Natural Living — Green Home


Going Green Starts at Home 4

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="300"]Space-filling model of a part of a PVC chain Space-filling model of a part of a PVC chain[/caption] Did you know that the EPA not only considers indoor air to be much more polluted than outdoor air, but it is one of the top 5 human health concerns? It is no wonder when you consider that most homes contain toxin soaked carpeting, formaldehyde soaked particleboard, toxic household cleaning supplies, PVC, offgassing, dry cleaning, plastics and much more. If it was manufactured in a lab, odds are it is not good for you or your family. The short and long term dangers are compounded if you have children or pets. The good news is that it is not terribly difficult or expensive to start going green at home. Gaiam has a nice article called 5 Easy and Cheap Ways to Green Your Home and the list includes: 1. Take your shoes off at the door to avoid tracking in lead, pesticides and other contaminants. The good news is, your home will stay much cleaner too. 2. Get rid of vinyl (PVC) which is commonly found in shower curtains, kids toys and backpacks. Look for the #3 or letters PVC. Why get rid of it?
"PVC frequently contains notorious phthalates to make it soft. According to the Children's Health Environmental Coalition, these phthalates are known to cause liver and kidney damage, endocrine disruption, reproductive system damage and, possibly, cancer, and they can easily leach out of PVC. And finally, harder PVC often contains lead and cadmium, two heavy metals that have also been linked to a host of health issues, including cancers."
3. Switch to green cleaners because traditional household cleaners turn your indoor air and surfaces into toxic hazards. There are many green cleaners on the market today and they are a step in the right direction but making your own cleaners with vinegar, baking soda and salt is the most healthy, inexpensive, non-toxic and earth friendly way to clean your home. 4. Use indoor plants. They look great, are positive feng shui and yes they absorb toxins from the air. The best plants for toxic absorption are ficus, spider plants and English ivy. 5. Open your windows even if it is for a few minutes a day and yes, even in the winter. Even adding a little fresh air to the mix will help dilute the toxins in your household air.
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Clean Your House With Salt 18

Clean your house with saltby Rona Sharp Clean your house with salt Cleaning with salt is one of the easiest ways to be a little "greener" at home. Salt has a multitude of uses as a natural cleaner. It's very, very cheap, does no harm to the environment and it's easily available. The salt we are talking about here is table salt, or sodium chloride. Any table salt from the supermarket or grocery store works fine. How you use salt in your cleaning routine Salt dissolves easily in water and can be used by itself or mixed with several other environmentally-friendly cleaners. You can combine it safely with vinegar, lemon juice, or even washing up liquid. Mix salt with vinegar for a good general purpose cleaner. Don't use it on linoleum, waxed surfaces, or marble. The vinegar may cause damage to the surface. Salt and vinegar will also remove stains from teacups and teapots. Salt and vinegar solution leaves glass and tiles shining. Try using salt for washing the dishes if you run out of liquid dishsoap. Just sprinkle a tablespoonful or so into the water. Rinse the dishes well afterwards. You might want to wear gloves or use a skin cream after using it as salt is rather drying for your skin. Oven and stove spills can be covered with salt. Let the mixture stand for a few minutes. Add a little water if necessary, then wipe up. The salt absorbs the liquids and helps lift them from the surface. It is particularly good at absorbing grease and oils. Salt can be a great cleaner for cast iron pans. Sprinkle salt around and then wipe clean. You can even do this instead of washing it in water. It seems to work as a scouring paste does. Alternatively, use it with hot water. Rinse the pan afterwards and brush with oil. Salt appears to help protect the surface and makes it more like a non-stick pan. As you use this method, pans seem to develop a patina that helps them slough off dirt. Add a few tablespoons of salt and a very little water to burnt pans as soon as the damage occurs. This makes them easier to clean. Most of the damage lifts right out with a normal pan scourer. Salt can be mixed with lemon juice to clean metals. Green CleanUse lemon juice or lime juice and salt to clean brass and pewter. Sprinkle salt into an empty squeezed-out lemon half and rub down the metal. Rinse off the gunk and buff the surface to a shine with a soft cloth. Be careful to rinse away the salt and juice carefully or your brass may turn green! This is because of the copper in the brass and is quite harmless. It will wash off. If you haven't yet tried cleaning with salt, have a go next time there's a cleaning job to be done. You'll be pleasantly surprised how effective it is and you'll be flushing fewer toxic chemicals into the water system and the environment. About the Author: I have a background in alternative medicine and education. I'm currently building a web site on green living called The main focus is simple ways to green up your life without breaking the bank. There are articles on green cleaning, organic gardening and alternative health strategies. Buy the book: Green Clean Image Source:

