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5 Nonnegotiable Items For A Healthy Home

elizabeth rider healthy home

Hi friends! Today I’m sharing five very simple things that you can have in your home to keep it healthy & safe.

I consider all five of these things completely non-negotiable in my own house.

1. Welcome Mats

Not just pretty decor, welcome mats at each exterior door are actually an essential part of a healthy home as they prevent pesticides, insecticides, and environmental toxins from entering the home when used properly. Removing shoes is best, but wiping your feet will go a long way to keeping toxins out. I keep one on both sides of all exterior doors.

2. Green Plants

Just like welcome mats, these aren’t just for show. Plants “breathe” in CO2 and out clean, fresh oxygen, naturally filtering the air in your home. Try to have at least one in every room, and keep them well-drained to prevent mold.

3. Open Windows

It seems to surprise a lot of people but the air outside is usually cleaner than the air in your home. It makes sense – think about how small the area of your home is compared to how large your outside environment is. Most of the air in your home is stale, stagnant and filled with chemical pollutants. Keep your windows open as often as possible – especially when you’re sleeping. If you have the heating or cooling on, even just cracking them a half an inch to let fresh air in makes a big difference.

4. A HEPA Sealed Vacuum

In general, our homes contain our own germs which is totally natural and fine – our bodies handle our own germs very well. We even need them to build up our immune systems.

Fun Fact: A recent study actually found that kids with dogs and cats get sick less often than kids without pets, most likely because the pets expose the kids to more germs, which in turn allows them to build a stronger immune system.

We shouldn’t be “germaphobes.” However, household dust contains mold spores, bacteria, pollen, dust mites and lots of other yucky stuff. Most vacuums release some of the dust they collect back into the air but a real HEPA filter traps all of those microscopic particles. Use a HEPA sealed vacuum whenever possible.

5. Incandescent Light Bulbs (Just say NO to CFLs!)

Never (ever!) buy or use Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs). You can usually identify these nasty things by their pretty swirl-shaped bulbs, but always read the product label and never allow them in your home.

I can’t even believe CFLs are legally sold in stores.

Why, might you ask? The reason is that when they break they release one of the most toxic gases known to man – mercury. And let’s be honest, we’ve all broken at least one lightbulb in our lives. Just read the label – you basically need a Hazmat suit to dispose of one.

The other much-less-scary but important reason is that fluorescent light bulb (including CFLs) only give off one spectrum of light, which can leave you feeling tired and lethargic. Natural light is always best (open those shades, stat!) and choose good old fashioned regular incandescent bulbs for your home. LED lights are newer and are also a great option.

To your healthy home ~


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  1. Melissa Custer says:

    Are these the energy saving ones?

  2. Ms. Sloan says:

    I live in a back apartment and most of the natural light is blocked by another building, so it’s hard to grow plants. I’ve had some success using a grow light which was essentially a goose neck lamp with a CFL bulb. I read that the florescent bulbs work best for plants and the incandescent ones don’t give the kind of light plants need. Is using CFLs for plants a bad idea, too?

  3. Trish says:

    I thought regular  incandescent bulbs were not allowed to manufactured anymore? so  as soon as the supply runs out, they are gone….

  4. paul jarvis says:

    CFLs are horrible! not to mention they’re dirty electricity and are harmful to your body as well. i removed all mine and my asthma got much better! watch a news report on them here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cXtf_MqXCmk

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