by Kristen Brown, ND
Indoor Air Quality
Did you know our indoor air quality can be twice as bad as what we encounter outdoors, even in the city? The reason for this is the many chemicals present in our homes in the form of cleaners, what we use to wash our dishes, our clothes, the cosmetics we use, the artificially scented candles and “air fresheners”, the stain protector on the fabrics in our homes to name only a few!
You can make a big difference though and it’s not as hard as you think! Luckily, the more “natural” products, ones that have less chemicals are now readily available, or you can make your own at home easily and very inexpensively.
A Plan for Detoxifying the Home
To Start: Investigate and take stock of all of the products that contain chemicals in your home, make the list and set a goal of slowly starting to replace stock with more natural options. If you want to use up what you have, make a goal of by the end of the year, you will have cleansed your home!
~Replace dish washer tablets and dish-washing detergent with natural cleaners that don’t leave a chemical residue on your dishes.
~Pick out a natural laundry detergent that is unscented and skip the dryer sheets which are essentially chemical bundles – as nice as they smell they only end up leaving a chemical residue on your clothing – yuck!
~Choose cleaning agents for your home that don’t leave a chemical residue – remember, this includes floor cleaner, counter-top cleaner, even toilet bowl cleaning liquids – there are great natural alternatives. Many surfaces and areas of our homes can be cleaned with three inexpensive, easily available ingredients: Vinegar, water and baking soda!
Recipe for (a very effective) Natural Cleaner (that smells divine):
Homemade Bathroom Cleaner
3/4 cup baking soda
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 Tablespoons salt
3 Tablespoons of a natural dish-washing liquid
1/2 cup vinegar
10 drops essential oil (optional) – oils such as lavender, grapefruit, spearmint or peppermint, lemon
Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Pour into a plastic or glass container with a lid. You can also use a spray bottle.
To use: Shake and pour a small amount onto a rag or directly onto the area you are cleaning. Scrub and then rinse with water and wet rag.
Recipe from “Living Well, Spending Less”
If you don’t want to make your own, many of the natural cleaning agents can be found at your local health food store.
Begin to try out new hair products, soap and moisturizers that have less chemicals and are not artificially scented. (choose products that are free of parabens, sodium lauryl sulfate, triclosan and phthalates)
Take stock of make-up (one of the worst offenders for chemicals and heavy metals) and choose one new product a month to try – especially lipsticks, foundations and eyeshadow.
Look for products that are free of phthalates, parabens, mineral oil and sodium lauryl sulfate (and it’s cousins) just to name a few.
Check out the Environmental Working Groups website: http://www.ewg.org and take a peak at their “Skin Deep” section – it is an amazing wealth of information on how to reduce chemicals in your cosmetics.
Hopefully this list will inspire you to begin making changes that will truly freshen up your indoor air quality and make it a safer place for your family. So when you are considering a cleanse or a detox for your body, do a home detox first, your body and your liver will thank you!
For more information on this and for cleansing protocols that can give you a fresh start for fall, contact Cross Roads Naturopathic Clinic to book today.