Tag Archives: non-toxic

Choosing A Safe, Nontoxic Sunscreen

It’s widely known that your skin is your largest organ – taking good care of it is so important not only if you want to look your best, but in order to feel your best too. That’s because the ingredients in the products that you put on your skin are absorbed directly into your bloodstream.

safesun 270x300 Choosing A Safe, Nontoxic Sunscreen

Choose a safe sunscreen to avoid sun damage.

One summer skin care tip you’ve probably heard time and time again is to slather on plenty of sun screen every time you head outside. This habit is said to prevent sun burn and skin cancer – and delay signs of aging.

But are all sunscreens created equally? Not at all. In fact, many of the more popular brands of sunscreen actually contain harmful ingredients that you don’t want to put on your body!

It all starts with the ingredients. Truthfully, all you really need in a sunscreen is titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. These natural, mineral ingredients sit on top of the skin to form barrier protection from UV rays

Unfortunately, many sunscreens also have ingredients that aren’t so healthy, such as:

  • Fragrance – Synthetic fragrances are petroleum-based and are linked to organ toxicity and can trigger allergies.

  • Oxybenzone – This common ingredient has been shown to disrupt hormone activity. Plus, it only blocks UVB ray (sun’s good rays that provide vitamin D production), not UVA which are the most free radical damaging rays.

  • High SPF – Contrary to popular belief, it turns out high SPF does not necessarily offer more protection. The Environmental Working Group performed a study and determined that lower SPF is used more effectively.

To find a safe sunscreen, check out the EWG’s list of approved brands. They run the Skin Deep Database, which is the number one resource for learning about ingredients in personal care products. A few brands, such as Andalou Naturals and Juice Beauty. The Honest Company also offers a great nontoxic sunscreen for kids and babies!

It’s also wise to follow a few other sun protection tips in order to avoid being sun burned:

  • Stay inside when the sun is at it’s hottest – between 11 AM and 2 PM.

  • Wear a wide brimmed hat while working outside, such as while gardening, or when you’re near the water.

  • Wear long, loose clothing that covers your skin when you’ll be outside for several hours at a time.

  • Have the family wearing rash guard shirts (long sleeve and short) for swimming this summer.  They are comfortable and will save having to put extra sunscreen all over the body.

By following these tips you can enjoy the summer sun burn free!

May Every Step You Take Be Healthy!

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

How to Reduce Allergies in The Home

While you’ll see a lot of news and info popping up this time of year about pollen and reducing those allergy symptoms, the truth is “allergy season” lasts all year long. For those allergic to pets, this is no surprise. There are other risks present all year round, too. Read on to learn more about how to reduce allergies in every season. According to a recent issue of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation‘s quarterly newsletter, FreshAAIRwinter allergies come mainly from indoor sources, so be on the lookout in your home for allergen hot spots. “When windows are shut and the heater is on, less fresh air is circulated through your home and exposure to indoor allergens increases.”

How to Reduce Allergies – Check These Sources

 How to Reduce Allergies in The Home

typical allergy triggers in the home.

  • Pet Dander – Particularly concerning in the winter when your pet is likely indoors most of the time, pet dander can be a major cause of allergic reaction. Cut back on dander in the home by bathing your pet often and vacuuming your floors and furniture regularly.  If your pet is the one suffering from allergies look at your cleaning supplies.  Get rid of strong smells and go with non-toxic. Sometimes just good old fashioned floor soap works best.  Remember to wipe your dogs paws and underbelly after an outdoor walk. Having a problem with the pet bed and the odors.  Switch to an antimicrobial treated floor mat. Dr. Doormat controls the growth of microorganisms and odors. Position the mat at the doggie door and other entrances. Dogs also love sleeping on the floor mat because of the way it feels and they don’t destroy it.
  • Dust Mites – As gross at it sounds, these little buggers are everywhere. If you are allergic its likely to be more the feces of the dust mite than the actual mite.  Keep your home clean with a regular schedule – wash bedding often, dust surfaces, and stay on top of laundry.
  • Furnaces and Heating Sources – Dust and allergens accumulate in the heating and air conditioning system. Keep them serviced and change filters regularly. Follow these winter indoor air tips.
  • Carpets – Avoid wall to wall carpet, but if you have carpet and are stuck with it, at least make sure it stays as clean as possible.  Keep them cleaner by wiping shoes thoroughly on Dr. Doormat as you enter the home.  The surface of the mat will help trap allergens, pesticides and toxins and disable odor causing microorganisms (bacteria, mold, fungus) on the mat.  We can’t always guarantee how well a guest will wipe so we also recommend taking shoes off after using the antimicrobial treated doormat to reduce and minimize our exposure.  Keep a shoe rack near the welcome mat.    Vacuum your carpets regularly and steam clean as needed.  Remember to sanitize the head of the vacuum cleaner before and after you vacuum to further reduce the spread of viruses and germs.
  • Ceiling Fans – Have you cleaned them lately? Use the pillowcase trick to trap dust and dispose of it outside your home!

Cutting down on allergen exposure is the key to keeping your family breathing easy. Follow these tips for a cleaner, fresher home – all year long.

