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The Green Mama Blog

  • How to safely off-gas the chemicals in a new oven (getting rid of that gross new oven smell)

    Well, this is a worm hole of craziness! I am deep into deadline on my second book and I told myself I would just spend a minute or two looking into this question right now. I thought it would be a simple: just crank up the temperature and open the windows. And while this advice…
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  • Green Cleaning for the Home: Three Steps to a Safe & Healthy Clean

    Time for Spring Cleaning? Here’s The Green Mama’s Tips for a safe, healthy, “green” clean

  • Four household polluters & how to fix indoor air pollution problems

    Four household polluters that you can do something about   Our indoor air is significantly more polluted than outdoor air and this is even true in most big cities. The bad news is that since we spend by far most of our days (about 90%) indoors, where the pollution is 5 to 7 times worse…
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  • How to safely clean an oven

    DIY Green Clean Your Oven (& Wood-burning stove window): Life Hack Oven cleaners can be extremely toxic and the self-cleaning feature on most ovens is so toxic that they kill many birds and sicken many humans every year. What’s the alternative? Read more about the difference between cleaning and sanitizing. In this case, you just…
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  • DIY Green Cleaning Recipes & Tips

    Everything you need to get a great, green, healthy clean with simple ingredients & recipes You can tackle nearly every cleaning need in the house with four basic ingredients: baking soda, white vinegar, salt, and either borax or your favourite oxygen-based (non chlorine) cleaner for the really tough stuff.  I also recommend a gentle soap…
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  • Your home is polluted. Why is indoor air quality so bad?

    Why Is Our Indoor Air So Polluted? In most of our homes, the answer to this question is, “because we have made it that way.” The pollution most often comes from things we bring into the house that release their chemical ingredients into the air of our home. Furniture, stinky cleaning supplies, paints, or any…
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  • Anti-bacterial soaps in schools

    Dear Teach: You know The Green Mama well! Anti-bacterial hand soaps are one of my least favorite things to see in schools. Why?   1. Triclosan. Triclosan is the anti-bacterial property used in many hand soaps (76% of 395 commercial soaps examined in a recent EWG report). It is a pesticide that’s closely related to…
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  • Absolutely (NOT) Fabulous

    This is actually a rather difficult post for me to write. Not literally, but, culturally, and as someone who doesn’t want to offend her partner or family – and who is trembling with indignation at her fellow Hispanics whom have created these chemical abominations. At first, I was going to share what was, hopefully, a…
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  • How to get my home and family organized

    Dear Fran: I feel your pain. I may write the articles, but this is still an area where I am improving. Here are a few tips to help: 1. Read this blog on 8 Steps to Getting Organized and this one on Clutter. 2. Consider hiring a professional organizer. Seriously. I know this might sound…
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  • The Basics on how to Green, Clean, & Organize any Room & Home

    How to Get a Clean, Green, & Organized Home The air in your house is already 5 to 7 times worse than outdoor air. Children are more susceptible to the toxic air in a home as they breathe in 50% more air per pound of body weight than adults do and are less able to…
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  • The Green Mama’s DIY Green Cleaning Recipes

    All-purpose cleaner Mix a really gentle castile soap, like Dr. Bronner’s, with warm water. Use a clean sponge, rags, or a brush, and scrub! One cup of soap in 3.8 litres (1 gallon) of water is a good concentration for walls, floors, and counters. One part castile soap to one part water in a foaming…
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  • Detoxify Safely While Pregnant or Breastfeeding

    Margaret Floyd Barry is the author of the Eat Naked books and a nutritional consultant. She explains that there are two parts to detoxifying: cleaning house at a cellular level and drainage to make sure the toxins have an easy exit. This second part is essential and often forgotten in a person’s enthusiasm to get…
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  • 8 Steps to Getting Organized: Secrets to beating family clutter

    Secrets from a professional organizer Clutter and depression are linked says a new book Life at Home in the 21st Century. “Our data suggest that each new child in a household leads to a 30-percent increase in a family’s inventory of possessions during the preschool years alone,”  say the authors. They authors primarily looked at…
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  • Stinky air fresheners. They are making my kid sick, how do I get his school to change?

