Have you ever considered 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 gaining popularity with house owners. A healthy home can include a number of elements from building materials used to construct your home to using non-toxic cleansing products. Below is a list of five ways to assist you in developing 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 pollutant levels may be two to five times higher than the pollutant levels outdoors.
Indoor air pollutant is among the top environmental concerns today.
Australians spend approximately 90% of their time inside your home.
Indoor air contaminants such as tobacco smoke, pollen, mold, dust, and animal dander have the ability to create asthmatic and allergic reactions.
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 help eliminate wetness and chemicals from your home.
Upgrade the air filters on your furnace with the pleated filters that catch smaller particles. Change the filters regularly as recommended by the manufacturer’s directions.
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 trigger watery eyes, burning feelings in the eyes, nose and throat, nausea, coughing, chest tightness, wheezing, skin rashes, and allergic reactions. 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 hardwood, 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 is capable of removing a minimum of 99.97% of all particles that are 0.3 microns or bigger. In addition, consider using a bag-less vacuum to avoid the exposure of dust when you change a bag.
Frame 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 assure that the fragrances in your house are tidy and fresh is to prevent using harsh cleaning products, which can produce fumes that may remain for days. Try using natural ingredients such as baking soda, vinegar, club soda, 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 little list of eco-friendly products available on the marketplace today:
Organic cotton towels, linens, clothing
Mattresses bediing, pillows
Cork flooring, wool carpet
Couches, chairs, ottomans
Toys and games for any age
Soap and laundry cleaning agents
Organic candles, home décor accessories
5. Use Safe, Non-Toxic Interior Paints that have very low VOC (volatile organic compounds) contentno formaldehydelow odor
Try using any of the above tips to create a healthy home environment. Although the concept of a healthy home is relatively new to many, there are numerous resources readily available consisting of books, articles, and sites, where you can find extra information.
Perchloroethylene, much 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 effectiveness, using this chemical has been connected to a range of health side effects and has recently come under heavy public scrutiny. With heavy regulation from relevant agencies, professional dry cleaners are seeking the use of a safer chemical– liquid carbon dioxide– to provide a green laundry option. At-home dry cleaning kits such as are offering the alternative of budget-friendly & ecologically safe dry cleaning, that lowers the energy-burning, waste producing processes that the professionals use.
The initial 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 hazard to our health. Perc is a central nervous system depressant. Direct 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 occur when people use products consisting of perc, spend time in dry cleaning centers that use perc, live above or adjacent to these dry cleaning centers, or bring dry cleaned garments into their home before they are correctly aired out. Short-term contact can trigger dizziness, headaches, nausea, and irritation of the skin, eyes, nose, and throat, while long term exposure presents higher 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 notably, exposure to carbon dioxide has no health side 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 expensive, therefore a greater cost is passed on to the customer.
A virtue of environmentalism is moderation. That being stated, green dry cleanind is best achieved if you do not dry tidy at all or limit the use ofprofessional dry cleaning by using 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 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 the majority of states), these compounds are dangerous. At-home dry cleaning includes no more than a cleaning cloth and your dryer. There are no damaging chemicals involved and no waste.
While perc remains the most efficient dry cleaning solvent, using 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 human beings, have on the environment. While much of the media’s focus has been on greenhouse gas emissions and the ways we can decrease our carbon footprint, less attention has been paid to the impact that traditional cleaning products and techniques have on our health and on the environment. Although chlorofluorocarbons have long been recognized as contributing to the exhaustion of the earth’s ozone layer, and have been largely removed 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 getting in the marketplace.
Conventional Cleaning Products
The majority of conventional cleaning products contain a variety of potentially damaging chemicals, in part since they are largely unregulated and in part since there are couple of labeling requirements. For example, many cleaning products contain phosphates (which are also a main element of many fertilizers), which can contaminate water and rob lakes and rivers of oxygen. Similarly, many cleaning products with dyes and scents contain phthalates, and most incorporate other natural substances into their formulas. Together, these chemicals can have negative results on the neurological functions, respiration, and reproductive organs of human beings 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 example) can worsen the products’ effects on our health.
Green Cleaning Products
In response to the growing concern about the chemicals in cleaning products and their negative effects on our health and on the health of our world, green cleaning products are being promoted. Some companies that make green products prohibit certain chemicals, and others make it a point to fully divulge all ingredients on labels. What they don’t tell you, however, 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 Works Just as Well
For the ecologically mindful, one of the 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 kind of fabric means that you don’t have to use paper towels, which contribute to the waste that adversely impacts the environment. Additionally, this ultimate fabric is usually guaranteedto last five years, making it decidedly eco-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. Essentially, you just damp it, wring it, wipe your surface, and leave. This ultimate fabric saves time, saves money, and, most notably, helps save the earth.