Ozone Water Treatment 2

Author: David Faulkner Water is never 100% pure. You are kidding yourself if you think that water can be. Water is a universal solvent. When water enters the environment, it immediately becomes contaminated with many different organic and inorganic substances. Not all of these contaminants are bad for you. Some of them are toxic for humans to consume, however, which is why water treatment systems are designed and necessary for removing these substances from municipal water sources to provide clean and safe drinking water. While municipal water sources may have taken out most of the bacteria and parasites from our drinking water they often add other toxins such as chlorine and fluoride. Additionally, they fail to remove many environmental toxins, pesticides, carcinogens and even pharmaceutical leftovers that other people sent down the pipes. Bottled water is expensive and very hard on the environment due to transportation costs and of course tons of plastic filling up the landfills. What is the eco-friendly solution? Filter your water. There are many different water treatment systems to choose from. One of the water treatment methods that you may want to try is known as the ozone water treatment method. What is ozone water treatment? Ozone or O3 is a gas that has no color or smell to it. The ozone gas will has a reaction with anything that it comes in contact with. Because of this reaction, the ozone is used largely for cleaning and disinfecting things. The ozone gas is so highly reactive that it will cause corrosion when it comes in contact with a surface. Ozone is a great way to disinfect and clean but, for living tissue contact, it can be damaging. Why Use Ozone Gas To Treat Water? Ozone is the greatest biocide that is available. Ozone gas will react with the water and will kill viruses, bacteria, microorganisms, and fungus in the water. It can also stop scale deposits from forming and causing hard water to occur. In certain research studies, legionella has also been destroyed by ozone gas. Legionella is a bacterium that is found to thrive in cooling towers. Every test that has been done shows that by sending ozone gas into the cooling tower will lower the bacteria counts and will provide standards for drinking water that is of a better quality. Ozone gas has also been shown to impact corrosion in the heat surfaces in a positive way. Ozone Water Treatment Use Ozone water treatment systems also get rid of the microorganisms that are found in water. Biological films ore one of the worst problems facing today's supply of fresh water. By getting the biological agents under some sort of control, the ozone water treatment system can make sure that the water is free form viruses, bacteria, and other substances. The ozone water treatment system will also help to eliminate the problem of scale deposits in the pipes. Because it inhibits the gathering of scale deposits, it will help to improve the work quality of the heat transfer surfaces. This ozone gas will make the system very good for industrial use and especially good for those systems that use water to heat or cool. Image Source:

