Tag Archives: environment

Toxins in the Home: Detox and Green Your Home

 Toxins in the Home: Detox and Green Your Home

Rid yourself of harsh chemicals when you clean to reduce toxins in the home.

Those striving to eliminate toxins in the home often find that it’s more of a journey than a destination. It seems there’s always something more that can be done to make the home safer, cleaner, and healthier to live in.

Read on to learn a few ways to detox and “green” your home that many people tend to overlook.

Harsh Chemical Cleaners

Are you using harsh cleaners like oven cleaner or Drano? These can be replaced with more natural, non-toxic alternatives. SlightlySteady offers a natural way to clean the oven, while it’s common to use boiling water as an alternative to unclog drains.  commercial products exist, as well.

Check out my list of cleaning chemicals to avoid, too.

Shop Germ-Free

 Toxins in the Home: Detox and Green Your Home

When’s the last time you washed your bags?

Most people end up getting sick after catching something from germs and viruses they come into contact with while out in public shopping, eating, or taking part in other activities. Well, you could be bringing home more than you bargained for from the grocery store if you don’t wash your reusable grocery bags on a regular basis!

Choosing reusable bags is a great choice to make for the environment, but be sure to wash them as you use them so that they don’t harbor harmful germs and get your family sick. Your food offers a direct path for germs to enter the body, so hygiene is super important in that area.

According to The Kitchn, “A study released a couple years ago gave scary figures on the bacteria levels of reusable bags, but ultimately concluded that shoppers just need to keep their bags clean. Machine- or hand-washing bags ‘reduced bacteria levels to almost nothing,’ they reported.”

Clean Kids

Finally, take a moment to think about what your kids are bringing home from school and daycare not only on their hands and clothes, but coats, backpacks, books, and other supplies. Be sure to clean these items thoroughly on a regular basis – inside and out!

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” This adage applies to the home as well – it’s more efficient to eliminate toxins from the source than it is to clean and remove them from the home. Keeping things clean on an ongoing basis (using nontoxic cleaners, of course!) is the best way to detox your home overall.

May Every Step You Take Be Healthy!

Best Regards,
Debbie Greenspan's signature
Debbie Estis Greenspan
Founder/CEO/Mom
Dr. Doormat, Inc.

Using Essential Oils Around the Home

Essential oils are more popular than ever these days, and for good reason: they have many useful purposes for health and homemaking.

 Using Essential Oils Around the Home

Natural oils provide many benefits

Because essential oils have amazing health benefits when inhaled, they have loads of benefits over standard, chemical-laden cleaners and air fresheners that do just the opposite for our well-being. Today, I’d like to share a few ways you can use these botanical oils around the home for cleaning and aromatherapy.

All Natural Fabric Refresher

Fill a 4 oz. spray bottle with warm water and add ½ teaspoon of baking soda and 10 drops of your favorite essential oil. Spray on furniture, carpet, drapes and beds for fresh fragrance.  Some people prefer to use lavender, which is calming, in the bedroom and uplifting lemongrass in the rest of the home.

Light bulb Aromatherapy

To get the aromatherapy benefits of your favorite essential oil every time you enter a room, apply 2-3 drops of essential oil to lampshades and bulb covers with a cotton ball. The light will warm the oil and throw scent into the room.

All Natural Furniture Polish

Dust with furniture polish that cleans and uplifts by adding 5-7 drops of your favorite essential oil to 8 oz. of olive or jojoba oil. Use a clean cloth to apply a small amount to wood furniture for cleaning and polishing.

Essential oils come from all kinds of different plants, each of which offers unique aromatherapy and practical cleaning benefits. A few favorites are:

  • Tea tree – antimicrobial and antifungal, energizing and clarifying aromatherapy
  • Lavender – antibacterial, calming aromatherapy
  • Lemongrass – Uplifting aromatherapy
  • Sweet orange – Mood-lifting aromatherapy
  • Cedarwood – Clarifying, calming aromatherapy

If you’re interested in using more natural products around your home, essential oils can be your best friend – especially if you enjoy beautiful fragrances.  Enjoy the holiday season with fresh and natural scents.  Happy Sniffing!

May Every Step You Take Be Healthy!

Best Regards,
Debbie Greenspan's signature
Debbie Estis Greenspan
Founder/CEO/Mom
Dr. Doormat, Inc.

Are Our Green Lawns Poisoning Our Pets?

 Are Our Green Lawns Poisoning Our Pets?

Truffles laying in the grass.

I was walking my dog, Truffles, the other day and was stunned to see one of my neighbors fertilizing his lawn while his dog followed right behind him.

Lawn chemicals are toxic:
it says right on the bottle,
“Dangerous for children and pets.”

If you are reading my blog then you know that I am a mom with a mission!  I created Dr. Doormat, the first antimicrobial treated doormat, because I was greatly concerned about protecting children and allergy sufferers from the dangers of tracked-in debris including pesticides and other chemicals.

However, the threat is even greater for our dogs and cats who have much more direct exposure than we do to a range of dangerous chemicals.    They nose around close to the ground, they roll around in the grass, often eat grass and plants and then lick their paws ingesting the chemicals.  Moreover, dogs and cats don’t wear clothes or shoes and the chemicals are more easily absorbed into their fur and through their paw pads.

Dr.  Jeffrey Philibert, a veterinary oncologist in Waltham, Massachusetts, agrees that exposure to pesticides poses a risk to dogs, cats and other pets.  He said that while he was familiar with various studies linking pesticides to lymphoma in dogs, what really brought it home for him was a case in his office.  “We had a client who had four, unrelated dogs, all of whom had contracted lymphoma. The client lived adjacent to a golf course. In a case like this it is likely that there is something in the environment causing this. We urged the client to test their water and sure enough they found high levels of herbicides.”  Dr. Philibert cautions all his clients to be aware that what is in your environment can potentiate cancer.