    Dear P.U. in FL: What a tough, but not unique situation. Many children are experiencing asthma and allergy flare-ups due to indoor air pollution in schools. I can read in your email that this is now impacting you and your son directly. It sounds like you are working to have open communication with your school…
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  • The Real Threat of Indoor Air Pollution & How to Keep Your Family Safe

    Background on the Issue The quality of air inside our homes can be many times worse (on average, 2 to 5 times worse, according to the EPA) than outside air. And because on average we spend 90% of our time indoors, most of that time in our homes, we are quite susceptible to the air…
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  • How to organize your child’s STUFF/TOYS/PLAYROOM and get them to play more and clean-up better in the process

    Secrets from a professional organizer I’ve been lucky enough over the years to have gotten a chance to work with a couple of professional organizers: you know, the ones that come into your home and gasp at  how much stuff you have for supposedly being green.  No, that’s a bit of a joke. I’m always…
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  • Can I use grey water on a garden?

    Dear Grey to Green: That is great that your brother-in-law is thinking so creatively about saving water.  With that kind of thinking and skill, he will come up with an awesome plan. However, using your laundry water on the plants isn’t it.  I wish it were!  He is already thinking about some of the issues:…
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  • Alternatives to bleach and anti-bacterial hand soap in schools?

    Dear Admin I am so glad to hear you have read the Green Your Classroom article. For administrators and school officials of all sorts, I also highly recommend you read The Green Mama’s Guide to Green Cleaning in Schools. This guide includes some healthier, green alternatives to bleach. There are many commonly available options now…
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  • The Green Mama’s 4 Ingredients (& Recipes) to Green Cleaning

    4 Ingredients to Clean Green
    Have you ever read the ingredients on the back of your store bought kitchen cleaner or bathroom spray?  It’s kind of scary to see all the chemicals you are releasing in to your home each time you clean your house.  It doesn’t have to be that way, though!  Truth to be told, making your own natural cleaners is SUPER easy and very inexpensive.  All you really need are 4 main ingredients:

    White vinegar

    Baking soda

    Salt

  • DIY Green Cleaning Tips from The Green Mama

    Healthy, affordable cleaning products and tips that you can easily do yourself

    You can tackle nearly every cleaning need in the house with baking soda, white vinegar,  hydrogen peroxide, borax, essential oils, a gentle soap (like Dr. Bronner’s), vegetable oil, and your favorite (non-chlorine) oxygen-based cleaner for the tough stuff.

  • Green Cleaning in Schools: The Green Mama Guide to healthy, safe, clean schools

    THE GREEN MAMA’S CHEAT SHEET FOR SAFER, HEALTHIER CLEANING IN SCHOOLS

    You are a teacher or school administrator and you want to go green but aren’t sure where to start? The answer is probably right in front of your eyes: the soap next to the sink, the bottle of bleach for spraying down the tables, the window cleaner in the cabinet.

  • How to green your child’s school: a guide to a healthier, greener classroom

    Ideally every school setting would be green and healthy. After all, your child will spend 1/3 of his or her day there.  Studies show that more than half of U.S. schools suffer from problems related to indoor air quality (which is typically more polluted than outdoor air even in the best situations). Indoor air quality issues can affect teacher retention, student performance, (and ultimately) school funding.

  • Using toxic chemicals in your home

    Our indoor air quality is consistently more polluted than our outdoor air. One of the main culprits are the cleaning supplies we use.  We don’t want to drink chemicals, but we have no problem pouring them down the drain to be filtered out of our drinking water (we hope). We don’t want them in our food, but we clean our countertops with them. We don’t want our children exposed to poisons, but they play on floors cleaned with chemicals often known to be toxic, allow them to mouth toys disinfected with bleach, and  play on grass treated with pesticides.

  • Cheat Sheet for safer, healthier cleaning in childcare facilities

    THE GREEN MAMA’S CHEAT SHEET FOR SAFER, HEALTHIER CLEANING IN CHILDCARE FACILITIES

    You are a childcare provider and you want to go green but aren’t sure where to start? The answer is probably right in front of your eyes: the soap next to the sink, the bottle of bleach for spraying down the tables, the window cleaner in the cabinet.