Five Easy Tips for Creating a Natural Home 1

Creating a Natural Homeby Alden Pennington A healthy home is your refuge. It's the place where you go to relax and be with your family. The place where you feel safe. However, your home may also be the place that most affects your health in a negative way. The following list of tips will help you get started in creating a natural home that continues to be your haven for a healthier and greener lifestyle. Keep your Indoor Air Clean The quality of the air in your home is often more polluted than the air outside. In order to create a healthy home environment, clean up your indoor air by making sure you have good ventilation. Try to keep your windows open whenever the weather permits. It is also a good idea to maintain a good humidity level by getting a quality humidifier for the winter and a dehumidifier for the summer. Use Non Toxic Cleaning Products Check your cleaning products and pesticides for toxic ingredients. You may notice a variety of chemicals and warning labels all over each can. If you must use chemicals in your home, keep it well ventilated and ensure you are using them to the manufactures specification. The better choice: Use natural cleaning products that are chemical free. You may find that normal household products like baking soda and citrus juices clean as well or better that their chemical counterparts. Purify Your Water Did you know that tap water in many areas contains known cancer causing agents including chlorine and fluoride? Our water is our life source and should be taken seriously. Find an affordable water filtration system that cleans your drinking water at the very least. If you are really serious about creating a healthy home, purchasing a whole home filtration system would be ideal. Keep in mind that many chemicals found in water can transfer through the skin while showering or simply washing your hands, so be sure to plan for every application. Create a Feng Shui Home Design Set up your home in a fashion that allows you and your guests to feel more relaxed. Make sure to remove excess clutter and mess. Keep live plants all around for air purity and for a feeling of well being. Most importantly, set your home in a pattern of colors and decorations that suits your natural style, while being inviting for those guest you may have. You may be surprised by the health benefits of these simple changes. Your Green HomeGo Green with Energy Conservation The peace of mind that comes with conserving energy and preserving your bank account can never be underestimated. Turn down your thermostat and use ceiling fans in the summer and winter by reversing the blades. This can lower your energy bills by up to four percent! Pay attention to the appliances you buy and look for the best Energy Star ratings for optimum energy efficiency. Additional solutions can be as simple as sealing the cracks and openings around your windows, and changing the filter on your AC/Furnace per the manufacturer's specifications. About the Author: Alden Pennington is co-author of and has been a natural health enthusiast for many years. Alden graduated from the University of Kentucky and is currently a Human Resources Director with a keen focus on the company wide health and wellness program. Buy the Book: Your Green Home Image Source:

Solar Energy Pros and Cons 57

Solar Energyby Bryan Wong Solar energy can be used for electricity, central heating, hot water, cooking, for producing salt and even for desalination. Solar energy comes from the sun's rays. Solar energy is very environmentally friendly. However, when the sun rays enter the earth's atmosphere it is quite dilute. While solar energy is considered to be a very environmentally friendly energy source, it still comes with some disadvantages. Let's discuss some advantages and disadvantages of solar. Let's start with the main advantage of solar energy. Solar energy is clean. To produce electricity or heat with solar energy you only need the sun rays. There is no need to use fossil fuel in combination with sun rays to produce electricity or heat. You just need a solar energy collector or solar power panels in order to collect solar energy. Solar energy is less expensive than electric heating. That is another big advantage of solar energy. By just using solar energy you can save a lot of money on heaters. In return you will get lower electric bills and it also means that you don't have to maintain heaters. If you live in a remote area where there are no power-lines solar energy can be the solution. There are remote areas where power companies have no means to access your home. Solar energy is a great alternative because it provides you with anything from heating water, electricity, and even cooking. Another great use of solar energy is for desalination in areas where fresh, drinkable water is scarce. Solar energy evaporates brine and leaves the salt crystals in the bottom of the basin. The water in turn condenses back in another basin where it is now drinkable. Although all of the above is very useful solar also has some disadvantages. These disadvantages also need to be discussed to paint a better overall picture. The main disadvantage of solar energy is that it's dilute. This means you have to have a lot of solar collectors installed around your house. Solar energy may be very cheap but the solar collectors are relatively expensive and require maintenance in order to work properly and efficiently. If you decide to use solar energy you need to calculate the return on investment in order to know if the investment will be worth it. One big disadvantage is that you need the rays to make use of solar energy. If you are situated in a part of this beautiful planet where there is not much sun light then this could be a problem. In other areas, the sun's rays are almost always covered in clouds making solar energy collectors useless. You should first know if the sunshine in your area is abundant for the majority of the year. Of course if you live in desert areas like in Arizona or Mexico produces a lot of sunshine for the most part of the year and is ideal for solar energy collecting. Lastly, the sun only shines during the day. Real Goods Solar Living SourcebookTherefore is you need electricity or hot water during the night, like many of us do, it can be a problem. You will need a backup system like the 'old' utility grid or you will need to store the electricity for later use. There are battery systems that can store solar energy for later use. Solar is very clean and an alternative to conventional heating and electrical systems. Although this is true it is also good to mention the disadvantages of solar energy. If you are considering using solar energy you must read this first to make a balanced decision.... About the Author: Bryan Wong is the owner of the solar information website - A great website that shares quality Info, News and tips on solar energy. Buy the book: Real Goods Solar Living Sourcebook [affliate] Image Source: