What do you do when your reality implodes? You change the world. That’s what then 20-year-old Allison Evans set out to do after realizing that the debilitating health problems she was experiencing were the result of exposures to toxic chemicals. The company she later co-founded, Branch Basics, manufactures an amazingly effective soap that you dilute to different consistencies to tackle every cleaning job in your house—from laundry and dishes to windows and floors. Created with a proprietary blend of plant enzymes, this stuff is safe enough to (accidentally) drink—but serious enough to eliminate tough dirt and stains. Amazing!
There’s a great scene in the new biopic of Stephen Hawking in which he woos his soon-to-be wife with an analysis of why the men’s white shirts luminesce in the ultraviolet lights of a cocktail party. “Optical whiteners,” he says—and she swoons. I didn’t know that that meant, so I did a little research. Optical whiteners are synthetic chemicals that make laundry look brighter; they absorb ultraviolet light and re-emit it as blue light. (It’s basically the same reason why white-haired ladies use blue shampoo.) So since optical brighteners have nothing to do with getting your laundry actually clean, I wondered if there was a downside to these chemicals—and if you…
In the dog days of summer, the only thing my kids want to do is swim in the pool. Since we don’t have one at our house, I keep a bag packed with essentials that I can tote to a friend’s house, the health club, a public pool—basically wherever we can get some water time. I like products that do double duty so I carry less gear. And of course, I want them free of parabens, phthalates, synthetic fragrances and dyes, formaldehyde, petrochemicals and any other baddies I don’t have room to mention. That’s why this year, my swim essentials bag is packed by the The Honest Company, which just…
After many years of informally advising friends, family and acquaintances about how to reduce toxic chemical exposures in their homes, I recently launched Home Detox with Mommy Greenest, a service business here in Los Angeles. Meeting with families one-on-one for about 90-minutes, I assess the big picture—from what’s in your fridge to what’s on your floors—and follow up with recommendations on the spot, as well as an in-depth report within the week. The service helps families eliminate household toxins and make sure their homes are the healthiest they can be. And the response has been nothing short of amazing!
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?
Using ingredients you probably already have in your cupboard, I shared how-to healthy housecleaning tips with the amazing KTLA News team on Earth Day. What are Jessica Holmes and Chris Burroua now doing with those red pepper flakes? You have to watch to find out!
For years, I’ve been helping people detox their homes by getting toxic chemicals out of the picture. We’ve talked about eliminating pesticides, switching over to better laundry products, taking off your shoes at the door to reduce lead, dirt and pesticides by 85% and getting toxic chemicals out of your cleaning cabinets. As I shared earlier this month, in my hunt for truly cleaner cleaning products, I discovered ZerorezSoCal, which cleans carpets, upholstery, tile and grout using a special kind of patented water that’s high pH and so pure you can drink it. And I did, of course.
I was the second to get pregnant. My sister-in-law went first; two years later, I had my son—and then two more kids, in relatively rapid succession. The two of us had this joke—I’m sure you’ve heard it—that with the first kid you sterilize the bottle if you drop it on the floor, with the second you put the nipple in your mouth to clean it off, and with the third, you wipe it on your pants. Just writing that makes me cringe. But back then, we didn’t really think much about germs—or toxic chemicals in cleaning products.