Updated: Dec 16, 2020
If you're on the journey to a healthier home, one of the very first things you should implement is removing your shoes at the front door.
It seems that this is a hard concept for some people to grasp, using convenience or even cultural arguments against the practice of taking off their shoes. However the benefits of doing so are extremely easy to understand:
Toxins. By removing your shoes you are also removing the risk of environmental toxins being tracked through your home. Toxins like pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals from vehicle emissions and road degradation as well as dust from brake linings and tires (including asbestos and lead).
Bacteria. Bird droppings and animal exretement are present on the soles of most shoes. Even if you haven't knowingly stepped in it, the bacteria remains on the ground until it is completely washed away making it easy for you to track indoors on the soles of your shoes. There's also those public restroom floors...
Mould, allergens and pollen. If you suffer from hayfever or allergies your shoes could be bringing triggers straight into the sanctuary of your home.
Longevity of flooring. If the health reasons aren't enough to sway you, consider the wear and tear on your flooring. Removing hard shoe soles could extend your floorings' lifetime meaning a lengthier period before you need to replace it, and ultimately less flooring in landfill.
If you are still resistant to removing your shoes another option is to wash them as per manufacturers instructions after each wear, this practice removes around 99% of bacteria from the exterior surface of the shoes - but I'm sure simply removing them is easier!
To initiate the practice of removing shoes before entering your home, it is a good idea to reserve an area by your primary door for a shoe rack (although not as attractive, shoe racks are a healthier option than shoe cupboards due to the increased airflow around the shoes). You also may like to purchase some indoor slippers or inside thongs (seeing as we are in Australia, oi oi oi). Slippers or flip flops made from natural fibres are best for your feet, your home and the environment.