Friday, October 30, 2009

Green Your Home

We often look at our homes or living environments as respites from the outside world. As a place we can relax, feel safe, and find a sort of peace of mind. This can be hindered by the fact that in some cases, the amount of toxins being circulated in your house can be anywhere from twice as much to 100 times more than outside! Yikes, so much for breathing any sighs of relief! Where are all these toxic fumes coming from? Well, how about that fragrant little air freshener, or what about the wide array of cleaning products used on a regular basis? But don't fret and resign yourself to living in a tent in the backyard to escape these gases, one need only to amend their consumer behavior.

First, if it's nice enough outside, the easiest thing to cut down the amount of poisonous gases floating through your home is to crack a window and vent your place out. Open enough windows or doors to allow a nice air flow throughout your home, which will push much of what is trapped inside back out. Okay, but that doesn't do anything to stop those same bad gases from only polluting the atmosphere, so you need to employ some greener habits. You need to oust much of the name brand or generic cleaning products in your home, as they are the culprits for the majority of the poisons residing among your family members.

You can buy cleaners that are eco-friendly, but just be sure to read all the fine print and labeling as some of them can be misleading. There are loose regulations as to what companies can put on their labels, so don't be fooled by 'natural' or 'nontoxic' because that may not be true. On the ingredients, make sure that butyl cellosolve, petroleum, or triclosan don't make the list. It may be more economical and safer to make your own cleaning products out of everyday ingredients. Adding vinegar and baking soda to warm water will yield you an environmentally safe all-purpose cleaner. Next, if you are looking to add a nice aroma to your home, ditch the air fresheners with aerosol, and instead light a soy candle, boil some cinnamon or another herb. For pesky carpet smells, by putting just a bit of baking soda on the spots and then vacuuming it up you have yourself and easy green fix!

There are plenty of ways you can detoxify your home without having to break the bank. Making your own cleaners at home is usually a lot cheaper than buying the nasty chemical emitting ones anyway. And with your more ethical consumer behavior you will be helping to not only improve your family's health but also take away some of the over 5 billion pounds of toxic cleaning supplies used a year. How's that for cleaning up your act?!

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