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[1THING] Blog: Archive for the ‘Pets’ Category

[ It’s Denver’s 1Thing for September….Clean Green Home ]

1Thing_CleanGreenHome

Have you ever stopped to consider just what goes into your household cleaners, what your carpets are made of, or what your pets are ingesting with their flea collars?
Many people don’t think about any of this, but it can all be very detrimental to our health and to the health of our pets. It doesn’t need to be a ‘sick house syndrome’ to be harmful either. Many people are sensitive to the furniture they sit down to breakfast every morning at, and may not even realize it.
If it stinks, burns your nose or throat or hurts your hands, it’s not good for you on some level. So what’s a person to do? There are TONS of options that can make a big difference in a small way in your house’s health that can trickle down to you!

Non-toxic cleaners
Ditch the pricey smelly cleaners in favor of plain old white vinegar and baking soda. If you can smell a product and it burns your nose and throat, and hurts your hands to use it…it’s toxic!
Tub/sink cleaner: Inexpensive baking soda can act like an abrasive and vinegar delivers the disinfecting punch when scrubbing your tub or sink. If you can’t give up the idea of using soap, try castile soap.
Drain cleaner: Sprinkle ½ cup or more of baking soda into the drain, add ½ cup white vinegar and let it foam and fizzle for a few minutes. Follow with some super hot or boiling water and your drain should run clear.
Window cleaner: 4 tablespoons lemon juice in half a gallon of water, or 1 cup white vinegar in half a gallon of water….spritz onto windows and wipe clean with old newspapers or an old tshirt.
Stain remover: lemon juice squeezed onto a cloth and rubbed into tile flooring can remove stains.
Wood polish: 2 parts olive oil with 1 part lemon juice, use an old tshirt to rub into the wood.
Air freshener: Use 10-20 drops of your favorite essential oil in 8 oz of water and spray the room. Lemon, orange, lavender and mint are all nice choices. (try eucalyptus to clear your sinuses from fall allergies/colds). Alternatively put a few drops on a cotton ball and hide behind the toilet or on a windowsill. (Essential oils are the pure essence of a plant and are not the same as perfumes, which are chemical/synthetic. Essential oils may cause a reaction if applied straight to skin so always dilute!)
Make Your Own Cleaners

Garden
With winter approaching, now is actually a good time to clean up the garden. But don’t clean it up too much! Leave some branches and dried plants! Birds and butterflies may migrate but many beneficial insects and bees hunker down for the winter. We may be well intentioned but we often destroy their shelter. Leave dead logs, dead trees, clumps of dried grasses and other plants around as shelter. Even leaf litter can provide shelter for certain insects. Leaf litter also acts as a mulch so resist the urge and just leave it be until spring! As it breaks down over the winter the leaves provide nutrients for the soil too.
Fall tilling will open up your soil…the deeper the till the better. It’ll relieve compacted soil and let nutrients from your amendments work their way thru the soil. Come spring it’ll be easier to dig up for spring planting. Try adding humus or manure, or take from your compost pile, and work it into the soil. It’ll break down over the winter and nutrients will be available to the plants come spring.
Be willing to change the way you see your yard! Forget perfectly manicured (which usually means tons of pesticides and synthetic chemicals), look at naturalizing the yard and viewing nature is it is as perfect. It’s less work too!
Pollinators in the Winter Garden
More Info/Garden Notes

Pets
Like your children, your pets can be extremely sensitive to the environment and the things you put on them. We often feed them food we would never consider eating, or douse them in chemicals that we don’t give a second thought to. Your pet care routine is easy to green….
Kitty litter pan: Dump litter and rinse. Add some white vinegar to the pan and let stand for 10 minutes or so. Pour it out and air dry. Add a layer of baking soda to the bottom before adding the cat litter to control odors naturally.
Flea shampoo: Ditch the toxic stuff! Plain soap and water will kill fleas just fine, if you can get your pet to soak for 5 minutes before rinsing. Try a lavender castile soap, fleas don’t like lavender and the soap is nontoxic. Use vinegar in the rinse water to get any soap residue off. Spritz the pets bedding with 10 drops lavender essential oil mixed in 1 cup of water. It’ll smell good and fleas don’t like it!
Cages: Bird, rabbit and hamster cages etc can be cleaned with a sponge or rag dipped in vinegar. Birds especially are super sensitive to chemicals (did you know nonstick Teflon surfaces can be lethal to them?), so be green around your birds! For tough spots use baking soda to scrub and it’ll help control odors too.
Pet beds: Sprinkle baking soda on the bed, let stand 15 minutes and vacuum thoroughly to remove odors (this works for carpets too). Alternatively if the bed is small enough, put in dryer with a towel with a few drops of lavender essential oi on it and let it fluff on the air cycle for 10 minutes.
Dry bath: Pet hate water? Try rubbing them down with a bit of baking soda. Give it a massage into their fur then brush it out.

Dogs and Toxic Chemicals
Homemade Flea Powder

Indoor air quality
When have you last thought about your indoor air? So many things can make it toxic. Smoking, candles, not opening windows, carpets, particleboard furniture, your shower and even that so called air freshener can all be toxic to your health.
Shower: Install a filter on your shower. A low flow filter will save water and help take the chlorine out. We purify our drinking water yet inhaling the steam from a shower, or what is absorbed by your skin, can be even more harmful. Take shorter showers, keep a window open for ventilation and turn the fan on, and use a filter to help reduce your risks.
Particleboard: Ever wonder why your new bookcase stinks? Formaldehyde! It’s a big component of particleboard which can be used for book cases, desks, kitchen cabinets, flooring, walls and more. Look for real wood products, plain and simple. There are all kinds of nontoxic ways to finish a wood product too that are beautiful and non-health threatening. .
Air Fresheners: Ditch that plug in, it’s full of Have you ever stopped to consider just what goes into your household cleaners, what your carpets are made of, or what your pets are ingesting with their flea collars?
Many people don’t think about any of this, but it can all be very detrimental to our health and to the health of our pets. It doesn’t need to be a ‘sick house syndrome’ to be harmful either. Many people are sensitive to the furniture they sit down to breakfast every morning at, and may not even realize it.
If it stinks, burns your nose or throat or hurts your hands, it’s not good for you on some level. So what’s a person to do? There are TONS of options that can make a big difference in a small way in your house’s health that can trickle down to you!


Hidden Sources of Indoor Air Pollution

Plywood & Particleboard
Air Fresheners

So what 1Thing will you try today?

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