Have you ever thought of your home as being healthy or unhealthy? While the concept of a healthy home may be new to a few of us, it is steadily acquiring popularity with homeowners. A healthy home can include a number of elements from building products used to build your home to using non-toxic cleansing products. Below is a list of five methods to assist you in creating a healthy home environment.
1. Clean Air and Circulation:
Here are some little known realities about the air inside many of today’s houses:
Indoor air toxin levels may be two to five times higher than the toxin levels outdoors.
Indoor air toxin is one of the leading environmental concerns today.
Australians spend approximately 90% of their time indoors.
Indoor air toxins such as tobacco smoke, pollen, mold, dust, and animal dander have the capability to create asthmatic and allergies.
Listed below are a couple of methods to improve the quality of your indoor air:
Consider an Indoor Air Purifier. You can also install exhaust fans in restrooms to assist get rid of moisture and chemicals from your home.
Upgrade the air filters on your heater with the pleated filters that capture smaller sized particles. Change the filters regularly as recommended by the manufacturer’s guidelines.
You can also use indoor houseplants to assist in purifying your home’s air. For example, Boston Ferns clean formaldehyde from the air. According to environmental experts, formaldehyde is a colorless, strong-smelling gas. When present in the air at levels above 0.1 ppm (parts in a million parts of air), it may cause watery eyes, burning feelings in the eyes, nose and throat, queasiness, coughing, chest tightness, wheezing, skin rashes, and allergies. Formaldehyde can be found in insulation, particleboard, paper products and many cleaning products.
2.Dust-proof Your Home:
Dust your rooms and knickknacks regularly with a wet fabric.
Dust your wood, tile, linoleum, and laminate flooring regularly with a dust mop or a vacuum made for hard flooring.
Vacuum carpets, carpets, and upholstered furniture regularly. Consider purchasing a vacuum with a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter. A HEPA filter can getting rid of a minimum of 99.97% of all particles that are 0.3 microns or larger. In addition, consider using a bag-less vacuum to avoid the exposure of dust when you change a bag.
Encase pillows, mattresses, and box springs in an airtight, dust-proof cover.
Dust/clean ceiling fans regularly to make sure they are not launching dust in the air whenever you run them.
Change dust-collecting blinds and long drapes with window shades or washable curtains.
3. Use Natural and Non-Toxic Cleaning Products:
One way to guarantee that the fragrances in your home are clean and fresh is to avoid using harsh cleaning products, which can produce fumes that may linger for days. Try using natural active ingredients such as baking soda, vinegar, soda water, and lemon juice.
For example, to make a natural glass cleaner, mix:
2 teaspoons white vinegarone quart of warm water
Mix ingredients together and pour into spray bottle. Spray on surface and wipe dry.
4. Fill Your Home with Natural and Earth-Friendly Products. Below is a small list of environmentally friendly products available on the marketplace today:
Organic cotton towels, linens, clothing
Mattresses bediing, pillows
Cork flooring, wool carpet
Sofas, chairs, ottomans
Toys and games for any age
Soap and laundry cleaning agents
Organic candles, home decoration accessories
5. Use Safe, Non-Toxic Interior Paints that have very low VOC (volatile organic compounds) contentno formaldehydelow smell
Try using any of the above recommendations to create a healthy home environment. Although the idea of a healthy home is reasonably new to many, there are numerous resources readily available including books, articles, and websites, where you can find extra information.
Perchloroethylene, better known as perc, is used by 80 percent of dry cleaners in Australia as a solvent to wash clothes that are “dry clean only.” Despite its efficiency, making use of this chemical has been linked to a series of health adverse effects and has recently come under heavy public scrutiny. With heavy regulation from relevant agencies, professional dry cleaners are looking for the use of a more secure chemical– liquid carbon dioxide– to provide a green laundry alternative. At-home dry cleaning kits such as are providing the alternative of affordable & ecologically safe dry cleaning, that reduces the energy-burning, waste producing procedures that the professionals use.