May Every Step You Take Be Healthy!

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

Spring into Success – Clean Office Tips

 Spring into Success   Clean Office Tips

Coming Soon to an Office Near You

It’s official – Spring is here! Many families are going through the process of spring cleaning their homes, a yearly practice that is refreshing and good for our health. Why not apply the same idea to the office? Spring clean your way to a clean office to recharge and boost your health, productivity and happiness at work!

 

Healthy Home Mom’s Office Cleaning Tips

  • Make a good first impression at the front door & entryway.  Put your best foot forward and give it a thorough cleaning.  Use non-toxic eco-friendly cleaners.  Open windows when you clean, let the office breath.  Be sure to use a vacuum with a new bag and clean the head of vacuum before you begin to prevent contamination.
  • Ceiling Fans and light fixtures – Start at the top and work your way down.  Unplug the fixture and wipe blades, change bulbs (begin a shopping list for supplies).
  • Clean Electronics – Wipe down electronics from top to bottom, paying close attention to areas that are touched frequently like keyboards, phones and buttons.  Remove all items from the desks, wash and dry all counters and desks. (use cloth cotton diapers to reduce dust, purchase a pack of 10).  Check for battery replacement.

    keyboardresized 300x225 Spring into Success   Clean Office Tips

    Germs at your fingertips!

  • Deep Clean Office Furniture – Take the opportunity to give office chairs and other furniture a thorough cleaning using a steam cleaner with attachements. Do it on a Friday to allow everything to dry over the weekend.
  • Sanitize Germ “Hot Spots” – Doorkobs, cabinet handles, drawer pulls, light switches and desk tops are all germ magnets. Sanitize them thoroughly to curb germs.
  • Wash Windows – Inside and Out – Give the windows a good shining with a 50-50 solution of vinegar and water.
  • Supply Room/ Copy Center/ Shipping Station – Clean it out and consolidate.  Wash all shelves, counters and add needed supplies to shopping list.
  • Steam Clean Carpets – Last thing is steam cleaning those carpets, paying close attention to high traffic areas. No carpets? Great wash the floors.  Last step, place Dr. Doormat at entryways to trap dirt and dust, controlling the growth of microorganisms.

Add Inspiring Touches

The way you decorate your office has a profound impact on daily productivity and your mood as you work. Add inspiring and motivating elements to your surrounding to make the most impact.

  • Encouraging Wall Art – Hang inspiring quotes & images to encourage productivity & creativity.
  • Color Choices Matter – Choose colors according to the impact you want to have. Blue is the most productive color, while purple encourages creativity. Calming colors include Green and Blue which are tied to nature.
  • Curb Clutter – Select organizers that help minimize the clutter.  Clutter is overwhelming and stressful – not conducive to a productive environment!  Set up systems and rules that you can live with to maintain order and rid yourself of those little pieces of paper and piles.  A favorite trick is a shoe bag hidden on the inside of a closet door which makes great compartments for little things.

Spring into success by maximizing your productivity in a fresh, clean office.

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.

Start the New Year with 3 Natural Pet Care Tips

Even the most eco-friendly homes often overlook “going green” when it comes to pet care. However, if you want to work towards a toxin-free home and live a healthier, greener lifestyle, you should absolutely consider natural pet care!  Considering the joy

 Start the New Year with 3 Natural Pet Care Tips

Eating healthy means making better choices.

our pets bring to our lives and their complete dependence on us, we definitely owe it to them to make good choices on their behalf.

1. Healthier, All Natural Pet Food

The first aspect of natural pet care should probably be to look at the product we have to buy most often: food! The sad truth is that most commercial pet foods have harmful, toxic additives and aren’t really designed with animals’ complete nutritional needs in mind. Think of it this way: boxed cereal might very well be fortified with all kinds of vitamins and minerals that we humans need, but we know that living off of if completely would not be very helpful at all!

Fortunately, there are healthy alternatives to the highly processed pet foods that are now the norm. To choose a higher quality pet food, look for one that is certified by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). Also, make sure that the first couple of ingredients are an actual source of animal protein – dogs and cats need this! Lamb, chicken, beef, fish, and turkey are all good ingredients.

2. Toxin-Free Grooming

When it comes time to bathe your pet, be sure that you’re choosing shampoos and soaps that are natural and toxin free. The ingredients in those products enter our pets’ bloodstream through the skin, so it’s crucial to choose those that are more natural.

The same standard applies to treatments meant to ward off ticks and fleas for dogs. Dr.

 Start the New Year with 3 Natural Pet Care Tips

Are there harsh chemicals in your grooming products?

Mercola offers a completely natural flea and tick spray that uses essential oils to keep pests at bay. Natural alternatives like this keep toxic chemicals off your pet and out of your home.

If you have a cat, you’ll also want to choose a natural litter for them. The standard clay litters on the market often contain toxic fragrances and compounds that make the litter “clump.” Instead, choose a natural version made from nut byproducts, recycled newspaper, or other low-dust ingredients.

