Tag Archives: home environment

The Champion of Your Home Environment: Your Impact

My mission at Dr. Doormat is to create a sea of change in the way our culture embraces the daunting task of how to manage our home environment.

 The Champion of Your Home Environment: Your Impact

Family Driver: One of the many duties of home management.

Managing the home is an often under-appreciated task in our culture. It shouldn’t be: statistics constantly show how important careful home management is to the health and well-being of the whole family.

Consider these points:

  • It’s hard to put an economic value on home management – but Investopedia tried. Considering all the tasks that go into managing a home – meal planning and preparation, housekeeping, yard maintenance and other duties – they estimate the annual value a homemaker brings to the household is just under $100k.
  • According to the American Academy of Pediatrics’ HealthyChildren.org website, children thrive on routine and structure. Home management in the way of cleaning, scheduling, and organizing allows them to be more emotionally stable.
  • A clean home helps children learn and grow: a messy home is more predictive of bad behavior than parenting style alone, according to a 2006 article published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines.

Whether you’re a stay at home parent, an entrepreneur or a career maven – all of us with families face this sometimes overwhelming job of managing the home. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing a few ways I’ve learned to streamline the huge job of home manager for the good of my family – without going (too) crazy in the process!

May Every Step You Take Be Healthy!

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

Behind the Scenes at Dr. Doormat

We have a lot going on under the hood here at Dr. Doormat! Here are just a few of the events and fun happenings planned for this spring:

  • 20130410 093920 219x300 Behind the Scenes at Dr. Doormat

    Debbie posing with Frantzy in Customer Service after the training at Bed Bath & Beyonds corporate office.

    I just returned from NJ where I gave two presentations at the Bed, Bath & Beyond corp office. I was providing product knowledge training for the employees on Dr.Doormat and introducing all of the colors and sizes.  These are employees that are not working in the stores so they were very excited to learn about our new product.    

  • On May 7-9, 2013 we will be making our debut at our first national trade show in Las Vegas.  For the next several weeks we will be preparing for The National Hardware Show.    There is so much to do to get ready.  I had to design the 10′ booth, decide which products will be featured, prepare brochures and all of the printed material.  We recently teamed up with a number of seasoned rep firms that will be arranging appointments for us with the various hardware distributors and retail chains.  In addition we may have some media opportunities as various TV, Newspaper and Magazines often send representatives to cover the show and learn about the new Made in the USA products.  
  • Two new retailers approved us as a vendor.  Ace Hardware and True Value Hardware stores will be able to stock Dr. Doormat on the shelves soon.  We were also invited to the True Value Hardware Show in September – Jordana Kauffman, our accomplished Business Manager is working on getting all of the systems in place to be able to ship to these stores.  
  • I have been coordinating for the past month with a renowned microbiologist and Lab Director at University of Arizona to complete our most recent lab study and submit the results to QVC for review.  QVC is currently reviewing our report and we are waiting for our final result.  We hope to be on the air by the end of May. 
  • I’m going back to school… Yes, The 5th grade class at The McLean School in Potomac invites parents to come and share their career path.  I’ll be sharing my Mompreneur experience at Dr. Doormat with my daughter’s class at the end of April. She says I have to make it really fun or I will embarrass her – fortunately I have a few germ ideas up my sleeve that should wake them up and get them to pay more attention to home environmental issues and how they can participate.   

And, of course, my two kids need their mom as well. They are busy participating in softball and  baseball this Spring so there is never a dull moment.  Thanks for reading – what’s going on with your family this spring?

May Every Step You Take Be Healthy!

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

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.

Cystic Fibrosis – A Condition Plaguing Thousands of Kids

Imagine waking up in the morning feeling as if you’re drowning, unable to breathe normally. Imagine coughing and hacking up mucus all day long to the point of exhaustion. Sadly, this is the reality of children with cystic fibrosis, a genetic disorder that causes the body to produce a thick, sticky mucous that clogs up the lungs and airways of those who suffer with it.

 Cystic Fibrosis   A Condition Plaguing Thousands of Kids

65 Roses, The name was coined by a child trying to pronounce the name CF.

The disorder also affects the digestive system, as the mucous also coats the stomach, leaving the body ill-equipped to properly digest food and get optimal nutrition. Between this issue and the increased calorie needs due to constant coughing and breathing issues, kids with cystic fibrosis can often have trouble maintaining a healthy weight.
Cystic fibrosis is a relatively rare genetic disorder that occurs only when both parents carry the gene. The life expectancy for a person with CF is mid-30s, as of 2009. Fortunately, the age is rising, thanks to advances in treatment options.

