When I first became aware of all the toxins that can lurk in a home, I had a mild panic attack and immediately went into overdrive trying to eliminate every last one. Needless to say, it was an exhausting and overwhelming exercise, and I was all set to throw in my (non-organic cotton) towel.
I eventually realized that I didn’t necessarily have to become the poster girl for green living in order to make my dwelling healthier. In fact, there are actually some very doable ways to reduce the amount of toxins in a home:
* Take the plastic bags off drying cleaning and air them out before bringing them into the house. This will release some of the perchloroethylene, a solvent commonly used in the dry cleaning process which has been linked to increased risk of cancer.
* This one probably goes without saying, but don’t allow family members or visitors to smoke in your home. Secondhand smoke is not good for anyone. Period.
* Believe it or not, toxins can stay trapped in dust, so be sure to dust and vacuum your house regularly. You can even swap out your old pillows for ones that are filled with organic wool, as they help to repel dust mites naturally.
* Buy organic produce when possible to reduce your exposure to pesticides. At the very least, wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly before eating them.
* Leave your shoes at the front door. This will significantly decrease the amount of chemicals, pesticides, and germs that come into your home.
* Have the paint in your home tested for lead, especially if you have any peeling or chipped paint on your walls.
* Avoid consuming lead and other contaminants by filtering your tap water.
* Polish stainless steel appliances by applying olive oil and rubbing with an old rag rather than using store-bought polish.
* Avoid using cleansers that contain bleach. The toxins they contain can irritate your skin and eyes and may even be carcinogenic.
* Make your own all-purpose cleanser by mixing equal parts water and white vinegar in a spray bottle.
* When you run out of shampoo, body lotion, deodorant, or toothpaste, replace them with non-toxic and paraben-free varieties to possibly reduce your risk of cancer.
* Light soy or beeswax candles in your home (like the ones by Fresh Wave) instead of ones that have lead wicks. Some natural candles even contain essentials oils that are both fragrant and soothing.
See? I told you it was easy to be greener! Trying even just a few of these tips can have a big impact on both your home and your family.
What are some things you’ve done to make your home less toxic?
About our Guest Writer
Erin is a wife, new mother, and writer behind The Grass Skirt, a total lifestyle blog. She’s also a certified holistic health coach with a passion for all things related to wellness and nutrition. Erin is a self-proclaimed beauty product junkie, a massive Lionel Richie fan, classic television show enthusiast, green smoothie lover, and can never pass up an opportunity to visit the farmer’s market. And even though she’s health-conscious, she’s never met a cookie that she didn’t like! Follow Erin on Twitter @TheGrassSkirt, follow The Grass Skirt on Facebook, check out Erin’s Blog The Grass Skirt and follow her on Pinterest.
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