Going Green Products plus more!

Going Green Products plus more!

It is amazing how much information on any given topic can be found on-line today, this reason alone can and should encourage us all to take time out of our day to pursue making the best and most informed choices we can about things in life such as the products that we use every day. It really only takes but a few minutes to learn something new and it is well worth the time and effort it takes to get there. Here is an article below with just a few products and reasons for taking time to review what they are, what they do, and how they affect you (negatively or positively).

The toxic household chemicals you store and use in your home every day may surprise you!

Go to your sink right now and take out one of the cleaners you use. Though companies are not required to list all chemical ingredients, many are listed.
Below is a list of toxic chemical ingredients to check for:
• Kerosene
• Phenol
• Cresol
• Lye
• Phosphoric acid
• Sodium hydroxide
• Hydrochloric acid
• Butyl cellosolve (2-Butoxyethanol)
• Formaldehyde
• Bleach (sodium hypochlorite)
• Ammonia
• Sulfamic acid
• Petroleum distillates
• Sulfuric acid
• Lye (potassium hydroxide)
• Morpholine
Did you find any of these toxic substances listed on your products?

Toxicity of Household Chemicals in Common Cleaners.
While effective cleaning can improve the healthfulness of indoor environments, studies show that use of some consumer cleaning agents can yield high levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including glycol ethers--which are regulated toxic air contaminants—and terpenes that can react with ozone to form a variety of secondary pollutants including formaldehyde and ultrafine particles.
Some cleaning products and air fresheners have unhealthy emissions.
Persons involved in cleaning, especially those who clean occupationally or often, might encounter excessive exposures to these pollutants owing to cleaning product emissions.
Maternal exposure to toxic chemicals during pregnancy can disrupt development or even cause the death of the fetus. Effects can include birth defects, low birth weight, biological dysfunctions, or psychological or behavioral deficits that become manifest as the child grows.
Sources: Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (1998); Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (1999); Scorecard (2007).

Top of Form
<>Here's the List of Cleaning Products and Health Risks:

Many all-purpose cleaners contain neurotoxins and nasal irritants that can be absorbed through the skin or inhaled. Synthetic solvents may cause hormone disruption.

Butyl Cellosolve (2-butoxyethanol, 2-butoxyethanol acetate or Ethylene glycol monobutyl ether). Butyl cellosolve is a high volume chemical with production exceeding 1 million pounds annually.

The general population is exposed to 2-butoxyethanol and 2-butoxyethanol acetate mainly by breathing air or having skin contact with liquids, particularly household cleaners, which contain these compounds. Butyl cellosolve is a toxic glycol ether chemical used in cleaning solutions.

Material Safety Data Sheet reports potential irritation and tissue damage from inhalation, ingestion, cutaneous, and/or ocular exposure. People who swallowed large amounts of cleaning agents containing Butyl cellosolve experienced breathing problems, low blood pressure, low levels of hemoglobin, acidic blood, and blood in the urine.

Formaldehyde Formaldehyde is a preservative found in many household products. Formaldehyde is an anticipated carcinogen.

Low levels of formaldehyde cause irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, and skin. People with asthma may be more sensitive to the effects of inhaled formaldehyde. Drinking large amounts of formaldehyde can cause severe pain, vomiting, coma, and possible death. In animal studies, rats developed nose cancer from formaldehyde.
Automatic Dishwasher Detergents. Some products contain dry chlorine that is activated when it encounters water in the dishwasher. Chlorine fumes are released in the steam that leaks out of the dishwasher, and can cause eye irritation.
Carpet Cleaners. Carpet cleaners can be extremely toxic to children; who tend to play and crawl around on carpets. The fumes given off by carpet cleaners can cause cancer and liver damage.

Carpet and upholstery cleaners accounted for 5397 poison exposures in 2005. The majority of these, exposures, over 3500, involved children under 6. Source:Annual Report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers' National Poisoning and Exposure Database (2005).

Naphthalene Possible human carcinogen found in moth balls and metal polishes. Exposure to large amounts of napthalene may lead to hemolytic anemia. Napthalene may cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, blood in the urine, and a yellow color to skin.
Mice that breathed naphthalene vapors daily for a lifetime developed lung tumors and some developed nose tumors. Sources: Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (2005).
Great Solutions from 50 Years of Safe and Effective Cleaning!

Bleach. The chemical known as hypochlorite in bleach causes more poisoning exposures than any other household cleaning substance. May cause reproductive, endocrine, and immune system disorders. Source: Annual Report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers' National Poisoning and Exposure Database (2005).
Degreasers. Many degreasers contain petroleum distillates and butyl cellosolve; which can damage lung tissues and dissolve fatty tissue surrounding nerve cells.
Drain Cleaners. One of the most hazardous products in the home, drain cleaners often contain lye or sodium hydroxide; strong caustic substances that cause severe corrosive damage to eyes, skin, mouth and stomach, and can be fatal if swallowed.
Glass Cleaners. Ammonia is found in many glass cleaners and the ammonia fumes can irritate skin, eyes and the respiratory system. Ammonia based glass cleaners accounted for 6,356 poison exposures in 2005. Source: Annual Report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers' National Poisoning and Exposure Database (2005).

Ammonia Exposure to high levels of ammonia in air may be irritating to your skin, eyes, throat, and lungs and cause coughing and burns. Asthma sufferers may be more sensitive to breathing ammonia than others.

Swallowing concentrated solutions of ammonia can cause burns in your mouth, throat, and stomach. Getting ammonia into the eyes can cause burns and even blindness. Sources: Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (2004); U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service.

Oven Cleaners. One of the most dangerous cleaning products, oven cleaners can cause severe damage to eyes, skin, mouth and throat. Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry.
Sodium hydroxide Sodium hydroxide is very corrosive and can cause severe burns in all tissues that come in contact with it. Sodium hydroxide is odorless; thus, odor provides no warning of hazardous concentrations.

Inhalation of sodium hydroxide is immediately irritating to the respiratory tract. Swelling or spasms of the larynx leading to upper-airway obstruction and asphyxia can occur after high-dose inhalation. Inflammation of the lungs and an accumulation of fluid in the lungs may also occur.

Cancer of the esophagus has been reported 15 to 40 years after the formation of corrosion-induced strictures. Ingestion of solid or liquid forms of sodium hydroxide can cause spontaneous vomiting, chest and abdominal pain, and difficulty swallowing. Corrosive injury to the mouth, throat, esophagus, and stomach is very rapid and may result in perforation, hemorrhage, and narrowing of the gastrointestinal tract.
Skin contact with sodium hydroxide can cause severe burns with deep ulcerations. Sodium hydroxide contact with the eye may produce pain and irritation, and in severe cases, clouding of the eye and blindness. Long-term exposure to sodium hydroxide in the air may lead to ulceration of the nasal passages and chronic skin irritation.
Scouring Cleansers. Some cleaners may contain sodium hydroxide or bleach that can irritate mucous membranes and cause liver and kidney damage.
Scale or Lime Removers. These are products designed to remove mineral buildup like lime, scale and soap scum. Source: ScienceLab.com.

Sulfamic Acid Sulfamic acid is toxic to lungs and mucous membranes. Direct skin contact with sulfamic acid is corrosive and causes irritation, dryness or burning.

Eye contact can result in corneal damage or blindness.
Inhalation of sulfamic acid will produce irritation to gastro-intestinal or respiratory tract with burning, sneezing or coughing. Severe over exposure of sulfamic acid can produce lung damage, choking, unconsciousness or death.
Toilet Bowl Cleaners. One of the most dangerous cleaning products, toilet bowl cleaners can contain chlorine and hydrochloric acid. Harmful to health simply by breathing during use. Toilet Bowl Cleaners accounted for 10,461 poison exposures in 2005. Source: Annual Report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers' National Poisoning and Exposure Database (2005).

Hydrochloride/ Hydrochloric Acid (HCI) HCI can cause severe damage to skin and eyes. Brief exposure to low levels of HCI vapor causes throat irritation. Exposure to higher levels of HCI can result in rapid breathing, narrowing of the bronchioles, blue coloring of the skin, accumulation of fluid in the lungs, and even death.
Exposure to even higher levels of HCI can cause swelling, spasm of the throat and suffocation. Some people exposed to HCI may develop an inflammatory reaction called reactive airways dysfunction syndrome (RADS), a type of asthma caused by some irritating or corrosive substances.

Swallowing HCI causes severe corrosive injury to the lips, mouth, throat, esophagus, and stomach. Sources: Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (2007). Managing Hazardous Materials Incidents. Volume III, Medical Management Guidelines for Acute Chemical Exposures; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service.

We need Safe and Effective, Economical Solutions for our Homes!
Springtime fresh, family safe and sparkling clean! We all want our homes to be safe and beautifully clean with no chemical residues! Click here to receive information about our favorite safe and effective, environmentally friendly home cleaning products!
Join the millions of families who are taking action against household chemical health risks!

