What You Need to Know to Avoid VOCs

woman's hands applying VOC free nail polish removerA lot of people are worried about volatile organic compounds, better known as VOCs. These compounds can cause health issues like allergies and asthma—some have even been linked to cancer. Yet because you often can’t see or smell them, it’s difficult to know when your air has been compromised. Especially now that most new homes are built airtight for energy efficiency, VOCs are often trapped inside. Learn how to identify and avoid VOCs found in most American homes. [Read more…]

Could Energy Efficient Homes Cause Asthma?

I’ve long been a fan of open windows. Every morning–rain or shine–I walk around the house sliding open our windows to let the fresh air circulate inside. And although this may seem counterintuitive to those like me who live in car-clogged cities, a new report supports the practice. Because keeping the air inside might just cause asthma. [Read more…]

3 Steps to Avoid Dryer Sheet Air Pollution

wool dryer ballsThere’s nothing quite like the warm smell of fresh laundry. I grew up with that scent, and was taught early on that when doing a load you put the soap in the washer and the dryer sheet in the dryer—I simply couldn’t think about doing one without the other. But because of allergies and asthma in my household, I stopped using dryer sheets about a decade ago. And you know what? My clothes are just as soft. Now new research shows my laundry is safer, too, because of dryer sheet air pollution. [Read more…]

Prescott is Best Clean Air City. What’s Worst?

So this is scary. The American Lung Association just released their annual State of the Air Report, and—duh—climate change has everything to do with it. Prescott, AZ is one of the best clean air cities in the country. What are the worst? Read on! [Read more…]

Do You Need Smog Protection?

mother and child wear smog protection masksThis guest post is from the Moms Clean Air Force, an amazing non-profit organization fighting for our kids’ health. Take a minute to sign their petition asking the Environmental Protection Agency to protect children from smog, then read more about why taking action on smog protection is so important–especially for the most vulnerable among us. [Read more…]

Seven Shortcuts to Healthy Cleaners

woman wearing breathing mask and gloves inspects several unlabeled cleaning product bottles.The EPA estimates that the air inside our homes can be as more polluted than the air outside, and some of that pollution comes from our cleaning products. In fact, in their Guide to Healthy Cleaning database, the Environmental Working Group* found that a full half of the cleaning products on the market contain ingredients known to harm our lungs. So what’s exactly in these products—and what can we do to make them safer?  [Read more…]

Mommy Greenest Eco Rules

teenaged boy wearing jeans with bare feet up on couchRemember that house, back in high school? It wasn’t your house, but you felt comfortable enough to put your feet up on the furniture. It wasn’t your mom, but you talked to her sometimes about what was going on in your life. Sometimes an afternoon turned into dinner turned into movie night with the family. You knew where they kept the cereal, and got your own bowl.

That’s my house.

It could be because my kids are well-liked and well-adjusted—or it could be that we’re a three-block walk from the mall. But most afternoons, the doorbell rings and a gaggle of teenagers troops in. By evening, there are boys playing guitar in my son’s room, and girls practicing dance routines in my daughter’s. My little one runs between, pestering both.

It does get loud, but I love having a full house. What I don’t love, however, is how with other kids around my own forget the eco rules I’ve taught them. I try to keep my reminders light, but at the end of the day I’m nagging—both my own and somebody else’s kids. These are my eco rule pet peeves! [Read more…]

Spring Clean Your Closet From Toxic Chemicals

peace lily against black backgroundIs your closet in need of a good spring cleaning? You might want to weed out more than your winter sweaters: You could be harboring hidden toxic chemicals that are dangerous to your health. Here are a few to watch out for, plus some easy strategies to spring clean them out! [Read more…]