Last Wednesday, we celebrated Earth Day. However, with the coronavirus pandemic continuing to impact our lives in the way that it is, the word “celebrated” is a term we use loosely. This year, on the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, the vast majority of us were confined to our homes. Of course, we’re practicing self-isolation in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Nevertheless, Earth Day reminds us to preserve the Earth’s resources and protect our environment.

We should all “go green” on a regular basis.

The act of reusing and recycling should be a common practice – not a one-day event. But it’s also important to note that, as we all spend more time indoors these days, it’s wise to take steps to not pollute the air we breathe in our homes. A focus on maintaining good indoor air quality should also be a year-round requirement. As Vinay Pathak explains for The Economic Times, our indoor air can be a lot more polluted than the air outdoors.

“The term ‘air pollution’ usually brings to mind the images of vehicles and factories with fumes and gases,” he writes, “But often, people don’t think of their own homes and offices. But according to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, indoor air can be two to five times worse than outside air. Since we spend nearly 90% of our times indoors, improving the air quality at home and work is very important.”

What can we do to improve indoor air quality?

As we pointed out in our last blog, eliminating cigarette smoking in the home should be a top-of-the-list goal. In addition to kicking the habit, you should place houseplants throughout your home. Many are known to rid the air of toxins. As well, you may also want to consider some unconventional methods of cleaning the air in your home. Salt lamps, for example, are becoming quite popular.

On, Jessica Miley reveals that salt lamps can actually help asthmatics to breathe easier. “If burning candles in your home isn’t your thing, you can achieve the same effect by having a salt lamp,” she explains, “These lamps, which are created by putting a light source into a large mass of Himalayan salt, emit negative ions when lit. These negative ions will help fight against the positively charged particles and contaminants that cause allergies.”

What products should we use to keep our homes clean?

Two words: go natural. Many of the products we use to clean our homes often do more damage than good. Many cleansers and disinfectants contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which are hazardous to our health. Find cleaning products with natural ingredients. It’s your best bet for maintaining optimum health.

“Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are gases emitted from certain solids or liquids,” informs Pathak, “They can have both short and long-term adverse health effects. Some of the most commonly found VOCs at home include paints, solvents, aerosol sprays, cleansers, disinfectants, hobby supplies, pesticides, etc. In offices, common VOCs include building materials, furnishings, copiers, printers and even correction fluids.”

Enviro-Works Inc. proudly offers VOC Testing which employs the EPA TO-17 using GC-MS method for the determination of VOCs. This method uses active or passive sampling of air that traps the target analytes onto a multi-sorbent bed tube. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 780-457-4652 or email us at