People today are making big changes in their eating and exercise regimens in order to live a healthier lifestyle and improve their physical and emotional well being. But you shouldn’t stop there, maintaining a healthy home environment is just as important as your diet and exercise regimen. If you’re asking yourself what a healthy home environment means allow me to explain.
Just as you would be mindful of the food you put in your body, you should be equally as aware of what you put on, in and around your body. Removing cleaning solvents from your home that contain harmful chemicals is just one example of what is meant by what you put on or around your body, but there are many ways you can inadvertently cause harm to your well being.
Below are some helpful ways to make your body and environment healthier:
- Get rid of all your nonstick pans. Studies have shown the chemical PFOA used to make nonstick pans has been linked to cancer, thyroid and heart disease. While scientists will not definitively say there is a link between PFOA and heart disease the EPA has said it is a likely carcinogen. Any pan that creates toxic fumes when used that kill a bird if it is in the same room can’t be healthy for humans – go for cast iron they are safe and last a lifetime.
- Replace your toothbrush every three months; store it as far away from your toilet (always flush with the lid down) as possible in an open toothbrush holder or glass with the bristles up to allow it to air dry between uses, this will kill bacteria. Rinse with hot water before and after each use to help eliminate germs. Clean your toothbrush holder regularly. If you have been sick soak your toothbrush in an antibacterial solution for ten minutes. You can use antibacterial mouthwash, hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, or 1/3 bleach 2/3 water.
- Leftovers should be disposed of after four days no matter what type of food it is, any food stored in plastic containers for more than four days can pose a danger of spoiling according to FoodSafety.gov and you may be putting your health at risk.
- Stop using plastic straws when consuming beverages. Plastic straws contain BPA which has been scientifically proven to be harmful to humans. BPA has also been tied to obesity, diabetes, early onset puberty, breast and prostrate cancer cell growth and reduced fertility. Straws are also very bad for the environment and are not recyclable. Americans use more than 500 million disposable straws each day, which is leaving a horrendous footprint on our planet. Do your health and the planet and stop using plastic straws.
- Clean out your linen closet, donate old sheets, blankets and towels to a homeless shelter, pet hospital or animal shelter they can always use them. Keeping old, unused towels and linens in your closet will only gather dust which can lead to pests and insects living in them that can make their way onto your clean linens and cause skin irritation and rashes.
- Do not keep old cell phones, iPods, electronics, televisions, etc. although the risk is very, very minuscule it is possible for batteries and other components in electronic devices and televisions to explode or catch fire. Especially if they are improperly stored i.e. exposed to heat, puncture of the battery, or other damage that could produce secondary dangers. Most used electronic devices can be resold, or traded in when purchasing a new one. Contact the EPA website for information on how to safely recycle old products or you can try selling them on various sites like e-bay, BuyMyTronics.com or other such sites. You can also donate items to Christina.org which partners used equipment with organizations in need of such items or other charities and receive a receipt for tax deductions.
- Avoid eating canned soup whenever possible. Nothing tastes as good as homemade soup and avoiding the chemical BPA that is found in the can’s lining is worth the sacrifice of convenience of canned soups. According to a 2011 Harvard study BPA has been linked diabetes and obesity in humans. Kick the can habit. You can purchase make it yourself packages that taste great, just cook, store and freeze.
Keep your body healthy inside and out and help the