The Toxin-Free Home guides us as we create a "clever house" - a house that's healthy, doesn't take an undue toll on the environment, is comfortable and safe, is reasonably affordable to maintain and is run efficiently. Sounds like a tall order, doesn't it?
Increase Your Clever Quotient
Haynes advising upping the clever quotient of your house gradually. Maybe start by switching any chemical cleaning products for earth- and people-friendly options. Ultimately, the goal is to create a healthy house that's properly ventilated, low on mold and bacterial growth and friendly to its inhabitants, including children and pets. If your house is energy-efficient and free of clutter, you get more points for cleverness.
The Toxin-Free Home has suggestions for reducing our exposure to dangers such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can cause problems such as nose and throat discomfort, headaches, allergic skin reactions, fatigue, nausea and dizziness. We spend a lot of time in our homes and, especially when windows are shut in cold weather, our exposure to VOCs is much higher indoors than out. Haynes points out that the average home contains more than 40 VOCs. Products that we use each and every day emit VOCs - things some of us take for granted, such as fabric softeners, perfumes and permanent markers.
When my kids were small I used to spend a great deal of time worrying about the chemicals they were exposed to - and with good reason. Babies and children are particularly at risk from the ill effects of toxins in our world. But you could drive yourself crazy thinking about it, right? Now I prefer to focus on the steps we can take to make our home as safe as possible, recognizing that perfection isn't achievable.
Live Well With Pets
The book's Clever House section includes advice on living with pets. Currently that is a focus for me. When we went from one dog to two last year, I really noticed the difference in terms of smells. Fortunately Ace and Jolene don't shed all that much, but they sure do create some unpleasant odours! Haynes suggests some "pet etiquette," like washing your hands after handling your furry companion. There is advice for keeping pets clean and banishing fleas too.
Toss Those Nasty Chemical Cleaning Products
Let's be kind to our lungs, okay? When you spray those commercial cleaning products into the air, you are potentially breathing in solvents, surfactants and other chemicals. I have oft heard people say they don't like the smell of vinegar. I would much rather smell vinegar than the artificial fragrance of a commercial cleaner. The Toxin-Free Home includes recipes to create your own natural, safe cleaners using basic, affordable ingredients.
Create a Clever Kitchen, Laundry Room, Bathroom, Bedroom...
The Toxin-Free Home is broken into chapters according to the main areas in your home. The kitchen chapter, for example, outlines what makes for a clever kitchen, how to save energy in the kitchen and how to safely care for and clean work surfaces, chopping boards, sink, sponges and appliances. There are recipes for all-purpose cleaners, a mild abrasive cleaner, scouring cleaners and even a basic dish washing liquid. The chapter also outlines safe food storage, clever food shopping, kitchen safety and managing pests.
Lovin' this tip - for a fresh-smelling fridge, wipe over the inside with a cloth and a few drops of vanilla extract!
Clean and De-Clutter Too!
Although the main title is The Toxin-Free Home, this book goes well beyond the subject of greening your home, with countless ideas for cleaning and de-cluttering and basically managing it in a way that Mrs. Hughes would approve of. If only we had her staff...
Handle stained laundry, create your own shampoo, remove wine from carpets, make an organic face mask, recycle soap scraps, revive limp flowers - you can do it all with the tips in this book. It even sounds sort of fun, doesn't it?
Get The Book
Get The Toxin-Free Home in Canada
Get it in the U.S.
What steps do you take to keep your home free of toxins?
Enter to Win a Copy of The Toxin-Free Home
Skyhorse Publishing will give one winner, from the U.S. or Canada, a copy of The Toxin-Free Home. Enter using the rafflecopter below until November 30th.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
*This posts contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after following this link, Woman in Real Life will receive a (very) small commission. Your purchase price does not change.