Love of My Life and I remembered quickly on our trip to the East Coast last month, how unused to forced air heating we are. As crisp, fall weather rushed in, rumbling came from the vents to make us comfortable (which it did). We slept with the windows open that we might not dry up like beef jerky.
It will greatly behoove us to take a closer look at our environment to maintain our health and sanity, particularly at this time of the year. Most of us are not living in prehistoric caves anymore; rather, we have created hermetically sealed little boxes with their own sets of dangers and issues.
The EPA ranks indoor air pollution as one of the top five threats to human health. Headaches to cancer can be directly related to cleaners and chemicals. Considering how efficiently insulated our houses have become, it stands to reason that these products have been more efficiently trapped in with us as well, breathed into our lungs or absorbed through our skin.
Start by opening your windows as often as possible. You most likely already have poison culprits in your cupboards and cabinets — air them out. Better, throw it out.
Any product with “Danger” on the label is criminal, but some labels are more difficult to interpret. “All Natural” means nothing on cleaners or food! Anything with chemically produced fragrances is difficult on the body.
New vinyl shower curtain? New rugs? New sofa? Formaldehyde, toluene, xylene and the list goes on from adhesives to additives that are part of the package deal you just had delivered from the home goods store.
Fine particulate matter raised from using said products and items is released and settles on other surfaces. This is another reason to remove “clutter” from your home: that you may have an easier time of eliminating (wiping away) potentially toxic dust.
So many people have come to take cleaning product commercials as gospel.
“If it smells this way, you know it’s clean!”
“It’s not clean if it’s not optical white!”
“Oh, this surely makes it easier!”
Horse puckey. Natural cleaners, heck, soap and water are as efficient if not more so for killing germs and leaving spotless counters.
The smell of vinegar will not kill you. 409 may not kill you, either, but such cleansers may be behind the sniffles or rashes you may get when your body overloads on these disruptive substances.
Get rid of these cleansers responsibly. Look to things you know you could safely ingest — lemons, vinegar, baking soda, elbow grease, castile soap. You can eat Dr. Bronner’s … just not too much, or you’ll be blowing bubbles out your backside (kidding, but wouldn’t that be fun?).
Depend on Environmental Working Group (which is not supported by chemical companies to do “research”) for updates and info about everything from cleaning products to dangers of flame retardant jammies to sunscreens.
Read everything, but specifically look for “consumer guides.”
Remember, the healthier your body is, the more you can expect of it whether through the hustle and bustle of the holidays or anytime of year. It’s one of the easiest and most worthwhile things to do for yourself.
P.S. I have found that the most common reason for any green product not working properly is that we simply ignore housework.