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Healthy Child Healthy World - Creating a Cleaner, Greener, Safer Home
by Christopher Gavigan

The following are some tidbits from Chapter 7Every Sip - and Breath - You Take, Clean Water and Air Solutions:

Energy Saver: De-gunk your HVAC regularly. No matter what sort of cooling/heating system you have, change filters often to avoid mold, dust, and particle buildup. Signing up for a periodic duct-cleaning (the frequency depends on the type) can improve the efficiencty of your system and help it last longer.

Burning Question: Do air filters work? Air filters and purifiers may indeed pull their weight in homes with asthmatics and allergy suffereres: The EPA, at least, claims that an air filter can play a big role, along with proper ventilation and other efforts, in maintaining health indoor air.

High-efficienty or HEPA filters will remove particles like dust, pollen, and pet dander, while specialized charcoal-based filters can remove odors, VOC gases, chemicals, and smoke. But these are typically only strong enough to purify the air in a single room with the door closed, not a whole house.

You may also see ads for electronic purifiers, including "ion generators" that create an ionic charge to attract particles onto a collection of plate, and ozone generators, which are designed to reduce the levels of some pollutants. But these have yet to prove their effectiveness, and some may event be dangerous as ozone generators have been found to create by-products that make the air more polluted.

Naturally Fresh Air

Air Purifying Spritz. Love your Lysol a bit too much? Thereapostrophes a natural way to dispel odors. Baking soda absorbs smells while vinegar deodorizes.

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar or lemon juice
  • 2 cups hot water

Put all ingredients in a spray bottle and spritz in the air to kill odors.

Air Freshening Spray.

  • 10 drops of your favorite essential oil*
  • 7 tablespoons of water

Put into a spray bottle, shake well, spray.

*For a calming scent, try lavender; for freshness, orange and bergamot; for kitchen and bathroom, lemon and pine.

Note: Essential oils smell so good your child may want to take a taste, so be careful - they can irritate the mouth and lungs and even be poisonous.

About the author:

Christopher Gavigan is Chief Executive Officer of Healthy Child Healthy World. For more than a decade, he has dedicated himself to improving the lives of children and families. He holds degrees in environmental science and geography from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and has extensive graduate training in child psychology and education. He has worked as an ecology and sciences teacher in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay area, and as a children and family specialist. He is the founder of Pinnacle Expeditions, an outdoor leadership program for teenagers.

Since joining Healthy Child Healthy World, Gavigan has launched public awareness campaigns and educational programs that have educated millions about daily choices and actions that impact our children’s health and our planet’s future.Visit http://www.healthychild.org/.