Moms Columns & Blogs

Who Cares About Making a Difference?

By Penny Dietz, founder of green i am

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” Dr Seuss, The Lomax. Whether you’re talking clutter, health, environment or otherwise, this saying is so true! That said, sometimes despite how much you care, it can be overwhelming to make changes or at least know where to start. So, let’s make it simple! Check out these three “P” tips to make change super easy when it comes to the health and safety of your home.

1) Products, specifically Household Cleaning – EPA studies indicate that elevated concentration of household chemicals persist in the air. In fact, according to the EPA, indoor air quality is up to five times worse as compared to outside. How can that be? Well, indoor pollutants come from all sorts of chemicals we use to make our lives easier every day – paints, carpets, furniture, household cleaners, personal care, among others. Long-term exposure to chemicals inside our homes may be harmful to us and our families. An easy first step in making a difference in the health of your home is to replace your conventional toxic household cleaning supplies (kitchen, bathroom, laundry, etc.) with safe, non-toxic alternatives. But before being mislead by marketing tactics, here are a few recommended brands to consider:

Shaklee (Concentrated, Economical – available: online – Safe, Non-toxic cleaners)

Seventh Generation (Convenient – available: Harris Teeter, Earth Fare, Target)

When saying no to your “old” toxic cleaning products, protect our water supply and natural resources by properly disposing.

2) Plastics – Plastics are everywhere. In most cases, they are very affordable and convenient. But increasingly, scientists are finding that a hidden cost may be our health. Unfortunately, some common plastics release harmful chemicals into our air, foods, and drinks. So how do you know which plastics are safe? In general, safe plastics include numbers 1, 2 and 5. To remember these numbers, think “I love you” sign language style your thumb represents number 1, index finger represents 2, and your pinky represents 5. That said, as a friendly reminder, it is not recommended to microwave plastics. And if you have any plastics with scratches or etching, please stop use immediately as scratches/etching not only provides a breeding ground for bacteria but also gateways for leaching chemicals. Of course, using reusable sandwich or snack bags, glass or stainless steel is a much safer option altogether.

3) Plants – Certainly you can clean up indoor air pollution by saying no to toxic products and opening your windows allowing fresh air to come in. But, there’s also another simple way to combat air pollution – house plants. That’s right – house plants can be effective in counterbalancing off gassed chemicals. Here are a few of NASA’s recommendations – peace lily, corn plant, reed palm, English ivy, weeping fig, spider plant, golden pothos, and hilodendron.

Believe or not, implementing these “small” changes can have a huge impact on the quality of your life. So don’t delay, start today!

Reprinted with permission from The Simplicity Blog, produced by Simplicity Certified Professional Organizers of Charlotte.