By Leslie Reichert
Have you been thinking about creating a healthier home for your family, but don't know where to start? If so, you are going to enjoy these quick tips that will make you home a little healthier.
Cookware. Try to avoid non-stick cookware or mix in some healthier choices when upgrading your pots and pans. Nothing is safer than cast iron, and there are now so many choices -- from fry pans to Dutch ovens. Healthier cookware can make a huge difference for your family.
Plasticware. Nothing is more convenient than the plasticware found in grocery stores. Tests show that they are safe in the microwave, but even so we want to avoid having any BPA or phthalates in your food. Instead, choose microwave-safe glassware to heat your food in the microwave. Better to be safe than sorry.
Water. Make sure your family's drinking water is safe. Whether you use water from a public system, a private well, or bottled water, you need to need to know the water is safe. It's important to know where your water comes from and how it is being treated. Have your water tested and possibly look into a home filtration system.
VOC-free shower curtain. Just like that new car smell, the new shower curtain smell can be overwhelming. Those fumes are very dangerous when mixed with hot steam and something you don't want in your family's lungs. Invest in a VOC-free shower curtain, and you'll keep everyone safer in the shower.
Fragrance-free personal products. Children everywhere are dealing with skin sensitivities. Try removing some of their regular products and switching to a fragrance-free line. It may take a little while to get used to "no scent," but it could make a dramatic impact on skin conditions.
Fume-free cleaners. If you've ever used a bathroom cleaner and had your eyes start to water or your throat burn, you were using something too harsh to be healthy. Try to find a balance between a cleaning product that works and one that's safe to use. Try greener cleaning products in the cleaning aisle. You'll be surprised how well they work.
Whiteners. Everyone loves white whites! Bet you didn't know that there are healthy choices for getting clothes their absolute whitest. Instead of using chlorine-based bleach, use an oxygen bleach in your laundry. Or, just add hydrogen peroxide to your laundry. Your clothes will come out just as white and won't have any chlorine residue.
Fragrance-free laundry soaps. Make your laundry room truly healthy by going without a fragrance in your laundry soap. This is very hard for most families as we tend to associate clean with a smell. Our clothes shouldn't have any scent. Remember the smell of clean is nothing.
Dryer sheets. Take the dryer sheets out of your laundry formula and you will be taking multiple chemicals and fragrances out of your family's laundry. If you insist on using a dryer sheet, look for a natural product in the laundry aisle, or try making your own with a rag and some essential oils.
Massachusetts mom Leslie Reichert is known as the Green Cleaning Coach and is aiming to change the world "one spray bottle at a time." A national lecturer and author of The Joy Of Green Cleaning, you can find her at greencleaningcoach.com, on Facebook (GreenCleaningCoach), Twitter (@GreenCleanCoach), and Pinterest (cleaningcoach).