed to so many toxins in an indoor air environment that it actually makes them physically sick.

So if you think about it, there are a lot of things in the air that you might not see that if you inhale are not good for you body. So there are a number of ways to improve your indoor air quality. First of all, if possible have windows that open. Sometimes in a work environment that's not always possible, but in a house it's very easy to open up your windows. If you keep your windows closed all the time, for many of us your indoor air will actually be less clean than you outdoor air, because winds come through and they clean things out, and that's an important process. Two, get indoor plants if you can. Plants are really good at removing toxins and cleaning out the air. Unfortunately, you do need a high number of plants. There's actually an interesting study that NASA did, and they say you need about 10 good size plants for every 100 square feet. So that might not be possible, but I personally like to have as many plants as possible wherever I have enough light source to support a living plant.

And I especially like to keep plants near electronic devices, because electronic devices give off a lot of things that are polluting to the indoor air quality, and the plant can help deal with that really quickly. Three, you want to avoid anything that has a high amount of what are known as VOCs, or volatile organic compounds. So if you think about it, when you paint a house, that horrible smell, that's a volatile organic compound. And that horrible smell is also bad for your lungs. So you want to look for products that say "No VOC" or "low VOC" or have a rating from and organization like Green Guard. So that certifies that it's not going to pollute your indoor air.

So this is most important when you're looking at things like paints and adhesives and solvents. That's where you want to pay attention to things like VOC. And finally, clean out your cleaning supplies. One of the most toxic places in your whole house is probably under your kitchen sink, because of all those chemicals there. And you're putting those chemicals into your indoor air a lot of the times, especially because those cleaning products tend to be in sprayer bottles. And that's really bad for your eyes, for your skin, and also for you lungs, especially if you have a child, because children's lungs take a long time to develop. And exposing them to these chemical toxins that are in a lot of cleaning products can really be bad in terms of allergies and asthma. So check out our other videos on green cleaning products, and I have a great pamphlet and lots of videos on making your own cleaning products and products to avoid and products to embrace in order to improve your indoor air quality. Thanks.

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