This website is not only a great resource to have for children and families but it goes into details that almost anyone can benefit from learning based on the products we all use. It doesn’t stop there, it tells you all about the products and the health risks but furthers it by adding another link with detailed information on products that can be used instead that will not cause the health risks as described above. It also gives you hints and describes why you still need to be aware and “dive deeper” to make sure it really is “safe” or “green” as it states. Just take a look here;

What Do I Look For In Environmentally Safe Cleaning Products For My Home?
Environmentally safe cleaning products are becoming more readily available all the time. Even the largest chemical companies, known for their years of dangerous polluting, are now forced to come up with “safer” options for customers who are learning about the numerous, dangerous health risks of the traditional household cleaners they have been purchasing over the years.
So what should we keep in mind when we consider purchasing environmentally safe cleaning products for our homes?
There are several considerations. Lets take a closer look at the most important things to consider.
Make Sure They're Really Green!
Dig a Little Deeper! What About The Parent Company's Green Record?
To ensure you are buying environmentally safe cleaning products that are actually safe, look for these basic qualifications:
No harmful fumes
No volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
Formulated without hazardous chemicals such as:
Kerosene, Phenol, Cresol, Lye, Hydrochloric acid, Sulfuric acid, Sulfamic acid, Petroleum distillates, Ammonia, Sodium hydroxide, Butyl cellosolve, Phosphoric acid, Formaldehyde, Chlorine bleach or Morpholine.
Some good quality, environmentally safe cleaning products have been proven to be every bit, if not more effective than their caustic counterparts. Look for products that offer proof of effectiveness through third party testing.
Make Sure They're Really Green!
Make sure they are made from sustainable ingredients from natural sources.
Biodegradable surfactants that break down in a short period of time rather than years!
Recyclable packaging! Check the bottom of the package for recycling that is available in your area!
Recyclable wipes.
Recyclable dryer sheets.
No chlorine bleach.
No phosphates.
No nitrates.
No borates.
No volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
No animal testing.
The Beauty of Concentrates!
One of the easiest, most environmentally friendly and economical things you can do is to buy concentrates.
Think about it. You may not have considered how much you are paying for water in a bottle of cleaner. Water in cleaners is the MOST EXPENSIVE WATER you can buy! Not only are you paying a high price for this basic first ingredient, you are also paying to
ship the water,
package the water and
store the water.

Each of these steps adds tremendously to the pollution problem.
Why not add your own water, in reusable bottles, at a fraction of the cost?
By adding our own tap water we save emissions, landfill space and energy.
Look for quality products that are available in concentrates and see how convenient and effective this green solution can be!
Below is a short video clip from The Rachel Ray Show on the benefits of using concentrates.
Look a Little Deeper!
What About The Company You Buy From? How environmentally responsible is the parent company itself?
One final area for consideration we’d like to suggest, is to look at the track record and commitment of the company from whom you are buying. What are you actually funding with your dollars?
Does the parent company show good stewardship toward the environment?
What is the company’s impact on the earth’s climate according to the Climate Neutral Network?
The Climate Neutral Network is an alliance of companies, environmental organizations, and government agencies committed to promoting products, activities and enterprises that minimally impact the Earth's climate.
ther leading Climate Neutral partner companies include Nike and Interface Inc. Participating environmental groups include the Earth Day Network, Rocky Mountain Institute, World Resources Institute, Conservation International and the Natural Resources Defense Council. Government agency participants include the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The Network is an independent, not-for-profit corporation, supported by respected corporate and environmental advisors. To date, the Network has certified eight leading companies and successfully engaged a further range of leading corporations and non-business stakeholders in dialogs about the economic, environmental, and social benefits of eliminating our climate impact on the Earth.

The Network's principal activities include:
Certification: establishing certification and branding for Climate Cool™ products and enterprises based on design principles viewed as credible by a broad spectrum of stakeholders;

Networking: promoting the bottom-line value of Climate Cool™ products to corporate and institutional purchasers to recognize and reward exemplary climate neutral innovations in the marketplace.

If your home is anything like the average U.S. home, you generate more than 20 pounds of household hazardous waste each year (the EPA designates toilet cleaners, tub and tile cleaners, oven cleaners, and bleach as hazardous waste).
So, it’s time for all of us to get started and make a change!
Put on the gloves and get rid of the caustic stuff in your home. Your local waste collection service has guidelines for proper household hazardous waste disposal, as well as collection sites for things like paint, batteries, and cleaners.
Whatever you do, please don’t toss this stuff in the garbage.

Where do I go from here?

There is really so much out there, it would almost be impossible not find something of value but really much of it is up to us, we are ultimately responsible for the choices good and bad in life. What we all need to be aware of is that ultimately we ALL are also responsible for much of the good and bad that happens to this world. It will be up to us to make it the best it can be or to be part of its destruction, we get to decide. Why not take just a few minutes each day to learn about what is out there. In today’s worlds we have so many alternatives and much of them far outweigh the others, we can and should make the best and most informed choices especially when it comes to the products we choose to use. I believe much of the problem lyes in the “unknowing” and that is why I want to show you what can be done in just a few minutes of your time. How easy it can be to find healthy and safe alternatives to the many products you may already be using because I think if we all were more aware especially of how easy it can be “We would choose the products that are safer and healthier for not only ourselves and especially our children but for this beautiful world we live in.”

Here are some great ways to start on this mission simply and easily!


1.TURN OFF THE TV! If you're a TV watcher, pick one night a week and go "TV Free" And turn off all other electrical appliances you arent using. Feel the hum lessen. Get out of the way of unnecessary electrical currents. Did we mention to turn that TV off?!!
2. DETOXIFY your home! Go through those kitchen cupboards. Throw out the poisons and chemicals you use to clean. Your body can't handle it. Your sink may sparkle but you won't. Start small. Just throw out the bleach, ammonia products and things with warning labels. We'll show you how to do this with your whole house. Or just switch and use vinegar to replace ammonia and hydrogen peroxide to replace bleach. It works!
3. CLEAN your house! Get those dust bunnies. Dirt equals disharmony. Keep your house dust, dirt, mold and mildew and mite free. It's a sure fire way to encourage good health. Keep your sacred space, your castle, your external immune system, CLEAN. And you can do it without disturbing the environment, with eco-friendly products. You can have an aesthetically pleasing and healthy home all in one.
4. PURIFY your water and air, two of nature's most treasured resources. As you drink and breathe, feel the connection to all the living entities doing the same thing. Buy an air filter and water purifier to get back to what nature intended.
5. PROTECT your surroundings. Is your basement full of radon? Are you living under power lines? Are your walls painted with lead paint? Is your ceiling dropping asbestos dust on you? Find out. All of these toxic substances are life threatening and worth eliminating.
6. ORGANIZE your house. Clear away that clutter. An organized pace creates flow, increased energy and abundance. Give away those old clothes. Have that garage sale you keep meaning to have. Let go of what you don't need to make room for what you do. Without clearing the space of old things, new things cannot come in.
7. RECYCLE and throw out all the plastic you can. The long term effects of plastics are alarming and that's just the part we know about. Switch to natural, organic materials whenever possible. Choose eco-friendly products.
8. CONSERVE, conserve, conserve. Turn off the water when you brush your teeth. Turn off lights in rooms you are not in. Turn off computers you're not working on; turn down the thermostat; re-time your sprinklers; use cloth napkins instead of paper, real dishes instead of plastic. There are numerous ways to conserve without losing convenience. Try at least one.
9. CREATE a sacred space in your home. Make it a space that reflects your views, beliefs, emotions, beauty - your sense of self and what you want to contribute to the rest of the world . Ultimately it will be your whole house and even the whole world, but for now it just can be a room, a corner of a room, even a shelf or a drawer if necessary. Make it a work of art, your special place. Set up an altar, a garden, anything that promotes tranquility, beauty, peace, and vitality. Gather images, flowers, statues, books, whatever says "time out - I'm taking a break".
10. ACTIVATE your consciousness. Sit in or near (and reflecting on) your sacred space at least once a day to meditate, rest, reflect or connect to that which is true for you. Stop yourself and go into this space for at least 10 minutes a day to connect with yourself, your goals, your higher power, and remember that you are all these things.
Contact: help@greenhome.com© 1999-2009 Green Home, Inc. All rights reserved.http://www.greenhome.com/
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Here are some alternatives to store bought; instead they are the “Make it Yourself” way to go!

Household Cleaners
by Linda Mason Hunter
Cleaning your house with low-toxic cleansers you make yourself is an excellent way to start your green home-maintenance program. Not only are these cleansers healthy and effective, they smell good, cost less than commercial products, don't pollute indoor air, and only take a minute to make.
Begin by sorting out the area where you keep your cleaning products. Box up all commercial cleansers - ammonia, oven cleaners, furniture polish, disinfectant, toilet cleaner. Tighten the lids and store the cleansers in the garage until your community's next hazardous-waste collection day.
Now you're ready to replace those synthetic chemicals with natural products you make yourself using ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen:
The most common ingredients are:
Distilled white vinegar
Baking soda
Washing soda
Cooking oil
Although you may use these recipes to stock your green cleaning cupboard, most work best when freshly mixed.
General Cleaner and Disinfectant
Dissolve 1 cup borax in a gallon of warm water
Scouring Powder
Sprinkle borax, baking powder or dry table salt on a damp sponge; scour and rinse. Or rub the area to be cleaned with half a lemon dipped in borax.
Rinse and dry with a soft cloth.
Dishwasher Soap
Most automatic dishwashing detergents contain phosphates that pollute waterways. An environmentally preferred alternative is one part borax and one part washing soda. If you live in a hard-water area, you may have to adjust the proportions to avoid scum forming on dishes.
Laundry Soap
Detergents were designed to clean synthetic fibers. Natural fibers can be adequately cleaned with natural substances. Use a mixture of half borax and half washing soda (the same mixture can be used in the dishwasher). To keep colors from fading, add a drop or two of vinegar in the laundry water.
Drain Opener
Dissolve 1 cup baking soda and one cup vinegar in boiling water and pour down the drain. Continue to flush with hot tap water until the clog breaks.
Oven Cleaner
Let the oven cool, then sprinkle salt on the spill right away. Let it cool for a few minutes, then scrape the spill away and wash the area clean. Use baking soda for scouring.
Toilet Bowl Cleaner
Use a solution of baking soda and water or vinegar for the bowl. Sprinkle baking soda around the rim. Scrub with toilet brush as needed. This solution will clean and deodorize.
Furniture Polish
Mix two parts cooking oil with one part lemon juice. Apply to furniture with a soft cloth and wipe it dry.
Ceramic Tile Cleaner
A mixture of 1/4-cup vinegar to one gallon of water removes most dirt without scrubbing and doesn't leave a film.
© 2007 Green Home, Inc.

