Protecting Our Home Environment

The word environment encompasses the conditions that surround us. It includes the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat. These conditions affect the growth, health, and progress of our existence.

The word pollution represents the greatest enemy to our environment. It is the action or process of making, our land, water, air, etc dirty and not safe or suitable for use. The human actions are the major cause of pollution, mainly of an industrial nature affecting our air and water. However, as every-day individuals, we cannot control these actions. Therefore, no matter how much we hear about this issue and climate change, there isn’t much we can do about it. But there is one area of our environment we can do a lot about – our homes. There is a substantial amount of improvement needed when it comes to protecting our home environment.

In my last post, I expounded on the dangerous chemicals in our homes: https://universal-health-products.com/dangerous-chemicals-in-the-home/ I listed and explained some of the more common and dangerous ones. In this post, I’m going to go into the alternatives to make one’s home environment more people friendly.

So here we go!

Phthalates

The chemical found in may fragranced products: Air fresheners, soaps, toilet paper, etc.

Alternative: When possible choose fragrance-free or all-natural organic products. It’s recommended that we bypass aerosol or plug-in air fresheners and instead using essential oils or just opening windows to freshen the air. Also, we can consider adding more plants to our homes as they are natural air detoxifiers.

Perchloroethylene or “PERC”

The ingredient found in Dry-cleaning solutions, spot removers, and carpet and upholstery cleaners.

Alternative: Curtains, drapes and clothes that are labeled dry clean only can be taken to a wet cleaner instead, which uses water-based technology rather than chemical solvents. Liquid carbon dioxide has been recognized by the EPA as an environmentally preferable alternative to the more toxic dry-cleaning solvents. So try asking your dry cleaner which method they use. For a safer spot remover, look for a nontoxic brand like Ecover, or rub undiluted castile soap (based with vegetable oil) directly on stains before washing.

Triclosan

Most antibacterial liquid dishwashing detergents and hand soaps contain Triclosan.

Alternative: Use detergents and soaps with short ingredient lists, and avoid antibacterial products containing triclosan for home use. As for hand sanitizers, choose one that is alcohol-based and contains no triclosan.

Quarternary Ammonium Compounds, or “QUATS”

Usually in fabric softener liquids and sheets, and most household cleaners labeled “antibacterial.”

Alternative: we don’t have to have fabric softener or dryer sheets to soften clothes or get rid of static: Simple vinegar works just as well. “Vinegar is the natural fabric softener of choice for many reasons, it’s nontoxic, and it removes soap residue in the rinse cycle as well as helps to prevent static cling in the dryer. White vinegar is the best choice for general cleaning; other types can stain.

Alternatives to chemical disinfectants abound as well, including antibacterial, antifungal tea-tree oil. Simply mix a few drops of tea-tree oil and a tablespoon of vinegar with water in a spray bottle for a safe, germ killing, and all-purpose cleaner. A couple of drops of lavender essential oil can be added for fragrance.

Butoxyethanol

Window, kitchen and multipurpose cleaners are the guilty perpetrators for this ingredient.

Alternative: Clean mirrors and windows with newspaper and diluted vinegar. For other kitchen tasks, stick to simple cleaning compounds like Bon Ami powder; it’s made from natural ingredients like ground feldspar and baking soda without the added bleach or fragrances found in most commercial cleansers. You can also make your own formulas with baking soda, vinegar and essential oils. See the link below for info on essential oils.

Ammonia

Commonly found in polishing agents for bathroom fixtures, sinks and jewelry; also in glass and all-purpose cleaners.

Alternatives: Would you believe…Vodka! It is known to produce a reflective shine on any metal or mirrored surface. And people drink this stuff!! Here’s another one… toothpaste – makes an outstanding silver polish! Gees!!

Sodium Hydroxide

This one is a beaut. It hangs out in oven cleaners and drain openers.

Alternative: You can clean the greasiest oven with baking-soda paste. However, it will take a little more time and elbow grease. For clogged drains, we can use a mechanical “snake” tool, or try this: pour a cup of baking soda and a cup of vinegar down the drain and plug it for 30 minutes. After the bubbles die down, run hot water down the drain to clear the debris.

Formaldehyde

Here’s one I didn’t cover in my last post but is far from innocent. It’s not so much in household cleaners but commonly found in: lotions, shampoos, sun block, soap bars, cosmetics, body wash, toothpaste, baby wipes, and bubble bath.

