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Spring is the perfect time to give your home a good thorough cleaning.   Evict those dust bunnies and send your harsh cleaners out the door with them.  Prepare for some easy, economical and eco-friendly solutions.

In the kitchen it is easy to make some simple switches.  Choose glass instead of plastic storage containers.  Glass is non-toxic and won’t leach harmful chemicals into your food, water or the environment.  Make the switch to reusable canvas bags, they reduce the energy used for production and recycling of plastic bags.  Choose non-toxic dishwashing detergent.  Many conventional dish soaps use petroleum-based detergents that contain chlorine and phosphates.  These chemicals do not break down easily, pollute our waters and are a health hazard.  Look for non-toxic, phosphate free, chlorine free, biodegradable alternatives.  When cooking, choose cast iron pots and pans instead of nonstick cookware.  By choosing cast iron you can increase the amount of beneficial iron in your foods and avoid the harmful chemicals found in nonstick cookware.

Making small changes in your living areas can make a big difference.  Choose compact fluorescents instead of incandescent light bulbs.  Compact fluorescents use considerable less energy and last up to ten times longer than regular bulbs.  They are friendly on your wallet too, saving you about $25 on your energy bill over the life of each bulb.  Choose natural fibers such as cotton, hemp, linen, and wool for bedding, upholstery and rugs.  Synthetic fibers such as polyester, nylon, acetate and acrylic are usually derived from non-renewable sources and are difficult to recycle.  Natural plant fibers come from renewable sources and are biodegradable.  Instead of conventional paint, choose low-VOC paint.  Conventional paints give off volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that react with nitrous oxides to form smog and lower indoor air quality.

Converting your bathroom from toxic to eco-friendly is a cinch.  Choose recycled instead of conventional toilet paper and help save a tree.  Ditch your old or leaky toilet for a new water-saving one. New, ultra-low-flush models can save up to 5.4 gallons of water per flush – good for your water bill and the environment.  Opt for natural soaps, use of antibacterial soaps can reduce our resistance to infectious disease and contribute to the development of allergies.  Wrap yourself in luxurious, eco-friendly organic cotton towels.  Conventional cotton farming is chemically intensive, accounting for a fourth of the world’s pesticide use.  Opting for organic helps protect our soil, water supply, and cotton-farm workers.  Make the switch to organic cotton, or hemp for your shower curtain.  PVC or vinyl curtains have been linked to cancer, birth defects and PVC is toxic to the environment.

Improving the health of our environment is easy as making a few small changes in our everyday routines.  Start making a difference today.

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