With only a couple days to go until Earth Day, prepare to get inundated with a billion things we can do — should do — to save our planet. Although there will likely be plenty of events to attend and planet-themed parties to enjoy, one of the best places you can celebrate Earth Day is in your own home!
If our homes are a reflection and expression of our lifestyles and values, then it makes sense that we start making conscious (i.e. green) choices at home. The issues affecting the Earth — from the oil crisis to water shortages to disappearing species — are complex, and can seem distant and insurmountable, but it is essential to understand the correlation between our everyday environments and our larger ecosystem. Everything and everyone is interconnected, and even the simplest act, such as turning the water off when we brush our teeth, creates positive change.
Recently I spoke in front of a hall full of pregnant women. What a joy to see all those round bellies, and even more of a pleasure — given that this was a meeting of the Holistic Moms Network — to know how well-intentioned this group is towards their families’ health and the environment.
I gave them all sorts of tips to detox their homes, hoping to ease their minds about how easy it is to accomplish the task. I also gave them my mainstay list for non-toxic cleaning, the five kitchen cupboard ingredients I believe will clean everything in the home, and I’d like to share it with you as well:
I’m a bit of a fanatic regarding pure air. I once (single-handedly) moved a dresser into the hallway of a charming B&B because of the mothball smell (my boyfriend at the time was not impressed). Admittedly, it has never been easy being me/green — I smell everything! Synthetic perfumes, soaps, laundry detergents, “air fresheners” and other conventional “fresh smells” gag me. (I must have been a bloodhound in a previous life.)
The “official” first day of spring may have been March 20, but with the cold weather, it certainly didn’t feel like it then. Now it seems like spring has finally sprung!
I may have “reached that age” when I appreciate each spring just a little more (or maybe it’s just my recent memory of the brutally cold winter), but the colorful spring buds are making me extremely happy this year. Another thing that makes me happy is the feel of a de-cluttered, freshly cleaned home, so spring cleaning is on my mind. Some of you may not have gotten around to this annual rite of passage yet, while others may feel ready for a second pass at it after all the recent rain (and the inevitable mud it invites in). Either way, before you start cleaning your home, consider doing a clean sweep of your chemical cleaning products first.
We’re all programmed to like sugar, but new research shows that some people are genetically much more prone to sugar addiction than others.
As I noted in my previous blog on food addiction, science demonstrates that people can be biologically addicted to sugar and other foods in the same way people can be addicted to heroin, cocaine or nicotine. Bingeing and addictive behaviors are eerily similar in alcoholics and sugar addicts. In fact, many recovering alcoholics switch to another easily available drug: sugar.
You’ve had “spring cleaning” on your to-do list for weeks now, but it hasn’t happened yet. Don’t despair; as with meditation and yoga, now is the perfect time to begin again (and again … ).
It is also a perfect time to detox your home environment. We spend much of our time indoors with our windows closed, so it is even more important to be mindful of healthy air quality. Consider this: The average home contains 500-1,000 chemicals resulting in indoor air quality that is two to five times more polluted than outdoor air. Yikes!
Here are nine easy ways that you can detox your home, so you and your family and enjoy a healthier spring:
Buying a kayak qualifies as a “big purchase” for my family, and my husband and I recently took that huge step. Although we’ve had a canoe for a long time, this is our first acquisition of this type of silent-sports, aquatic craft.
A few months ago I wrote a blog post about how the more I learned about industrial agriculture and food processing, the more I felt like Neo in the movie The Matrix. Once Neo is exposed to the reality of his world (that humans are actually raised purely to create energy for machines, and a virtual reality has been created to placate the people in their “pods” so they never become aware of their predicament), he can’t go back to his previous existence — even though he probably really wants to.
I don’t make many mistakes when it comes to keeping toxic chemicals out of my house — and off my property. I have an eagle eye for such things because of my experiences with chemical sensitivity and my longtime work to help others avoid harmful chemicals. But now and then the wool gets pulled over my eyes, or I go into denial when I should know better. Case in point for me: pressure-treated chromated copper arsenate (CCA) treated wood.
When you’re doing everything you can to eliminate chemicals in your 1-year-old’s environment, getting gifts can sometimes cause a bit of a conundrum. Take the pajamas my mother-in-law sent us this week, which were treated with fire retardants.