With all the hype of so-called green products, sometimes being more eco-conscious can mean something as simple as making things for yourself. Make your own non-toxic products and make your own cleaning schedule, you will be healthier and happier that you did.
Change your so-called “traditional” cleaning products for non-toxic ones.
Make a kit of non-toxic cleaning alternatives. Clean your windows with vinegar diluted with water (and to get the glass extra clean, add about a quarter of a teaspoon of a biodegradable liquid detergent!); put your vinegar and water mixture in a reusable spray bottle. If you want to do more than mirrors, switch the vinegar out for washing soda.
Your oven cleaner can be just as easy to make by switching to baking soda. Instead of mixing the powder into water, just sprinkle it on to the wet surface of your oven. Let is rest for a few hours or a whole night, and then scrub it good and clean! Keep these non-toxic products on hand. If you are well-stocked, you won’t be tempted to buy unhealthy and dangerous products in the first place!
Change your high VOC paints for some home-made ones.
VOC means volatile organic compounts, or in simple words, organic chemicals that are easily released at room temperature. Why deal with toxic vapor if it really isn’t that difficult to make your own paint? How can you start? With milk, wheat flour, and linseed oil! You’ll have to get your colors from earth pigments though. By making your own paint, you’ll be avoiding what the EPA documents as indoor air pollution. There are low and zero-VOC paints but they are usually expensive. That might change in the future, if more people were better informed, but for now our best and cheapest solution is to make our own.
Set up a general maintenance schedule for your home.
Laziness can even get the best of us, but the regular cleaning of our homes will ensure that harsh chemicals will not be needed – a cleaning schedule will make heavy-duty products unnecessary! Another way of making your home non-toxic is by having durable and eco-safe materials, like glass instead of plastic. Plastic can easily retain smells and stains, but well kept glass and wood exudes elegance and the ability of its owner to be gentle to his or her belongings. Get used glass and wood materials from a Habitat for Humanity ReStore. Yes, plastic can resist a fall, but once it cracks or breaks it goes to a landfill. Glass can at least be recycled, and wood can definitely age beautifully.
By switching to home-made cleaners and paints, and using them in your home consistently, you’ll avoid harsh chemicals and set an example for all those that live and share their lives with you. Who knows, maybe some years into the future the friend’s house will be your house, and if your actions moved others to change, maybe you’ll be lucky enough to move into a toxic-free house!