The benefits of eating clean, nutritious, whole foods are clear – the less toxins, chemicals, and junk you feed your body, the more vibrant a life you’ll lead. While the phrase “you are what you eat” stands true, the state of your environment can also impact your health.
Toxic chemicals are a given in generic cleaning products. Begin your healthy home detox by switching to natural alternatives. Not all cleaning products list their ingredients, so a little extra know-how may be required – anything with a danger, hazard, or poison label should be avoided along with ingredients (in the rare event they are listed) like ammonia, DEA, APEs, and TEA.
Although even the most natural cleaners contain small amounts of hard-to-pronounce ingredients, choose cleaning products like you would food. Opt for short ingredient lists ( five or less) and make sure you comprehend most of the terms – plant-based ingredients are the best choices, followed by solvent and phosphate-free labels.
Avoid labels that promote vague, unfounded terms like natural and ecologically friendly. Alternatively, you may make your own products. Baking soda, lemon, vinegar, essential oils, and cornstarch are pantry staples that can also double up as cleaning supplies. Combined with hot water and elbow grease, you may never need to use a chemical cleaner again.
Another great way to ensure your cleaners are safe. Look for vegan, or not tested on animals labeling. If you are testing on animals it’s a clear and unfortunate way of saying if it doesn’t kill them it’s safe enough for humans. Which is both questionable, and unclear as we see more and more unexplained human cancers and toxicity based pathologies.
Look for my top lists at the end of this article and my favorite watch groups that keep an eye on big business that buys up our favorite green companies! When company claims to be green, but are owned by, or acquired by a corporate giant I am always skeptical. A safe bet if it’s sold at a Co-op it’s probably safe.
FURNITURE AND TEXTILES
Mattress manufacturers often add flame retardants in order to comply with re regulations. Regardless of the chemical concoction used (there are more than a few), retardants are known to cause poor brain development as well as learning, behavior, and memory problems in children. Carpets also contain their own chemical cocktail – stain resistance treatments, antimicrobial properties, antistatic agents, etc. In reality, they’re all toxic.
Be a conscious consumer and choose a mattress made from natural materials like untreated cotton or wool. Also ensure they are free from synthetic materials like foam, glue, and moth-proofing chemicals. Use the same standards when choosing bedding, curtains, and rugs. Clean carpets with a plant-based detergent, or if you’re moving homes or renovating opt for hardwood floors instead.
PAINT AND DECORATION
Be sure to use no-VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints. Many companies advertise no-VOC, but this is only the base white paint. Once color is added, it’s no longer no-VOC. If you prefer using wallpaper, avoid vinyl varieties which can trap mold and fungus and cause respiratory problems. Creating a zen environment and sprucing up a living space requires a lot less than you may think.
Natural woods, white wash (no-VOC!) painted walls, and minimalistic furniture go a long way. Decorate with other natural fabrics such as hemp, bamboo, silk, and linen. A truly clean, green home can’t be achieved overnight – so if you can’t incorporate these suggestions right now, that’s okay. Begin with smaller changes instead.
HERE ARE SOME WAYS TO KICK OFF YOUR HEALTHY HOME:
- Grow plants indoors
- Open windows and allow fresh air to filter your rooms
- Switch to energy saving light bulbs
- Allow sunshine to filter your rooms
- Smudge with sage, or incense instead of chemical laden room “fresheners”
- Replace dryer sheets, with Lavender bags or natural dryer sheets (DIY instructions below)
- Compost kitchen scraps
- Use appliances efficiently
- Recycle trash
- Buy recycled goods
The Most Toxic Home Products http://geti.in/1cqpkSK
Non-Toxic Home Cleaning http://geti.in/1otRHux
How Toxic Are Your Household Cleaning Supplies? http://geti.in/1tndkdL
HOME MADE DRYER SHEETS
What you will need
- Cloth baby wipes (or old scraps of cloth)
- Essential oils of choice (preferably Organic)
- White Vinegar
- A glass jar with a wide lid or other storage container
What to do:
- Mix 1 cup of white vinegar with 25+ drops of essential oils of choice. I like Geranium, Citrus, Lavender and Mint.
- Fold the wipes or cloth scraps and place in your jar or storage container.
- Moisten but don’t saturate the cloth with the vinegar mixture (store extra in a bottle if you don’t need the entire mixture).
- Use one wipe/cloth per dryer load to freshen laundry. The vinegar smell will evaporate during drying and the essential oil scent will remain.