Lip Balm

Why it matters

Homemade products serve so many healthful needs, for us, for the planet. It's great to be in touch with the simple arts of making things we use, and, it helps us avoid overuse of chemical products.
A list of things you need
½ teaspoon beeswax
½ teaspoon cocoa butter
½ teaspoon olive oil
½ teaspoon honey
1 vitamin-E capsule
Step-by-step instructions:
Melt beeswax and cocoa butter carefully over low heat in a sturdy pot.
Stir the mixture until the wax is melted, taking care not to splash, then remove from heat and add olive oil.
Stir in the honey as the cream solidifies.
Add the contents of the vitamin-E capsule.
Mix well.
Store lip balm in small container.
A helpful green hint:
If you're carrying lip balm in a purse or case, be sure to put a small sheet of wax paper under a tightly secured lid to protect from spillage.
Any recommendations and information presented here, either explicitly or implicitly, should not be construed as medical, legal or scientific advice. Follow these suggestions at your own risk.
© 2007 G

Natural Remedies
by Katherine Eskandanian Yee

Growing up, these homemade, natural concoctions were used by my grandmother and my mother to relieve minor ailments.
Lemon Sloughs Off Scaly Skin
Heels, knees, and elbows can get very rough during the winter. To relieve the rough skin, simply rub halves of lemon on the scaly areas. After the rubdown, nourish your skin with a heavy moisturizer, preferably one that contains aloe, jojoba oil, or vitamin E. Cover your feet with socks to promote the soothing process. Lemon contains citric acid, which naturally exfoliates dry, rough skin.
Honey-Onion Syrup Soothes a Sore Throat
Simply put a large slice of onion in a bowl and cover it completely with honey, put a lid on top of the bowl and refrigerate it overnight. By next morning the flavors have married creating a sweet tasting, soothing elixir. Discard the onion and take 2-3 tablespoons of the liquid. Onions have antibiotic properties that help alleviate cold symptoms while honey coats and soothes a sore throat and reduces the cough. The syrup will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days.
Tea Bags Stymie a Sty
Steep a tea bag in boiling water and let cool. Then, place the moistened bag over the affected eye for 10 minutes. Repeat this process 3-4 times during the day and say good-bye to your sty. The tealeaves' astringent tannins help draw the infection to the surface and reduce the swelling. You must use green or black tea, as herbal varieties don't have the necessary tannins.
Garlic Rub Deals With a Tooth Abscess
This is a great first aid for an abscessed tooth. Simply rub the affected area with a fresh clove of garlic half and eat one to two raw cloves daily. An abscessed tooth is the result of the accumulation of pus in the tooth socket and since, garlic is an antibacterial agent it will help combat the infection. When the herb is chewed or crushed, allicin, which is a substance with antibiotic properties, is released. This double-edged cure attacks the bacteria from inside and out. It definitely brings relief until you get to the dentist.
© 2007 Green Home, Inc.

Simple Vegetable Soap
Why it matters:
Homemade soap is an affordable luxury. It contains natural glycerin that is a skin softener not present in commercial soaps. Homemade soap doesn't have any unnecessary chemicals or colorings.
A list of things you need:
Safety goggles
Rubber gloves
Plastic pitchers
Plastic stirring spoons or stick blenders
Two candy thermometers
Stainless-steel or enameled pot
Kitchen scale
Plastic box with the lid
Blanket or thick towel
78 oz. olive oil
6 oz. coconut oil
6 oz. palm oil
12 oz. lye flakes
24 oz. soft water (filtered or store-bought)
Step-by-step instructions
Put on rubber gloves and safety goggles.
Accurately measure all the ingredients.
In a plastic pitcher, add lye flakes into the water.
Put a candy thermometer into the lye solution and wait until it reaches 100 degrees Fahrenheit. It may take a couple of hours.
Slowly melt the coconut oil and palm oil in a stainless pot.
Take it off the heat and add the olive oil.
Put the candy thermometer into the oil mixture, and let it cool to 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
Slowly add lye solution and stir it with plastic spoon.
When all of the lye is added use a stick to stir and speed up the thickening process. It may take up to 10 minutes.
If you want to add some color to your soap, use candle dyes, turmeric, paprika, cinnamon or cocoa.
To add scent, use peppermint, lavender, cinnamon or clove.
Now pour the mixture into the plastic box, cover it with the lid and wrap it with the blanket. Leave it for 24 hours.
After the soap has cooled down, take it out of the plastic box.
Cut it in cubes, and let it completely dry out for at least a month.
Helpful green hints:
Do not use anything aluminum.
Wear long-sleeve shirts, slacks and shoes, in case of lye splashes.
Do not allow kids and pets to be present when working with lye.
Any recommendations and information presented here, either explicitly or implicitly, should not be construed as medical, legal or scientific advice.
© 2007 Green Home, Inc.

These are all “make it yourself” alternatives but there is also many other ways to go and by no means is this the only way but take a few minutes each day and investigate, see what works for you, what feels right, sounds like a reasonable and pursuable way to go for you. It is really a personal decision and with all the options and products out there, it is completely possible to find what works for you and at the same time something safe and healthy for you and the environment. Products encompass so much of our lives, such as cleaners which are an obvious one for most but then there is lip balm and vegetable soap, natural remedies, natural pesticides, etc. It is a lot to comprehend once we begin the thought, conversation, and then take action but in just a few minutes we have begun and not soon after we have made great strides. Begin with one thing at a time if that works and go from there, it may take awhile but it is well worth the journey and each day you will be comfortable in knowing that you have begun to make choices and changes that will have a great and long lasting effect on us all and especially the world in which we live.

Here are some other alternatives and many more where this came from!

Enzyme Cleaners
by ChemFree Solutions

What are Enzymes? Enzymes are the tools of nature. They are present in all living things, where they perform the essential functions of converting food to energy and new cell material. As catalysts they speed up natural processes and create natural reactions that otherwise would not materialize. How do enzymes work? Enzymes bind to the target material catalyzing it into harmless basic elements. Although the enzyme is not consumed in the reaction, it does lose its activity over time and so eventually needs to be replenished. Enzymes can be classified by the types of material they work on: proteins, carbohydrates, fats, cellulose, and lipids. They can also be classified by the types of reactions they perform. Altogether there are over a thousand cultured enzymes. More science than you want to know? The key is that enzymes will outperform caustic chemicals and the natural oils found in other cleansers. Think of it as using a doctorbs scalpel versus the atom bomb; webre more effective and avoid the collateral damage created by other cleaning products. It's because both natural and chemical cleaners work on the same fundamental principles -- acids break down alkalines, and alkalines break down acids. Toxic chemicals work well because they're strong acids and strong alklalines, and natural cleaners are typically less effective because they're weaker acids or alkalines. Naturally Clean cleaners are unique - using only Hospital-Grade Enzymesb
", purified of all bacteria, just like enzyme cleaners used in the surgical suite to clean surgical instruments. This means you can trust them to be safe for your family, your pets and the environment. EFFECTIVE For years the medical industry has cleaned with enzymes to remove organic material before moving to any sterilization process. Without thorough cleaning, harmful bacteria can simply return to grow in a friendly environment. There are thousands of cultured enzymes, each with its unique target, available to the microbiologist today. Taking advantage of this capacity, Naturally Clean has created a family of hospital-gradeb
", vegetable-based enzymes blended together for optimum performance to the task -- cleaners that are better at removing mold, protecting your food preparation surfaces, and removing the stains on your floor. Another advantage is that any remaining enzymes will be re-activated upon contact with water. This characteristic aids in reducing future organic growth while continuously neutralizing lingering odors. FAMILY SAFETY Enzyme cleaners are non-toxic, non-caustic, and hypoallergenic. They are free of harsh fumes and vapors, phosphates, chlorine and petroleum surfactants. Enzymes are not corrosive and can safely be used on any surface not harmed by water. Enzymes are very specific in comparison to inorganic catalysts such as acids, alkalines, and petrochemicals found in traditional cleaners. They work exclusively on their target, therefore no unattended side affects and no significant warning labels. Have you read the caution labels on your cleaners lately? Rubber gloves, ventilated work areas, and poison control contact instructionsbis this stuff safe? Many consumers treat an antibacterial or sanitizing product as a cleaner. Unfortunately these products can be problematic and unsafe if not used properly. The Medical and Food Safety Councils require cleaning before sanitizing. Likewise, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has strongly recommended that use of anti-bacterial cleaning solutions should be reduced because bacteria are becoming resistant to antibiotics. Never sanitize without cleaning first. In contrast, the consistent use of our Hospital Grade Enzymesb
" cleaners will reduce the re-growth of organisms, eliminating the invisible food sources that attract them. Enzymes keep working and waiting for moisture and a food source to renew the process. ECOLOGY Enzymes come from biological systems, and when finished they are readily absorbed back into nature b biodegradable and non-toxic. Likewise, the targets of the enzymatic conversion are non-toxic and readily broken down to their basic elements. Compared with other ways of controlling chemical reactions, enzymes are more specific, more efficient, and work under milder conditions. Most enzymes function at normal room temperatures with a neutral ph factor, similar to water. By working in neutral conditions, they save energy, provide safer working conditions, and are easier to use. Your only caution is to not subject enzymes to extreme cold or heat, below freezing or above 170 degrees, where they lose their efficacy. Click here to see our Complete Enzymes Cleaning Kit.
© 2007 Green Home, Inc.

Here is a neat fact I bet many of us had no idea about and once again these are products we buy as well, even though often we do not think food when thinking product!

The Top 12 Clean Foods
by Linda Mason Hunter
Green@work magazine (May/June 2000) lists the following as the twelve cleanest crops for safe, sustainable eating:
Sweet potatoes
Brussels sprouts
Green onions
© 2007 Green Home, Inc.

And yet another widely sought product with some neat info to go along!

Are soy candles better than paraffin candles?
by Yahoo

Are soy candles really better than wax candles? Well, if you believe the peddlers of the new-fangled votives, soy candles offer a number of benefits over traditional wax candles. According to Wicks Works, a candle retailer that sells beeswax, soy, and gel candles, soy candles last 50% longer than candles made of petroleum-based paraffin, the ingredient found in most candles. They also burn slower and cooler (helping to better distribute fragrance), are non-toxic, less likely to trigger allergies, clean up with soap and water, and produce very little soot. These factors tend to make them more animal and child-friendly than traditional candles. Soy wax is also a favorite of environmentally conscious consumers. Made from American-grown soybeans, it's biodegradable, a renewable resource, and from a global point of view, it "supports the U.S. economy instead of foreign oil conglomerates." Paraffin wax, on the other hand, is made from petroleum and produces carcinogens and soot when burned. In fact, one air quality researcher stated that the soot from a paraffin candle contains many of the same toxins produced by burning diesel fuel. Even many of the seemingly healthy, aromatherapy candles sold today can do more harm than good. The newly popular gel candles are also petroleum-based and, though contrary to widely circulated emails, they are not likely to explode, they do pose a danger. If sufficient heat builds up, the glass container housing the candle can shatter. Beeswax is another popular alternative to paraffin candles. It is also less likely to trigger allergies and does not produce toxins or soot when burned. It is generally more expensive than paraffin but burns longer. However, some candles labeled as beeswax may also contain paraffin. If a candle doesn't explicitly state it is soy on the label, it is probably a paraffin candle. Soy candles appear more opaque with a whitish film. No matter what type of candle you burn, it's important to remember that you are playing with fire -- literally. The National Fire Protection Association offers a candle safety sheet to help you play it safe next time you want to set the mood for a romantic evening.
© 2007 Green Home, Inc.

Home Alternatives to Dry Cleaning

There is a controversy over the practice of drycleaning your clothes. Some feel that it is harmful to the environment or to you. There are some alternatives to dry cleaning, but sometimes you have no choice. When you have to use a dry cleaners it pays to do a little research. Most dry cleaners use perchlorethylene ("perc") as part of the cleaning solvent. "Perc" has been listed by the Environmental Protection Agency as a possible carcinogen and hazardous ground and air pollutant. Recently, new environmental dry cleaning stores have opened. These cleaners use state-of-the art equipment and non-toxic, safe hydrocarbon dry cleaning solvent. Below are some suggestions on how you may be able to avoid dry-cleaning, but for times when you have no choice, you might want to take the time to find out if environmentally safe cleaners are available where you live.

There are several products on the market that allow you to wash silk, lingerie, cashmere, down comforters and linen. One brand is called "Le Blanc" Linen Wash and "Le Blanc" Silk & Lingerie Wash. Both products are endorsed and used by many fine linen manufacturers and importers including Palais Royal, Edward Boutross Linens, Peacock Alley, Ann Gish, Imperial Children's Wear, Inc./Peter Reed, Christian Aubry and the International Linen Council. The advantage to this product is that it may be used on natural fibers, synthetics and blends.
Some fabrics need special care so always read the manufacturer's label on cleaning instructions. You can also use the following guidelines to help you take care of your fine fabrics.

Wash in warm or cold water (depending on care tag guidelines) and rinse in cold water.

After washing, roll garment in a dry towel to remove excess water and dry on a flat surface away from direct sunlight
To avoid shrinking of wool garments, hand wash and do not wring
To avoid color loss on silk garments, do not rub
To ensure garment is colorfast, test by dipping a cotton swab in the cleaning solution and apply to a hidden area, such as a seam, and allow it to dry. Compare this area with the rest of the garment for consistency in color.
Wet Cleaning is Catching On
· by Stacy Kravetz
After more than a decade as a commercial banker at the Bank of New York, Chris Comfort fulfilled his dream: He moved to Colorado and opened a dry cleaner.
He had a new twist: a "green" cleaner that would remove grime without harming the environment. Though his store, Cleaner by Nature, is smack in between two of Denver's largest dry cleaners, customers have flocked to it. He expects to break even in July, after just six months, and he is considering opening a second store in Boulder.
Mr. Comfort is part of a wave of entrepreneurs who are trying to give dry cleaning a new environmental spin. While their techniques differ, the new stores have one thing in common: They avoid using perchloroethylene, or perc.
Perc has been around for 50 years. It is less likely than other methods to shrink or discolor clothes, and clothing can be cleaned and dried in the same machine. But it is also toxic, and it is governed by stringent disposal standards to prevent air pollution and contamination of local water supplies. In a 1995 report, the Environmental Protection Agency concluded that perc was a "probable human carcinogen."
Later this summer the EPA is due to issue a report on the environmental impact of perc and other cleaning methods. The dry-cleaning industry is already bracing for trouble. "I project that unless there is major new evidence supporting the noncarcinogenicity of perc, we will continue to see a slow decline in the number of perc dry-cleaning plants," says William E. Fisher, chief executive of the International Fabricare Institute, a trade group that represents about a third of the dry-cleaning industry.
The talk of environmental damage, as well as the smell sometimes left on clothes by perc, has led about 6,000 dry-cleaning stores to start using alternative cleaning materials. About 95% of those, including Mr. Comfort's, use odorless petroleum-based solvents. Fans say they can get rid of stains that seemed impervious to perc. The solvents break down dirt and grease, which are then extracted from the clothes along with virtually all of the liquid solvent. Later on, the solvent is separated from the dirt so that it can be reused.
The use of these solvents takes the industry full circle from the 1930s, when petroleum was the cleaner of choice. The problem back then: Clothes cleaned in petroleum could catch fire easily.
New technology has raised the temperature at which the solvents ignite. But petroleum cleaners still have an environmental problem of their own: They release smog-causing particles into the air. Still, petroleum is the fastest-growing alternative to perc, and it is now widely used in Europe.
Mr. Comfort of Cleaner by Nature thinks the solvents are a safer alternative. "I've actually tasted this stuff, and I'm still here," he says.
A smaller group of about 200 cleaners has gone back to basic soap and water. Computer settings on their "wet-cleaning" machines control agitation, water temperature, length of cleaning and the type of soap used. Among the settings: velvet, heavily soiled linens, outerwear, items with high wool content, leather, rayon, delicates and Dockers.
Green cleaners have enjoyed growing popularity in part because they have been able to keep their prices relatively close to those of the dry cleaner down the block. Mr. Comfort's Cleaner by Nature, for example, charges about $4 for a pair of pants and about $9 for dresses. Conventional dry-cleaning prices tend to range from $3 to $6.50 for pants and $6 to $10 for dresses.
The prices are competitive despite the extra cost of ironing for wet cleaning and the higher equipment costs for petroleum-based cleaning. Petroleum machines can cost about 25% more than perc machines, which themselves run from about $40,000 to $100,000, depending on the number of bells and whistles. Wet-cleaning machines are cheaper, starting at about $25,000.
Several large corporations smell big opportunities in all this. Exxon Corp. has come up with a new petroleum solvent called DF 2000 that is used widely in Europe.
Hughes Environmental Systems, a unit of Raytheon Corp., and Global Technologies Inc. of El Segundo, Calif., have teamed up to market a new method for cleaning clothes using liquid carbon dioxide. Hughes developed the method in the 1980s while trying to clean its precision machine parts and optics.
Global Technologies has licensed the technology to several other companies, and it is expected to go on the market at the end of this year. Unilever NV is developing a detergent for the machines, which now sell for $160,000.
Some smaller companies hope to clean up as well. Family-run Cleaning Concepts Inc., based in Marina del Rey, Calif., is marketing an environmental dry-cleaning package that includes a newly built store with petroleum-solvent machines, site selection, training and equipment, for $350,000.
The results are starting to draw customers. "I tend not to be part of the organic set, but it's nice not to have clothes that smell like dry cleaning," says Liz Losh, a writer in Santa Monica, Calif., who switched from a traditional cleaner up the road more than a year ago.
In her wet-cleaning store in Santa Monica, owner Deborah Davis inspects a glowing white wedding dress that has just emerged from a front-loading washing machine with its decorative beading intact. The former Price Club marketing director opened her second West Los Angeles wet-cleaning store two months ago and has doubled overall sales volume since then.
Elise Mallove drives several miles from her home to Ms. Davis's store because, she says,"I'm very environmentally aware. The clothes themselves, when they came back from the regular dry cleaners, always smelled toxic."
And to finalize much of this info up I have chose the finally of things out there to be all about children “our future” and to include info for those who care for and want to give them the safest and healthiest alternatives out there!
How to Green Your Kids Toys
by Sean Fisher

