Welcome to Second Nature, a Q+A series with Jute founder, Ali Davin, that explores all things healthy living, with a fond emphasis on that thing she does best—interior design.
Green juice. Raw food. Elimination diets. Sound familiar? Chances are, you’ve given your body a detox from time to time, and you’ve felt amazing afterward.
It turns out that your environment could benefit from a little self-care too. Here’s how to detox your home.
Having a clean living environment is super important because it’s where we detox our bodies. As technology takes over, people just want quiet at home. They stay in more now, and they care about their house in a way that they didn’t used to. If you’re spending more and more time at home as well as sleeping there, it makes sense that you want to be in a place that’s as healthy as possible.
Start with testing the air inside your home to find out how toxic it is. You can buy environmental testers online for EMF radiation, mold, and VOCs. Based on the results, you can figure out what’s off-gassing chemicals into the air and start replacing the biggest offenders. The next step is keeping your air clean. Leave the windows open, run the air filters, and use a diffuser with essential oils. Then, be cognizant of what you’re bringing into the house. For example, a mattress can be called organic if it has an organic cover, but it can be filled with chemical-treated materials on the inside. Read the fine print and do your research.
You want to look for things that are not mass-produced, that are high quality and not held together with glue. You want furniture, rugs, and linens that use natural materials, real wood, and real stone—not manmade materials, because they’re filled with chemicals that off-gas.
Again, always use natural materials. Avoid using chemicals. If you’re renovating your kitchen, don’t use a manmade countertop—use marble, granite, wood, or something that comes from the earth. When you order kitchen cabinets, have them dovetailed instead of glued in the corners. Have the boxes made of wood, not MDF. There are still a lot of artisans out there who make things without chemicals. They can be more expensive, but they last longer and are better for the earth.
There are different ways of thinking of green. My interpretation is different from what some building professionals would qualify as green. To me, it’s about creating a healthy environment for people who inhabit the space. The next step is to shift how you think about creating waste. If you get a dining room table and keep it for the rest of your life, you’re not creating waste, and that in turn helps the planet.
The best way to clear out toxins in your home: open the windows.