Creating a healthy home is just as important as getting exercise, eating healthy, getting adequate sleep and hydrating. You spend a lot of time in your home and if it’s brimming with toxic substances, all the work you’ve done to stay healthy can be for naught. Something as simple as a leak in the roof can cause black mold that can cause respiratory problems and chronic headaches. New carpeting, paint, varnish, furniture and other sources may release VOCs—volatile organic compounds—which are toxic and may cause respiratory problems and even nerve damage. What can you do to prevent it? Airing the house frequently is a start. Getting green carpet made from bamboo or other materials without VOCs or refurbished carpet is a solution, too.
Go natural for your lawn or garden.
While it’s not inside the house, what you put on the lawn or garden makes a difference. Your children, pets and you walk in the grass and through the garden area, with pesticides clinging to you as you go. Neem oil pesticides are good and non-toxic, with the exception of those containing tea tree oil, which harms cats. When bugs come indoors, go completely non-toxic with food grade diatomaceous earth. It’s safe enough to eat, since it works mechanically to kill pests—including bed bugs—by scratching their body surface with microscopic shards, dehydrating, then killing them. The scratchy edges are too small to harm animals or people. It’s important to remember that only food grade diatomaceous earth is safe.
Clean green and live healthier with more money in your budget.
Household cleaners purchased at the grocery or other store often contain toxic chemicals. Those that don’t, green or natural cleaners, may cost a fortune. You don’t have to spend a lot of money if you buy distilled white vinegar. A huge jug costs less than five dollars no matter where you shop. Buy a spray bottle, a little baking soda and a scrubbing sponge and you’re ready to clean kitchens and bathrooms. Distilled vinegar is also a disinfectant and good for use in the toilet. It cuts soap scum quickly, but if there are water stains, spray it on and let it work for a while. The baking soda gives you a mild soft scrub to aid in removing the built up grime.
The laundry also has toxins.
Those dryer sheets make softening fabric a breeze and improve the smell of your clothes. However, that wonderful smell comes with a price and that’s toxic chemicals. It coats the clothing you wear and you breathe it all day. It’s no wonder some people develop a rash when the toxic chemicals are linked to damage to the endocrine and nervous system. Wool dryer balls are relatively inexpensive and a good alternative. So is adding distilled vinegar to the final rinse or making a ball of aluminum and throwing it in the dryer.
- Indoor air pollution in homes ranks high EPA. Most of the pollution comes from common cleaning products. It causes a host of immediate symptoms from throat and nose irritation to fatigue, but can cause long term effects like heart and respiratory disease and even cancer.
- Your cutting board can breed bacteria if not cleaned. Don’t use toxic cleaners, use a half a lemon rubbed on the board and left to sit. Periodically, sprinkle Kosher salt onto the board and scrub with the lemon.
- Baking soda and vinegar come to the rescue again for cleaning the oven. Warm your oven to 125 degrees, spray vinegar on crusty build up and then put baking soda on the dampened area. Let sit for a few minutes and scrub away the grime.
- Olive oil and white vinegar also produces a great wood cleaner. Two parts olive oil to one part vinegar. Spray it on counters or wooden furniture and dry with a soft cloth.