Clean Homes, Clean Streams, Clean Conscience



Since WWII, thousands of chemicals have been introduced into our daily environment. Some of the most harmful that pose the greatest risk to our children are those inside our own homes. The good news is that more and more toxic-free products are coming into the consumer market and are becoming easier to find in stores and online. By learning more about harmful chemicals and choosing their safer alternatives, we can reduce the negative effects many commercial cleaning products have on our own lives and the environment.

         According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), one common household chemical that poisons 25,000 children each year is Dawn dishwashing liquid, because they think it looks like their favorite juice color.

         “Green” doesn’t necessarily mean safe when it comes to cleaning products. Most waste disposal companies will not pick up cleaning bottles that are not entirely empty because they fear “chemical combustion” if those cleaners combine in their garage trucks. Similarly, we shouldn’t keep those products in our laundry rooms and kitchens where the cleaners are “outgassing” chemical particles into the air.

         Debra Lynn Dadd writes in Home Safe Home, “The Consumer Product Safety Commission reported that 150 common household chemicals have been linked to allergies, asthma, birth defects, cancer and psychological abnormalities.” A company’s product line should be proud to share its careful selection of ingredients and be proud to state that there were no accidental deaths from poisoning. We can all educate ourselves and eliminate toxic cleaners.

         Plant-derived cleaners from a natural, not synthetic, source are a safe option. Choose biodegradable, environmentally responsible ingredients from reputable companies that have easily understood labels or purchase from local stores such as Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s or health food stores.

         Be sure to read the back of the bottles and find out where they are manufactured. For example, the Ecosense line (Melaleuca.com) is manufactured in the U.S. and regulated by U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines. Choose products that state the ingredients on the bottles, as well as their absence, such as no chlorine bleach, no ammonia, no abrasives, no phosphates, no fillers, no phthalates, no triclosan, no parabens, no formaldeyhyde and most importantly, no childproof caps required.

         Many pure essential oils are available in the market, and can be used and mixed to make very safe, effective cleaners. Tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia) has natural antiseptic and antifungal properties that may kill bacteria, including e. coli, salmonella, strep, and the h1n1 flu virus.

         Tea tree oil blends well with eucalyptus, lavender, lemon, rosemary and thyme for household use. Add a few drops of lavender to the laundry wash or rinse cycle. Spray a mixture of melaleuca oil and thyme as a natural disinfectant or deodorizer. Add a few drops of lemon or orange oil to natural household cleaners for a nice citrus scent.

         Doctors at Southwest Hospital, in Cape Coral, Florida, have launched an experiment using lavender and citrus oils as a more natural remedy for some of their patients.

         It’s important to know that not all oils are the same, and some oils on the market may be diluted and could contain other ingredients. Look for 100 percent pure oil, extracted directly from the traceable botanical source, using controlled methods. We will see the scientific name under the name of the oil, for example: lavender (Lavendula officinalis), lemon (Citrus limonium). This means they are not synthetic. Choose pure essential oils that have been tested to meet stringent quality specifications and are harvested using sustainable and ethical practices.

         Now is the time to purge our homes from all toxic chemical cleaners. We only need a few good-quality natural cleaners and a few pure essential oils to have a safe home with air we can breathe without a mask or gloves.

Kathy Rosner has been teaching Healthy Home seminars for 17 years in the Chicagoland area. For more information, visit Melaleuca.com/kathyrosner or LivingSmartNow.com. See ad on page 25.

 

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Keeping Seasonal Allergies Under Control

Seasonal allergy generally refers to a specific allergic immune response to any number of pollens and molds.

5 Ways to Create Unlimited Profits with a Holistic Business

To be both a successful business owner and a healer in spiritual growth and holistic practices, three actions are essential: Show Up. Be You. Make Money.

Cosmetic Acupuncture Benefits

Acupuncture has been used for more than 3,000 years to treat many physical and cosmetic conditions. One benefit of acupuncture is that there are no dangerous side effects or disruption to the body’s natural functioning.

Pampering Patients

Cancer can have numerous effects on the body, mind and spirit of a patient, including a host of conditions that often wreak havoc on their skin.

Whole Body Thermometry

Whole body thermometry (WBT) is a safe, accurate, hassle-free way to scan the body for functional imbalances.

Add your comment:
Edit ModuleShow Tags

See More »This Month

Step into Spring at McHenry County Gardenfest

Presented by the University of Illinois Extension McHenry County Master Gardeners and McHenry County College, McHenry County Gardenfest 2017, a daylong series of garden-related seminars and workshops, will take place from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., April 8.

Juried Ecological Student Video Festival

The nonprofit School & Community Assistance for Recycling and Composting Education (SCARCE) is hosting a world language film festival for high school and college students on April 23.

Amona Buechler Teaches Feldenkrais in Rogers Park

Popular wellness teacher Amona Buechler, visiting Chicago as part of her worldwide teaching engagements, is leading a Feldenkrais Workshop on April 8 and 9.

Grayslake Organic CSA is now Prairie Wind Family Farm

Starting with the spring growing season, Prairie Wind Family Farm, the resident farm within the Prairie Crossing community, in Grayslake, is now solely owned and operated by farmers Jen and Jeff Miller.

Trade in Old Shoes for New at New Balance

New Balance North Shore is having its annual Trade-In Sale through the end of April.

Improve Vision and Enjoy Life More

Mimi Shekoski, Ph.D., a certified Natural Vision Improvement teacher and holistic natural health doctor, is the owner of Happy Eyesight Studio, with locations in Crystal Lake and Highland Park, offering holistic natural vision improvement coaching services to people of all ages.