The Sustainable Living Project with IKEA Canada- Part 2: Improving Air Quality in the home

Let’s talk about healthy living for the home.  What does it mean to you? To me, I interpret this as adding plants to my apartment to create better air quality, cleaning, composting and using low immitting off-gassing products and opening the windows even in cooler weather. I know I can get cranky and tired and then major brain fog rolls in when the air quality is poor in my home.  I do have a monitoring system that actually measures air quality and I can access the details through my phone telling me the temperature, air quality, humidity and even noise levels.  But since incorporating some much-needed changes I have noticed we are happier, I have fewer headaches and mental fogginess and the kids love nurturing their plants and I love the green in our home.

IKEA Canada has hundreds of products in the range that can help you save energy and water, reduce and sort waste, and live a healthier life.  Considering Canadians spend more time indoors as the cooler weather approaches I’ve read that indoor air quality is worse than the pollution outside!?!   Poor air quality can trigger asthma, headaches and allergies just to name a few.  Possible contributors can be pets, furniture, moisture and even dryness in the air.


Here are some tips to improve the air quality in your home:

  • Choose indoor plants that are actually efficient in cleaning the air in your home.  I love the Crispy Waves plant.
  • Open windows that allow fresh air.  Don’t trap those indoor pollutants. CO2 climbs when the AC is on opening the windows for even a few minutes can drop C02 ppm’s.  Ideally, ppm’s should be in the low 400 ppms.
  • Good ‘ol water and vinegar.  Don’t use toxic cleaners that emit chemicals into the air and that may also have endocrine disruptors.
  • Low-emitting furniture. Look for products that have certification for low chemical emissions.

From IKEA Canada, thanks to them helping my home get better and better, I fell in love with the BITTERGURKA products.  The crisp white, light woods it just speaks to me as I love its modern design.


My favourite, the hanging BITTERGURKA planter as I use it for plants and I have one in the kitchen for storing my AVÄNDBAR bags, and for displaying my fruits,vegetables and herbs.


If you want to save on heat I highly recommend the GUNNI curtains from IKEA.  They are amazing at blocking light out and effective at keeping out both drafts in the winter and heat in the summer.  You will for sure save on heat with these curtains.

Here is some amazing information about IKEA products:

I mentioned above about low emitting furniture.  Something to think about when it comes to shopping at IKEA are these fantastic products.  All drinking glasses sold at IKEA are lead-free and in 1992 IKEA banned the use of freon (CFCs) and HCFCs in the production of our products.  IKEA is very, very low on emitting VOC’s on most if not all products. For example, their quartz counter tops are manufactured using a chemical process but done in a way where there is no off-gassing or VOC’s.

The SAGOSTEN inflatable children’s floor cushions are made from polyolefin, a smooth and durable plastic without the chlorine and other harmful additives found in the more commonly used PVC. Use of PVC has been banned from IKEA products since the early nineties except in the electrical cords.

The IKEA 365+ bed linen is made from 50% cotton and 50% Lyocell. Lyocell is a renewable cellulose-based material derived from wood fibres from tree farms (which use less water than cotton farms). Also, the necessary chemicals in IKEA 365+ RISP bed linen production process are recycled in a closed system to minimise environmental impact and waste.


BESTÅ is made from board-on-styles (BoS), another strong and light material that minimises the use of resources and  LACK side table is one of the first IKEA product made from strong and rigid wood-based frames filled with recycled, honeycombed paper.

IKEA never uses optical brighteners in the textiles used in IKEA quilts and pillows. Quilts and pillows must not contain hazardous substances and they always try to minimise the use of chemicals.   You can check out the full details on this right {here}.

I’d love to hear from you.  These are simple steps you can start to create better air quality in the home. Start with plants, move on to better materials such as improving your bed linens and open the windows.  It doesn’t have to cost much at all!   What would YOU add?

Discover more on Sustainable Living by visiting Welcome to Sustainable Living.

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Need more inspiration? You can find my Sustainable Living Pinterest board {here}

Have a wonderful day! ~ Erica