Making your space healthier is easier—and cheaper—than you might expect.

By Rachael Ray Every Day
November 01, 2005
healthier kitchen

Lighten up. Switch to neodymium bulbs to mimic daylight. To save energy, Joe Rey-Barreau, lighting designer and University of Kentucky College of Design professor, suggests fluorescents. For more impact, he likes layers of light: under-cabinet, recessed, decorative (e.g., over an island) and accent (e.g., on wall art). MORE:

Go green—really. For better air quality, place at least two houseplants in the kitchen, says designer Sandra Gaylord of Gaylord Design in Charleston, South Carolina. Tropical plants like palms and ferns work best; they're better at absorbing gases because they grow in dense tropical canopies without much light. And they're pretty, too. MORE:

Clean smarter. Why buy organic food only to plop it on a counter cleaned with chemicals? Lemons cut through grime on countertops and cutting boards, and they even spruce up copper pots, says Eva Pesantez, executive chef at New York City's Savor Catering and Brother Jimmy's BBQ.

Get your crush on. With garlic, that is. According to the USDA Agricultural Research Service, serving crushed, baked garlic is the best way to get its benefits. (Garlic has long been praised as a source of antioxidants and as an aid in lowering blood pressure.) Try popping it in the oven with a roasting pan of veggies. MORE: