A green home! This is one of my favorite things to always be striving for.
We go about our every day driving in cars, flying in planes, going to school, work, and engaging in recreational activities being exposed to environmental pollutants that pose varying degrees of risk. This is unavoidable. However, keeping your home as non-toxic as you can, is in your control! I love this. All of these things don't need to be done at once, but over time. Small changes make a huge impact in the long run.
Ditch Toxic Detergents
What you wash your clothes in is indeed important. I used to make my own laundry detergent when I had only 1 child. Now, I stick to store bought! Download the "EWG" or "Think Dirty" App on your phone to scan products wherever you are to shop clean products. If the product rates a zero, this means it is non-toxic & is safe for your family. The higher the number the worse it is & contains ingredients linked to cancer, developmental & reproductive toxicity and allergies. Switching your laundry detergent is a very simple swap for a 'greener' home.
- DanSoap is a local company based in Cleveland. It has ONLY 3 ingredients! DanSoap is 100% biodegradable and free of any harsh chemicals. The lavender is my favorite one. The scent is mild and not over-powering.
- All Free and Clear Laundry Detergent is a more mainstream laundry detergent that only rates a 2 on the Think Dirty App. .
- Dreft Laundry Detergent (made for babies), ECOS, Mrs. Meyer's Lavender, Method 4x Concentrated, Green Works Naturally Derived Laundry Detergent & All Baby Liquid rates a 9! I was really surprised to see baby detergent & companies that appear natural rating so poorly.
- Ditch your fabric softener and replace it with plain ole' vinegar. Pour 1/4 cup in the fabric softener dispenser. It truly does work and doesn't leave a vinegar smell.
- Swap your dryer sheets with 100% wool dryer balls. It works! Add 3-4 drop of your favorite essential oil to each ball and throw in the dryer with your laundry. Surprisingly, dryer sheets may be the most toxic thing in your house! They rate extremely poor according to the EWG.
Natural Ways to Remove Laundry Stains
- Grass Stains; Treat with 50/50 Hydrogen Peroxide (3%) and water mix. Then wash as you would normally.
- Mud stains: I love when my kids play outside. However, it makes for really dirty clothes! Brush off dry dirt and soak with a borax & water paste before you throw in the washer.
- Vomit, blood, poop. Moms, this one is for you! Soak clothes in COOL water and then wash with 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide & 1/2 cup baking soda in the washing machine.
- Underarm Deodorant Stains & Whites : Soak clothes in a mixture of 50/50 hydrogen peroxide and water for 45 minutes and then add 1 cup of hydrogen peroxide to the wash water. For really tough yellow stains, make a paste of 3% hydrogen peroxide and baking soda & rub into the stain. Leave on for 15 minutes before washing. You can also use Seventh Generation Chlorine Free Bleach.
Raise the Vibration
I've recently read the book Vibe, by Robyn Openshaw. It's really fascinating to learn we are all electrical beings & everything has a vibration frequency. A healthy body is 68 mHZ. The earth is 528 mHZ. Raising the vibration in our home is one of my new habits!
- Plants raise the vibration in your home and are air purifiers. I'm not the best at watering plants. I stick to ones that are low maintenance, since I have 5 kids that are high maintenance :) Succulents, Aloe, and Pachira Aquatica (Money Tree) are low maintenance. I have also found that Baby's Breath last about 2 weeks. This is my go-to for my vases on the wall. They look SO pretty and can make a gloomy day, into a bright day.
- Essential Oils. Essential oils have a very high frequency. Always use essential oils safely. Never ingest. Never apply oil's that aren't properly diluted directly onto skin. Know what oils are safe for pregnancy, and certain ages. My favorite is blending 2 drops of lavender & 2 drop of frankincense in a diffuser for 30 minutes at a time. It's calming & relaxing.
- Himalayan Salt Lamp. Salt lamps are known to cleanse and deodorize the air. This is an easy thing to add to your household. I received one of these for Mother's Day one year & keep it near my plants and diffuser :)
Switching out harsh cleaning supplies with non-toxic products or making your own is simple & inexpensive. I promise you won't miss the harsh chemicals! You're improving the indoor air quality and it's so much safer for children & even pets. Toddlers put just about everything in their mouth, so this is worth the switch!
Homemade all-purpose cleaner
This is a great DIY all-purpose recipe. It takes no time at all to make and saves you money! This can be used to clean the kitchen, bathroom, toys, etc. If you are cleaning raw meat messes, I would use hydrogen peroxide or food-grade alcohol & soap/water.
- 1 tsp borax
- 1/2 tsp washing soda
- 1 tsp Dr. Bronner's Liquid Castile Soap
- Essential oils of choice (2 drops lemon, 2 drops orange, & 5 drops orange)
- Spray bottle (I use glass)
Mix borax, washing soda, and castile soap in a spray bottle. Add 2 cups of warm water (distilled preferred). Add essential oils of choice. Cover & shake well.
This recipe is so simple; two ingredients- that's it! You can choose a different essential oil if you'd like. I love the clean smell lemon essential oil leaves in the house. Microfiber cloths work great on windows as well!
- 2 cups of water (distilled is best)
- 2 TBSP vinegar
- 10 drop lemon essential oil
Combine in a spray bottle (preferably glass) & use on windows.
Once a month (or whenever I think about it!), I run my dishwasher with vinegar to get a good cleaning. Fill a glass bowl with 2 cups of vinegar and place on the top rack of the dishwasher. Run on a hot cycle with no other dishes in the dishwasher.
Dr. Bronner's Castile Soap & Better Life are trusted brands that I always recommend. Dr. Bronner's Castile Soap can be used as an all-purpose cleaner, which is ideal for general household cleaning like counters, floors, laundry, etc. It is certified organic and vegan. Better Life is a non-toxic, biodegradable, plant-derived ingredient cleaner that really works!! I love the Kitchen & Bath Scrubber.
Reduce, reuse, recycle
We learned this in school as kids & now we need to apply it to our everyday life; reduce, reuse, recycle.
Reduce; If you increase your thermostat by 1 degree in the summer and decrease by 1 degree in the winter, you will save 10% on your energy consumption! Remember to to turn off the lights when you walk out of a room. I feel like I just follow my kids around turning off lights all day! CFL bulbs are more energy efficient as well.
Reuse; Reuse store bought grocery bags or buy reusable grocery bags. We have endless bags in our house. My biggest problem is just remembering to put them in the car before I go to the store !
Recycle; This has been easier than ever with our cities designated trash can just for recycling. Your kids can take part in this too :)
Eat more plants
Believe it or not, it takes 2500 gallons of water to produce 1 lb of beef! Not only is it better for the environment, it's better for your body. Our bodies are designed to eat tons of plants. The recommended servings of fruits & veggies is 9-13 servings/day. Wow! Implement "Meatless Mondays" in your weekly meal plan. Then strive for another meatless night if you can. I have a large salad just about everyday for lunch. My go-to salad is organic mixed greens, olives, avocado, quinoa, tomatoes, cucumbers, hemp seeds & Tessamae's Ranch (dairy, gluten & sugar free). So delicious!!
Do you have any "green" tips? Share below!