Take off your shoes at the door.
Does your child spend a lot of time on the floor, maybe even licking the floor? Taking off your shoes keeps a lot of man-made toxins out of your house, off your floor, off of little kids' hands and out of kids' mouths. Removing your shoes is especially important if your home has wall-to-wall carpet. I am a slovenly housekeeper, but vigilant about shoes off at the door. I feel like the latter somewhat compensates for the former.
Open your windows.
Due to more energy-efficient construction, newer homes allow little air in or out except through the windows and doors. The EPA warns that indoor air pollution is now often a bigger problem than outdoor air pollution. Opening your window, even for just a few minutes, can drastically improve indoor air quality. Focus on opening windows in rooms where your kids spend lots of time (for example, children's bedrooms before bedtime), and after buying or using anything with a strong smell. And skip the synthetic air freshener.
Clean with vinegar.
Do you feel daunted by the thought of trying to find a green replacement for your favorite household cleaner? A very simple and cheap way to green your cleaning routine is to just use a spray bottle filled with straight or diluted vinegar. Use it to clean your kitchen table, kitchen counters, bathroom counter and toilet surfaces, mirrors and hard floors. Vinegar disinfects, deodorizes, is completely safe, and very cheap (I buy 2 gallons at a time at Costco). It has a strong smell, but after a few minutes there is no smell at all. Vinegar also is sometimes enough to keep ants and other bugs at bay.
When you run out of something, replace it with something greener.
- How to Begin
- The 10 Easiest Ways to Reduce Toxins in Your Home
- 10 Steps to Help You Avoid Eco-exhaustion
- Save Money while Going Green
- Lazy and Cheap Ways to Be Green (a series of posts)