This past week I whipped open a window that has been all but nailed shut for the past few months. The rusty springs in my double-hung creaked and vibrated as poofs of dust and a few dead flies slid across the window sill. Surfing the fresh breeze now pouring in. I pressed my face up against the screen like I’d never seen the view from our bedroom window before. Like some lame version of Kate Winslet on the bow of the Titanic.
After the open window thrill wore off I went to my closet and scrambled for a pair of capri pants. Dusty shelves that held stacks of t-shirts and shorts were jolted out of their seasonal slumber. I prayed like a madwoman that my favorite pair would still fit. It was 86 degrees on Saturday. A sudden jolt into summer (just 50 days earlier). My chubby, pale legs could not handle shorts just yet “but my capris, darn it I know they are in here somewhere. I can wear capris.”
From the dust of wardrobe changes and windowsills I was reminded again of the cleaning frenzy many of us find ourselves in during this season. Dust and dirt from a winter of salt and grime be gone! But how do we clean with health and well-being in mind? Did you know that the EPA suggests indoor air can be of worse quality than the air of many major industrialized cities? Check out the findings here EPA REPORT.
Whether toxins from cleaning spays or chemicals from carpeting, residue from insect/pest repellant or the soap laced clouds our dishwashers produce, cleaning can actually exacerbate the problem!
So, as you pull open the windows and wade through the dust of spring cleaning, keep the following tips in mind:
1. Open your doors and windows often. Granted, those who struggle with outdoor allergens may want to exercise a bit of caution here, but indoor allergens are just as dangerous and irritating so get that fresh air flowing often. Move that stagnant air.
2. Clean green. From dishwasher detergent to laundry soap consider safer (and often cheaper) alternatives. Vinegar cleans up like a charm! It’s safer, cheaper, and almost always just as effective. So put away the toxins and mix up a little vinegar, water, and a drop or two of scented oil and you can clean like a champ. Same with laundry soaps. Consider the strength of baking powder as you do your wash. The Organized Home has a great list of homemade recipes and ideas that you can consider http://organizedhome.com/clean-house/pantry-recipes-homemade-cleaning-products
3. Green up your help. If you have help cleaning your home be sure to ask your household help to use safe products. Many cleaning companies offer green products and resources for home help. If someone else does your cleaning (gotta love that if it happens), help them to clean green with you!
4. Share the news. What tips and ideas work for you? Most of the household ideas and eco-solutions are cheap and easy when created at home. If you have an idea or recipe that works for you, share it here! I’ve joined many MOPS groups this past year for speaking and teaching opportunities and have been amazed at how many of them create many of these ideas as projects for their groups. From household green cleaning solutions to oatmeal, salt bath scrubs. Women are returning to a time in history when they made this stuff on their own. So share your ideas, swap your stories. Get around the chemicals so that you can truly get clean!
The giveaways for this week are in line with this tip. Here are a few products for you to try. I’ll be sending the winner the box of goodies listed below. How can you win? Comment on the blog or Facebook or retweet on Twitter and help keep the conversation going!
Prizes this week:
1. A set of Savvy markers (made with recycled paper barrel and water based ink) – less marker fumes to breathe in (http://savvygreenshop.com)
2. A Dreambean Sweet Mint Soy Candle (non-toxic, safe scents for your home) – from the Bright Endeavors Project (http://brightendeavors.org)
3. “Bowl Me Over” Toilet Bowl Cleanser (safe for you, safe for the streams) – from Simply Neutral, LLC (http://simplyneutral.com)
4. Copy of Sloan Barnett’s book “Green Goes With Everything” great tips for a healthy life (http://greengoeswitheverything.com)
And finally, a shout out to last week’s winner, Liz from Atlanta! Thanks for the Twitter RT’s and the social media love!
Don’t forget, share you favorite tips, ideas and cleaning schemes here!