Fall is a season of transition. It’s the time when, between work projects, I get ready to hunker down for the winter. Being stuck more or less inside for months presents challenges, most notably in maintaining good indoor air quality when temperatures in the mid-20s make opening a window for some fresh air an unattractive option. Spring cleaning gets most of the love, but a good autumn cleaning is just as important around my house. The fresher things are to start with, the less gamey they get through the winter.
Fall is also the time to start gearing my body up for winter’s challenges like less sunlight and rampant viruses. Here’s a peek into my autumn indoor To-Do List: (continue reading…)
Over the past couple of years a lot of eco-friendly cleaning products have hit the market. I’ve had the chance to try some of them. Some of them are okay, some are alright and others don’t work at all.
Here’s a list of some of the products that did work and worked really well. Products that I absolutely love and feel safe using. They are eco and they work. As an added bonus, some of them even smell good. (continue reading…)
The Environmental Working Group has released the first-ever study of chemicals in the cord blood of minority newborns. The ten babies in the study were born in 2007 and 2008 in California, Florida, Massachusetts, Michigan, Wisconsin. While the Centers for Disease Control and the Environmental Working Group have both looked at newborn exposure before, the new EWG study, in partnership with Rachel’s Network, was the first to specifically look at African-America, Hispanic and Asian babies, who may be more likely to be exposed to industrial and agricultural chemicals due to social and economic situations. For example, in many areas of the country, agricultural laborers are predominantly Hispanic, exposing Hispanic women to more pesticides, herbicides and synthetic fertilizers before and during pregnancy.
The EWG study of cord blood contaminants in minority newborns is the first reported detection of nearly two dozen chemicals in newborns of any background, including the first neonatal detection of Bisphenol-A, which was found in 9 of the 10 babies. Because of the expense of testing, only 10 babies were included in the study. Up to 232 chemicals total were found in the ten infants - certain tests looked for two or more chemicals at once, and a positive reading could mean one or more of the contaminants were present in the sample. Several chemicals were found in all ten babies: (continue reading…)
With spring comes spring cleaning. Banish winter’s stale mustiness with simple cleaners that are so nontoxic you could cook with them.
Water goes a long way toward a clean home. Steam cleans and sanitizes hard surfaces, though avoid using steam on wood floors, wood furniture or laminate. However, you don’t need a fancy steam cleaner to get the benefits of steam cleaning in a kitchen or bath. Simply boil a pot of water and pour a small amount carefully on your stove, countertops, sink and bathtub. Let sit for a minute for the hot water to soften the accumulated gunk, then wipe clean. For vertical surfaces, carefully dip a cleaning cloth in hot, not boiling, water and scrub away. Watch to ensure that you don’t burn your fingers. Clean crusty burner pans by soaking them in a sink full of very hot water. Hot water and a microfiber mop make short work of tile and linoleum floors, too. (continue reading…)
Is your wall color too dull and drab, or shockingly bright? Want to tone it up or down? Time for a change? Maybe you’re just plain sick of your current paint. But when you’re looking through paint swatches, be sure to pick a formula that won’t make you sick, or create harmful environmental gases. No worries — with careful research and savvy shopping, you can find an environmentally-friendly paint in the perfect color.
What Are VOCs?
Volatile organic compounds — otherwise known as VOCs — are found in standard, conventional paints. These chemicals cause the strong fumes in paints and products like cleaners, wood preservatives and paint thinners. VOCs help keep pigments and binders in a liquid form so you can apply the paint to a surface, writes Sheryl Eisenberg for the Natural Resources Defense Council (1). Unfortunately, these chemicals are volatile because they’re prone to vaporization — in other words, they turn from liquids or solids into gases (1). And when this happens, problems occur. (continue reading…)
Here’s a video tutorial on the quickest, easiest, neatest way to fold a t-shirt.
We generally think our household is safe from germs and infection, but homes themselves are with germs that have the potential to cause infection. Studies over many years have proved that a wide range of infections, from banal to fatal, are spread in the household. But, it is not necessary that the responsible germs originate in home itself. There may be other sources from which they can originate.
Here is a brief room by room microscopic home tour which would allow you to recognize the potential sources of germs in the household. (continue reading…)