Last year, we were planning our move to a new condo home. We wanted to start our second home right and healthy — yes I mean the actual home itself.
A friend of mine, Melanie Teng-Go (I can actually call her the OC Mom of Laguna. Her family moved there for health reasons.), recently studied and was accredited to be the first Building Biologist in the Philippines. One of the Building Biology principles Mel shared with us was that the home environment affects the health of the family in it. Because of her ultra interesting (aka OC) expertise, we asked her to help create a healthy home out of our condo unit. With several nerdy gadgets in tow, she checked our unit’s air, water, and energy. (Some people also like to call her the scientific feng shui.)
After a thorough assessment, she gave us several practical tips on creating a healthy home, some of which I will share with you here:
1. Maintain Healthy Indoor Air Quality by:
- Installing air filters in all air conditioners. They sell these in hardware stores in the malls. (An excuse to shop!)
- Keeping the exhaust fan running up to 10 minutes after a bath to prevent excessive humidity and mold growth.
- Not using VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) on our home finishes (for walls, ceilings, floors and furniture). These toxins can take years to dissipate from the air.
2. Electromagnetism levels affect our own bodies and health. Cordless gadgets produce high electromagnetism. Thus, Mel suggests to minimize electromagnetic radiation by:
- Turning off the WIFI at night (So much for mastering Flappy Bird in bed — ok, that doesn’t sound right!!)
- Choosing corded landlines (I forgot to ask if a rotary phone was better. It probably is.)
- Switching to airplane mode or keeping the cell phone away from you while sleeping (How many of us keep their cell phones under or beside their pillows at night???)
3. Ensure water quality through:
- The installation of a whole house filter or point of use filters for drinking and bathing to remove harmful chemicals from the water. (Since I distribute Aquasana filters in the Philippines, I get a perfect score for this!) Mel also bought a Whole House filter from me for her own home. (We belong to the mutual admiration society.)
- Use of glass or stainless steel for storing beverages (and even food).
Some building biologists refer to some homes as sick homes. These may cause the family to be physically or emotionally stressed. I have come to believe this too, which is why creating a healthy home became a critical part of my Quaker Supermom goal (along with nutrition, emotion and physical fitness). Mel’s Building Biology tips were super nerdy but very practical and they logically and actually translate to a healthy home. Honestly, I really enjoy the nerdiness of it all (Next club after BulletJournalClub and AirFryerClub: #ClubNerdia).
By the end of last year though, we decided to move nearer to M’s school, instead of moving to the condo but we were still glad we went through the building biology exercise with Mel because it will help the new owner of the condo whom we’ll sell to. For our new place, we’ll still get Mel to consult for sure.
For more information on Building Biology, go to Greenest.Asia in the coming months. The site is still under construction.