Posted by: Roby Robertson | April 13, 2010

Going Green For Our Lake Norman Sellers

Levels of pollutants in indoor air can be from two to more than 100 times higher than outdoors, according to the U.S. EPA. That indoor pollution is due in large part to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that evaporate, or “offgas,” from home decorating and cleaning products. Make sure you’re breathing quality air in your home by following these green cleaning suggestions:

  • Look for plant oils in detergents, rather than petroleum – coconut oil is a good choice. Eucalyptus, rosemary and sage oils are also safer choices than triclosan when it comes to disinfectants.
  • Use fragrance-free laundry detergents, which don’t contain cancer-causing phthalates.
  • Mix your own stain removers. Soak stains in water mixed with borax, lemon juice, hydrogen peroxide, washing soda or white vinegar.
  • Open a window! If the air is clean outside, it’s a greener way to freshen up a room than by using aerosol air fresheners.
  • Baking soda and vinegar get the green light as all-around cleaning alternatives. They can do anything from deodorizing to cleaning the oven or removing stains on countertops, bathtubs and toilet bowls.
  • For sparkling drinking glasses, occasionally soak them in a solution of vinegar and water.
  • Use the dishwasher – hand washing dishes actually wastes more water. Adding one cup of white vinegar to your dishwasher’s rinse compartment will leave your dishes spot free.
  • Skip the antibacterial, antimicrobial soaps. The FDA has found that these work no better than good old soap and water. Plus, they could even add to the risk of breeding “super germs,” bacteria that survive the chemicals we use and have resistant offspring.
  • Don’t throw out your old cleaning products. What’s bad for your home is also bad for drains and landfills, so check to see if your community holds toxic and electronics recycling days and discard them there. If your community doesn’t have a program yet, start one!

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