Easy Steps to Greening
From The Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center®
Greening Your Home
- Switch out traditional cleaning products for non-toxic ones.
- Visit ImusRanchFoods.com for our line of Greening The Cleaning® household products, and healthy organic snacks.
- Weed killer, ant and roach killers, and other pesticides for the home typically contain ingredients that are hazardous to children, pets and the environment. Use integrated pest management (IPM) to minimize and when possible eliminate the use of pesticides inside and outside the home, including the lawn. For more, see pesticides and green pesticide resources.
- Install shower and faucet water filters to protect your family from microorganisms, chlorine and other illness-causing agents in water. For more information, see: water purification.
- When renovating or adding onto your home, use green building practices when possible. For more, see Green Building Resources.
- If your home was built before 1978, use EPA guidelines to protect your family from lead-based paint. For more tips, see: architectural paints.
Related content: Tips for Greening your Home
Greening Your Baby
- Breastfeed if possible, and when appropriate, start your baby on a whole foods diet, choosing organic as much as possible.
- Become an educated consumer on vaccination and discuss any concerns with a “green” pediatrician (For more, see Green Vaccines and Green Pediatrics.)
- As babies play close to the ground where toxins and cleaning residues often settle, ensure your home and/or daycare setting is as toxin-free as possible, from cleaning products to renovation practices (See more on Greening Your Home, above).
- Ensure your baby’s personal care products are free of toxins. Healthy options include Weleda, Aubrey Organics, California Baby and Earth Mama-Angel Baby Organics. For more information, see Greening Your Baby and Deirdre Imus' bestseller, Green This! Growing Up Green, Baby and Child Care.
- Avoid “toxic toys” that may contain lead, bisphenol-A (BPA), phthalates, PVC, or mercury. See safer toys for more helpful tips.
Greening Your Children
- Find a “green” pediatrician who is open to discussing your health concerns, including vaccination (for more, please see: Finding a Green Pediatrician
- Help to ensure your child’s school is a healthy environment for growing and learning. (For more on Greening Your School, see below.)
- Teach your child to make healthy food choices, including a whole foods diet (organic when possible).
- Encourage your child to get fresh air and exercise every day, which will lower chances of obesity, ward off stress, and naturally boost Vitamin D levels.
- Educate your child, especially tweens and teens, on choosing healthy personal care products. Teens for Safe Cosmetics and Deirdre Imus' book, The Essential Green You! provides resources to help.
For more, see Green This! Growing Up Green, Baby and Child Care by Deirdre Imus.
Greening Your Hospital
- To help create healthier indoor air quality for patients and staff, switch to green cleaning products with the least level of toxicity and use green building practices.
- Eliminating mercury wherever possible goes far beyond old thermometers and blood pressure cuffs. Approximately 250 mercury-containing items are used in healthcare facilities. For more information, visit Health Care Without Harm.
- Ensure the responsible disposal of expired medications by starting or supporting a Green Pharmacy program For more visit Teliosis Institute.
- Make sure your hospital is recycling all that it can, which in some areas includes blue wrap for surgical instruments. For more on what medical waste can be recycled in your area, see PracticeGreenhealth.org.
- Food contributes much to the healing process. Serve whole foods, and organic when possible. Gain ideas and inspiration from hospitals around the country that are holding farmers’ markets and creating food gardens to educate patients and the community about better health through nutrition.
Related content: Greening Healthcare Practice Greenhealth
- Choose “green” architectural paints with no or low VOCs, and use lead-safe guidelines from the EPA if you are painting a space built before 1978.
- Use non-toxic building supplies whenever possible, including wood products with no added formaldehyde. (See Green Building Resources.)
- Switch to green cleaning products with the least level of toxicity.
- Repurpose or donate salvageable waste, from sinks to wood, to a charity such as Habitat for Humanity.
- Purchase products with recycled content, such as ceiling tiles and wallboard, and buy energy-efficient when possible, including Energy Star appliances and LED light bulbs.
Greening Your Life
- Let go of unnecessary stress & negative attitudes, which can lead to or aggravate health conditions.
- Consider integrative medicine when appropriate, which blends conventional medicine with complementary alternatives such as acupuncture, homeopathy, massage and reiki. Make nutrition and exercise your first line of defense for a healthy body and mind.
- Explore ways individuals can change the way they live their daily lives for their own benefit as well as the benefit of the environment. In Deirdre Imus’ latest book, The Essential Green You!, Deirdre gives readers advice on how to protect themselves from toxins and empowers them to lead a healthy life.
- Buy local, whether it’s food, furniture or clothing, to support local economies and reduce energy consumption required by transporting goods.
- Don’t smoke, drink in moderation and avoid secondhand smoke, especially around children and pregnant women.
Greening Your Diet
Related content: Greening Your Life Index
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- Eat whole foods as the bulk of your diet. Whole foods are unprocessed, unrefined and don't contain added ingredients. Examples include: vegetables, beans, legumes, raw nuts, grains and fruits.
- Choose organic when you can, especially the following produce: apples, bell & hot peppers, carrots, celery, cherries, imported grapes, green beans, nectarines, peaches, pears, potatoes, red raspberries, spinach & strawberries.
- Green your snacks by avoiding synthetic chemical additives, and have those high in sugar, salt and fat as “blue moon treats.”
- If you eat meat and fish – choose wisely. Fish may commonly contain dangerous amounts of toxins like mercury, PCBs and dioxins. Choose organic, grass-fed beef and organic chicken to avoid all the antibiotics and growth hormones normally found in these foods.
- Buy local organic and shop farmers’ markets when possible to support farmers directly and reduce the energy used to transport food. At farmers' markets, ask questions to find out how the food is grown and for meal prep ideas.
Related content: Eating Healthy Diet and Prevention