Whats the Big Deal? Its a little cliche) but true nonetheless, your children and your children's children will inherit the world that we create today. So, the stuff we give them shouldn't make life any harder on them in the future. If that alone isn't enough, how about the fact that your child will, more likely than not, chew everything edible and non-edible in his/her sight. Now there's motivation to make sure your child's playthings are green and healthy! Here webll give you the scoop on how to find more sustainable and less toxic toys for your little TreeHugger so you can do good for your child and the environment. Top 10 Tips Here are 10 highly effective ways to go greener. 1. Look for PVC-free PVC (aka polyvinyl chloride) PVC seems to be everywhere we look. Some beach toys, teethers, dolls, and even (gasp!) rubber duckies are cheaply manufactured with the environmentally dubious material. A dioxin-producing powerhouse, PVC releases toxins into the environment all the way through its lifecycle from manufacturing to disposal. Many PVC toys also contain phthalates, chemical compounds that make the PVC plastic more flexible, which initial studies have linked to both cancer and hormonal disruption. Although the long-term effects of phalates on youngsters is not fully known, we fully subscribe to the idea of an ounce of prevention now over a potential pound of cure later. 2. Wood is good Look for FSC-certified wood to find sustainable toys that will last generations longer than the cheap plastic stuff. For the little ones, untreated, unpainted wood is safe to chew unlike plastics that contain PVC. When your child is done, wooden toys can be passed on to a relative, friend, or even sold on eBay or Craigslist to give it a second life. The FSC certification is important, it ensures that the wood you buy has been forested responsibly, allowing for sustainable growth. 3. Power down Batteries have become second nature in most toys today. Not only is this a terrible problem when these toys get disposed of, who wants to give their child the opportunity to chew on a battery? For the young ones, decide if all the battery-powered noise is worth it. Could your child stay just as entertained with a simpler toy, one that might even let you keep your sanity. For the older ones that absolutely must have the newest electronics, look into rechargeable batteries to eliminate waste. For more, see How to Green Your Electronics. 4. The great outdoors The most rewarding toy might not be a toy at all. It might be the act of planting a tree or a vegetable garden. Want a truly carbon neutral activity for your kids? Play tag or hide and seek. Getting your wee ones outside provides them with abundant opportunities to run around, have fun, get exercise, and learn about the urban and natural environments around them. You probably remember time spent outside with family and friends in your youth...your kids will too. 5. Second-hand magic Just because a toy has been used once doesn't mean that it can't be just as much fun the second time around. Check out eBay, Craigslist, Freecycle, yard sales, or your local classifieds for perfectly good toys than have simply been outgrown. And, don't forget that you can always give that same toy a third life (and recoup some of the cost) by putting it up for sale right where you found it. 6. Get organic There are more pesticides and fertilizers sprayed onto conventional fibers than you might care to know about. Not only does the thought of chemically treated fabric probably raise a red flag when you think of your child, it raises a huge red flag for the environment as well. The chemicals we use to "improve" our crops often contaminate the soil they grow in and the air and water systems around it. Look for organic and naturally-dyed cotton, bamboo, tencel, and wool for toys such as stuffed animals. For more, see How to Green Your Baby. 7. Sometimes it's not what's in the box... It is the box. Sometimes it is the stuff you already have that can prove the most fun to imaginative children. So, next time you think about throwing the box from that new toy away, think of it as a potential arts and crafts project instead. 8. Non-toxic paints It's not just the paint on your walls that you should think about. The paint on your child's toys may also have VOCs (volatile organic compounds). There are a slew of new toys that use water-based and low-VOC or no-VOC paints (and nearly all of them will advertise this fact). This way a non-toxic toy gets the non-toxic paint job it deserves. 9. Lasting toys When purchasing new toys, keep the toybs potential longevity on your mind. A long-lasting toy not only means that you won't have to buy another one in a matter of months, it also means that when the toy is no longer in use, you can always pass it along. More money for you + keeping materials out of the landfill = easy decision. 10. The color purple Subtitled: Everything on this list can't have a cheesy "green" pun. But seriously, what better way to go green than with the color itself. Craft projects give your kids an opportunity to use their imagination. Find non-toxic paints and crayons and let the kids loose on all sorts of recycled material from cardboard boxes to junk mail to items they find in the woods. Pet rock, here we come. So you want to do more? 1. Eco-learning toys Find toys that teach a lesson while also providing fun. You might be amazed how easily you can find DIY solar power kits and hydrogen model cars for your young eco-engineer-to-be. And, you might be surprised how much you would want one for yourself. See below for more toys that educate and inspire. 2. Fair-trade manufacturing It's simple: your kidbs toys shouldnbt be manufactured by someone elsebs. Look for fair trade certification to protect against child labor and to make sure you help provide a living wage across the globe. 3. Locally made toys Anyone in your town make toys? Cutting down the length a toy has traveled to your front door is a greener option. As a bonus, locally made toys are often hand-made and unique.
© 2007 Green Home, Inc.

A Clean Home is a Green Home
by Scott Morris

The National Research Council estimates that about 15% of the US population experiences environmental illness and hypersensitivity to toxic materials and chemicals. The National Academy of Sciences expects this to rise to 60% by 2010. When you consider that a quarter of a million new chemical substances are created each year, and that worldwide use of pesticides has exploded from 2.8 million tons in 1972 to 11.4 million tons in 1980 to 46 million tons in 1990, the Academy's estimates don't seem all that farfetched. Research has shown that most people's daily exposures to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and pesticides are far greater indoors than outdoors, even in communities where chemical processing plants are located. Industrial emissions tend to dissipate into the large sky, while the chemicals we bring into our homes and work places become much more concentrated in the closed-in spaces where we spend most of our time.

Some sources of exposure are obvious, like the various household chemicals we have stored in our bathrooms and garages, or the pesticides on the foods we eat. We breathe in other toxic chemicals, such as formaldehyde, from the outgassing at room temperature of all sorts of household materials, including building boards, wood and carpeting adhesives, furniture, synthetic carpets, insulation, and bedding, among others.

Still others we bring into our homes from outside in the form of contaminated dust particles. Indoors, these chemicals often persist much longer than they would outside, where they would be exposed to the elements that help break them down.
One of the most immediate courses of action each of us can take to limit our exposure to toxins is to focus on the indoor spaces where we spend the majority of our time. The following suggestions focus on what we can do at home or at the work place.

Keep Dust to a Minimum
Dust is a primary agent for many toxins in the home. Children and infants are especially vulnerable as they go through critical early development. Moreover, they typically ingest five times more dust than adults - 100 milligrams a day - by rolling around on carpets and sticking their fingers and toys in their mouths.
Urban infants typically ingest 110 nanograms of very toxic benzo(a)pyrene - equivalent to smoking three cigarettes daily. House dust also exposes children to cadmium, lead, and other heavy metals, as well as polychlorinated biphenyls and other persistent organic contaminants. What can you do?

Take your shoes off, and leave them at the door. Using a commercial-grade doormat can reduce the amount of lead in a typical carpet by a factor of six. Some pesticides can persist for decades in carpets, where sunlight and bacteria cannot reach to break them down. Researchers from the University of Southern California found DDT in the carpets of 90 of the 362 Midwestern homes they studied, 20 years after DDT was banned.

Bare floors are best, rather than wall-to-wall carpets, which trap a lot of dust. Or consider using large area rugs made from natural fibers that don't outgas toxic chemicals or require the use of toxic adhesives.
If you do use wall-to-wall carpet, tack-strip instead of gluing the carpet.It will be easier to remove and recycle, and there will be no glue to outgas.
Most vacuums only remove larger dust particles, while kicking up the finer particles. Open doors and windows when you vacuum, and send children and pets out of the room.
Avoid indoor pesticides. Even when used as directed, these chemicals can circulate in dust particles well beyond safe levels for weeks after application.

Improve Ventilation
House plants in every room absorb many of the toxic gases that a modern home traps inside. Spider plants, philodendron, and golden pothos have been shown by NASA research to absorb as much as 80% of formaldehyde in a room in 24 hours.
Improve the ventilation of your kitchen, bathrooms with showers, and your laundry room. Most people's highest daily exposures to chloroform (a carcinogen in animals) is from water vapor from hot showers, boiling water, and washing machines.
Ionizing air filters can remove particles as small as 0.1 microns, but the cheaper models tend to emit ozone and electromagnetic fields.
Ban smoking indoors. Our biggest exposure to the carcinogen benzene, a VOC, comes from indoor cigarette smoke, despite the fact that automobile exhaust constitutes 82% of benzene emissions.

