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Monday, November 9, 2009

Green and Clean Living.... Part II of Pests Aside

Before finding my passion for health, yoga and wellness I was an attorney. You can close your mouth now, I know it's shocking...but true!! In my previous career life, I studied and practiced environmental and natural resource law and then earned a LL.M. (Masters of Law) in Environmental and Heath Law. I published articles on corporate environmentalism and was even cited by the United Nations Environmental Law Programme's Training Manual on International Environmental Law. You might think that this doesn't really have much to do with health, wellness, yoga or holistic health counseling...but I beg to differ. It's actually beautifully interconnected.

Because of my traditional career background, I have turned bit of a green-toxics junkie and greening your life is a significant aspect of how I counsel my clients. I am obsessed with greening my home, removing toxins from my living space and generally reducing toxic exposure as much as possible for my health. I am actually so obsessed with this that my go-to gift for all of my newly wed friends is Shaklee's Get Clean Starter Kit. Let's just say that the jury is out on how well this present is received. I personally think that it's one of the most heart-felt gifts someone can give. Some friends get that but unfortunately, some don't.

Every day I receive news updates on Environmental Health News published by Environmental Health Sciences. I will be honest, each day I struggle over whether or not I should repost what's in the environmental news in the 3 Healthy Chicks blog or my own Vibrant Health, Green Living blog. Most often I don't because I worry that news stories will be come pervasive in the blog, and we're/I'm not a news service, we're here to simply offer advice on healthy living. Then I wonder if people are even interested, certainly not everyone in this world is such an environmental health geek!

Today I am caving as variations of the same news article from different sources has made its way to my in-box over the past few days. If that many organizations (Environmental Health Science, Environmental Working Group, Dr. Mercola and the Health Ranger!) are talking about a topic, it's meant for me to inform my clients, readers and friends. To quell my environmental health geek worries, I will label this blog post as Part II of Jill's Pests Aside article that ran on September 6th.

On November 6th, Environmental Health Sciences reported that "good house-keeping is more even more at controlling pests than hiring an exterminator to spray powerful, toxic pesticides." Research conducted by Columbia University found that an integrated approach to pest management (IPM) eliminated more cockroaches and mice than repeated applications of toxic, chemical pesticides! IPM is simple: make the home an unattractive place for insects and other pests by fixing leaky pipes, filling cracks in walls and gaps under baseboards and thoroughly cleaning kitchens and bathroom.

Now the virgos and OCDs of the world will promptly respond to this by saying "duh!" but the solution isn't always so obvious to the masses. So, to ensure you don't have unwanted pests as well as eliminate household chemical toxins stick to the following rules:

1. Keep it Clean: Dirty, sticky counters are breeding grounds for pests, germs and infections. Make sure you keep your counter space clean and free of food and drink remains. This means wiping it down after each use. To some, this may tedious and time consuming but it takes little effort and working it into your cooking routine will become second nature.

2. Keep it Fresh. Eating fresh produce is a must for healthy living. But you keep your produce in a bowl on the counter or kitchen table, make sure you eat it in a timely manner! Allowing produce to go past ripeness will draw fruit flies. If you accidentally let produce spoil, make sure to toss it out immediately and then clean its container thoroughly before adding more produce!

3. Keep it Non-Toxic: Regular exposure to the toxic chemicals in most household cleaners can lead to "Multiple Chemical Sensitivities" or MCS. Cumulative exposure to these toxins can eventually overwhelm the body's ability to eliminate them causing low-level chemical build up. This is applicable to both humans and our pet friends. Chemical build up in the body can cause fatigue, weakness, poor memory, migraines, insomnia and anxiety. Reduce the risk of chemical build up in the body by choosing all natural, non-toxic household cleaners such. Many companies now offer green alternatives to cleaners. My favorite green cleaners are Shaklee and Mrs. Meyers.

4. Keep it Natural: An alternative to buying non-toxic, organic cleaners is to clean with natural products such as, lemon juice, baking powder and vinegar. Lemon will dissolve soap scum and hard water deposits and will shine brass and copper. Baking soda can be used just like a commercial abrasive and deodorizer. Vinegar is an all purpose disinfectant and deodorizer, it must be diluted to be used on grout and never use it on marble. Don't worry about any lingering scents, the smell disappears when it dries!!

Many chemical companies and sellers of commercial products will insist that toxic chemicals are not harmful in the quantities used. This is WRONG. Toxic chemicals are labeled as such because of their inherent harm and toxicity.

Keep it Fresh (and Green!)
~ Terra


  1. great article!! it's the little things we can do that really add up to improve the environmental conditions at home :)

  2. dare I post a comment? LOL
    *rasies hand as part of the OCD club*

    Great article Ter, I had no idea bout the lemons, I'm raedy to take lemons to my shower doors! LOL

    I'd like to add that keeping the household green is not only good for the residents, but also good for the PETS!!!!

  3. yup. Applicable to both humans and our pet friends :)

  4. Great article Yes Shaklee site http://thehealthyway.myshaklee.com