Vital Nature: Coal or oil?

Whether you’d like to save money on cleaning agents, cut back on your toxic load or decrease your exposure to carcinogens, this is a page for you. It’s a blatant fact that most industrial cleaning products are unhealthy, and often more costly than their less intimidating substitutes. And, surprise, those substitutes are readily available and budget-friendly substances.

Baking soda. When it comes to absorbing odors and liquids, sodium bicarbonate is your best friend. You can coat carpet-spills with it, wait for it to dry, and vacuum up all the evidence. You could also use baking soda as a dry shampoo, or make a paste out of it by adding water.

Vinegar. Burnt food stuck on your pan? Boil water and vinegar to unstick the crust. Vinegar is also a helpful cleaning agent, so you can use it to clean solid surfaces like counters or windows. Apple cider vinegar is also successfully used to calm an upset stomach, for indigestion or to prevent nausea.

Avoid toxin-coated foods. Inorganic produce is deliberately laced with pesticides, which are strategically toxic.

Alcohol is naturally antibacterial, so it can be used to disinfect many surfaces. From kitchen counters to bathroom utilities,alcohol, diluted or not, can help you clean. Alcohol can also disinfect wounds, but it will sting upon contact with open wounds.

Avoid non-stick pans, especially Teflon-coated ones. Nonstick pans are coated with synthetic polymers that release toxic fumes when heated. When these fumes are breathed, they can catalyze flu-like symptoms. Ever heard of polymer fume fever? It’s a thing, and these pans are no-go’s. Try cast iron (which lasts for generations) or pans not coated with these chemicals.

It’s not within everyone’s budget to replace the flame-retardant ridden furniture that has made its way into their homes, but it is important to know that the flame-resistant chemicals in much of U.S. furniture contains toxic chemicals. The presence of these carcinogens had been campaigned against by many national, as well as local, agencies and communities, including the Environmental Coalition. These compounds have also been banned by many child clothing or furniture, but remain in many other products.

Don’t use artificial room deodorizing spray, unless you want to be exposed to toxic volatile organic compounds. These chemicals can cause headaches, dizziness, sore throats and impaired memory, and long term exposure can cause cancer.