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How Toxic Is Your Home?

SUSTAINABILITY ARTICLE FOR THE WEEKENDER HERALD
BY LIDDY DOLMAN   APRIL 2013   ‘HOW TOXIC IS YOUR HOME?’

Home is definitely where the heart is – it’s a place we spend most of our time, a sanctuary where we and our families feel safe and comfortable. We are inundated with images of sparkling kitchens and children happily crawling on floors sprayed with the latest pest control product or chemically based cleaners. It’s time to hear the toxic truth about our homes.

A staggering 90% of poison exposures happen at home. Studies have shown that the levels of harmful chemicals in indoor air, often exceeds the standards set by the EPA. Commonly used cleaners give off fumes that can potentially increase the risk of kids developing asthma, now the most common chronic childhood disease. Scary stuff.

The good news is, there are simple solutions to greening your home.

Changing from chemically based cleaning products to natural cleaners is as simple as going to your pantry. My favourite is to mix 1 part vinegar, 1 part water with the juice of ½ lemon and you will have a surface spray for all your shiny surfaces. Add a tablespoon of Baking Soda and a little salt if you need something a little more abrasive.

You will find simple recipes for most of your cleaning needs, including basic laundry soap, on the web site www.back-to-basics-cleaning.com.

Remember to dispose of any toxic product responsibly. Your local council will provide you with the appropriate guidelines.

Now that you have the cleaning issue sorted out, how about you move onto the bathroom and take a peek at the ingredients in your shampoos, soaps and skin care products. If you see names like Sodium Lauryl Sulphate, Paraben, Phosphate, Propyl or Glycol, it may be time to look for a more natural solution when replacing them.

Other tips to consider:

  • Open your windows when possible to reduce indoor air pollution
  • Use charcoal deodorisers around the home to absorb odours, toxins and moisture
  • Get rid of mould and mildew with 2 teaspoons of tea tree oil in 2 cups of water
  • Introduce some indoor plants as part of your décor
  • Use organic cotton bedding (you spend many hours tucked up in bed)
  • Choose natural floor coverings, paints and wood oils when redecorating As it turns out, what is good for our health is also good for the planet.

Makes sense to me.

Next edition – ‘Managing our own food waste’

Visit me at Ecolateral 411 Magill Road St Morris or visit www.ecolateralshop.com.au for more info on sustainability.

411 Magill Road St Morris, SA 5068 Australia (08) 8333 3478

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