Healthy Buildings

HEALTHY BUILDINGS

There’s a school of thought… if our homes and buildings are healthy places, so too will be our planet. In other words, Climate Change starts at home.

This is the ethos behind a series of talks by watt Footprint director Paul O’Reilly, about Health and Wellness in our buildings. According to Paul “if we can’t look after the health and wellness of our homes and businesses, how can we ever look after our planet?”.

Paul’s first seminar took place on the 11th May at 9pm in Sonairte the National Ecology Centre, Laytown, Co. Meath. The initial series of talks will focus primarily on the home. With the emergence of new international building certification standards such as WELL and FITWELL, Paul’s later talks will focus on our buildings and the role these new certification standards can play in the health and wellbeing of our workplaces.

Paul has also recently contributed to an article in this month’s edition of Self Build & improve magazine, where he discusses the same issues and focusing on airtightness in buildings.

It’s Time to Detox your Home

These days, detoxing is high on the agenda for many of us. We routinely put in place detox goals for our bodies to help us on a leaner, cleaner path to a healthier lifestyle. There is always plenty of good advice available from health professionals and experts  as well as oodles of advice online.

But how often do we do anything about the toxins in our own homes? Did you know that many  common household products, body-care and cleaning products are increasingly found to have negative health effects. Smart meters, smart technology and always on Wi-Fi in our kitchens, livings rooms, bathrooms and bedrooms, even in our beds… no less. What toxic home environments are we creating? These things can impact on our nervous and immune systems, reproductive systems and on our endocrine, cardiovascular and respiratory systems.

Air quality in the Healthy Home

With the proliferation of un-labeled chemicals entering our homes in such guises as fire retardants, colour dyes, paints, cleaning products, children’s toys, non-stick pots and pans etc. The quality of air in the home is becoming ever more toxic. The introduction of air sealed double glazed windows without adequate ventilation hasn’t helped and this problem is further exasperated with our ever-more airtight buildings.  The average home contains up to 1000 chemicals and is deemed to be up to 5 times more toxic than outside air. Further more, many of which we are unable to see, smell or taste. Did you know that Ireland has the fourth highest prevalence of asthma in the world? I wonder why?

Detoxing the body is naturally important. Home detoxing is equally important because the home environment affects all the family particularly the small ones. Detoxing the globe will have to wait. Well wait a minute; if we detox the body and the home we may well detox the Earth as well. This is a win win scenario.

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