“Be aware that what is in your environment can potentiate cancer in your pet.”

                 Dr.  Jeffrey Philibert, veterinary oncologist, Waltham, MA

Here is how Beyond Pesticides, a group that advocates eliminating the use of pesticides, describes the risk to pets:

 Are Our Green Lawns Poisoning Our Pets?

Punchy loves her Dr. Doormat!

Numerous studies have documented the risk of pesticides to pets over the years. A 1991 National Cancer Institute study, finds that dogs whose owners’ lawns were treated with 2,4-D, four or more times per year, are twice as likely to contract canine malignant lymphoma than dogs whose owners do not use the herbicide. Exposure to herbicide-treated lawns and gardens increases the risk of bladder cancer by four to seven times in Scottish Terriers, according to a study by Purdue University veterinary researchers published in the April 15, 2004 issue of the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. Research published in the December 1988 issue of Preventive Veterinary Medicine links hyperthyroidism in cats to flea powders and sprays, lawn pesticides and canned cat food. Allethrin, a common ingredient in home mosquito products (coils, mats, oils and sprays) and other bug sprays, has been linked to liver problems in dogs, according to a 1989 study by the World Health Organization. The 1989 edition W.C. Campbell Toxicology textbook reports that chronic exposure to abamectin, an insecticide often used by homeowners on fire ants can affect the nervous system of dogs and cause symptoms such as pupil dilation, lethargy, and tremors. According to 2004 statistics compiled by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ Animal Poison Control Center, 22% of approximately 880 cases of pet birds being exposed to common household items involved pesticides (including rat bait and insecticides….Read More

Dr. Philbert stresses that there are things within our control. He recommends using organic lawn care products, as well as organic cleaning products. Of course, we can’t control the products our neighbors use or how the grass is treated at the local park. Are Our Green Lawns Poisoning Our Pets?

Here are some tips for protecting your pet from lawn chemicals:

  • Use only natural lawn care products in your yard. Examples are using corn gluten meal as a natural weed killer and fertilizer, or diatomaceous earth and boric acid for pest control. Reducing exposure is the best way to prevent potential side effects.
  • Be aware of ALL the environments in which your dog may be exposed to lawn chemicals. Even if you don’t use them in your yard, consider yards you pass when going on walks, the parks where you and your dog play, and other public areas that may be treated.
  • Always wipe your dogs paws off after walks to remove any residue, and wipe down their fur as well if they have been out playing in treated grass.
  • Walk your dog or cat across Dr. Doormat removing all debris from the paws – They don’t wear shoes and chemicals are absorbed through the paw pads.  Also, it will prevent them from tracking the chemicals into your home where they pose a threat to the human members of your family especially toddlers crawling on the floor.

May every step you take be healthy!
signature Are Our Green Lawns Poisoning Our Pets?
Debbie Estis Greenspan
Founder/CEO/Mom
Dr. Doormat, Inc.

May Every Step You Take Be Healthy!

Best Regards,
Debbie Greenspan's signature
Debbie Estis Greenspan
Founder/CEO/Mom
Dr. Doormat, Inc.

Made in the USA – Happy Birthday, America!

 Made in the USA   Happy Birthday, America!

Happy 4th of July, America

One of the ways I want to use this blog is as a way of sharing what it’s like to run my business.  This under-the-hood perspective will cover a wide range of topics and may sometimes surprise you.  I’m calling it, understandably, “Under the Hood.”

Under the Hood: Made in America

When I made the jump from Mom to manufacturer I never imagined that it would be such a long and challenging journey.  I began in 2004 manufacturing in the USA and it didn’t take long for me to realize that no matter how creative my marketing initiatives I wouldn’t be able to compete in the world of retail and reach a wider audience unless I drastically controlled my costs.

While my manufacturer was able to deliver great quality, I still felt something was missing.  Inspired by my visit to a trade show that focused on life styles of health and sustainability, I was determined to find a way to both control costs and incorporate environmentally friendly materials into my product.

I wanted desperately to manufacture in the USA, but couldn’t find what I needed.  I began searching the globe for new manufacturing and even went as far as hiring brokers to search in China, Vietnam and Sri Lanka.

The manufacturers they referred didn’t have the ability to consistently control the quality of the raw materials and the result was cheap looking.  I was offered many alternatives on how to cut costs but I didn’t want to sacrifice  the quality or the integrity of my product.  This was a real eye opening experience for me.

 Made in the USA   Happy Birthday, America!

Proud to be Made in the USA!

If you ever embark on this type of journey remember to pack your moral compass. 

I wasn’t following typical, cost-cutting corporate rules for manufacturing, I was following what I call “Mommy rules.”  That means if the quality is good enough to go into my own home than I feel comfortable with it going into yours too.  In 2010, I met with an Indian manufacturer who promised all of the eco-friendly materials I dreamed of and at the right cost.  After a year of back and forth and very specific instructions on the materials and the design I required, they failed to deliver what they promised.  Ever hear the saying, it was “too good to be true?”

I learned a big lesson and lost a lot of time and money in the process but I stayed true to my plan and refused to deliver a product I don’t believe in.  I continued my search and in January of 2011 was fortunate enough to find a factory that could finally meet my needs just a short distance from Atlanta, GA.

I feel like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz.  I had to travel around the world and through the big bad forest to learn that there really is no place like home.  I’m so proud to say that Dr. Doormat is made in the USA.  We are happy to support our country and help put America back to work.  Happy 4th of July, America!

Have a safe and healthy celebration.

May Every Step You Take Be Healthy!

Best Regards,
Debbie Greenspan's signature
Debbie Estis Greenspan
Founder/CEO/Mom
Dr. Doormat, Inc.