It might surprise you to know that much of the shelving, furniture, wall finishes, carpet, cabinetry and flooring in our homes could contain this dangerous chemical. Formaldehyde can also be found in building materials such as paneling, plywood and insulation to name a few.

Most products contain only very small amounts of harmful chemicals. The danger lies in our modern habits of using many of these products, and for a long time. As we surround ourselves with more and more formaldehyde-containing products our exposure level increases. Similarly, the longer we expose ourselves to these products the more exposure we are getting. Is it any wonder why we’re so sick, especially as we age?

Alternative: we have to look for products that are “readily biodegradable” and “non-toxic to humans and aquatic life.

The Solution:

We have to take responsibility and not rely on companies and the government for our home environmental health. We can accomplish this by controlling our home environment and by making better health choices. The first step is getting these chemicals out of our homes. Cleaning and personal care products can be easily replaced with natural alternatives (remember to look for products that are “readily biodegradable” and “non-toxic to humans and aquatic life”)

Connect to a wellness company

Once you’ve gotten rid of the chemicals, replace them easily through a wellness organization. A comprehensive wellness company can supply you with products that are chemical and preservative free. From floor, kitchen and bathroom cleaners to smoothies and snack bars. Essential oils too—the works! Keep your home truly clean – dirt and chemical free. It is the most convenient way to protect our home environment for ourselves and our families.

Wellness begins at home!

For information on the largest on-line wellness shopping club in North America, email your request to www.info @universal-health-products.com

Feel free to leave any question comment or concern below.

Good Health!!

 

 

 

 

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8 thoughts on “Protecting Our Home Environment”

  1. What a great list of alternative ideas to use instead of toxic commercial off the shelf products that pollute our home every day.  

    Most  of us don’t stop to think of the repercussions from using air fresheners which is one of my pet peeves.  This product throws pollutants into the air in our homes and has a very negative effect on ourselves and out pet and plants as well.  

    One of the chemicals that most of us don’t think about is formaldehyde.  We have laminate flooring in our home and I know that the materials below the thin laminate sheet has formaldehyde.  I think about it almost daily and continue to be concerned about its effects on our family.  Not a pleasant thought. 

    Thank you for the list of alternatives.  The article needs to be made very public so as to warn the general public of the dangers of the products we have in our homes….thanks again. 

    1. You’re welcome Tim!  Glad I could help.  It’s true about us not knowing the repercussions because the effects for the most part are so insidious.  It’s the exposure over time that builds up in our systems causing the damage.  By then it’s kind of late.  Recently I spent time in a home that had floors recently treated with polyurethane.  I ended up with such an upper respiratory irritation .  We must be aware and careful!

      Good Health!

       

  2. This post has certainly educated me about home environment pollution, I had no idea how unhealthy and dangerous my basic household products were, I mean, I’m not totally naive, I knew they weren’t the best for the environment but didn’t realise to what extent 

    You mention about ammonia being in our polishing agents and toothpaste being a great alternative, Toothpaste! Really???

    1. Well Matt, after all, it polishes our teeth!  Mint is pretty strong! 

      Thanks for viewing.

      Good Health!

  3. Hi Nathaniel, great article, people really don’t realise what toxic products they have in their homes and how bad they really are for personal health and the health of the planet.   As I was reading your list it really did horrify me and I am so glad that in our house we have made a conscious decision to switch out all those nasties for traditional natural substances instead.  And then you said it, vinegar – white vinegar is my favourite product these days for cleaning and laundry.  So many uses and completely natural, we use it all over the house from the bathroom to the kitchen to cleaning vinegar and refreshing the washing machine.  All I need these days is vinegar, citric acid, bicarbonate of soda and soda crystals.  All natural, all biodegradable and plastic-free.  Congratulations on spreading the word!

    1. Good for you Ally!  You’ve made the switch!  Yes vinegar is incredible!  To think, it never spoils.  One of mother nature’s gift to us!  Thanks for viewing!

      Good Health!

  4. Good afternoon Nathaniel,

    Your post resonates with me as I also write about these things for my websites.

    All these modern inventions too often hold serious health hazards. I am not a fan of EPA anymore. Their job is to be vigilant and care for public health. Instead, they have sided with the pesticide industry. At the moment they are doing a lousy job.

    You are right, our battle starts at home trying to make it as healthy and chemical-free as possible.

    Regards, Taetske

    1. Hello Taetske – Yes, politics and the love of money certainly changes the course of things.  As the expression goes,”the road to hell was paved with good intentions!”  Therefore we must be vigilant and take charge. 

      Thanks for viewing!

      Good Health!

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