When I got my start in healthy housing, books became some of my best friends. They spoke to me in ways humans could not, they were a constant companion and I still reference these books frequently as I help my client’s make their homes support their health and wellbeing.
These three books are great for those who are new to the healthy house industry – so whether you’re looking for a fresh source of inspiration, education, or just plain entertainment, consider checking these out. There are tons of great titles out there, but these have been really meaningful to me.
Book 1: Healthy Home Healthy Family
Is Where You Live Affecting Your Health?
If you are only going to buy one book on how our homes affect our health, I highly recommend this one! Written by building biologist, Nicole Bijlsma, this gem is a compilation of fifteen years of research and hands-on building investigations.
Did you know that in the past 30 years life threatening allergic reactions have increased fourfold, autism now affects 1 in 35 (aged between 5 and 14), ADHD affects 7% of children, 25% of the population are diagnosed with allergies, breast cancer has almost tripled, the age of puberty is declining, and sperm count has dropped by 50%? Could these conditions be linked to allergens like mold, chemicals, and electromagnetic fields in our homes? Absolutely!
My absolute favorite part of the book is a matrix that helps you connect your health symptoms to triggers inside your home (pg. 21). The best place to get this book is through Book Depository (they have free worldwide shipping!) – here’s the link to the book.
8 Healthy Home Tests
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Book 2: Jeff May’s Healthy Home Tips
A Workbook for Detecting, Diagnosing, and Eliminating Pesky Pests, Stinky Stenches, Musty Mold, and Other Aggravating Home Problems
Jeffrey C. May is an indoor air quality specialist dedicated to helping people create healthier home environments. He is a Harvard-trained organic chemist with an incredible knack for making complex subjects easy to grasp.
The book is designed for people who are concerned about the air quality in their home, providing a step-by-step guide to the nooks and crannies of indoor air pollution―from what to look for to how to fix it. Readers can check visual symptoms of their home’s problems, get easy-to-follow instructions in diagnosing problems, find out whether professional help is needed, get advice on choosing the right professional, and access thorough resource sections for further information and assistance.
The thing I love most about this book (and all of Jeff’s content, really) is the use of images. He has great photos of dust mites under the microscope (eek!) and real problems inside real homes. If you want to pick up the workbook to help diagnose air quality problems in your own home, check out this link on Amazon.
Book 3: Green from the Ground Up
A Builder’s Guide to Sustainable, Healthy, and Energy-Efficient Home Construction
I think this is a great primer on all-things “green” construction and rehab. In fairness, let me say that this book is bent a little more towards environmental considerations than human health considerations. That said, it is still a great reference for those looking to build or renovate any part of their home.
In the book, authors David Johnston and Scott Gibson present the most forward-thinking theories and proven methods of new and remodeled green construction. They begin with down-to-earth explanations of green building basics and move on to site planning, materials selection, energy efficiency, and indoor air quality.
One of my favorite quotes from this book addresses some of the uncomfortable realities of today’s unstable environment. It says, “Some of the most important fundamentals of sustainable building – energy and resource conservation and indoor air quality – are a reaction to a world very different than it was a decade ago.” Pick it up on Amazon by visiting this link.
I showed you mine, now show me yours.
What are some of your favorite healthy home or healthy lifestyle books? I’d love to hear them – leave a comment below!