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10 simple ways to make your home healthier
These 10 easy and affordable steps can help you create a healthier home for your family, starting today. - photo by Karen Banes
We all want to protect our families and keep them healthy. These 10 simple steps can help create a healthier home without much trouble or much money:

1. Adjust your thermostat

Most of us keep the temperature in our home at whatever feels comfortable to us, but whats comfortable for many people may be a little too warm for optimum health.

A professor from Oxford University has recently claimed that sleeping in a cooler bedroom can help guard against obesity and type 2 diabetes. A study from Maastricht University seems to support this, claiming that spending too much time in overheated homes is interfering with our bodies natural ability to burn calories.

2. Use organic cotton sheets

According to natural health expert Dr Mercola, both synthetic sheets and non-organic cotton may contain harmful chemicals.Switching to natural organic cotton bed sheets (and towels) can protect you from these chemicals, and may be particularly important if you already suffer from allergies.

3. Dont burn candles

Most regular candles are paraffin based and contain petroleum oil, which means you are literally burning oil inside your home, and potentially increasing carbon dioxide levels.

If you love candles, make sure you buy 100% soy candles, which are much healthier. Theyre more expensive than paraffin based candles, but burn for much longer, so they arent necessarily a worse value.

4. Or use essential oil burners

Essential oils are not only quite popular, they can supposedly treat a variety of ailments (like anxiety, aches and acne, according to Health). However, putting them in an old-fashioned oil burner (with a paraffin candle) can cancel out the health benefits. Use an essential oil diffuser instead, which acts as a mini humidifier to help release the helpful oils into your home.

5. Use natural beauty products

Our bodies absorb a percentage of the products we put on our skin, so it makes sense to use natural, organic skin care products whenever possible.

6. But make sure they really are effective

Research reports that only 26% of natural sunscreens were found to offer the degree of SPF protection that the label claimed. Whats worrying is that only 58% of chemical sunscreens did, too.

The lesson? Do your research and buy a reputable brand of sunscreen, and even then, dont rely on it completely. Its still advisable to stay out of midday sunlight and limit direct sun exposure by heading for the shade whenever you can.

7. Stock up on healthy food

We eat whats available. Make sure your kitchen is full of healthy options and leave the sugary snacks and processed food on the grocery store shelves.

8. Buy smaller plates

Many of our eating decisions are psychological, which means eating healthier could be as easy as buying smaller plates. According to the Food & Brand Lab at Cornell University, smaller plates lead to smaller portions and better overall health.

9. Invest in some house plants

Indoor plants can make your whole home healthier (not to mention prettier). Healthline lists several health benefits to keeping plants inside your house, like boosting your mood, reducing the risk of illness and providing healthier air.

10. Check your alarm systems

Making sure your house is fitted with working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms is one of the most important things you can do to protect your familys health and safety. The US Fire Administration recommends you check alarms monthly and change batteries once a year.

These 10 steps are simple and affordable, but will help make your home a healthier environment for your whole family. Start making healthy changes today for a safer and healthier family tomorrow.
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