Truth be told we live in a world where scent is EVERYWHERE. No matter where you go the scent of someone’s laundry detergent, perfume, shampoo or lotion seems to fill the air. Why do scents seem to hang around so long? And what exactly are they made of? Many of us aren’t aware of the true facts of synthetic fragrances because this is information we have to research in order to find the truth. Unless you’re really looking for what’s in a product, you may never know because the information is not advertised. No, the information about the exact contents of synthetic fragrances is made public by researchers who are trying to find causes of health ailments within our society.
If you’ve ever wondered how laundry detergent can smell like rain, it’s not because they’ve added actual rain, it’s because chemists have created the scent with chemicals, most of them derived from petroleum products. This is why it is imperative to avoid these fragrance filled products when we can.
You’re upgrading your flooring -- it’s an exciting time in the world of home-ownership. I have LOVED the brand new look my rooms get by simply replacing the flooring. Plus, who doesn’t love picking out a beautiful new option that will make your house feel more like YOUR space.
But have you ever stopped to think about EXACTLY what you’re puting into your home? If you really think about flooring, it is a HUGE part of your home. And you walk on it (BAREFOOT!), lay on it, our babies crawl all over it. SO what are we laying on? What are we walking on? What are our children placing their bodies on? Unfortunately, most often it’s toxins and chemicals. And it’s not just what we clean our floors and carpets with. It’s the carpets and floors themselves.
How can you know what the healthiest flooring option is for your home and your home’s remodel or update? There are many choices, but some flooring alternatives are better than others.
When I think of a playroom the image of a pristine nursery from Peter Pan pops in my head. Then I look over at my own playspace for my girls, and it looks well, different. So many of us with kids get the struggle of creating a safe environment for our kids to play. Not only safe in the aspect of removing items they can hurt themselves on, but also safe in the sense of their whole bodies and minds.
Kids are often playing close the floor, with toys in their mouths. This means we need to be extra cautious of the areas we create for play and remove as many of the items that contain toxins as possible.
Here’s a run down of how you could improve or create a dedicated play space for your kids that is also a healthy indoor environment.
Whole food choices and healthy eating options are popping up everywhere, making it easier than ever to make positive lifestyle choices when it comes to food. We have access to healthy, natural and fresh foods more than ever before, and most health-conscious families are taking full advantage of that. The shift is bringing us back to natural and away from modified, chemical-laden options that recently graced our past.
Home environment options are beginning to swing in that same way as we see people ditch harsh chemicals and unnatural synthetic products for natural and safe options. Because, let’s face it, what good is healthy eating if the products we are cooking in and on are adding chemicals and toxins into our food. In order to have a truly healthy lifestyle, we must look at what goes into our body (food), what goes on our body (products & clothes) and what surrounds our body (our home environment).
What your Grandma taught you about a weekly dusting routine, may not have been all bad.
I’ll be honest with you, I HATE dusting. I know it’s bad when my five year old mentions we should probably dust that thick later off of our dark-toned dresser.
But, it’s not just an annoyance or a trivial problem within our homes. Dust is a component of poor indoor air quality. Have you ever stopped to think what is IN the dust bunny under your bed? Or what that layer of thick gray dust is housing on top of your woodwork? Mostly we just hear people say it’s skin cells (for the record, this is still gross, right?).
But unfortunately, it’s often time even more. Studies have shown traces of cleaning chemicals, pesticides, bacteria and dustimes in the dust within living spaces.
One of my goals for this year is to declutter and simplify my life in as many areas as possible. I'll be honest, I'm tired of managing STUFF. Cleaning products and cleaning tools are no exception to this resolution. It's easy to accumulate bottles of solutions and have them placed all over the house. But half empty bottles here and there only add up to more clutter, more stuff and can feel completely overwhelming when trying to determine what I have and what I don't have.
That's when I decided to create a cleaning caddy that can be brought out at any time for any purpose. Carpet stain? Cleaning caddy. Time to deep clean the bathrooms? Cleaning caddy. Dusting day? Cleaning caddy. No more rifling through solutions to figure out which one I should be using or sending someone to the cleaning cabinet only to have them bring back the wrong product. Nope. Now I have it all in one spot.
