As the harvest approaches, our thoughts turn to the Fall and preparations for the coming time of indoor living. Many of us start to think of projects to enhance our living space and time inside. We have come a long way from the movable, temporary shelters of our ancestors; and while some improvements have been beneficial, others have not. Consider the recent studies of indoor air quality by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), citing air inside most homes to be 70% higher in chemical contamination than the outside air. The EPA estimates that 50% of all illness is due to contaminated indoor air! Our homes have become sealed units, microcosms of toxicity that are so efficiently insulated, heated and air conditioned that little air actually exchanges with the outside. Add to that sealed efficiency, toxic cleaning products, leaching fumes from carpeting, paint, flooring, glues, plastics, and wood finishes, and let’s not forget residues from beauty care products, laundry products, and mold build-up, and we see the makings of a toxic soup that we call home.
Fortunately, we now have a stronger than ever movement toward green living and industry is responding to our desire for healthy home and world environments. Awareness is the first step toward change. Consider the products you use weekly in your home. Check out companies like Seventh Generation, Sun and Earth, Life Tree, and Ecover for cleaning and laundry products. Better yet, learn how to make your own with natural ingredients, take a natural home class or pick up one of the many books on the subject, for much less costly alternatives to the cleaning aisle. Low V.O.C. paints by companies like Bioshield and Livos, are natural paint alternatives and there is no leaching of toxins into the indoor environment.
Make a commitment to yourself and your family; check out the increasing number of green companies, builders and products. Slowly, one at a time, or all at once, replace your toxic products with natural, safer ones… and keep breathing!
By Donna Eaton, Fall 2007
Donna Wood Eaton has a B.S. in Psychology and a Chartered Herbalist degree from Dominion Herbal College. Of native heritage, Donna has also studied with several North and South American healers, learning the spiritual techniques of native people. Donna is presently developing Cedar Spring Herb Farm in Harwich, offering
a full range of herbal products and services.