Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Healthy Home

Did everyone go to the Green Festival? It was fabulous. I always feel so energized during and after events like that. I love being surrounded by like-minded people who are passionate about what they do and their beliefs. I honestly spent most of my time at the Green Kid Zone since I had my almost one year-old with me (he will be one on October 19th). I taste-tested many delicious foods and was introduced to the latest green products and companies. If you missed it this year be sure to mark your calendars next year. Here are a few tips on Greening Your Home!!!

Could the products you use to clean your house be exposing you and your family to health risks?

Many conventional cleaning products leave the indoor air polluted with toxic petrochemical VOCs. On top of this manufacturers attempt to mask the smell with toxic synthetic fragrances. When these cleaning products are used on a regular basis in an enclosed space such as the home, the VOCs build up. When the chemicals evaporate they are transported to the brain. Cleaning product VOCs have been implicated in headaches, dizziness, skin rashes, watery eyes, and respiratory problems. Asthma can even be caused or worsened by domestic cleaning products.

Repeated exposure with certain chemicals can cause harm to a fetus including developmental defects such as autism, brain and nervous system damage and cancer. The chemicals cross the plancenta, travel through the umbilical cord and affect the developing fetus.

The following are easy, safe alternatives to protect you and your family.

Use household plants as natural filters:

They can eliminate between 40%- 90% of toxins in the air. Photosynthesis is the process through which plants use water and light to produce their own food. They take in carbon dioxide and other substances from the atmosphere and release oxygen. This results in cleaner air. The following plants are most effective:

-Areca Palm

-Lady Palm

-Bamboo Palm

-Rubber Plant


Use alternative all-purpose, glass and cabinet cleaners:

Ammonia is the main ingredient in these conventional products. This is poisonous if ingested and if combined with chlorine it produces a toxic chlorine gas.

-Use chlorine free scouring powders or baking soda

-For windows and mirrors mix white vinegar with water

-Buy products produced by:

-Seventh Generation

-Earth-Friendly Products

Use alternative drain and oven cleaners:

The ingredients in these conventional products emit dangerous fumes and can be harmful when they enter the body through the skin or via inhalation.

-to unclog the sink pour 1/2 cup baking soda down the drain, followed by 1 cup of vinegar. Let mixture bubble for 15 minutes, then let hot water run fro 1-2 minutes.

-to clean the oven use Seventh Generation Natural Citrus Cleaner and Degreaser

Alternative cleaning products for all household cleaning purposes can be purchased at Whole Foods, My Organic Market and at most supermarkets. Look for the following brands:

-Seventh Generation (

-Howard Naturals (

-Vermont Soap (

-Sun and Earth (

No comments: