How to Make Your Home Toxic Free
Virtually every object used in building your home and the objects within it—theinsulation in your house, your sofa, food storage containers, floor cleaners and evenfabric softener—impacts both your health and the health of the planet.You may be shocked to discover that many seemingly harmless household productscontain dangerous chemicals. However, most of these products can be easily removedand replaced and some will lose their toxicity over time, so you needn’t panic and think everything in your house must be replaced.Indoor pollution greatly increased after the end of World War II, with mass-producedhousing. These new houses were made with new, lightweight materials, materials thatwere produced by the petrochemical industry. These products, made from petrochemicals,release chemicals into the air—through a process known as outgassing. Outgassing is theslow release from the material of chemical residues used in the manufacturing processinto the atmosphere. They include VOC’s and many other petrochemical derivatives.Materials made from petrochemicals include plywood, particleboard, carpeting, vinylflooring, adhesives, paints, fabrics and much more.
The biggest source of pollution comes from the use of petrochemicals, which causes bothenvironmental damage and damage to the earth’s inhabitants. A non-renewable resource,the use of petrochemicals is so pervasive in our lives that the removal of them overnightwould result in an unrecognizable world. Petrochemicals heat our homes and transport people and products. Plastic products are derived from petrochemicals. Many cleaningsupplies, paint, clothing, furniture, building materials, packaging materials, toys,carpeting, appliances, automobiles, planes, trucks, makeup, grooming products, soap,detergent and pesticides contain petrochemicals and require the use of them during themanufacturing process.
Guidelines for Eco-friendly and Healthful Purchasing Choices:Do:
Replace products that are made from petrochemicals with products that are madewith natural, non-hazardous and preferably renewable products. For example,use bamboo flooring that is finished with natural wax and tung or linseed oil;and purchase natural paints, lime plasters and cork floors.
Purchase raw materials near production sites to save on transportation expenseand fuel waste.
Purchase materials that were processed using renewable energy.
Extend product life by reuse and recycling of components.
Recycle waste to become ingredients in other products. Called “biomimicry,”these are manufacturing processes that take one product and turn it intosomething else. For example: carpets that are made from recycled plastic bottles,