Natural Living — indoor air

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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." Gaiam.com
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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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 NaturalHealthLifestyles.com 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. http://www.NaturalHealthLifestyles.com Buy the Book: Your Green Home Image Source: http://flickr.com/photos/cobalt/529108150/