The primary step to green dry cleaning is replacing damaging chemicals with natural cleaning products. Perchloroethylene (perc) is a synthetic chemical that is made from a reaction between ethylene and chlorine. Like many syntheitic chemicals, it postures a danger to our health. Perc is a central nervous system depressant. Exposure to it can happen in the workplace or in the environment when it is released into air, water, land, or groundwater. It can also take place when people use products consisting of perc, spend time in dry cleaning facilities that use perc, live above or adjacent to these dry cleaning facilities, or bring dry cleaned garments into their home before they are correctly aired out. Short-term contact can cause lightheadedness, headaches, queasiness, and inflammation of the skin, eyes, nose, and throat, while long term exposure presents greater risks, including liver and kidney damage and cancer.
Liquid carbon dioxide
Liquid carbon dioxide (CO2) appears to be the most practical green dry cleaning solvent to replace perchloroethylene. It is cheap, abundant, naturally occurring and can even be recycled from the industrial wastes from the manufacture of chemicals such as ammonia. Most importantly, exposure to carbon dioxide has no health adverse effects. The only drawbacks for dry cleansing with CO2 are that it does not clean as well as perc does and the equipment needed to use it is very pricey, thus a higher rate is passed on to the customer.
A virtue of environmentalism is moderation. That being stated, green dry cleanind is best accomplished if you do not dry clean at all or limit the use ofprofessional dry cleaning by using at-home dry cleaning kits for garments with smaller sized spots and stains or that need to be refreshed. Professional dry cleaning is a large process that uses a lot of energy and produces a lot of waste in the form of powder residue, sludge and wastewater. If the dry cleaner is still using perc (it is still allowed in a lot of states), these substances are dangerous. At-home dry cleaning includes no more than a cleaning cloth and your clothes dryer. There are no damaging chemicals involved and no waste.
While perc remains the most effective dry cleaning solvent, making use of natural cleaning products and at-home dry cleaning can only be beneficial to our health and our environment.
No one would argue that there’s a growing consciousness about the effect that we, as people, have on the environment. While much of the media’s focus has been on greenhouse gas emissions and the methods we can decrease our carbon footprint, less attention has been paid to the effect that conventional cleaning products and approaches have on our health and on the environment. Although chlorofluorocarbons have long been acknowledged as contributing to the exhaustion of the earth’s ozone layer, and have been largely eliminated from customer products, conventional cleaning products continue to have a destructive impact on the environment. To that end, there has been a wave of “green cleaning” products getting in the market.
Traditional Cleaning Products
A lot of conventional cleaning products contain a range of potentially damaging chemicals, in part due to the fact that they are largely uncontrolled and in part due to the fact that there are few labeling requirements. For example, many cleaning products contain phosphates (which are also a main component of many fertilizers), which can pollute water and rob lakes and rivers of oxygen. Likewise, many cleaning products with dyes and scents contain phthalates, and most integrate other natural compounds into their formulas. Together, these chemicals can have unfavorable effects on the neurological functions, respiration, and reproductive organs of people and wildlife. Our use of several different cleaning agents at the same time (a window cleaner, a basin cleanser, and a toilet bowl cleaner, for instance) can intensify the products’ results on our health.
Green Cleaning Products
In response to the growing concern about the chemicals in cleaning products and their unfavorable results on our health and on the health of our world, green cleaning products are being promoted. Some companies that make green products ban particular chemicals, and others make it a point to completely divulge all ingredients on labels. What they don’t tell you, though, is that it’s absolutely possible to have a clean home without using any cleaning products at all. Cleaning without products may take a bit more elbow grease, but water alone will do the trick.
Why Water and a Cloth Functions Just as Well
For the ecologically mindful, among the very best cleaning tools is a cloth – some would say the ultimate cloth – that uses mirafiber to produce a streak free, spot free, lint free, and dust free finish. Utilizing this type of fabric means that you don’t have to use paper towels, which add to the waste that negatively impacts the environment. Moreover, this ultimate fabric is generally guaranteedto last five years, making it distinctly environmentally friendly. Because it’s washable and bleachable, it can be used over and over again on virtually any surface, from windows and glass to stainless-steel and Corian. Essentially, you just wet it, wring it, wipe your surface, and leave. This ultimate fabric saves time, saves money, and, most importantly, helps save the earth.