Healthy Spaces / Reduce Toxins

While it is well understood that air pollution affects the air we breathe outdoors, it is less known that indoor air quality is a serious and important issue. Our indoor air quality is affected by the cleaning products we use and the furniture we buy. It is is best to purchase "green" cleaning supplies, which don't contain toxic substances known to trigger eye, skin and throat irritation along with a host of other more serious ailments. Additionally, it's best to purchase sustainably sourced and environmentally conscious furniture, textiles, flooring, and kitchen supplies, because certain products begin to release toxins when exposed to high heat. Air flow is essential to air quality indoors and should be made a top priority.

It is also important to be conscious of indoor pesticides. Pesticides are used for structural pest control in buildings and have significant health implications for building occupants even in small quantities and especially for children. Indoors, it is best to use an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) system and adhere to it as strictly as possible. IPM is a practice that involves the use of least toxic pesticides first and consideration of more toxic pesticides only after other methods have been exhausted. It is most valuable to use a strict IPM approach for indoor use. There are many non-toxic pest mitigation measures available that will help avoid the use of toxic pesticides inside where people live, learn, work, eat, and play. After these non-toxic measures have been tried first, a least toxic pesticide can be considered and, if possible, used only in areas that are inaccessible to most building occupants.

An IPM approach does not make sense for the aesthetic use of pesticides on outdoor property such as gardens, lawns, play and sports areas. Organic land care and its cost effective cultural practices and pesticide-free soil amendments emphasize soil health. Introducing aesthetic pesticide applications to outdoor areas will be harmful to the beneficial organisms that balance and support healthy soil biology needed for lush and healthy lawns and landscapes.

Also included in this category is the use and sourcing of non-harmful outdoor structures, coatings, and building materials.

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Clean Air

Educate about improving air quality
2 points
Education
More info
Install or test and clean carbon monoxide detectors monthly
1 points
Action
Test and clean smoke detectors monthly
1 points
Action
Install welcome mats
2 points
Action
Test air quality periodically
2 points
Action
More info
Offer employees air cleaning plants in each office
2 points
Action
More info
Purchase and use only HEPA filters in vacuums
2 points
Action
Post signage requiring smokers to stand at least 25 feet from building
2 points
Action
Use only natural air fresheners
2 points
Action
More info
Develop and implement a no-idling policy
4 points
Advocacy

Reduce Plastic

Host an event about plastic use and alternatives
3 points
Education
Excercise a no-plastic kitchen
3 points
Advocacy
More info
Replace plastic hot water dispensers with stainless steel dispensers
2 points
Action
Purchase alternatives to Teflon-based nonstick cookware
3 points
Action
More info
Purchase alternatives to plastic cooking utensils
3 points
Action
More info

Pest Management

Post signage to clear food to avoid pests
1 points
Education
More info
Green your pest control policy
3 points
Advocacy
More info
Use an integrated pest management (IPM) system to reduce indoor pests
4 points
Action
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Related Resources

Guide to Cutting Plastic Out of Your Life

From Fast Company, March 2019 A relatively painless guide to cutting plastic out of your life You already carry a reusable grocery bag, straw, and water bottle. Are you ready to take your fight against plastic to the next level? Continue reading Or click here to download a PDF of the article (with no pictures)

Idling

Turning off your car when your aren’t moving is a simple way to save money, save energy, reduce pollution and your carbon emissions.