Guest Author - Aimee Wood
Toxins enter your house in many ways. The dirt on your shoes contain environmental toxins. Toxins enter through the air via your windows and doors. Your food can contain toxins if they are not organic. Also, your storage containers, mattresses, clothes, cleaning supplies and other household items may not be as environmentally friendly as you thought. This isn't meant to scare you or to make you want to crawl into a cocoon. The information here is meant to empower you to create a less toxic place for you and your family to live.
1. Take your shoes off. One of the simplest things you can do, but has the biggest impact is taking your shoes off. Imagine the toxins and germs that are contained on the bottom of your shoes. Tracking in environmental toxins is relatively easy if you keep your shoes on. Make it a habit and take your shoes off as you enter your home. If you live in a cold climate, invest in some slippers or indoor shoes to wear. Your house will stay cleaner and healthier.
2. Invest in house plants. House plants have a wonderful way of detoxifying the air. Palm plants, ferns, ivy, spider plants, lily's, and philodendron are all easy plants to grow. Plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen. If you have small children or pets, please research what plants may be toxic to them.
3. Buy an air cleaner with a HEPA filter. Indoor air pollution from cooking, pet dander, off gassing of products, along with the environmental toxins from the outdoors are all helped with an air cleaner with a HEPA filter. HEPA stands for High Efficiency Particulate Air. By definition it removes 99.97 % of all particles as small as 0.3 microns. These air cleaners will help eliminate allergens and toxins from the home.
4. Use only non toxic cleaning supplies. Non toxic cleaning supplies are generally easy enough to make at home. If you have vinegar, water, baking soda, and some essential oils, you have the ingredients to make everything from sprays to soft scrub. Some brands that make non toxic supplies can be found at stores like Whole Foods.
5. Get rid of the clutter. Lots of clutter can be toxic to your house, as it collects dust, but it also can be toxic to your soul. How do you feel when you sit in a room that is cluttered? It doesn't feel so good. Also, it takes a lot more energy to clean a cluttered room.
6. Check out your cookware. Cookware can be loaded with teflon, the non stick material applied to pots and pans. Teflon has been known to cause health problems in many people. Stick to basic stainless steel and use a cooking spray, such as coconut oil or olive oil, to coat the pans when cooking.
7. Weed out the plastic. Plastic contains chemicals that have been linked to health issues, such as cancer. Many companies are now producing travel containers that are stainless steel or glass. When a plastic item needs to be thrown out, replace it with a healthier option.
8. Mattresses. New mattresses off gas chemicals that are required to be placed on them to adhere to the flame retardant laws. Brand new mattresses are worse than older ones. If you are in the market for a new mattress, do your research. Wool mattresses are naturally flame retardant, without the load of chemicals.
9. Clothing. Organic clothing for every member of the family would be lovely. It can be expensive. Some websites such as Zulily have discounts every so often on organic clothing. Ebay or thrift stores can be another great resource for discounted organic clothing. One clothing item to be extremely cautious about is children's sleepwear. There are federal laws mandating that if they are not form fitting, they must contain flame retardants. Opt for the form fitting sleepwear, ideally organic cotton or wool.
10. Buy as much organic food as you can afford. Organic food is healthier for you, not only because it does not have any pesticide residue, but studies have shown that organic food has a higher nutritional content. Organic is becoming more mainstream and the bigger chains have their own organic sections in their stores.
Detoxifying your home may seem overwhelming. Do one tip a week, or even one tip a month. It may take a year or more to truly detoxify your home, but your effort will be rewarded in a healthier family.