Tips for Sustainable Living: Clean Safely—Avoid Toxic Chemicals in Your House

“Therefore strive that your actions day by day
may be beautiful prayers.”
—‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Circumstances vary for every person and every locale, but I hope the monthly tips will inspire you to adapt them to your personal circumstances and to generate other ideas about how to live a more responsible life, socially and environmentally. We all share a responsibility to reduce our consumption and to adopt a simpler life. Collectively, we can, by our choices, mitigate the severity of climate change, reduce human suffering, and keep the Earth a livable place for future generations.—CHRISTINE MULLER

Clean Safely—Avoid Toxic Chemicals in Your House

God  loveth those who are pure. Naught in the Bayán and in the sight of God is
more loved than purity and immaculate cleanliness. . . . He indeed
desireth that under all conditions, all may be adorned with such purity, both
inwardly and outwardly, that no repugnance may be caused even
to themselves, how much less unto others.        —The Báb

badge showing miscellaneous household cleaners with red bar acrossMost people regularly use many cleaning products such as window cleaners, furniture polish, oven cleaners, antibacterial soaps, toilet-bowl cleaners, air fresheners, fabric softeners, and all-purpose cleaners. However, ingredients in many common household products have been linked to asthma, cancer, reproductive disorders, eye and skin irritations, hormone disruption, and neurotoxicity. Many such chemicals persist in the environment—in our water, air, and soil—even after we “wash” them away. No laws in the United States regulate what companies can put into cleaning products, as long as they are labeled. But polluting our bodies and the environment is not compatible with purity and cleanliness. What can we do? We can either buy products made from all natural ingredients (read labels and beware of “greenwashing”—false claims of being green), or we can make some products ourselves. It is very easy and cheap to make our own cleaning products with natural ingredients such as white vinegar and baking soda. And they do work! Go here for ideas and super-easy recipes: 19 Natural Cleaning Tips (+ Easy Recipes). For more information, visit 8 Hidden Toxins: What’s Lurking in Your Cleaning Products?

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UPCOMING TIPS
Use a Local Car-Share Service
The Joy of Gardening

TIPS BY CATEGORIES

Food
Why Eat Organic?
Eat Lower on the Food Chain
Considering Social Justice in Making Food Choices
Give Up Bottled Water—Go Back to the Tap!
Eat Less Beef

Home and Yard
Shower Less
Avoid Plastics
The Bees and We
Use Energy-Efficient Appliances
Recycle Right!
Avoid Single-Use (Disposable) Items
Save Money, Save the Planet by Insulating Your House
Go Solar!
Hang Your Laundry Out to Dry for the Children of the World
Ethical and Easy Lawns
Buy Clean Energy
Do a Home Energy Audit!
Search as Service on the Web (Use Ecosia and Plant a Tree)
Clean Safely—Avoid Toxic Chemicals in Your House

Transportation
Let’s Go for a Walk or Bike Ride or Car Pool to Meetings
Do Not Idle Your Vehicle

Shopping
Purchase Mindfully—Do I Really Need it?
Shop Smart, Buy in Bulk
Buy Second-Hand Clothing
Choose Reusable Shopping Bags
Shop Locally, Support Local Agriculture

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