Guest Post Author Bio: This post was written by Krista Peterson.
As “going green” becomes increasingly popular, many have their own reasons for living this way. Whether it’s a personal moral, a need for cost effectiveness, or even a desire to lower the carbon footprint, there are a number of reasons for going green. One of the more popular attributes of this type of lifestyle is the health benefits. Sure, driving a hybrid and cutting down energy consumption help to decrease pollution and help outdoor air quality, but there are also some great health benefits to making small changes around the house.
Common household cleaners are a great first step to kick start making the inside of the house green. Many of today’s common cleaners are filled with toxins like formaldehyde, as well as other carcinogens. Luckily, with the increasingly popular movement towards green products, there are a number of easy “organic” alternatives in cleaning supplies available at most stores. Also, many people choose to go another route, by making their own organic cleaners at home.
Cutting down on letting pesticides in the house can be another extremely easy and effective way to make your house healthier and green. An easy method for this is to limit use of pesticides to the outside of the house, doing this will cut down on the chance of the chemicals and toxins related to pesticides. Another way to ensure this could be to get used to leaving shoes in the garage or taking them off before entering the home so that they don’t track in any pesticides.
If you use paint for a number of projects and crafts around the house, some green alternatives could be useful there as well. Most paints are high in volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) which are emitted as gases and present some risk of respiratory problems like asthma. By using some of the low-VOC options available in stores these days, you can prevent the risk of these respiratory problems.
Having the home’s insulation checked and replaced can be one way to make improvements to a home’s sustainability and cutting health risks, while still being cost effective. Many older homes are at danger of asbestos in their insulation; this is a fiber known for its connection to health problems such as mesothelioma and asthma. This material was used all throughout ladder half of the 20th century as a versatile material in all structures.
Unfortunately it presented some major health problems and with mesothelioma life expectancy being very short, the material was banned so that risk of diseases was lowered.
For older homes that may still contain asbestos in the insulation, green alternatives present the best option for keeping the house safe, while maintaining increased sustainability and staying cheap. One great option for green insulation includes spray foam cellulose which is probably the most sustainable because it fills nearly every nook and cranny. Cotton fiber is another option, as using recycled denim is a popular and cost effective option to insulation
Certainly there are even more ways to go about reducing health risks around the house by being both organic and cost effective. These few examples of simple ways to cut down on health risks can be a great start to making the inside of the house green.
So, how are you going to protect yourself and your family?
Great information. I think it would cost an absolute fortune to replace the insulation in the home. Alternatively, I wouldn’t tolerate asbestos either. I’m ok with spending a few dollars for a healthier environment.
@ Financially Consumed. Me too. I think living in a safe and healthy environment is important and worth the investment.
You give a lot of great tips and ideas. I am currently learning to make our own cleaners. It is amazing what vinegar and baking soda can do.
@ Jackie. Castile soap works great too for a base in recipes. Good for you for trying to be greener. It’s a step many still haven’t taken.