our journey of hope and healing through autism

Running a greener home {Book Review: Organic Housekeeping}

When I started reading science journal articles about autism, one of the things I learned early on is that many individuals with autism don’t clear toxins as well as the average individual.  Glutathione is one of the body’s most powerful detoxifying enzymes, and study after study have shown that  glutathione is under produced in the majority of people with autism.

This really shaped my current thinking on the importance of minimizing toxins in and around the home.  Autism or no autism, I want my children to be the healthiest they can be.  Previously, I’d figured that avoiding toxins was important, but that human bodies were designed to clear out the bad stuff. Since Hannah’s autism (and the increased chance that she does not detox harmful substances well) the stakes seem higher.

Previous to this change of thinking, I tried to clean with baking soda and vinegar as much as possible, avoided scented soaps and detergents, and generally avoided pesticides and herbicides. I avoided using toxic or environmentally damaging cleaners in many areas of maintaining our home, but had lots of areas that I knew I could use products that had less environmental or health impact.

Recently, I checked out a copy of Organic Housekeeping by Ellen Sanbeck. Sanbeck covers a wide range of topics- from toxin free oven-cleaning to choosing the best cutting board.  Would you believe that research shows that wood cutting boards sanitize better than plastic?  Sanbeck doesn’t limit the book to typical cleaning chores. My fellow Calgarians would appreciate the pages spent addressing mosquito killing and repelling, and research that found that mosquito zapping  (The mosquitos here are vicious, abundant, and are out all day- not just at dusk!)  With summer time here, it was good to learn that lead is the most common stabilizer for PVC products, like your typical garden hose.  When PVC sits in sunlight, it degrades releasing lead.  When researchers tested water from hoses that sat in the sun, the water was high in lead.  As a kid, I always thought it was fun to drink from the hose.  Actually, maybe that explains a few things…  Seriously though, I do take lead exposure very seriously.

The book is packed full of detailed suggestions, relevant research, and how-to’s, and humorous stories.  Some of my favorites tips were a highly effective non-toxic  spray to replace sanitizing with bleach, a method for cleaning non-launderables with snow crystals (I’m not sure I’ll use this one, but it’s nice to have another way to benefit from the months of snow we have here) , and choosing materials for a reno that are eco-friendly and easy to clean with non toxic cleaners.

Organic Housekeeping gave me boat load of great ideas, all while avoiding being fussy, elitist or guilt producing.   If you’re concerned about the environmental impact of your household, or the impact of our chemical laden western ways of grooming our homes, I think you’ll really like this book.


One comment on “Running a greener home {Book Review: Organic Housekeeping}

  1. Donna J. Dingwall
    July 13, 2013

    I may have to look at this one. Thank you Becky!!

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This entry was posted on July 10, 2013 by in autism, avoiding toxins.
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