The benefits of eating clean, nutritious, whole foods are clear – the less toxins, chemicals, and junk you feed your body, the more vibrant a life you’ll lead. While the phrase “you are what you eat” stands true, the state of your environment can also impact your health.
Toxic chemicals are a given in generic cleaning products. Begin your healthy home detox by switching to natural alternatives. Not all cleaning products list their ingredients, so a little extra know-how may be required – anything with a danger, hazard, or poison label should be avoided along with ingredients (in the rare event they are listed) like ammonia, DEA, APEs, and TEA. Although even the most natural cleaners contain small amounts of hard-to-pronounce ingredients, choose cleaning products like you would food. Opt for short ingredient lists ( five or less) and make sure you comprehend most of the terms – plant-based ingredients are the best choices, followed by solvent and phosphate-free labels. Avoid labels that promote vague, unfounded terms like natural and ecologically-friendly. Alternatively, you may make your own products. Baking soda, lemon, vinegar, and cornstarch are pantry staples that can also double up as cleaning supplies. Combined with hot water and elbow grease, you may never need to use a chemical cleaner again.
FURNITURE AND TEXTILES
Mattress manufacturers often add flame retardants in order to comply with re regulations. Regardless of the chemical concoction used (there are more than a few), retardants are known to cause poor brain development as well as learning, behavior, and memory problems in children. Carpets also contain their own chemical cocktail – stain resistance treatments, antimicrobial properties, antistatic agents, etc. In reality, they’re all toxic.
Be a conscious consumer and choose a mattress made from natural materials like untreated cotton or wool. Also ensure they are free from synthetic materials like foam, glue, and moth-proofing chemicals. Use the same standards when choosing bedding, curtains, and rugs. Clean carpets with a plant-based detergent, or if you’re moving homes or renovating opt for hardwood floors instead.
PAINT AND DECORATION
Be sure to use no-VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints. Many companies advertise no-VOC, but this is only the base white paint. Once color is added, it’s no longer no-VOC. If you prefer using wallpaper, avoid vinyl varieties which can trap mold and fungus and cause respiratory problems. Creating a zen environment and sprucing up a living space requires a lot less than you may think.
Natural woods, white wash (no-VOC!) painted walls, and minimalistic furniture go a long way. Decorate with other natural fabrics such as hemp, bamboo, silk, and linen. A truly clean, green home can’t be achieved overnight – so if you can’t incorporate these suggestions right now, that’s okay. Begin with smaller changes instead.
HERE ARE SOME WAYS TO KICK OFF YOUR HEALTHY HOME:
• Grow plants indoors • Open windows and allow fresh air to filter your rooms • Switch to energy-saving light bulbs • Allow sunshine to filter your rooms • Compost kitchen scraps • Use appliances efficiently • Recycle trash • Buy recycled goods