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by Elif Angel Raynor

Lindsay Wynn is a Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker with Signature Int’l Premier Properties. She has been in the real estate industry helping others to find beautiful homes the last six years… She grew up in Boca Raton and has a passion to serve locals and the community. Since she has been helping people to realize their dreams, when it comes to the home environment we asked her:

“What can we do to create healthy homes so we can shape a happy life?”

“ Home is our sanctuary, our inner sanctum, our escape. Our haven of repose and rejuvenation. The place where we cultivate and nourish relationships with friends and family. Since we spend such a substantial amount of time and energy here, our home can be considered the single most important environment that shapes our perceptions on quality of life. It’s important to understand the connection between your health and your living environment. A healthy home provides a sense of wellness and security while decreasing hazards and facilitating necessary balance. As a result, how we create our personal ‘safe space’ outwardly influences and contributes to a happy, healthy life.”

“ What should be our approach to start this process then?”

“ We should take a holistic approach to identify and resolve threats to our health and wellbeing. Here are 7 important steps to start doing immediately to maintain and improve your living space:

1. Go “Green”

The term is so common and cliché these days yet what does that really mean to you? The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Nation defines going green as simply taking steps to “conserve energy, reduce pollution and save money.” Sounds overwhelming and I’m sure are you thinking “Okay, where do I start?” My advice- a little goes a long way. A few tips to start doing immediately: Use energy efficient products, appliances and bulbs and turn off water and lights when not in use. Reduce pollution by recycling – Make this a habit. If you have children, turn it into a reward system to teach your kids. Even if you start by only recycling plastics, that will make a difference.

2. Create Light

Giuseppe Chisesi, Home Builder with the Sopra Group, recommends, “It is important to be cognizant of the position and exposure of your home, window design, and window treatments in relation to sunrise and sunset. Allowing sufficient light to enter your living space can drastically affect your daily mood.” So open the windows and let

light in.

3. Ensure your drinking water is safe.

Our body needs water to function properly. Is your water safe? Did you know many water utilities across the country make their annual water quality reports

available online? You can access these reports on the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) website as well as other resources on water including testing. You can test your water yourself with a home kit with a small investment of $10-$30. These kits cannot test for everything, but they can detect lead, arsenic, pesticides, and bacteria. Be in the know. Furthermore, if there is a concern, proper filtering options can increase water quality and possibly decrease contamination.

4. Limit Landscaping Chemicals

Pesticides and fertilizers can be harmful to humans and pets. Look for local alternatives and “green” lawn care services. Landscape with native vegetation to reduce the need for pesticides and fertilizers. These chemicals can also be easily be tracked into your home. You do use these products, be sure to remove your shoes before entering the house.

5. Smart Cleaning

One of the most important rooms to battle bacteria is the kitchen and it’s surfaces. Sanitize sponges by tossing them into the microwave or dishwasher. Make sure countertops and cutting boards are nonporous, and clean them regularly. Also, look for cleaning products that are made from plant sources rather than petroleum and that are free of chemicals that can irritate (such as chlorine) or pollute (such as phosphates). Avoid products that contain synthetic fragrances. Choose eco-friendly products.

Make it yourself solutions are easy and will also save you money:

a. For streak-free windows, use a solution of half water and half vinegar.

b. For laundry, add a cup of vinegar to brighten whites and remove odors.

c. For tubs and sinks, create a cleanser mixture by mixing a small amount of baking soda and castile soap.

d. Freshen the air naturally by using vinegar or baking soda. Not only do they clean well, but they also neutralize odors.

6. Limiting Dust

You can reduce the amount of dust in your living space by choosing easy to clean window treatments. Heavily textured draperies and blinds tend to collect more dust. Better choices are cotton and linen fabrics. Minimize dust mites in the bedroom by putting allergy control covers on pillows and mattresses. With your smart cleaning laundry solutions, was the bedding weekly in hot water and high heat. A smart investment and upgrade is a vacuum which includes a true HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter that removes 99.97% of all particles with a diameter of 0.3 microns or more.

7. Install Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Most likely we have a smoke alarm installed in our home, but what about the importance of having a carbon monoxide detector (CO)? CO is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas, but highly toxic. Common sources of CO are from a

gas clothes dryer, furnaces, gas range/stove, water heater, portable fuel-burning space heaters, fireplaces, generators and wood burning stoves. In poorly ventilated or closed environments, the concentration of carbon monoxide can rise to lethal levels. It shouldn’t even be a question to install one or not for peace of mind from this hazard.”

“ This information is really important, thank you for that again. Although a lot of us are aware of this, it is hard to get the process started. Do you have any advice on how to begin?”

“ Healthy living is a choice. Your home is the foundation of that and an extension of who you are. You are a magnificent individual and owe it to yourself to take good care. So believe it, act on it, and let that carry over to everything you do. Personally, I feel good when I take care of myself as well as those around me. These simple actions above can make life more manageable and result in many positive benefits.

It may take extra awareness and effort to get there, but the results will be worth it. So next time you sit back on that sofa, kick your feet up (leaving shoes at the door of course), turn on some music and breathe in your home’s fresh, clean filtered air conditioning, feel a sense of accomplishment for taking care of yourself, your family and your pets, and creating a happy, healthy home environment. “

“ You made it sound so easy. Thank you so much for this information. I think it is obvious that our readers can get in touch with you not only when they are in a market to buy real estate but also about to how to make what they purchase their sanctuary. We appreciate the recommendations… “