How is CF Treated?
There is currently no cure for cystic fibrosis. A number of treatments are used to alleviate the symptoms and promote well-being, however.
• Airway clearance and breathing exercises.
• Antibiotics to fight infection.
• Anti-inflammatory medications to improve breathing.
• Mucus-thinning drugs.
These types of treatments improve CF symptoms, but unfortunately those with the condition will live with it for life until a cure is found.

How Can I Help?

If you’re looking to help in the cause for finding a cure, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation suggests a few ways that you can do so:
• Make a donation. Donations fund scientific research toward curing cystic fibrosis.
• Participate in a clinical trial. Similarly, you can help out with research in a more hands-on way by participating in studies on CF treatments.
• Become an advocate. Influence your local government and spread awareness by becoming an advocate.

This is the season for giving and yet it’s important to remember that CF has no season.  People suffer with this desease all year round.  Reach out to a local chapter to learn more, you may be able to help.  Enjoy the holiday season!

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.

Chemicals To Avoid In Cleaning Products

Cleaning products are supposed to, well, clean, right? They’re supposed to get rid of grime, bacteria, and other things that are harmful to our health and the health of our children. That’s what cleaning products are supposed to do, but you’d be surprised by some of the things that are actually in the bathroom cleaner, furniture polish, and laundry detergent that you use regularly.

 Chemicals To Avoid In Cleaning Products

Buyer Beware!

After all, they do come with all these warnings and possible symptoms: keep away from children, watery eyes, do not swallow, chemical burns. Shouldn’t something that cleans our home be a bit safer than that? You’d think, but here are four things that are actually in your cleaning products, things that may actually contribute to indoor air pollution and chronic health problems.

Nonylphenol ethoxylates

This, however you pronounce it, is a common ingredient found in laundry detergents and all-purpose cleaner. It is banned in Europe (like many toxic ingredients found in American household cleaners), as it has been shown to disrupt the hormone system, to be toxic to aquatic life and to persist in the environment. It’s even been banned for any cleaning product manufactured after 2012 in California! To find this one, look for “nonylphen” or “nonoxynol” within the ingredient name.

Formaldehyde

Formaldehyde is found in spray and wick deodorizers as well as furniture polishes and wood treatments. It is a respiratory irritant and suspected carcinogen. It’s also found in cigarettes and is used to preserve dead things, like the things you might have seen and studied in middle-school science, or your relatives in a funeral home.

Methoxydiglycol

Also known as DEGME, and also banned in the Europena Union (at levels higher than three percent), methoxydiglycol is not only found in American household cleaners like floor, bathroom, and oven cleaner, but in concentrations up to 15 times higher than what is allowed by the EU. On top of that, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe says DEGME is “suspected of damaging the unborn child.” Don’t want to know what it could do to the rest of us.

Chlorine

Yes, chlorine and chlorinated phenols. This one may seem harmless, but it’s not the same stuff that’s in the neighborhood swimming pool. It’s found in toilet bowl cleaners, among others, and is toxic to respiratory and circulatory systems. Chlorine is also toxic because if it’s mixed with ammonia, which is found in bathroom cleaners and glass cleaner; it’s literally a deadly combination.

To Make This Even Worse…

Did you know that household cleaners are the only product in the United States that don’t have to list their ingredients, and if they do list ingredients, they don’t have to list them in order from greatest amount to least amount? This means that even if do take the time to inspect bottles for warnings, instructions, and ingredients, you might not be getting all the information you need to make a good decision. In fact, the generic brand of cleaning products found in Wal-Mart and Target don’t even have an ingredient list on them! The average household also contains anywhere from 3-25 gallons of toxic materials, most of which are in these cleaners, and most of which we might not even realize are there.

Guess what? There are Alternatives to All This!

Fortunately, you have more options than cleaning your home with these awful products, or living in filth the rest of your life. Basic ingredients like baking soda, vinegar, and olive oil can be used to make your own cleaning products that are full of things that you can actually pronounce and recognize. Companies such as Seventh Generation, Full Circle, and Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day actually specialize in eco-friendly and human-safe cleaning products, stuff that will leave your home smelling like lavender instead of toxic fumes. To cut down on the amount of chemicals and toxins, purchase cleaners in smaller quantities, and throw out half-full bottles and such after a significant period of time. There’s no reason to have this stuff sitting around your house.

Be Aware and Be Healthy!

 

May Every Step You Take Be Healthy!

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

A Healthier Home with Houseplants

 A Healthier Home with Houseplants

Spider Plant helps remove toxins in the air

As the weather starts to cool down, you’ll likely be spending more time indoors. In fact, the EPA estimates that Americans spend up to 90% of their time indoors. The air inside can contain 5 – 10 times more pollutants than the outside air.  Why?  Because the outside is exposed to wind, rain, and sun to naturally degrade the pollutants.  Our indoor environments are perfect breeding grounds for all of these elements to build up and grow in our homes.  Substances like dust, mold, pollens and other bacteria may make it hard to breathe and cause problems for those with allergies.

