When beginning to make your home a healthy, green oasis that rejuvenates and nourishes your mind, body and spirit, it’s important to begin by incorporating small attainable steps rather than trying to tackle too much. A major green living overhaul will potentially leave you feeling overwhelmed, but incremental advances will create lasting habits of change.
Here is a simple two-step solution to begin your journey of green living.
1. Read Labels and Completely Eliminate Fragrances
Fragrance inundates us everywhere we go; it’s in so many of the products that literally touch our lives. According to the National Academy of Sciences, 95 percent of the compounds used to make fragrances are synthetic materials derived from petroleum or petrochemicals in a laboratory. These chemicals are known to create disease in the body. The Institute of Medicine puts fragrances in the same category as secondhand smoke. Fragrance is used in products from personal hygiene items to toilet bowl cleaners. A deceptive marketing tactic is labeling household products “fragrance free.” Unfortunately, these products can still contain fragrance. The label just indicates that the products were created without a noticeable scent. In fact, neutralizing chemicals are used to mask scent—and manufacturers are not required to list chemicals used to conceal other fragrances. It’s important to know how to read labels so you can determine whether fragrances are lurking in the products in your home. It’s also important to start listening to your body. Your sense of smell, especially, can be like radar—instantly knowing whether your environment is truly healthful.
2. Turn to Baking Soda
Sometimes it’s easier to add new habits into your daily routine before you eliminate ones that have been in your life or home for a long time. Begin by including baking soda. Baking soda is one of those versatile products that can be used in so many different ways. In our home we always have baking soda on hand. We use it:
• To clean counters
• As an alternative to toothpaste when we are all out
• To unclog pesky drains in combination with vinegar
• In the bath to balance out the pH levels of the body
• In the washing machine to get rid of the poignant odor of athletic gear
Ensuring the air you breathe in your home is healthful will allow you to take a deep and restorative breath, which will benefit your mind, body and spirit.
Christa O'Leary is the founder and CEO of Home in Harmony Lifestyle. She is an interior designer, marriage and family therapist, and green-living expert. Her book, Home in Harmony: Designing an Inspired Life (Hay House) is an international bestseller that helps readers have a peaceful and healthy home.