Air Quality Awareness Week falls on the last week of April this year, which is coming up starting on the 29th!
In honor of thinking actively about the air we breathe, I wanted to talk a little about how to keep the air you’re exposed to inside your home nice and clean without having to do too much work AND adding a little more ambiance to your home!
Glowing Rocks? Yes please!
Himalayan salt lamps are so cool for so many reasons, and many of these reasons involve cleaning and purifying the air around us, especially around bedtime! For starters, salt attracts water molecules from out of the air in your house. This may at first sound startling, I think my skin started drying out as I typed that sentence! However, I love my salt lamp because along with the water molecules, it absorbs the things attached these molecules, like pollen, dust, and mold! Which is wonderful, especially for this beautiful springy time of year full of allergens like those polluting the air in our homes and making us sneeze like crazy!
Salt lamps also release negative ions into the air, which are often found in natural settings like forests or near running water. Negative ions, despite the connotation of their name, actually do a lot of really positive things for our bodies. For instance, they help boost our metabolism and our immune systems, purify our blood, and neutralize free radicals. Having more of these in the air you breathe without a doubt is doing your body a favor!
Lastly, salt lamps are especially important before bed, air quality aside. They emit orange light (go for the pink Himalayan salt lamps if you can, because while the white ones may look cool, you loose out on this final benefit!), and this helps encourage your body to follow your natural circadian rhythm. Sunset also emits a large amount of orange light, as opposed to white and blue light during the daytime hours. This orange light, therefore, is a natural signal to your body that it is time to go to sleep!
Back in 1989, NASA actually did a study about indoor plants that remove pollutants from the air, and they came up with a lot of really cool results. The short version of this research is: these plants are not only easy to take care of, but they have been proven to clean up the air around you and make breathing indoors more healthy and clean!
The top of NASA’s indoor plants list is the garden mum. This cute little plant can be grown indoors through it’s blooming season and then transplanted outside. They are very easy to take care of, and remove things like benzene, ammonia, and formaldehyde from the air!
Next in line is the spider plant. This plant is very forgiving if you’re a forgetful plant owner (I’ve had mine for months now and I’ve taken week long vacations and totally forgotten about it! Came back, it was totally fine!). It likes indirect sunlight indoors, and sends out these cute little shoots when it wants to expand out of it’s container! You can repot these shoots and end up with TONS of little spider plants. It removes formaldehyde and xylene from the air.
If you want to get really crazy with using plants as air purifiers, you can plant then in the Plant Air Purifier planter to get even stronger cleaning power! This planter comes with special growing media that not only supports the plant growing inside of it, but filters the air that it is exposed to! This planter is also great for forgetful plant owners: it can store enough water for a plant for a whole week!
Plant-Based Rocks? Of course!
Bamboo charcoal was something I didn’t even know existed until very recently, but I MIGHT be obsessed with! It’s been used for centuries for filtration and medicinal purposes across Asia, and it just making it’s debut as an air purifier in the Western world.
A perk to using bamboo charcoal to purify your indoor air is that it is a natural deodorizer, without adding an over-sweet scent to the air instead. This is especially good for smaller spaces, like mudrooms or cars, so that these spaces don’t get overwhelmed by good or bad scents!
And, these fun black rocks get their air-deodorizing powers by cleaning it and getting rid of the things creating those bad smells, such as ammonia, carbonic oxide, and other smog components.