3. Green Pet Gear

Finally, you’ll also want to consider going green when it comes to the gear you buy. Pet beds, toys, and other accessories are often made with materials that aren’t sustainable and some of which even contain toxins that you don’t want in your home. For example, some plastic toys and dishes contain BPA. This poison can leech into food and water through dishes or enter your pet’s system as they play or chew on a toy.  Choose stainless steel dishes and toys made from natural rubber or natural fibers such as:

  • Organic cotton
  • Natural rubber
  • Hemp
  • Bamboo
 Start the New Year with 3 Natural Pet Care Tips

Dogs can ingest toxins & pesticides by licking their paws after a walk.

Beds, blankets, leashes and other cloth items should also be made from these natural fibers as well. One of the most overlooked and underestimated issues is tied to that healthy walk you’re taking each day with your pet.  Dogs and cats often wonder into the yard or take a daily walk in the park and without realizing it they are picking up harmful toxins and pesticides, lick their paws,  and inadvertently ingest the pesticides causing severe health problems including cancer. Wiping off thoroughly on an eco-friendly, antimicrobial treated doormat helps trap those nasty toxins and can disable unwelcome microorganisms on the mat.  This will add an extra line of defense for your loved ones keeping your home the sanctuary we all would like our homes to be.

Making healthy choices for your cat or dog is a choice you won’t regret.  I recommend that you consult with your Vet for more ideas or suggestions.  These small changes will lead to a healthier home and family – including your pet!

May Every Step You Take Be Healthy!

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

7 Tips To Keeping The Car Clean

We practically live out of our cars.  

Here are 7 common sense tips for keeping the car clean.

Once upon a time in this great nation it was a luxury to own a car. When suburban sprawl, soccer games, cheerleading practice, football camp and sleepovers became the norm, what was a luxury became a necessity. While plenty of urban parents and children pack up equipment and coolers and take public transportation, the majority of the soccer moms are packing as many players as they can into their car-pooling auto.

 7 Tips To Keeping The Car Clean

Gearing up in the family SUV

The term auto is used loosely. More than likely the suburban mother of today is driving an SUV or van – the 2012 version of the old station wagon from the days of Leave it to Beaver. While fathers still drive their sporty cars to work, the work car is driven by the moms.

Whether a soccer mom or working person, we all seem to live in our cars. Think about all the time spent in stop and start commuting traffic. Then comes the taxi team hauling everyone and his brother to practices, recitals, play dates and maybe camping trips. Do not forget the daily trips to the super market, mall and big box stores. How does anyone make time for themselves? Usually, lunch time or break time means eating on the run.

 7 Tips To Keeping The Car Clean

The Family Taxi

How many carloads of rambunctious cheerleaders have passed through the Golden Arches after a game. After everyone orders their favorite super-sized meal and devours as much as possible while still talking and waving their arms around, there are more French fries on the floor of the car than ever hit the collective mouths. Mom ordered her favorite, too, which means not only fries on the floor, but spilled cola on the arm rest and crumbs down the front of her shirt.

This is life in America. We love it. So do all the germs and bacteria that hide in your car when you close the doors for the afternoon or evening. Your auto becomes a rolling lab specimen. In the hot, closed environment all the bad bacteria grow and flourish. And when the next person or group of children enters the car, they come in contact with all these vermin. Are the sniffles, flu bug or allergic reactions too far away?

It is virtually impossible for Americans to maintain the interior of their vehicles so they are germ free.   Here are 7 common sense ways to eliminate some of these invading microorganisms and viruses before they can do damage.

  1. You’ll need a garbage can, vacuum cleaner, paper towels, non-toxic, odor free cleaning spray and a litter-bag.
  2. Pull all the car mats out, shake and vacuum at least once a week and then believe it or not you should be able to wash those mats in a front-loading washing machine, and hang to dry.  Only as needed of course.
  3. Open all the doors, empty all the trash under all those seats and start cleaning.

     7 Tips To Keeping The Car Clean

    The cars takes a bath

  4. One major helpful tip:  Before and After you vacuum, clean the head of the vacuum cleaner with a sanitizing spray or solution.  This prevents the transfer of virus’s and other nasty germs from being spread around.   If you use a public car wash, make them use a spray or sanitizer or your car will be dirtier after they vacuum.
  5. Once a quarter have the floors shampooed at a professional car wash.
  6. Purchase a good size container of anti-bacterial wipes. Make it a game for the kids. Once they are secured in their seats have them wipe that portion of the seatbelts that they touch. They should also wipe the door handles before they touch them the first time. Don’t forget to wipe the steering wheel as well! Keep a litter-bag in the car for all the used wipes and pitch in the trash when you get home.
  7. Buy a large size container of anti-bacterial spray. You may wish to spray the seats and floors when you know the car will not be used any further for the day or evening. When you spray the interior and close the doors, while the car sits unused for seven hours, all the bacteria on the seats and floors will have been killed.  Air out in the morning before the family climbs aboard for another day.

You have not eliminated all the germs in the car, but you have made great strides in reducing your family’s exposure to harmful virus’s and toxins tracked in on our shoes.  It’s always a pleasure to drive a clean car.

May Every Step You Take Be Healthy!

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