>Guest post by http://biofriendly.com/blog/
The holidays are a time for bringing families together, decorating, giving gifts, hosting parties, enjoying each other’s company, etc. However one thing I could do without during the holidays is indoor air pollution. More prevalent during the holidays than any other time of year, indoor air pollution can have a larger affect on your holiday that you might realize.
FACT: A typical house can have more pollutants indoors than outdoors. Some of those pollutants include dust, mold, bacteria, combustion gases from fireplaces and/or wood-burning stoves, cleaning products, pet dander, carbon monoxide fumes from an attached garage, chemical fumes, cigarette smoke, etc. Then when you add in the holidays with items such as: candles, holiday baking/cooking, live Christmas trees, new toys/furniture and all the cleaning supplies used to get ready for guests, a house can get pretty toxic.
Now I’m not saying a live Christmas tree isn’t a good thing to have…it’s probably less toxic than an artificial tree. Just keep in mind the more you decorate, the more toxins and/or pollutants you are adding to your home. Therefore I would recommend using more natural decorations and less manufactured items (less likelihood for lead, paint smells, etc). One good decoration is the pine cone…you just go outside, find some pine trees and collect your own. If you don’t live in an area with pine trees, find other ways to bring in/make natural decorations.
If you really must have those holiday candles, then I recommend SallyLeeCandles.com and her soy candles. They are much more eco-friendly, non-toxic and won’t contribute to your indoor air pollution like other candles will. Non-toxic plants and flowers also add more life and decoration to a home and provide a natural scent.
To “air out” the smells and pollutants in your home and help ensure you and your holiday guests don’t get overwhelmed by indoor air pollution, simply open your doors or windows. I’m not saying throw open your windows in 4 degrees with snow all around, but if you crack open a window in the kitchen while you are baking or open the door now and again to let some fresh air in, it will help keep your home from being overrun by holiday pollutants. It also helps to keep humidity levels low and discourage mold and other allergens. There are even some DIY steps you can take before the holidays to combat indoor air pollution.
One of the simplest tips of all, to ensure indoor air pollution doesn’t ruin your holiday, is to enjoy some time outdoors during the holidays. Getting fresh air can do wonders for your health and your spirit, especially over the holidays. There is nothing like the crisp, fresh outdoors. Take some time to enjoy it this holiday season!
Image by Brian Teutsch (via Flickr)