What can we do to make our home a safe refuge? How can we ensure access to clean air and clean water?
10 Ways to Detox Your Home
1. Become aware.
Don’t be afraid of information. While it can be overwhelming, knowledge is empowering. Dr. J. H. Tilden said, “Knowledge is power. Knowledge of how to have health gives the greatest power.” Take it one step at a time. Small changes make a big difference.
2. Check for water damage, water leaks, and hidden moisture.
Our present day building materials (drywall) offer the perfect storm when it comes to mold growth. An inexpensive way to check for hidden moisture is a moisture meter which can be purchased for less than 50 dollars. A personal thermal imaging device can be purchased to further help with detection. Check out A Beginner’s Guide to Toxic Mold for more critical information. * Note: never cut into a wall to check for hidden moisture.
3. Open a window.
Homes need to “breathe.” In recent years, the emphasis has been on tight construction. This means stagnant air which readily breeds pathogens. Ventilation can go a long way to improving the health of your environment. See The Importance of Ventilation.
4. Replace synthetic fragrances with natural scents.
In 2009, the Center for Disease Control established a fragrance-free policy in all of their office buildings. They banned the following: fragrance emitting devices, wall mounted devices, plug-ins and spray air fresheners. Consider natural options such as essential oil diffusers, simmering potpourri and naturally crafted candles. For more suggestions see How to Freshen Your Air Naturally.
5. Filter your water
Chemicals have made their way into public and private water supplies. Our choice is simple. Either a filtering device filters the water, or our bodies filter the water. There is a myriad of options when it comes to water filtration. See Environmental Working Group’s Water Filter Buying Guide.
6. Protect yourself from added EMFs at night.
Electromagnetic fields bombard us throughout the day in the form of WI-FI, cell phones, microwaves and more. It makes sense to give the body a rest at night. Suggestions include: turning off WI-FI, unplugging electrical devices near your bed, and adjusting the location of your bed away from elevated magnetic fields. See the article Sleep, Melatonin and Electronic Devices for more suggestions.
7. Clean with white vinegar.
This can be a gradual process. Finish one cleaning item and replace with a spray bottle of white vinegar. Add essential oil if the smell bothers you. Raw apple cider vinegar infused with a variety of antimicrobial herbs makes a strong cleaning agent. (See the recipe DIY Herbal Cleaner.) Pumice works well for stubborn soap and rust stains.
Research indicates that 80% of what we keep we never use. In fact, clutter adds 40% more housework to an average home. Mold and other pathogens collect in the dust. Less “stuff” means less dust. For specific suggestions see momsAWARE’s article, De-Clutter.
9. Try natural alternatives for pest control and lawn care.
Garlic/onion, diatomaceous earth (DE), borax, neem oil, cedar oil, and essential oils like peppermint and lemongrass offer unique bug repelling properties. For specific recipes see momsAWARE’s Bug-Busting Bonanza. Consider natural methods for weed control. White vinegar, liquid castile soap and salt make an effective natural solution. See momsAWARE’s Natural Lawn Care.
10. Replace non-stick cookware with chemical-free cookware.
Non-stick cookware emits chemical vapors linked with liver toxicity, birth defects and more. Enameled cast iron utilizes an age-old, chemical-free method to create a healthy cooking surface. Glass is also a healthy option. For more suggestions see the article How to Choose Safe Cookware.
Would you like to learn more about keeping your home safe and healthy? Check out the International Institute for Building-Biology and Ecology’s Healthy Building Environmental Learning Center.
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