Clean and Green
Most household cleaning can be done with a squirt bottle of 50/50 vinegar and water, or with some liquid soap and baking soda, writes Debra Lynn Dadd in her book, Home Safe Home. Here are some other ideas:

Use baking soda and hot water for basin, tub, and tile cleaners.
For drain cleaners, use baking soda and vinegar or trisodium phosphate (TSP) with salt; or use hydrogen peroxide and a plunger for serious clogs.
For hand dish washing, use a plain liquid soap, such as Dr. Bronner's, or rub your sponge with bar soap, and slice a fresh lemon in the dishwater. For automatic dishwashers, use equal parts baking soda and borax.
Use about a cup of baking soda, white vinegar, or borax for laundry detergent.
Use sodium hexametaphosphate instead of chlorine bleach. (~)
Positive Futures Network P.O. Box 10818, Bainbridge Island, WA. Reprinted with permission.
© 2007 Green Home, Inc.

Avoid EMFs and Other Bedroom Risks

Research on the health effects of electromagnetic fields is both controversial and inconclusive. Nonetheless, a growing number of builders and designers believe limiting exposure to EMFs should be an important consideration for anyone who wants to reside in a healthy environment. The Institute for Baubiologie and Ecology in Clearwater, Florida, offers the following suggestions for creating a healthy bedroom.
Remove as many electrical devices as possible. If you must have appliances in the bedroom, keep them at least 6 feet from your body and unplug them before sleeping. The TV is the most dangerous, even when unplugged. Place it a minimum of 3 yards from the bed.

Avoid metal-spring mattresses. Natural mattresses without metal springs are very difficult to find. A natural futon mattress is easier to find and comes in thicknesses from 3 to 8 inches.

Avoid metal bed frames. These often carry a magnetic field. Replace with wooden bed frames. Remove metal boxes, typewriters, and wires from under your bed.

Avoid electric blankets. A person's normal voltage is less than 1 millivolt. An electric blanket can surround you with up to 76,000 millivolts.

Avoid synthetic carpets. Use natural rugs or natural floor covering. Jute backing is preferable.

Cut electricity to the bedroom. A device called a "demand switch" or "cut-off switch" automatically cuts the flow of electricity to the bedroom when there is no demand.

Avoid waterbeds. These are like sleeping under a high-tension line. Stagnant water is depleting to the system and holds an electromagnetic charge derived from the heating element.

Avoid ionization-type smoke detectors. These can ruin your sleep, and their damaging effects can extend up to 50 feet.

Avoid plastic materials.

Avoid synthetic pillows. Use natural pillows filled with cotton.

Avoid synthetic wallpaper. Replace with natural material or nontoxic paint.

Open window at night. Even just a little helps. This is the cheapest way to get fresh air and negative ions.

Be aware of magnetic fields. Do not place your bed near a refrigerator, a computer, a furnace, or a TV, even if they are on the other side of the wall. Raise your bed at least 16 inches from the floor to avoid magnetic fields from wiring in the floor.
Do not sleep directly above a garage. The metal in the car may cause distorted geomagnetic fields.

Remove "baby phones" from a crib. They may emit strong electromagnetic fields.
Reprinted with permission from Natural Home Magazine.
© 2007 Green Home, Inc.

Baby's Bedding Guide
by Aisha Ikramuddin

Sheets, blankets, pillows, bumper pads and comforters, clothing, and diapers should be soft and made of natural fibers that breathe, absorb, and comfort. Such fibers include 100-percent organic cotton, hemp, and untreated wool.

Choose natural fabrics without permanent-press or other finishes that may improve their appearance, reduce the need for ironing, and retard flammability. These finishes often contain formaldehyde or plastic resins that may linger for awhile, even after washing.

Select cotton fabrics that are organically grown and unbleached or naturally colored. Green cotton, while grown conventionally, is not bleached, dyed, or treated with fabric finishes.

Opt for wool fabrics that are chemical-free and fire-resistant when selecting blankets, mattress pads, sweaters, and baby buntings. This water-resistant fiber makes a wool puddle pad a must between the mattress and sheets to avoid diaper-leaking moisture.

Enclose the crib mattress in an impermeable encasement made of tightly woven "barrier cloth," such as polyurethane, to prevent dust mites from thriving on the cell and moisture residue that accumulates on baby bedding and mattresses. Air out plastic encasements for at least a week before using.

Avoid goose-down pillows and comforters that may trigger allergic reactions and asthma attacks, even increase the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. To avoid the latter, also make certain that crib bumpers are firm.
Purchase an organic-cotton pillow and cover it with a natural fabric pillowcase when baby needs a pillow,
Dursban, A Common Pesticide, Now Banned
· by Linda Mason Hunter
June 8, 2000The United States Environmental Protection Agency today banned one of the most common home, lawn, and garden pesticides, citing an unacceptable health risk, particularly to children. By the end of the year 2000 the insecticide, chlorphyrifos (or Dursban), a common ingredient in bug killers, will no longer be manufactured for home use. Its use in agriculture, however, will continue.
Dursban has been widely used for more than 30 years in agriculture and in products sprayed by exterminators and homeowners, according to an article in The New York Times. The article cites more than a dozen kinds of Raid sprays, some Hartz flea collars, and Black Flag liquid roach and ant killer as a few of the common products containing the hazardous ingredient.
The EPA signed an agreement with six manufacturers that will allow them to continue using the chemical on many crops, but will limit the application on apples, grapes, and tomatoes, and eliminate it entirely for almost all uses around homes, schools, and day care centers. Store shelves will continue stocking products containing chlorpyrifos until the end of 2001. However, EPA chief Carol Browner is encouraging retail stores to voluntarily ban the product.
If your home contains this pesticide (you should call the manufacturer of the product if you're not sure since the ingredient is not required to be listed on the label), call your local health department to find out the recommended means of disposal. The best way to avoid an infestation of indoor pests is to simply clean up, don't leave food or dirty dishes in the kitchen, remove standing water, plug cracks. If you do these things, you probably won't need to spray.
· © 2007 Green Home, Inc.
How to Treat Mold in the Home


What is it?

Molds are simple, microscopic organisms, found virtually everywhere, indoors and outdoors. Molds can be found on plants, foods, dry leaves, and other organic material. Molds are needed for breaking down dead material. Mold spores are very tiny and lightweight, and this allows them to travel through the air. Mold growths can often be seen in the form of discoloration, ranging from white to orange and from green to brown and black. When molds are present in large quantities, they can cause allergic symptoms similar to those caused by plant pollen.
Should I be concerned with mold in my home?
Yes, if the contamination is extensive. When airborne mold spores are present in large numbers, they can cause allergic reactions, asthma episodes, infections, and other respiratory problems for people. Exposure to high spore levels can cause the development of an allergy to the mold. Mold can also cause structural damage to your home. Similarly, when wood goes through a period of wetting, then drying, it can eventually warp and cause walls to crack or become structurally weak.
What does mold need to grow?
For mold to grow, it needs:
food sources - such as leaves, wood, paper, or dirt
a source of moisture
a place to grow

Can mold become a problem in my home?

Yes, if there is moisture available to allow mold to thrive and multiply. The following are sources of indoor moisture that may cause problems:
backed-up sewers
leaky roofs
mud or ice dams
damp basement or crawl spaces
constant plumbing leaks
house plants - watering can generate large amounts of moisture
steam from cooking
shower/bath steam and leaks
wet clothes on indoor drying lines
clothes dryers vented indoors
combustion appliances (e.g. stoves) not exhausted to the outdoors

If you see moisture condensation on the windows or walls, it is also possible that you have a combustion problem in your home. It is important to have sufficient fresh air available for fuel burning appliances, such as the furnace, water heater, stove/range, clothes dryer, as well as a fireplace. A shortage of air for these appliances can result in back drafting of dangerous gases such as carbon monoxide into the home.

To prevent back drafting of air, you need either open vents or a ventilation system that brings fresh air into the home to replace air that is exhausted out.
Have your local utility company or a professional heating contractor inspect your fuel-burning appliances annually.

Health Effects
How am I exposed to indoor molds?
Mold is found everywhere, indoors and outdoors. It is common to find mold spores in the air of homes and growing on damp surfaces. Much of the mold found indoors comes from outdoor sources. Therefore, everyone is exposed to some mold on a daily basis without evident harm. Mold spores primarily cause health problems when they enter the air and are inhaled in large number. People can also be exposed to mold through skin contact and eating.

How much mold can make me sick?

It depends. For some people, a relatively small number of mold spores can cause health problems. For other people, it may take many more. The basic rule is, if you can see or smell it, take steps to eliminate the excess moisture, and to cleanup and remove the mold.

Who is at greater risk when exposed to mold?

Exposure to mold is not healthy for anyone inside buildings. It is important to identify and correct any moisture sources quickly, before health problems develop.

The following individuals appear to be at higher risk for adverse health effects of molds:

Infants and children


Immune compromised patients (people with HIV infection, cancer chemotherapy, liver disease, etc.)

People with these special concerns should consult a physician if they are having health problems.

What symptoms are common?

