Have you ever thought of your home as being healthy or unhealthy? While the principle of a healthy home may be new to some of us, it is gradually gaining popularity with house owners. A healthy home can include a variety of elements from building products used to build your home to utilizing non-toxic cleaning products. Below is a list of five ways to assist you in producing a healthy home environment.
1. Clean Air and Circulation:
Here are some unfamiliar facts about the air inside many of today’s houses:
Indoor air contaminant levels may be 2 to five times higher than the contaminant levels outdoors.
Indoor air contaminant is one of the leading environmental issues today.
Australians spend approximately 90% of their time indoors.
Indoor air contaminants such as tobacco smoke, pollen, mold, dust, and animal dander have the capability to create asthmatic and allergies.
Listed below are a couple of ways to improve the quality of your indoor air:
Consider an Indoor Air Cleanser. You can also install exhaust fans in bathrooms to assist remove wetness and chemicals from your home.
Update the air filters on your heater with the pleated filters that catch smaller particles. Change the filters regularly as recommended by the manufacturer’s instructions.
You can also use indoor houseplants to assist in cleansing your home’s air. For example, Boston Ferns cleanse 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 moist cloth.
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 cleaner 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 bigger. In addition, consider utilizing a bag-less vacuum to avoid the direct 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 releasing dust in the air every time 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 ensure that the fragrances in your house are clean and fresh is to avoid utilizing harsh cleaning products, which can produce fumes that may remain for days. Try utilizing natural components such as baking soda, vinegar, soda water, and lemon juice.
For example, to make a natural glass cleaner, combine:
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 little list of environment-friendly products available on the marketplace today:
Organic cotton towels, linens, clothes
Mattresses bediing, pillows
Cork flooring, wool carpet
Sofas, chairs, ottomans
Toys and games for all ages
Soap and laundry detergents
Organic candles, home décor accessories
5. Use Safe, Non-Toxic Interior Paints that have very low VOC (volatile organic compounds) contentno formaldehydelow odor
Try utilizing any of the above suggestions to create a healthy home environment. Although the concept of a healthy home is relatively new to many, there are numerous resources available including books, articles, and sites, where you can find extra information.
Perchloroethylene, better referred to as perc, is used by 80 percent of dry cleaners in Australia as a solvent to clean clothing that are “dry clean only.” Despite its effectiveness, making use of this chemical has been connected to a variety of health side 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 much safer chemical– liquid carbon dioxide– to provide a green laundry option. At-home dry cleaning kits such as are providing the choice of cost effective & environmentally safe dry cleaning, that cuts down the energy-burning, waste producing procedures that the professionals use.
The first 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 poses a threat to our health. Perc is a main nervous system depressant. Direct exposure to it can happen in the office 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 appropriately aired out. Short-term contact can cause lightheadedness, headaches, queasiness, and inflammation of the skin, eyes, nose, and throat, while long term direct exposure poses greater dangers, including liver and kidney damage and cancer.
Liquid carbon dioxide
Liquid carbon dioxide (CO2) seems the most practical green dry cleaning solvent to replace perchloroethylene. It is cheap, plentiful, naturally occurring and can even be recycled from the industrial wastes from the manufacture of chemicals such as ammonia. Most importantly, direct exposure to carbon dioxide has no health side effects. The only drawbacks for dry cleaning with CO2 are that it does not clean as well as perc does and the machinery needed to use it is very expensive, therefore a higher cost is passed on to the customer.
A virtue of environmentalism is moderation. That being said, green dry cleanind is best achieved if you do not dry clean at all or restrict the use ofprofessional dry cleaning by utilizing at-home dry cleaning kits for garments with smaller spots and stains or that need to be refreshed. Professional dry cleaning is a big process that utilizes a great deal of energy and produces a great deal of waste in the form of powder residue, sludge and wastewater. If the dry cleaner is still utilizing perc (it is still allowed in the majority of states), these compounds are hazardous. At-home dry cleaning involves no more than a cleaning cloth and your clothes dryer. There are no damaging chemicals involved and no waste.
While perc is the most reliable dry cleaning solvent, making use of natural cleaning products and at-home dry cleaning can only be beneficial to our health and our environment.
Nobody would argue that there’s a growing consciousness about the impact that we, as people, have on the environment. While much of the media’s focus has been on greenhouse gas emissions and the ways we can lessen our carbon footprint, less attention has been paid to the impact that traditional cleaning products and approaches have on our health and on the environment. Although chlorofluorocarbons have long been recognized as contributing to the depletion of the earth’s ozone layer, and have been largely eliminated from customer products, traditional cleaning products continue to have a detrimental effect on the environment. To that end, there has been a wave of “green cleaning” products entering the marketplace.
Traditional Cleaning Products
A lot of traditional cleaning products contain a range of potentially damaging chemicals, in part due to the fact that they are largely unregulated and in part due to the fact that there are few labeling requirements. For example, many cleaning products contain phosphates (which are also a primary component of many fertilizers), which can infect water and rob lakes and rivers of oxygen. Also, many cleaning products with dyes and scents contain phthalates, and most incorporate other organic compounds into their formulas. Together, these chemicals can have negative effects on the neurological functions, respiration, and reproductive organs of people and wildlife. Our use of a number of different cleaning agents at once (a window cleaner, a basin cleanser, and a toilet bowl cleaner, for instance) can worsen the products’ results on our health.
Green Cleaning Products
In reaction to the growing concern about the chemicals in cleaning products and their negative results on our health and on the health of our planet, green cleaning products are being touted. Some companies that make green products prohibit particular chemicals, and others make it a point to totally reveal all ingredients on labels. What they do not tell you, though, is that it’s absolutely possible to have a clean home without utilizing any cleaning products at all. Cleaning without products may take a bit more effort, but water alone will do the trick.
Why Water and a Cloth Functions Just as Well
For the environmentally conscious, among the best cleaning tools is a cloth – some would say the ultimate cloth – that utilizes mirafiber to produce a streak free, spot free, lint free, and dust free finish. Utilizing this type of cloth means that you do not have to use paper towels, which add to the waste that adversely impacts the environment. Additionally, this ultimate cloth is usually guaranteedto last five years, making it decidedly environment-friendly. Since 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. Basically, you just damp it, wring it, clean your surface, and leave. This ultimate cloth saves time, saves money, and, most importantly, assists in saving the earth.