I’m still always learning new things about being green, but I’m passionate about keeping my family, and especially my son, healthy. It starts with a healthy diet, plenty of fresh air, and the choices I make in our home. I want to share with you what I do to make sure our home environment is healthy and eco-friendly.
1. Be aware that new furniture outgases
All furniture outgases fumes for quite a while when you first buy them. Therefore, look for quality wood furniture, preferably unfinished and made from recycled and sustainable materials. If possible, keep them outside for a few days before you bring them inside the house. The same goes for new mattresses!
2. Buy organic fabrics whenever possible
Landon has stuffed animals made from organic cotton. They are more expensive, but I rather buy less stuffed animals than be cheap with toys he will be in very close contact with. And when I looked for bedding for him, I found sheets made out of organic cotton at Target that cost only a few dollars more than the non-organic cotton sheets.
3. Use eco-friendly non-VOC or milk paints
I recently painted our living room and bought non-VOC paint. I don’t want any of us to breathe paint fumes, and the few extra bucks per gallon of paint are well worth my knowing that I’m doing the right thing for our health. I also believe in supporting companies who make those eco-friendly products and rather buy from them.
4. Buy dye-free, fragrance-free laundry detergent and buy dryer balls to eliminate dryer sheets
One day I’m going to make my own laundry detergent — you can find recipes for that on Google without a problem. For now, buying fragrance-free detergent is a no-brainer to me since I don’t get why laundry detergent has to be blue or green, and fragrances are often toxic and can result in health issues. The cost is the same — just look for the word “free” on the bottle or box.
And I haven’t used dryer sheets in years. Smelly dryer sheets offend my nose and since I bought dryer balls for a few bucks, I use those in our dryer and eliminate the costs and waste.
5. Air out dry-cleaned clothes
For the most part, I buy clothes that doesn’t have to be dry cleaned. If you have clothes that needs to be dry cleaned, look for an eco-friendly cleaner. If that is not an option, take off the plastic bag at home (make sure to put a knot into it before you throw it out to avoid a suffocation hazard and recycle it) and hang the clean clothes outside for a while so the chemical fumes don’t get into your house.
6. Ventilate your home
Unfortunately, indoor pollution is one of the nation’s most pressing health concerns (according to the Environmental Protective Agency). The air inside of our homes is often way worse than the outside air, so it is imperative to ventilate your home periodically, even during the winter months. Wait for the warmest time of the day and open the windows for a few minutes — and buy plants that are known to greatly improve air quality.
7. Take off your shoes
Shoes track in the most dirt into our home, and to keep crawling babies and kids who play on the floor from harm, it is best to have a “no-shoes” rule for your house (and ideally, avoid carpets altogether).
I hope these tips inspire you to look into protecting your children from harmful exposures and to make easy, eco-friendly changes for your whole family. As you can see, it’s easy to make little changes in your home to make it more green, and it doesn’t have to cost a lot.
Do you have a green tip you want to share with other moms? Leave me a comment. Thanks!