Healthy Home and Lifestyle experts Laura Forbes Carlin and Alison Forbes have created the “Easy Feng Shui with Augmented Reality” iPhone appto help guide you in creating a healthy home. Using an overlay technique known as “augmented reality,” users can use their iPhone viewfinders to literally look around a room, while the app shows them exactly which part of the room is represented, such as the love, wealth or health areas. By following the app’s suggestions, you can make adjustments to troubled areas and compensate for any issues.
Our homes are like our third skin—our actual skin being first and clothes being second. What we have in our homes, how we clean them, and how we decorate are all decisions that affect our lives on a daily basis. We need to take care of our homes just as we do our bodies.
To help you create the best possible healthy home, Carlin and Forbes offer the following must-haves for creating a healthy home:
- Fresh Air. Open your windows to ventilate your home on a regular basis. Many of the products we use to clean and the materials we use to decorate and build contain toxic chemicals that off-gas and pollute the air we breathe. Opening windows creates a way for chemicals released from common household items to exit and fresh air to enter. In addition, sunlight can uplift our spirits. It is also is an effective way to cleanse linens and blankets killing dust mites.
- A Shoe Rack. Have people remove their shoes before they enter your home. By having a shoeless household, pesticides from lawn and garden products, pollutants and dirt will not be tracked inside. This is especially important if you have young children that play on the floor.
- Water Filters.Tap water can contain a host of contaminants including chlorine, lead and organic material. Install filters in your kitchen for drinking water and in your shower for water used to bathe.
- Natural Cleaning Products. Many household cleaning products contain chemicals such as ammonia and phenol, which can irritate your skin and lungs, and cause headaches. Look for non-toxic, environmentally safe household cleaning products.
- HEPA Vacuum. Vacuum regularly to keep dust and other allergens to a minimum. The best vacuums contain a High Efficiency Particulate Air Filter to remove dust particles.
- Low or no VOC paints and finishes.Many paints and finishes we use to decorate give off toxic fumes known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can be harmful. These chemicals can remain in the air even after the paint is dry. Low or No VOC paints are a healthier alternative to this problem.
- Air Filter.Add HEPA/carbon filter to your heating, ventilation and air conditioning system, or placing standing filters in room where you spend a lot of time, such as bedrooms, to filter the air in your home. A HEPA filter will capture dust and other airborne particulates and Carbon will capture VOCS.
- Hardwood Floors and Area Rugs. Opt for hardwood floors and area rugs in place of wall-to-wall carpets. Carpets house dirt, chemicals, dust mites and mold. Area rugs have the benefit of being easily removed so they can be professionally cleaned, shaken out or placed in the sun. Also avoid synthetic rugs and look for natural floor coverings made of untreated wool, jute, sisal or bamboo.
- Healthy Bedding. You will spend almost a third of your life in bed, so make sure your bed is a healthy, chemical-free place to sleep. Look for organic, untreated cotton sheets, untreated wool pillows and a wool or latex mattress.
- An Organizational System. Stress negatively affects our health and lack of organization and clutter can contribute to stress. Create a peaceful sanctuary at home by getting organized and eliminating clutter.
- A Pleasing View. Studies show that we relax more when we have a beautiful view. If you don’t have a great view, create one inside your home with artwork and outside your home with window boxes, and landscaping. Bottom-up shades are a great way hide unattractive views.
- Natural Materials and Solid Wood Furniture. When purchasing new furniture for your home or office, invest in natural materials such as solid wood, untreated cotton, linen, wool, etc… Pressed wood, like particleboard or MDF, contains chemicals like formaldehyde that can off gas.
“Easy Feng Shui with Augmented Reality” ($3.99) has versions compatible with iPhone 3 and iPhone 4, as well as iPod Touch. More information is available at http://www.inspiredeverydayliving.com/inspired-living-apps/. The app is available from Apple’s App Store on iPhone and iPod touch or at www.itunes.com/appstore
Carlin and Forbes are sisters, writers and co-founders of Inspired Everyday Living, a home and lifestyle company, believe that you can use your home as a vehicle for self-transformation—as you change your home, you can transform your life. They are co-authors of “The Peaceful Nursery: Preparing a Home for Your Baby with Feng Shui,” as well as two eGuides – “Love at Home: The Single Girl’s Guide to Feng Shui and Life Design” and “Laura and Allison’s What You Will Need for a Healthy, Green Baby Nursery.”
Their weekly blog posts, guides, book, and consultations offer practical ideas and tips to transform your home and life, covering topics such as healthy and green living, Feng Shui, simplicity, parenting, clutter clearing and organization, homemaking, decorating, and spirituality in the home.