Guest post by Lauren Brombert
They don’t make noise. They don’t need much attention. Your basic household products seem harmless enough. But hiding in the kitchen, bathroom, broom closet and garage are cleansers whose ingredients have been linked to cancer, neurological diseases, reproductive and immune system problems, autism and asthma.
The average American family spends $600 per year on 40 pounds of chemicals masquerading as cleansers, disinfectants, cosmetics and bath products. You flush them down your toilet, spray them on counters, sprinkle them in the bathtub, mop them on the floor, pour them down drains, squirt them on dishes, and, worst of all, put them on your body. Aside from the potential dangers to you, your children and your pets, these products leave their mark on the environment. With over 100 million households, the U.S. is spending $60 billion dollars on 4,000,000,000 pounds of toxic chemicals that will wind up in the air, soil and water supply.
Making your house “green” is one of the most important things you can do for yourself and for your family. And it’s pretty simple. In addition to lowering your health risks and saving money, you are helping to protect the planet now and for future generations. To find out how to create a “green” house, sign up for our Healthy and Green Makeover.
Here are five steps for a “greener” home:
Go through every commercial product you use for your kitchen, bath, car, garden and body. This includes cleansers, polish/wax, cosmetics, moisturizers, shampoos, pesticides, air fresheners, disinfectants, fertilizers and paint.
Dispose of the unwanted items by dropping them off at your local hazardous waste location, or contact your local recycling program to find out if there is a specific day for hazardous materials pickup. Don’t throw them into the garbage because they’ll end up in your local landfill and waterways.
Look for environmentally conscious products. Many natural, organic and toxin-free products are now available at regular grocery stores and chains such as Target and Bed, Bath and Beyond. You can also purchase many of these products online. Another rule of thumb is that the fewer the ingredients, the better off you—and the environment—will be.
Natural housecleaning products and body care items can be a bit more expensive. But they are much cheaper than treating health problems associated with harmful ingredients. In spending a little more on healthful products you are buying a lot of peace of mind. Need some advice on choosing the best? Click on the Going Green Today link to see our recommendations.
Since more and more multi-purpose products are becoming available, you don’t need to buy as many. An even more cost-effective solution is to make them yourself. All you need is a few basic ingredients.