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5 Solid Reasons to Switch to Green Cleaning Household Products

5 Solid Reasons to Switch to Green Cleaning Household Products

Many homeowners choose to clean their homes with conventional methods and products that their parents might have used. What they are not aware of is that the regular store-bought cleaning products that they are using may actually be detrimental to their health in both the long and short term. Green cleaning products are made from ingredients that are easy to pronounce and are familiar, and many times can even be made at home.

Here are a few reasons why you should make the switch to green cleaning products.

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1. Unregulated Chemicals

Basically, all store-bought cleaning products are made from harmful chemicals. Since World War II, around 85,000 new chemicals have entered the market by way of various products, and most of the time these chemicals are not approved by the EPA. That is quite stunning—even more so because almost 70% of typical store-bought cleaning products contain these harmful chemicals.

2. Ammonia, Sodium Hydroxide, and Phthalates

Many times, younger generations use the same cleaning products and methods that the older generations used because they are tried-and-true. However, by looking at the labels of these cleaning products, you will find chemicals that are harmful to people and pets. Experts have said that there are 62 toxic chemicals to be found in the average home, some that homeowners might not even be aware of. The particularly harmful chemicals to keep an eye out for are triclosan found in liquid dishwashing detergent, phthalates found in fragrance products, 2-Butoxyethanol in multipurpose cleaners, and chlorine in laundry whiteners or toilet cleaners.

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3. Child Safety

Limiting access to harmful chemicals is the best way to protect children under their own roofs. Natural cleaning products reduce the chances of accidental poisoning. Not surprisingly, household cleaners rank in the top five causes of childhood poisoning. After making the decision to switch to green cleaning products, these products will still need to be stored in child-safe cabinets or in areas that children cannot reach.

4. Water Supply Contamination

Many household cleaning agents contain harmful chemicals like ammonia, petroleum, and phosphorus. When using these cleaning products to wash clothes, dishes, and even flush the toilet bowl, it is possible that the chemicals are being sent back into the water supply and nearby rivers, streams, or lakes. Not only can they come back into the water you drink, but they also have a negative impact on the environment and wildlife.

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5. Keeping the Air Clean

Some antibacterial spray cleaners and fabric softeners contain quaternary ammonium compounds that contribute to seemingly healthy people getting asthma. These are things that we are exposed to daily and have the potential to breathe in 24/7. Keeping carpets clean is vital for clean air—a home health study revealed that the average household harbors around 200,000 bacteria per square inch of carpet. Try to avoid contributing to the harmful contents of a carpet by using a green cleaning product that is safe for children and pets.

Additionally, aerosols and sprays sometimes contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can affect health both short and long term. This can cause problems in the liver, kidneys, and central nervous system. Chemicals may linger in the air for a long time after the actual mist dissipates. Ditch the VOCs.

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Conclusion

Opting to use green cleaning products will not only reduce the risk of harming anyone in the home, it will help in reducing the harmful effects of toxic chemicals that get washed into the environment. They can be used with the confidence that the ingredients are easy to find when making at home, and the ingredients will not have any harmful effects on anyone—long term or short term. Ready-made green cleaning products are widely available at grocery stores, and may be found alongside the traditional cleaning chemicals.

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Sasha Brown

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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