Allergic reactions may be the most common health problem of mold exposure. Typical symptoms reported (alone or in combination) include:
respiratory problems, such as wheezing, and difficulty in breathing
nasal and sinus congestion
eyes-burning, watery, reddened, blurry vision, light sensitivity
dry, hacking cough
sore throat
nose and throat irritation
shortness of breath
skin irritation
central nervous system problems (constant headaches, memory problems, and mood changes)
aches and pains
possible fever

Are some molds more hazardous than others?

Allergic persons vary in their sensitivities to mold, both as to amount and type needed to cause reactions. In addition, certain types of molds can produce toxins, called mycotoxins, that the mold uses to inhibit or prevent the growth of other organisms. Mycotoxins are found in both living and dead mold spores. Materials permeated with mold need to be removed, even after they are disinfected with cleaning solutions. Allergic and toxic effects can remain in dead spores. Exposure to mycotoxins may present a greater hazard than that of allergenic or irritative molds. Mycotoxins have been found in homes, agricultural settings, food, and office buildings.

Detection of Mold

How can I tell if I have mold in my house?
If you can see mold, or if there is an earthy or musty odor, you can assume you have a mold problem. Allergic individuals may experience the symptoms listed above. Look for previous water damage. Visible mold growth is found underneath materials where water has damaged surfaces, or behind walls. Look for discoloration and leaching from plaster.

Should I test my home for mold?

The California Department of Health Services does not recommend testing as the first step to determine if you have a mold problem. Reliable sampling for mold can be expensive, and requires equipment not available to the general public. Residents of individual private homes must pay a contractor to carry out such sampling, as it is not usually done by public health agencies. Mold cleanup is usually considered one of the housekeeping tasks of the private citizen, along with roof and plumbing repairs, sweeping and house cleaning.

Another problem is that there are few available standards for judging what is an acceptable quantity of mold. In all locations, there is some outdoor levels of molds. If sampling is carried out, an outdoor air sample needs to be taken at the same time as the sample indoors, to provide a baseline measurement. Since the susceptibility of individuals varies so greatly, sampling is at best a general guide.
The simplest approach is: if you can see or smell mold, you have a problem. Once you know the problem exists, follow the procedure given next.
Unless the source of moisture is removed and the contaminated area is cleaned and disinfected, mold growth is likely to reoccur.

General Clean-up Procedures

Identify and correct the moisture source

Clean, disinfect, and dry the moldy area

Bag and dispose any material that has moldy residues, such as rags, paper, leaves, or debris.

What can I save? What should I toss?
Substances that are porous and can trap molds, such as paper, rags, wallboard, and rotten wood should be decontaminated and thrown out. Harder materials such as glass, plastic, or metal can be kept after they are cleaned and disinfected.
Ultimately, it is critical to remove the source of moisture first, before beginning remedial action, since mold growth will return shortly if an effected area becomes re-wetted.
Removal of moldy materials?

After fixing the moisture source and removing excess moisture, the cleanup can begin:

Wear gloves when handling moldy materials
Remove porous materials (examples: ceiling tiles, sheetrock, carpeting, wood products)

Carpeting can be a difficult problem - drying does not remove the dead spores. If there is heavy mold, disposal of the carpet should be considered

Bag and discard the moldy substances

Allow the area to dry 2 or 3 days
If flooded, remove all sheetrock to at least 12 inches above the high water mark. Visually inspect the wall interior and remove any other intrusive molds. (This step may have to be carried out by a licensed contractor).

Spores are easily released when moldy material is dried out.
Soap clean-up

Before disinfecting contaminated areas, clean the areas to remove as much of the mold (and food it is growing on) as possible.
Wear gloves when doing this cleanup
Use a non-ammonia soap or detergent, or a commercial cleaner, in hot water, and scrub the entire area affected by the mold
Use a stiff brush or cleaning pad on block walls or uneven surfaces
Rinse clean with water. A wet/dry vacuum is handy for this.

Disinfect Surfaces

Wear gloves when using disinfectants
After thorough cleaning and rinsing, disinfect the area with a solution of 10% household bleach or bleach alternative (e.g., 1 and a half cup bleach per gallon of water). Using bleach straight from the bottle will not be more effective

Never mix bleach with Ammonia - the fumes are toxic
For spraying exterior large areas, a garden hose and nozzle can be used

When disinfecting a large structure, make sure the entire surface is wetted (floors, joists, and posts)

Avoid excessive amounts of runoff or standing bleach
Let disinfecting areas dry naturally overnight - this extended time is important to kill all the mold.

Bleach fumes can irritate the eyes, nose, and throat, and damage clothing and shoes. Make sure the working area is ventilated well.
Can cleaning up mold be hazardous to my health?
Yes. Exposure to mold can occur during the cleaning stage. Mold counts are typically 10 to 1000 times higher than background levels during the cleaning of mold damaged materials. Take steps to protect your health during cleanup:
When handling or cleaning moldy materials, consider using a mask or respirator to protect you from breathing airborne spores. Respirators can be purchased from hardware stores; select one for particle removal (sometimes referred to as a N95 or TC-21C particulate respirator). Respirators are not as effective removing bleach fumes, so minimize your exposure when using bleach or other disinfectants.

Wear protective clothing that is easily cleaned or discarded

Use rubber gloves

Try cleaning a small test patch of mold first. If you feel that this adversely affected your health, you should consider paying a licensed contractor or professional to carry out the work

Ask family members or bystanders to leave areas when being cleaned.
Work over short time spans and rest in a fresh air location.
Air your house out well during after the work

Never use a gasoline engine indoors (e.g. pressure washer, generator) - you could expose yourself and your family to carbon monoxide.
Can Air Duct Systems become Contaminated with Mold?
Yes. Air duct systems can become contaminated with mold. Duct systems can be constructed of bare sheet metal, sheet metal with an exterior fibrous glass insulation, sheet metal with an internal fibrous glass liner, or made entirely of fibrous glass. If your home's air duct system has had water damage, first identify the type of air duct construction that you have. Bare sheet metal systems, or sheet metal with exterior fibrous glass insulation, can be cleaned and disinfected.
If your system has sheet metal with an internal fibrous glass liner, or are made entirely of fibrous glass, the ductwork normally will need to be removed and discarded. Ductwork in difficult locations may have to be abandoned. If you have other questions, contact an air duct cleaning professional, or licensed contractor.
After I've cleaned everything as thoroughly as possible, can I still have mold odors?
Yes. It is possible that odors may persist. Continue to dry out the area and search for any hidden areas of mold. If the area continues to smell musty, you may have to re-clean the area again (follow the cleaning steps given in this sheet). Continue to dry and ventilate the area. Don't replace flooring or begin rebuilding until the area has dried completely.

How can further damage to my home be prevented?

Check regularly for the following:
moisture condensation on windows
cracking of plasterboard
drywall tape loosening
wood warping
musty odor

If you see any of the above, seek out and take steps to eliminate the source of water penetration, as quickly as possible.

Can Ozone air cleaners help remove indoor mold, or reduce odor or pollution levels?
Some air cleaners are designed to produce ozone. Ozone is a strong oxidizing agent used as a disinfectant in water and sometimes to eliminate odors. However, ozone is a known lung irritant. Symptoms associated with exposure include cough, chest pain, and eye, nose, and throat irritation. Ozone generators have been shown to generate indoor levels above the safe limit. Furthermore, it has been demonstrated that ozone is not effective in controlling molds and fungi, even at high concentrations far above safe health levels. Also, ozone may damage materials in the home. For these reasons, the California Department of Health Services strongly recommends that you do not use an ozone air cleaner in any occupied residential space.

The Importance of Buying Organic
by Scott Morris
Buy Organic

Eliminating dust is especially important for children, but dietary changes may be the most important steps adults can take to reduce exposure to toxins. Many chemicals, such as dioxins, accumulate in the fatty tissues of animals and fish, and these chemicals concentrate as they move up the food chain. Eating low on the food chain is one way to reduce your intake of persistent chemicals. Another way is to buy organic foods, both for your own well-being and to reduce exposure of the farm workers who are subject to the most risk through their daily contact with pesticides.
Mothers and Others for a Livable Planet has identified the top-priority foods to buy organic, particularly because of concerns over pesticide residues found in some of these products.

Baby food
Bell peppers
Green Beans

(For more information on the National Standards for Organic Agricultural Production and Handling, adopted late last year by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, go to http://www.ams.usda.gov/nop/)
B)1998 Positive Futures Network P.O. Box 10818, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110-0818, USA - phone 206/842-0216 - fax 206/842-5208. Excerpted from longer article "Safer Homes and Gardens."
© 2007 Green Home, Inc.

This is just a few reasons and product alternatives to what is out there but ultimately it will be up to you to decide what works for you, your child/ren, or family. There are many reasons to investigate, to make changes, and to ultimately be responsible for you and your place in this world. Here are just a few companies that have product lines which may be of some use but take a few minutes when you can each day and find what works for you, it is out there and it is possible!


