Improving our indoor air quality (IAQ) is as vital to the environment as it is to our personal health. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found that the average person spends approximately 90% of their day indoors. This same study indicates that the air within homes and buildings can often be up to five times more polluted than outdoor air and has been linked to respiratory illnesses, as well as other health issues. For these reasons, it is imperative to stay educated on all the options available for breathing easier in your home.
Whether you’re replacing your carpet or changing something as simple as an air filter, implementing sustainable choices can improve overall IAQ and reduce the amount of pollutants present indoors. “Air quality can easily be optimized by choosing HEPA Filters. These filters are often used in hospitals to stop the spread of disease-causing organisms because they capture up to 99.97% of all airborne particles through a fine mesh,” explained Missy Tumpler, President of TangibleGreen and Plan for a Better Environment (Plan BE). “While you can find HEPA filters in most air purifiers, you can also integrate them into your A/C unit. Check with your A/C company representative to see which filters your unit is equipped to handle.”
Consider transitioning to products with low or zero Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). These products are less harmful, have little to no odor, and do not contribute to the depletion of the ozone layer. As you look for alternative household products, choose alternatives that have a Green Seal Certified label. Selecting greener options can help conserve our natural resources, reduce waste, as well as protect our personal and environmental health. You can even take it a step further and fully avoid volatile chemicals in conventional cleaners by creating your own household products!
Miami Beach has set the example by adopting the Green Building Ordinance which requires buildings over 7,000 square feet to be LEED or Living Building Challenge certified! LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, and uses a point system based on six categories of building and operational sustainability. One of these categories focuses on indoor environmental quality. This element has been heavily emphasized in the construction of the City’s first LEED Gold Certified building: the Property Management building located in the heart of the Sunset Harbour Neighborhood. Through green building and best practices, it is now easier than ever to do your part in improving your well-being and the health of our natural environment.