Luckily, there are easy, natural solutions to help you improve the air you breathe in your home. The first step to a healthy home is Dr. Doormat.  Another natural way to keep the air in your home clean and improve your family’s health is by simply investing in a few houseplants.

5 Health Benefits of Houseplants

1. Breathe Easier

Your body takes in oxygen and releases carbon dioxide each time you take a breath. Houseplants do the opposite. During photosynthesis, plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen.  Adding plants to your indoor space will increase oxygen levels and make it easier for you and your family to breathe.

2. Prevent Illnesses

Plants also release moisture vapor into the air. The moisture vapor released into the air increases the humidity of a room. In the dry winter months, houseplants can help prevent respiratory illnesses, colds, coughs and sore throats. As an added benefit, your skin will stay hydrated!

3. Improve Allergies

A NASA study report showed that plants can remove up to 87% of VOCs (volatile organic compounds).  VOCs are introduced to your home from common objects like rugs, vinyl floors, grocery bags, inks, man-made fibers and paint.

 A Healthier Home with Houseplants

Peace Lilly helps remove mold and purify the air for allergy sufferers

Many houses also have pollen, dust and mold trapped inside.  When your windows are closed during colder months, these particles can’t escape and can aggravate allergies and cause colds.

Air purifying plants pull VOCs into the soil and convert them to plant food. You’re left with cleaner and healthier air to breathe in your house.

4. Elevate Your Mood

Some studies suggest that houseplants can improve your mental health, too.  Many companies put plants into offices to prevent fatigue, improve attentiveness and lift workers’ moods.

Plants are also used to help those suffering from depression. When patients feel sad or lonely, caring for another living thing helps them feel more of a sense of purpose in life.

5. Sleep Better

Most houseplants only produce oxygen during the day, but several will also produce oxygen at night. Higher levels of oxygen make it easier to breathe and promote deeper levels of sleep.

Choose the Right Plant

Not all plants will produce health benefits for your family. In fact, some are poisonous to children and pets and should be avoided.

The following plants are non-toxic and will purify and humidify your home’s air.

  • Spider Plant: Great for living spaces, this plant purifies air quickly and removes toxins.
  • Dragon Tree: This plant is also ideal for living spaces. It purifies air and removes toxins.
  • Gerbera Daisy: Releases oxygen at night and purifies the air by removing toxins. Place this plant in your bedroom to improve sleeping.
  • English Ivy: Removes toxins, especially those found in offices and studies.
  • Boston Fern: Humidifies the air in your living spaces.
  • Snake Plant: It has a scary name, but the snake plant won’t bite. It will purify the air and remove any toxins associated with fuel-burning appliances and fireplaces.
  • Peace: This plant removes mold and is ideal for bathrooms or damp areas in your home.
 A Healthier Home with Houseplants

English Ivy is perfect for removing toxins

Any amount of houseplants in your home will improve your air quality and mood. However, in order to get the full benefit from houseplants in your indoor space, experts recommend that you place one large plant (8-inch diameter pot or larger) for every 100-150 square feet.

If you’re looking for more ideas on how to purify the air in your home with houseplants, try the book How to Grow Fresh Air.

This is a subject that is very dear to me since I have had allergies all my life and collect houseplants.  It’s amazing how powerful mother nature is.  To think that  our forests are designed to be the clean up crew for the atmosphere and our rain forests are being threatened by human interference.  I guess that makes me a treehugger.

May Every Step You Take Be Healthy!

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

Weclome to the Dr. Doormat Blog

 Weclome to the Dr. Doormat Blog It gives me great pleasure to announce the launch of our new Blog at Dr. Doormat. Many of you email and call me with your comments, questions and much appreciated support. Now, I’m excited that we have a new way to communicate. Since 2002 when I began to research various ways to clean up my home environment for my family, I uncovered a wealth of information and felt a responsibility to share what I learned with friends and family. This long journey of developing Dr. Doormat has not only been an adventure in business but an opportunity to fulfill a mission and help so many people learn about the issues of how to manage their home environment. I plan to include health tips, share relevant articles that I think you would find useful and share with you an under the hood view of running my business and balancing family life. I will invite guest blogger experts like Allergists, Veterinarians, Medical Advisors, Professional Housekeepers and Environmentalists and real Moms among others to contribute. I will also occasionally recommend products and techniques to help us through the seasons. I believe it takes a village to raise a family and I would like you to be part of mine.

May Every Step You Take Be Healthy!

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