By Carole Fogarty
Rejuvenate Your Home:
Chemicals and toxins enter our bodies easily either by being inhaled from the air we breathe, absorbed via our skin or ingested through our food and water supplies.
They quietly and some times not so quietly build up inside our bodies lodging in our organs, bones and blood stream greatly effecting our health and well being over time. In fact the world health organization says that 90% of disease can be connected to toxins within our environment.
We are now being alerted through research and case studies that many items we have bought and used in our homes over the years are not as safe as we may once have thought. For over twenty years I have been extremely mindful of reducing the amounts of chemicals and toxins that my family are being exposed too.
Petroleum is used to make plastic:
Plastics are one man made product that I am aiming to eliminate as much as possible from our family home particularly in the kitchen and school lunches. Don’t just take my word for it though. Visit a wonderful site by the environmental working group. It collects and gathers information and case studies about the toxicity on our planet and presents the information so you can be informed and make your own healthy living choices. I will however share a few facts with you.
Petroleum is used to make plastics. In fact 16% of the 20,730,000 barrels of oil used by the US each day goes to making plastic and other materials. (source Wikipedia). That fact alone scares me as we store so much of our food and drinks in plastic. Plastics can leach many extremely harmful toxins such as BPA or bisphenol A which is getting allot of press at the moment particularly in relation to babies bottles and tinned formula. Tiffany over at Nature Moms last year wrote about some recent research and suggests some alternatives for baby bottles.
If you are keen to save some money this year, help our planet out, reduce toxins and chemicals from your personal living space and go a little greener then a great place to start is with your kitchen bench and cupboards.
Six simple things you can do now:
The main focus with these six suggestions is to switch a plastic product for a greener more eco-friendly option.
1. Bamboo chopping board:
The beauty of bamboo is that is grows rapidly; much better than chopping down trees which take years to grow. Bamboo is an ecologically attractive alternative. It absorbs very little moisture and will not shrink or swell. Surprisingly, it is also harder that most woods, making it a superior material for use in cutting. The best part is one side can be used for cutting and the other for serving.
2. Switch from a plastic kettle to stainless steel:
I’ve opted for a stainless steel kettle which may not be as pretty looking as the colourful and cheaper plastic kettles but its a health choice I am very happy with.
3. Use glass baby bottles
This is particularly important one for mothers with young children or anyone about to have children. Plastic baby bottles have been the popular choice of mothers for many years. Now with recent research (read Tiffany’s article at Nature Mom) there is enough evidence to suggest that going back to glass bottles is the safer and healthier alternate. Environmental working group also have many case studies for further research regarding baby bottles and the containers in which the formula is packed in.
4. Switch your plastic storage containers to glass:
This takes a little while to switch all of your plastic storage containers over to ceramic, glass or stainless steel but its definitely worthwhile. Glass is obviously a wiser choice for the planet as it can easily be recycled and does not take hundreds of years to break down like plastic.
5. Save money and the planet by cleaning with natural products:
All purpose cleaner:
One part vinegar ( a natural deodorizer) to one part water into a spray bottle. Use to wipe clean benches and surfaces. I also add eucalyptus essential oil, tea tree oil or sometimes lavender. Tea tree oil is well known for its antibacterial properties and ability to kill bacteria along with eucalyptus
3 parts baking soda and one part water to make paste. Spread paste onto stain on bench and leave for one to two hours
Use eco-friendly cotton cleaning cloths and dry in sun to disinfect.
Use lemon juice dissolve soap scum and hard water
6. Swap your cooking utensils over to bamboo or stainless steel:
The beauty of natural bamboo cooking utensils is that there are no artificial colours or coatings which can leach into your foods. Your rolling pin, BBQ utensils, mixing bowls and kitchen cooking utensils can all be swapped over to the natural, eco-friendly, very durable bamboo versions. You can easily buy your bamboo products at an Asian store or on-line. I personally have not bought any on-line but if anyone can recommend an on-line bamboo store that I can pass onto my readers I would be very grateful.
I really appreciate the time you’ve taken to read my article, Carole.
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