Here are some green-cleaning tips to help keep you and your home cleaner and healthier:
Start with green cleaning products: The health impacts of using conventional cleaning products are many. From the time the chemicals are made, placed in a plastic bottle, and then distributed throughout your house, they can be a problem to both humans and the environment. You can immediately reduce your toxic exposure by using products with natural ingredients that are effective, less expensive, and nontoxic.
Improve your air quality: The air inside your home can often be much worse than outside. Open your windows whenever possible, change the filter on your heating and air-conditioning system, and have the ducts cleaned out once a year.
Avoid antibacterial cleaners: The FDA has discovered that antibacterial soaps and cleansers don’t work any better than regular soap.[i] And widespread use of antibacterial soaps can lead to resistant bacteria.
Avoid fragrances: Many people are sensitive to strong fragrances. Try using natural scents such as cinnamon, cloves, or lavender. Plants can help to remove many pollutants from the air.
Take care of toxic chemicals: Paint, old cleaners, batteries, light bulbs, even prescription medications all need to be disposed of properly. Check with your local agencies for how to handle these wastes.
Leave your shoes at the door: Think about this: everywhere you walk, your shoes are exposed to chemicals. The gas station, your lawn (fertilizers, pesticides), the car wash.… It is easy to keep these chemicals out of your house by simply leaving your shoes at the door.
The good news is that there are ways to keep your house clean that don’t involve increasing your toxic burden. You can keep your house clean with preventive practices and by using products with environmentally-friendly ingredients whenever possible.
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