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Live your healthiest life with the environment in mind.
Fewer chemicals and additives, cleaner air and more outdoor activity are key. Thrive naturally with these tips:
1. Clear the air.
Vacuum, dust and sweep often to remove pollutants tracked from outside, pet hair, dust mites and other irritants.
Ventilate bathrooms to prevent mold growth, which can trigger allergic reactions and other health problems. (If you suspect mold growth, consult an expert to inspect your home and recommend cleanup procedures.)
When remodeling or redecorating, choose cabinetry, flooring, furniture and other products that contain no volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can release harmful chemicals into the air.
Deter pests by keeping food and garbage areas clean and contained. If you must use pesticides, do so sparingly. Find a comprehensive guide to controlling everyday pests naturally at eartheasy.com/live_natpest_control.htm.
Of course, open the windows! Nothing’s better than Hawaii’s fresh trade winds on a beautiful day.
2. Get outside.
Step outside, smell the clean air, take a hike or hit the beach. Get some exercise, breathe and remind yourself just how amazing the world really is.
3. Look for the seal.
Buy certified green products. Look for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Design for the Environment (DfE) label, the Green Seal or the EcoLogo. Products that carry these seals have been tested and are proven to be the least harmful to you and to the environment.
4. Use natural products.
“Pure, natural ingredients are not only safer for our skin and the air we breathe, they contribute to our overall wellbeing,” says Lindsey Noelani Fritz, of Kauai-based Malie Organics. Find a comprehensive list (more than 69,000 items) at the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep cosmetics database (ewg.org/skindeep).
5. Clear the clutter.
Purging unwanted junk makes you feel more peaceful, and shrinks your carbon footprint. Get started with “Clear Your Clutter in Six Steps.” Find it at care2.com by searching “Clear Your Clutter.”
Just for Kids
Pitch a tent outside! Have mom and dad pitch a tent for you in the backyard (you can help!) and spend the day there. Invite your friends. Bring toys, books and healthy snacks. Then, share your story at backyardcampout.org.
Hundreds of Healthy-Home Tips.
Check out Planet Home, by Jeffrey Hollender. It features a complete guide (and lots of helpful checklists) for keeping your home environment healthy, purifying your air and finding abundance by living with less. Purchase information at amazon.com.
Such soaps and hand sanitizers are often laden with chemicals such as triclosan that do more harm than good. Plain old soap and water and a few seconds of scrubbing does the trick just as well.
Cool App: GoodGuide
Use this app’s barcode scanner to check the environmental impact of items in your shopping cart. The database holds reviews for more than 120,000 items ranging from personal care to toys. (free, iPhone and android).
Six Simple Steps … to a healthier life
1. Create an eco-friendly cleaning kit. Make homemade oven cleaner with just one cup of baking soda, a squirt or two of liquid detergent and water. For more on this recipe and others like it visit care2.com; search: “Non-toxic Cleaning.”
2. Invest in a drain snake and say “goodbye” to chemical drain cleaners. Drain snakes are inexpensive plastic wands that catch pipe-clogging materials. Find them at City Mill, or Long’s.
3. Buy “smarter” sunscreen. Choose a cream-based formula with SPF of 30+ and broad-spectrum protection. For a list of what to look for and what to avoid, visit ewg.org/skindeep/ and click on the “Sun” tab.
4. Buy natural and ecofriendly fabrics. Choose organic cotton, bamboo, hemp, soy and even polyester made from recycled materials. For more info on what to look for, visit greenlivingonline.com and click on the “Fashion & Gear” tab.
5. Stay away from BPA. BPA stands for bisphenol-A, an industrial chemical found in many plastic items, including toys, water bottles and even baby bottles. The Mayo Clinic recommends avoiding products made with BPA, as the FDA maintains it could have possible negative health effects. Look for products labeled “BPA-free.”
6. Naturalize your pet. Processed foods and treats, chemical-laden toys and harsh care products can irritate your pet. Choose natural products whenever possible. Find pet-food labeling guidelines and other natural pet-care tips at ewg.org/PetsfortheEnvironment.
THE CLEAN 15
Choose 5 servings per day of the conventionally-grown (non-organic) veggies and fruits from this list, and you’ll consume fewer than 2 pesticides per day, according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG). Find out more at ewg.org/foodnews/.
- Sweet Corn
- Sweet Peas
- Cantaloupe (domestic)
- Sweet Potatoes
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