Making the transition to eating more health promoting foods, taking supplements or herbs and changing lifestyle can be large undertaking. While making changes in your life, keep your goals in mind and remember that this type of hard work usually pays off! You probably won’t regret swapping fries for a salad, boosting your vitamin levels, or signing up for an extra yoga class! As you are making these changes, it is a good time to assess your home and make sure you are surrounding yourself in an environment that is aligned with your personal health goals. Here is a list of three things to think about when making your home environment a little more “green.”
- Trash the scents! The artificial fragrance in scented candles, air fresheners, or laundry detergents can be irritating to the lining of the airways. Especially if you suffer from allergies or any respiratory issues, removing these highly fragranced items from the home is a must. Additionally if you have had any recent remodeling in your home or live in a new construction home, plants can help remove toxic chemicals such as benzenes or formaldehydes that can off-gas from paints, floors, cabinetry or furniture. Instead of air fragrance, “clean” the air with plants! These have been specifically studied to remove chemicals and provide other indoor air quality benefits:
- Areca Palm: Known as a natural humidifier
- Lady Palm: Bug resistant and easy to grow
- Bamboo Palm: Second best at air purifying (Easy to care for, too!)
- Rubber Plant: Removes formaldehyde and requires minimal light
- Dracaena: Known as the female dragon it is a leader at removing Formaldehyde
- English Ivy: Best allergy reducer
- Boston Fern: Most efficient at removing Formaldehyde and Benzene
- Peace Lily: Second best at removing Benzene. Needs plenty of water.
- Lose the non-stick! Non stick cookware is coated with polytetrafluoroetheylene (PTFE). This chemical can have some negative side effects, as the Environmental Working Group points out: “Chemicals from this family are associated with smaller birth weight and size in newborn babies, elevated cholesterol, abnormal thyroid hormone levels, liver inflammation and weakened immune defense against disease.” What to do instead? Stainless steel and cast iron are great alternatives. As are ceramic coated cookware such as Le Cruset.
- Clean with care! Dishsoap, bathroom cleaners and floor cleaners can contain chemicals that can irritate our endocrine system, skin or immune system. One chemical, sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate (SLS/SLES), for example, which is found in handsoaps, dishsoaps, and personal care products, can cause irritation to skin, leading to inflammation or dermatitis. This can produce symptoms such as dryness, coarseness and redness.
Check out the graphic (above) for some simple cleaning “recipes. ” Enjoy cost savings and health maintenance with green alternatives!