Woman cleaning kitchen cabinet with yellow rag

Green Cleaning: A Safe Way To Refresh Your Home

Living green is an awesome intention, but it can be overwhelming if you’re just getting started. Trying to refresh your entire life in one weekend can be stressful, so let’s approach this topic in a relaxed, mindful manner. Take a deep breath and proceed at a comfortable pace.

You should be aware of what’s in your laundry detergent and household cleaning supplies because your products could contain harmful chemicals. And the harmful agents wind up in the air you’re breathing and on your skin, which can overwhelm your immune system.

Take it slow
When I started this process for myself more than a decade ago, I took it slow. I was on a mission to freshen up every aspect of my life. But not wanting to place undue stress on myself, I decided to invest in alternatives as an experiment to see if I noticed a difference in my health. Although I made many lifestyle changes at that particular time, one of the reasons I think my eczema cleared up was because I changed my laundry detergent.

Natural alternatives
Let’s talk a little more about the natural alternatives. If we really want to get back to nature, we can take a fresh, new look at what grandmother was using. Her natural solutions continue to work well for everyday needs. What did she keep in her supply closet?

One thing she probably kept on hand is distilled vinegar, a natural household cleaner that has disinfectant qualities and has been used reliably down through the ages. And it’s easy on the lungs and the environment. In addition, she most likely kept borax, baking soda, lemons and homemade soaps. Did you know Castile soap has been around for hundreds of years? We can use a combination of grandma’s supplies for our laundry and basic cleaning needs. Or we can shop for the best toxic-free brands on the market. There are safe products out there that are free of common irritants and preservatives. Brands vary, but many are better than the typical, mainstream versions.

A fresh, clean recipe for you
Now, I make many of my own cleaning products. Here’s a simple recipe for a natural, fresh-smelling sink and tub scrub, using items that are available at your neighborhood stores:

Use a glass jar with a lid. Make a paste of 1 cup baking soda, 4 tablespoons Castile soap, and 30 drops of essential oils. One of my favorite combinations is 20 drops of lemon and 10 drops of lavender. Mix thoroughly with a fork and store in a cool place. One tablespoon per application is all you need. You’ll discover that it’s highly effective and smells wonderful.

What chemicals are in your cleaning product?
Many of you may recall there was a time when ingredients were not listed on the container. Although some companies that make household cleaning products are coming clean, they aren't required by law to print a full list of ingredients on their packaging.

Educate yourself. Read what’s on the labels and ask yourself if the ingredients support your new, fresh way of living.

Here are a few examples of chemicals to watch for: Petroleum distillates; phenols; fragrances; phosphates; quaternium 15; 1, 4 dioxide; ammonia; chlorine-based bleach; triclosan; EDTA (that’s the acronym for a 26-letter chemical that will take days to correctly pronounce); and many more…

Research some of these additives online to find out why they are in your product. Certain red flags may pop up. Be particularly aware of the terms carcinogens, endocrine disruptors and neurotoxins. Carcinogens are potentially cancer-causing substances. Endocrine disruptors are substances that may interfere with the normal functioning of your body’s endocrine system. And neurotoxins are poisons that affect the nervous system.

My purpose in listing a few examples of potentially harmful chemicals is not to cause alarm but to promote awareness and help you become a more conscious consumer.

Remember this: If you can’t easily pronounce the ingredient, then think twice about using it.

You may have seen “green household cleaners” in stores and wondered if these products are effective. Green household cleaners are cleaning methods and products with environmentally friendly ingredients. They have a non-toxic effect on people, animals, plants and the environment. And most are effective alternatives. However, with any new endeavor, I encourage you to do your homework here as well. Some green cleaners SAY they are green, but may not be.

Learn more
If you want to learn more about product labels, you may find the following resources helpful: Identifying Greener Cleaning Products and What Green Cleaning Product Labels Really Mean.

And if you want to keep up to date, consider subscribing to the newsletter published by Environmental Working Group (EWG), a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to protecting our health and the environment.

Green cleaning is an effective and responsible choice for refreshing your personal space. Make your home smell clean and fresh naturally with non-toxic household products.

Consider This  
Allow yourself ample time to transition to green cleaning. When you feel confident with your new household cleaning products, you may feel inspired to refresh other areas of your life.

Four Steps to Nourish, Transform and Flourish
• Set a loving intention to start using green household products this week.
• Begin by checking what you may already have in your cabinet and then investigate non-toxic products on the market.  
• How will using green cleaning products support your new way of living and nourish your body, mind and spirit?
• Close your eyes and visualize how this lifestyle change can prepare you for your amazing second half.

Need help going green?

It can be challenging to maintain momentum on your own.  My Sprout Your New Life™ course will give you the tools and the strong spiritual foundation to make lasting change in your life.  Click here for more.

In love, peace and health--
Your feminine glow guide,

T. Kari Mitchell, M.Ed.
Motivational Speaker
Certified Holistic Health Coach

When your spirit is nourished, your inner light produces an outer glow reflecting your beauty and truth.