While “going green” may seem like a popular fad designed to get you to spend money replacing everything in your house, it’s really an important concept that could very well save your life. The average home contains over 50 different toxic chemicals at any given time, and the Environmental Protection Agency claims that the air in your home may be up to 70 times more dangerous than the air outside. That’s really terrifying, considering the average person spends at least half their time in their house.
With chemicals in just about every room in the house in the forms of cleaning solutions, paint, air fresheners, and even plastics, it can be a little difficult to escape the danger. These chemicals can cause a wide range of problems, including allergies, asthma, and even horrible burns if they come into contact with your skin. Even some behavioral issues, such as Attention Deficit Disorder, have been linked to over-exposure to toxic chemicals. Frankly, the dangers of toxic cleaning supplies are just not worth the risks to your health.
Older homes are even more infested with dangerous chemicals. Prior to 1978, many houses were painted using lead-based paint. When the paint chips, it releases lead into the environment. Children are especially susceptible to becoming seriously ill, especially young children who still put everything in their mouths. The scariest thing about lead poisoning is that you don’t even know it’s happening in many cases until the damage has been done.
Fortunately, changing your home from a toxic nightmare to an eco-friendly environment doesn’t require a lot of time, money, or effort. In fact, in many cases, it can actually save you money. It definitely helps save your health, and you can’t really put a dollar amount on that.
Tips for Creating a Green Home
- One of the easiest ways to turn your existing home into a more eco-friendly, green home is to get rid of all the toxic, chemical-laden cleaning supplies and replace them with more natural options. While you can go out and purchase an arsenal of “green” cleaning supplies, you can often get great results with little more than lemon, vinegar, and baking soda. Those three ingredients together or on their own can clean almost anything in your house, and they’re all pretty inexpensive. Do you have allergies? Besides changing your cleaning routine, consider changing your makeup routine. I found lots of information from reading organic skin care reviews. After I changed to safe skin care products, I realized many of those same “bad” ingredients were in my body lotions, too.
- If your house was built before 1978, get it tested for lead paint. Call your local health department to find out what you need to do to get it tested and how much it will cost. Some counties do testing for free, while others charge a nominal fee to test paint chips.
- Skip the nasty pesticides and opt for natural pest control solutions. Pesticides don’t just kill bugs, they can make your children and pets sick as well. Baking soda, pepper, and other pantry items are often more effective at getting rid of harmful insects than pesticides, and they won’t harm your family.
- Swap out your old plastic containers for those labeled “BPA-Free.” BPA, or Bisphenol A, is a chemical found in many plastics. While the debate is still raging about just how dangerous it is, there are concerns that it can increase your risk of heart disease and other medical issues. Fortunately, many companies are eliminating the substance from their products, so finding BPA-free containers isn’t much of a challenge.
- Ditch the Teflon and go with another non-stick alternative, like anodized aluminum. The Perfluorinated (PFCs) chemicals used to make the non-stick Teflon surface may cause health issues when the pans are preheated at high temperatures.
Changing your home from a toxic wasteland into an environmentally friendly refuge will take a little time, especially when it comes to the big-ticket items like new furniture and appliances. Small steps do make a huge difference, however, so it’s important to not let the bigger picture overwhelm you. Every little change you make is a change for the better.
Joanna Green is an organic, self -proclaimed “beekeeping assistant” who likes to find as many ways as possible to eliminate any harmful health ingredients in her home, and this led to a discovery that many ingredients in general household items are also found in cosmetics. To combat this, Joanna starting writing about her finds and tries to share with others how to go green at home and remove some of the “bad” by putting some of the “good” back into the homes we live in. She just become “addicted” to product reviews and uses sites like www.mysensitiveskincare.com to ensure she finds only the best.