I talk about cleansing your body with wholesome foods and cleansing your soul with forgiveness. Cleansing your home of toxins is just as important. A toxic and chemical free home will provide you and your family many health benefits, a reduced cancer risk being at the top of the list.
Here are my 6 tips to start your own in-home detox:
1. Don’t be a label whore
Perfectly packaged products promising “shiny”, “sparkly”, “fresh”, and “spotless” are unnecessary, over-priced, questionable, and full of chemicals.
Those claims might be impressive, but if you can’t pronounce the ingredients without consulting a member of MENSA, pass on the product! Lemon juice, vinegar, salt, and baking soda beat those name brand cleaning products and dramatically reduce the toxins in your home.
Wellness Mama has great all natural cleaning tips for your home: http://wellnessmama.com/6244/natural-cleaning-tips/
2. Mother Nature is the best air freshener
Are you familiar with the term VOCs? Volatile Organic Compounds are chemical irritants, causing everything from headaches and ear, nose, throat irritation to chronic disease and cancer. They’re found in plastics, T.V.’s, computers, home/office building materials, and furnishings amongst other items.
Unless you live in the wild, it’s impossible to avoid VOCs. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that our indoor spaces can contain any where from 50 to hundreds of individual VOCs in our indoor air at anytime. Your answer to combat VOCs (and other chemicals) and freshen your air is to invite Mother Nature into your home. The following plants are amazing air filtration systems both for VOCs and several other toxins:
- Peace lily
- Aloe Vera
- Philodenrons and golden pothos (controlling formaldehyde)
- Chrysanthemums (purging benzene)
- Gerbera daisies (can help filter out benzene, trichloroethylene and formaldehyde)
- Red-Edged dracaena (tall evergreens) can filter benzene, xylene, tolulene, and fermaldyhyde, and tolulene.
- Warneck dracaena, also known as the Dragon tree has long leaves that are said to be effective at filtering air.
- Bamboo plants (filter both carcinogenic and toxic chemicals
Read more here: http://air-purifier-reviewsite.com/blog/15-house-plants-you-can-use-as-air-purifiers/
3. When it comes to scent, au natural is best
Candles that smell like baked apple pies, air fresheners that promise memories of your honeymoon in Hawaii, your clothes smelling like summer breezes….those are nice, IF you want to bring cancer-causing toxins into your home!
Have you ever wondered what chemistry it takes to create smells like that? Chemicals such as benzyl acetate, limonene, and even chloroform! Here are some easy ways to go au natural:
- Toss the dryer sheets, scented candles, air fresheners for bleach and fragrance free versions.
- Choose plant based enzymes and food based detergents
- Use vinegar or peroxide on clothes
- Use essential oils on a washcloth and throw in the dryer cycle for a natural scented dryer sheet
- Make your own carpet freshener: http://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/2013/11/make-your-own-natural-carpet-freshener.html
- Make stovetop potpourri, add citrus fruits, vanilla, cinnamon, or essential oils of your choice to hot water and simmer
- Light an all natural beeswax candle, like these http://www.beehivecandles.com
4. Remove Lethal Weapons
Lethal air hazards like radon and carbon monoxide are responsible for tens of thousands of deaths each year.
Radan is the second leading cause of lung cancer. Radan is a natural breakdown of uranium in soil and rocks and can seep through the foundation of your home. Whether your home is old or new, in the boonies or in the city the issue lies below the surface. Pick up a DIY kit from your local hardware store to test your radan levels. The solution can be as easy as a ventilation system install.
In the case of carbon monoxide poisoning, you can become light headed, experience flu like symptoms, headache, and nausea. Carbon monoxide is caused from cigarette smoke, faulty furnaces, heaters, wood stoves, generators, lawn equipment, and portable stoves to name a few. The best course of action is to install a carbon monoxide detector in each floor of your home.
5. Expose the toes
You probably don’t give much thought entering your home after walking through your freshly fertilized lawn, or sidewalk sprayed with weed killer. It may seem a bit much, but leaving your shoes at the door (and asking your guests to do so to) is a good way to keep contaminants and toxins that have hitched a ride home on your shoes, out of your home. Once these toxins make contact with your carpet, little can be done to remove them.
Give it a try or have some fun with it and provide clean Havaianas for houseguests. An added bonus for you will be clean floors and carpets that have a longer life span.
6. Dirty water, clean it up
The average glass of tap water can carry as many as 2,000 contaminants. From fertilizer to heavy metals, it’s recognized that the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act only addresses 70 contaminants, and our public water systems have been notoriously known to fail us. Well water and bottled water do not provide solutions. Well water can contain microorganisms, radon, nitrates and nitrites, and heavy metals. Bottled water is expensive and contributes to pollution.
The easiest and most economical way to avoid water contaminants in your home is to invest in a filtration system. Most pollutants can be drastically reduced or eliminated with the right filter.
Curious about the water coming out of your tap? Send it to National Testing Laboratories, Ltd. Once you know what kind of pollution you’re dealing with, you can start shopping for the appropriate filtration system.
Next week, I’ll be taking a deeper dive into improving the overall quality of your indoor air. This often overlooked topic plays a larger role in your health than you may think!