Lauren Egger is a busy mom of five, a former RN and founder of the Healthy Mom Project.
A green home! That is one of my favorite things to always be striving for. We go about our day driving in cars, flying in planes, going to school, work and engaging in recreational activities, all while being exposed to environmental pollutants that pose varying degrees of risk. This is unavoidable. However, keeping your home as non-toxic as you can is in your control! I love this. All of these things don’t need to be done at once, but over time. Small changes make a huge impact in the long run.
1. Ditch Toxic Detergents
What you wash your clothes in is indeed important. I used to make my own laundry detergent when I had only one child. Now I stick to store bought! Download the “EWG” or “Think Dirty” App on your phone to scan products wherever you are to check if products are clean. If the product rates a zero, that means it is non-toxic. The higher the number, the more potential harm it presents. Switching your laundry detergent is a very simple swap for a greener home.
- DanSoap is a local company based in Cleveland. It has ONLY three ingredients! DanSoap is 100% biodegradable and free of any harsh chemicals. The lavender is my favorite one. The scent is mild and not overpowering. Another option is All brand’s Free and Clear Laundry Detergent for a more mainstream laundry detergent that is only rated a “2” on the Think Dirty App.
- Ditch your fabric softener and replace it with plain ole’ vinegar. Pour 1/4 cup in the fabric softener dispenser. It truly does work and doesn’t leave a vinegar smell.
- Swap your dryer sheets with 100% wool dryer balls. It works! Add 3-4 drop of your favorite essential oil to each ball and throw in the dryer with your laundry.
Natural Ways to Remove Laundry Stains
- Grass stains: Treat with a 50/50 mix of Hydrogen Peroxide (3%) and water. Then wash as you would normally.
- Mud stains: I love when my kids play outside. However, it makes for really dirty clothes! Brush off dry dirt and soak with a paste made from borax and water before you throw it in the washer.
- Kid stains: Moms, this one is for you! With all the accidents kids have, it can be hard to keep your baby and toddler clothes looking new. Try this trick: Soak clothes in COOL water and then wash with 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide and 1/2 cup baking soda in the washing machine.
- Underarm Deodorant Stains & Whites: Soak clothes in a mixture of 50/50 hydrogen peroxide and water for 45 minutes and then add 1 cup of hydrogen peroxide to the wash water. For really tough yellow stains, make a paste of 3% hydrogen peroxide and baking soda and rub into the stain. Leave on for 15 minutes before washing.
2. Raise the Vibration
I recently read the book “Vibe” by Robyn Openshaw. According to the book, we are all electrical beings and everything has a vibration frequency. A healthy body is 68 mHZ. The earth is 528 mHZ. Raising the vibration in our home is one of my new habits!
- Plants raise the vibration in your home and are air purifiers. I’m not the best at watering plants. I stick to ones that are low maintenance, since I have five kids that are high maintenance. Succulents, Aloe and Pachira Aquatica (Money Tree) are low maintenance. I have also found that Baby’s Breath last about two weeks. This is my go-to for my vases on the wall. They look SO pretty and can make a gloomy day, into a bright day.
- Essential oils have a very high frequency. Always use essential oils safely. Never ingest. Never apply oils that aren’t properly diluted directly onto skin. Know what oils are safe for pregnancy and certain ages. My favorite is blending 2 drops of lavender and 2 drops of frankincense in a diffuser for 30 minutes at a time. It’s calming and relaxing.
- Himalayan Salt Lamps are known to cleanse and deodorize the air. This is an easy thing to add to your household. I received one of these for Mother’s Day one year and keep it near my plants and diffuser.
3. Green Cleaning
Switching out harsh cleaning supplies with non-toxic products or making your own is simple and inexpensive. I promise you won’t miss the harsh chemicals! You’re improving the indoor air quality and it’s so much safer for children and even pets. Toddlers put just about everything in their mouths, so this is worth the switch!
Homemade all-purpose cleaner
This is a great DIY all-purpose recipe. It takes no time at all to make and saves you money! This can be used to clean the kitchen, bathroom, toys, etc. If you are cleaning raw meat messes, I would use hydrogen peroxide or food-grade alcohol and soap/water.
- 1 tsp borax
- 1/2 tsp washing soda
- 1 tsp Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Castile Soap
- Essential oils of choice (2 drops lemon, 2 drops orange, & 5 drops orange)
- Spray bottle (I use glass)
Mix borax, washing soda and castile soap in a spray bottle. Add 2 cups of warm water (distilled preferred). Add essential oils of choice. Cover and shake well.
This recipe is so simple; two ingredients and that’s it! You can choose a different essential oil if you’d like. I love the clean smell lemon essential oil leaves in the house. Microfiber cloths work great on windows as well!
- 2 cups of water (distilled is best)
- 2 TBSP vinegar
- 10 drop lemon essential oil
Combine in a spray bottle (preferably glass) and use on windows.
Once a month (or whenever I think about it), I run my dishwasher with vinegar to get a good cleaning. Fill a glass bowl with 2 cups of vinegar and place on the top rack of the dishwasher. Run on a hot cycle with no other dishes in the dishwasher.
Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap and Better Life are trusted brands that I always recommend. Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap can be used as an all-purpose cleaner, which is ideal for general household cleaning like counters, floors, laundry, etc. It is certified organic and vegan. Better Life is a non-toxic, biodegradable, plant-derived ingredient cleaner that really works! I love the Kitchen and Bath Scrubber.
4. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
We learned this in school as kids and I like to apply it to my everyday life: reduce, reuse, recycle.
Reduce: If you increase your thermostat by 1 degree in the summer and decrease by 1 degree in the winter, you may save up to 10% on your energy consumption! Remember to turn off the lights when you walk out of a room. I feel like I just follow my kids around turning off lights all day! CFL bulbs are more energy efficient as well.
Reuse: Reuse store bought grocery bags or buy reusable grocery bags. We have endless bags in our house. My biggest problem is just remembering to put them in the car before I go to the store!
Recycle: This has never been easier with my city’s designated trash can that’s just for recycling. Your kids can take part in this, too.
5. Eat More Plants
Believe it or not, it can take up to 2,500 gallons of water to produce 1 lb of beef! Not only is eating more plants good for the environment, it’s good for your body. Our bodies are designed to eat tons of plants. The recommended servings of fruits and veggies are 5-13 servings/day. Wow! Implement “Meatless Mondays” in your weekly meal plan. Then strive for another meatless night if you can. I have a large salad just about every day for lunch. My go-to salad is organic mixed greens, olives, avocado, quinoa, tomatoes, cucumbers, hemp seeds and Tessamae’s Ranch (dairy, gluten and sugar free). So delicious!
Do you have any green tips? Share below!