We had a glimpse of the future and we liked what we sawWe believe that there are simple choices people can make every day that make our world a better place in which to live. Grassroots offers environmentally-friendly products that allow people to make positive choices for themselves, their communities and the planet. Some people postpone making these choices because they feel it has to be all or nothing. But taking small steps to gradually replace conventional products with healthier alternatives can be just as effective for a sustainable future. How It All BeganUntil Grassroots opened its doors in Toronto in 1994, there were very few options for environmentally-friendly product choices. For more than a decade, Grassroots has pioneered to bring sustainable, low impact products to the marketplace, guiding people towards awareness and environmentally-responsible lifestyles. Gradually, the word spread and our small, green business now mindfully operates two stores in Toronto. Because our products are so unique, demand grew beyond the city limits and even across the continent. The next logical step for us was to improve accessibility for everyone in North America by taking our store online! The Green ScreenBehind every product sold at Grassroots is a story. Not only are these stories about our products and the environment, but they are stories about small, eco-friendly companies that we are proud to support. Because we live in an age where “green washing” is epidemic (green washing is when anyone can claim to make an environmental product), Grassroots carefully sources and investigates products that meet or exceed our environmental standards, respecting and observing fair trade, fair labour, and human rights practices. Shop with confidence knowing that we have researched the products we carry and we can provide you with all the detailed product information to make an educated and compassionate choice. Tooting our HornWe are so much more than a store that sells environmental products. Here are a few things about Grassroots that separate us from the pack:
Feel Good Fridays. As part of our 10-year anniversary celebration, Grassroots introduced Feel Good Fridays. On the last Friday of each month, Grassroots donates 10% of their net sales to local or national environmental organizations. Please mark the last Friday of each month in your calendar to shop and support the environment.
Green Power. Both Grassroots stores are bullfrogpowered (100% green electricity retailer in Ontario that sources electricity exclusively from wind and low-impact water power producers). Find out more at http://www.bullfrogpower.com/.
Carbon Neutral Shipping. Online shopping just got more eco-friendly! Grassroots offsets the carbon emissions for all our deliveries. Zerofootprint makes this possible. Read more about this process.
Packing Materials. For all online shipments, Grassroots either reuses the packing materials from its suppliers or uses recyclable materials.
Awards. Over the past few years we have won the following awards:
Bike Friendly "Business of the Year" Award, 2006, City of Toronto
Commuter Challenge Award, 2006, City of Toronto
Green Toronto Award of Excellence, 2005, Green Toronto Awards, City of Toronto,
Market Transformation Award, 2005, Green Toronto Awards, City of Toronto
Bicycle Friendly Business Award, 2004, City of Toronto
Community Bicycle Network Award, 2002
Green Business of the Year Award, 2002, Riverdale Community Business Centre
Green Business of the Year Award, 2001, Riverdale Community Business Centre
Environmental Business of the Year Award, 2000, Rachel Carson League
Bicycle Friendly Business Award (multiple winner), City of Toronto
No Energy to Waste Award, Greenest City, Toronto
Atmosphere Friendly Retailer Award, Greenest City, Toronto

In-store Workshops. Grassroots organizes dozens of unique workshops every year that focus on issues of environmental sustainability.
Showcasing Local Artists. Every month, Grassroots showcases environmentally-related artwork by local artists.
Book Signings. Grassroots has held numerous in-store book signings from eco-authors such as Bob Hunter, Adria Vasil, Rex Wyler, and Tanya Barnard & Sarah Kramer.
Partnerships. Grassroots has partnered with environmental organizations, such as Coalition for a Green Economy, Evergreen Foundation, Windshare Co-Op, and David Suzuki Foundation to provide storefront exposure for key conservation issues and to help increase public understanding and interest.

Mission ...

Pristine Planet is a shopping resource that brings socially responsible merchants together so visitors can shop, browse, compare & review sustainable companies and products in the convenience of one website.
Rewarding environmentally and socially responsible companies should be as easy as possible, for that is truly the only way that consumers can send a positive message to industry that cannot be ignored. Organizations that make our world a better place should be recognized for their efforts -- and our mission is to help.

How It Works ...
When you purchase products or services from merchants on Pristine Planet.com, you are building a sustainable economy. The revenue generated from your purchase goes directly to green businesses, large and small, which in turn is reinvested into organic agriculture, fair trade, and sustainable business practices, all of which benefit the planet.
A simple purchase may not seem like much, but the reality is, your purchase creates ripples in the economy. When enough people support sustainable businesses, these ripples will have a profound impact on society and the planet. So the next time you are faced with a decision to buy a product, decide what kind of splash you would like to create. Help do your part in growing a socially responsible economy by supporting the merchants on Pristine Planet.

How We Can Help You ...
There are several unique features on Pristine Planet that help you make informed purchasing descisions.
Shop - our green mall is a collection of socially responsible retailers so you can browse, compare, review and shop 1000s of green products in the convenience of one website.
Merchant Report Card - learn about each company and the steps they are taking to be a leader in the green economy.
Reviews - honest product reviews. Find out what's hot and what's not.
Coupons - save money on your next purchase.
Blogs - stay up to date with your favorite merchants.
Did You Know - these are informative eco facts on various green topics.
Merchant List - browse an alphabetical list of merchants who are all working toward a common goal - making the world more sustainable and green.
If you are a socially responsible merchant and are interested in becoming a member, please visit our Membership Information page.
Learn About New Products ...
Add the Pristine Planet 'Eco Friendly Product of the Day' gadget to your Google home page, and learn about environmentally friendly and socially responsible options for everyday items.

If you would like to add the product of the day to your personal or business website, simply copy and paste the following code.

Here is a cleaning service company and the products they use, very neat alternatives plus some added info on why to go green and use these cleaners!

Why Go Green in Your Home?
Our Air
Cleaning products are everywhere in our homes and most are petroleum-based. They have a dire effect on our health and the environment. EPA research has shown that the air inside a typical home is 2 to 5 times more polluted that the air outside its walls. Indoor air pollution is mostly caused by toxic chemical products like household cleaners. The EPA also found household cleaners 3 times more likely to cause cancer than pollution. Hundreds of chemicals found in homes have been linked to allergies, birth defects, cancer and psychological issues.
Our Family
Thousands of children die every year from household poisonings. Medical journals have reported 202 cleaning chemicals that are increasing incidents of autism, attention deficit disorder and other developmental conditions in children. Chemicals are on the rugs they sit on, the tables they eat on and the toys they play with. These chemicals can also be harmful to unborn children - one reason why pregnant women are cautioned to restrict their use of household chemicals. Our Pets
Most household cleaners are toxic to pets. Some ingredients in everyday household cleaners are known to cause cancer in animals and are suspected to cause cancer in humans. Pets are particularly at risk, since they spend most of their time on the floor where many chemicals collect. When pets lick their paws and coat, they are ingesting potentially harmful toxins.
Our World
More than 20 millions gallons of household cleaning products are dumped down the drain each day. Many of these products contain toxic substances that are not processed by sewage treatment plants and septic systems. Chemicals in household cleaners break down slowly in the ecosystem and accumulate in the fatty tissues of fish and wildlife.
Our Service
Green Clean is a locally owned company that offers home owners an alternative to regular cleaning services. We provide superior cleaning and use products that have the least negative impact on the environment. Green cleaning is about making a choice that will make a difference.

Green Clean, the choice that makes a difference (609) 465-0046

What products do we clean with?

What does Aromalogics have to say about their products? Click on the link above to go to the Aromalogics website.
Thinking of going green?
Imagine...a full line line of all natural, non-toxic, impressively effective home cleaning products available in more than a dozen inspiring scents. That's what sets Aromalogics apart from the rest. Our first goal is to give you the tools you need to keep your home naturally spotless, but just as important to us is creating a uniquely fragrant natural cleaning experience through a creative infusion of pure essential oils. Think of it as aromatherapy for the home. OK, so they smell good but how do they work and do they kill germs?
Of course. Our products are extraordinary in both performance and scent. As for the germs? Pure essential oils are strongly antibacterial in nature and for this reason we use a surplus of them in everything we make. In fact, research shows that antibacterial plant oils may not cause the drug resistance that leads to "super bugs" like common chemical disinfectants can. All this and they smell good, too.Aromalogics' uncompromised commitment to purity, quality and customer satisfaction goes as far as a guarantee that your products are not even created until the time you place your order. They have not been mass produced and therefore can even be custom blended to fit your own scent preferences or specifications. By maintaining a 100% plant based policy, we can assure you that your cleaning experience will not be hindered by the presence of unhealthy, oftentimes toxic chemicals. Aromalogics products are safe for kids, pets, the environment and you. So live healthy, be happy, and treat yourself to a truly enjoyable, new way to clean.

And to finish off with one which also gave me so much of the information I used here for this blog!

Welcome to Green Home, your home on the Web for environmentally friendly products. In addition to being one of the first, largest, and most respected online resources for green products, we offer advice and information on greening your home.
What does organic, all-natural, or eco-friendly even mean? It means our products are comparatively less wasteful, and less toxic than mainstream products. There's a lot more to it, and you're welcome to read all about it on our Product Approval Policy.
The bottom line is that here at Green Home, we help the conscious consumer navigate through an increasingly complex green marketplace by taking the guesswork out. Rest assured that our experts here at Green Home have done the research for you. All of our products are environmentally friendly, non-toxic, and guaranteed to be safe for your children, your home, and the earth.
Whether you're looking to save energy on your appliances, go vegan and organic or just live a low-impact lifestyle, we think you'll be rewarded by taking some time to click through our website. In addition to our comprehensive selection of eco-friendly products, you'll find a wealth of interesting articles, information, and a complete ToxipediaTM that will help you lower your environmental impact, reduce your carbon footprint, and make educated decisions about the products that you buy!!

Posted by Nichole Steele


  1. Hello!
    Very Interesting post! Thank you for such interesting resource!


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