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Five Tips for a Greener Home

Five Tips for a Greener Home

If you are going green with your beauty products there is no reason not to do the same for your home. Improve your living environment for you and your loved ones with my five top tips for greener living at home.

Air Fresheners

To improve the smell factor in your home and eliminate odours you might be tempted to use air fresheners. However, they could pose a significant health risk as they contain a cocktail of chemicals including benzene, formaldehyde and phthalates. I have never been a fan of these products and I am totally puzzled by a particular fabric freshener that encourages you to ‘spritz away.’

Fragrances in these products are considered a trade secret so the ingredients won’t be listed. This is a huge concern in itself and the chemicals used can be strong irritants to eyes, skin and throat and may lead to more serious illnesses such as asthma and cancer.

A study involving Public Health England's Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards, warned that plug-in air fresheners produce 'considerable' levels of formaldehyde.

An alternative way to freshen up your space is with an essential oil diffuser and reap the benefits of aromatherapy at the same time.

Cleaning Products

Conventional cleaning products contain a potent cocktail of chemicals. When you use them you are polluting your indoor air and when they are washed down the plughole they pollute rivers and lakes. There are greener alternatives available to buy but you can easily make your own household cleaners with a few simple ingredients.

Bicarbonate of soda is a multi-purpose cleaner that your grandma probably used and is an effective replacement for cream cleaners.

Vinegar can be used instead of bleach and is effective for removing grease and cleaning windows.

Essential oils are a very useful addition to your cleaning kit. Tea tree oil is the most powerful essential oil for cleaning. Scientific studies have shown the antibacterial actions of tea tree oil. For a simple cleaner combine a few drops of tea tree essential oil with distilled white vinegar.

Please remember that essential oils are very concentrated and powerful oils. If you are pregnant it is always a good idea to talk to your doctor or midwife before using essential oils.

Dust

There is a poem that frequently circulates on social media called ‘Dust if you Must.’ It’s basically about having better things to do with your time than dust. This might very well be the case and admittedly dusting is boring. However, dust is the main source of toxic substances in your home. For this reason dusting at least once a week is recommended. I always use a damp cloth as dry dusting only circulates the dust in the room only to settle once again when you have finished. 

Plants

House plants are a must for any green home. Not only do they look nice but they also filter the air vastly improving air quality and making breathing easier. I am a huge bonsai fan but they can be difficult to grow. A few easier options include:

English ivy is easy to look after and studies have shown that ivy can help combat mould levels.

Peace lilies filter nasties in the air including benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, toluene, and ammonia.

Scented Candles

Although scented candles can create a warm and welcoming ambience in your home they are more hazardous than previously thought. New research has found that they give off potentially dangerous levels of the toxic substance formaldehyde. In addition, the majority of candles available on the high street are made from paraffin wax which release several toxins when they are burning. A safer alternative are beeswax candles.

References:

http://healthwyze.org/reports/184-how-air-fresheners-are-killing-you

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/news/12103003/Why-scented-candles-could-cause-cancer.html

http://www.livescience.com/14623-top-5-ways-reduce-toxins-homes.html

http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/features/affordable-ways-to-make-home-safer#1

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