And with kiddos in my home, you know I'm going to make sure that the cleaning products I use are safe, toxin free and not adding any chemicals into the air we breathe. Ever since my daughter was 5 1/2 years ago, I've done my best to remove as many cleaning toxins as I can. I've tried and tested different methods and solutions and today I'm sharing my favorites with you in hopes that you can create your own decluttered, safe and healthy cleaning caddy.
Our homes are a place of comfort and a place that we go to escape the rest of the busy, toxic world. In fact many of us are spending more time inside our homes than ever before in history. Statistic show that the average person spends up to 80% of their time indoors.
This number can be surprising and somewhat alarming given the fact that health officials and home inspectors have determined that most indoor air is actually more polluted than the outdoor air we breathe. And why is this? The cause for this problem comes from the fact that our products and building materials contain many harmful toxins which are released into the air inside our homes. The problem is accelerated by the fact that homes are sealed incredibly tight to minimize energy loss. This means the toxins inside our homes are staying there for the long haul.
Just a few decades ago, a home exchanged its indoor air with fresh outdoor air about 5 times per hour. Today in our modern society, most homes introduce fresh air into the home just 5 times per DAY. Because of this, toxins have no place to go and end up staying inside our indoor air, becoming concentrated in areas as we breathe them in.
One toxin that has been the center of many studies and research as of late is formaldehyde.
A healthy house is more than just a space free from toxins and mold. A healthy house is the foundation and start of a healthy life in whole. We wouldn’t expect an apple to stay fresh if we stored it in a wet paper bag outside. It’s the same thought with our home. It’s been said that our house is like a second skin to our bodies, creating benefits or problems.
Where we sleep is a place that we should take extra precaution about. It’s an area that we will end up spending about one third of our lives in. If we are in one particular environment more often, we should make sure it’s a healthy and safe environment to be in.
We are going to cover five ways you can make sure your sleeping environment is healthy. There have been studies shown that a healthy sleeping environment can actually promote sleep, and an unhealthy sleeping space can cause sleep disorders. It’s true that your house can cause insomnia.
And why does sleep matter so much? Sleep is one of the biggest contributors to a healthy lifestyle. When we get proper rest and sleep our body has time to repair itself from day to day stressors as well as detoxify the brain. When you’re rested you can function on a higher level. Improving your sleep environment can drastically change the quality of your day. Rachel at PillowPicker has written an incredible guide with 30 science-backed ways your body can benefit from a good night of sleep. You can check it out here.
When you start to hear about the toxins in your home and what may be entering your body through dust, water consumption or airborne gasses, it can feel overwhelming. The amount of toxins within our world are at an all time high. Some toxins that we know are bad for us and our children are still around in our water and natural environment. These chemicals and toxins we use don’t just dissipate or go back to where they came from. They are here for the long haul.
This is why it is so important to create a home that is as free from toxins as possible. Our goal with a healthy house is to create a space that your body can relax in. A space where you can have a natural and chemical free retreat from what the rest of the world has to offer.
This is especially true of children. Their bodies while so much smaller than ours are still developing, changing and growing. They may sit in a school with vinyl flooring, play in a daycare that uses chemical cleaners on the surfaces and be affected by many of the other toxins that are constantly around them. When we bring them home, we want to create a safe, healthy environment for them to function at their highest.
When our homes, and in particular the places our children sleep have high amounts of toxins and chemicals, their little bodies never have a rest from the ever stimulating world.
You might be wondering why this is so important to children. It has come to the attention of health professionals, pediatric doctors and parents alike that the environment we are exposing our children to is affecting not only their physical health, but their behavioral health. Behavioral disorders, ADHD and Autism are being diagnosed every day, and there are strong ties between the products we have in our home and children’s behavior.
I am a Certified Professional Home Inspector and Certified Building Biologist through the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors and International Institute for Building Biology. I have trained with Internachi as well as the Water Quality Standards Academy and the EPA.