Did You Know? Many of us spend up to 90% of our time indoors - either at home, or at the office or at school, where levels of indoor pollutants can be 2-5 times higher than outdoors. Source: WHO
Over the past 20 years we’ve gathered a lot of useful information about the things we can do to have a healthy home. On the ecostore blog we’ll be looking at everything from how to have healthy indoor air to using energy more efficiently and how to identify the nasties hidden amongst the ordinary household cleaning products you use to clean your home.
So when you have a moment, head on over to our blog and find out about our easy suggestions to help you live more sustainably and protect your family’s health.
Recent Blog PostsThe number one reason for taking your dog or cat to the vet.
Did you guess? It’s skin disease and the annoying licking, scratching and nibbling that goes with it. Itchy pets are a frustrating condition for all involved. Having to listen to your cat scratching or your dog licking its feet all night, and the sleep deprivation that comes with it, means a quick fix is often necessary but how often do we get down to the underlying reason for the scratching? Simply put – it’s either because of something we put on them or something we put in them. External parasites and dietary allergies are easily rectified but what about our pet’s home environment?
We’re currently seeing an increasing number of allergic skin disease in our indoor animal companions. Cleaning products, laundry and dish detergents, carpet cleaners and controlled air conditioning are all likely suspects when trying to identify what it is that our pets are allergic to. It makes sense doesn’t it? If we can be hypersensitive to cosmetics and chemicals applied to our skin why wouldn’t our pets be? Actually, we think they’re the canaries in the coal mines often showing symptoms earlier than their owners. Chemical toxicity, especially for indoor-only pets, can also be life threatening. If they drink from showers, sinks and toilets, which may have been recently cleaned then fatal gut, liver or kidney disease may occur. We need to be more eco-aware when it comes to taking care of our pets.
Our guest blogger today is Dr Megan Alderson from The Strand Vet in Auckland. Find out how they can help you to ‘spring clean your pet’ by visiting their website or take a look at their facebook page to WIN some great prizes (including 10 ‘pet friendly’ buckets of ecostore goodies).Breathing easy inside our homes (video)
Many of us spend a lot of time indoors – particularly when our kids are little – so it’s important to make sure the air inside our homes is safe to breathe.
This can be difficult when there are so many things that can affect our indoor air quality including fumes from paint, new furniture, cleaning products, disinfectants, air fresheners, insect repellents and more.
Babies and young children are more vulnerable to pollutants in the air because they have narrower airways and need more oxygen relative to their size. They also breathe more rapidly, inhaling more pollutant per kg of body weight than adults do (source: World Health Organisation).
So what’s the answer? Our ‘Breathe Easy’ video (< 2 mins) gives you some simple and effective tips to make sure the air inside your home is safer to breathe for yourself and your family and as always – if you have any other great tips to share we’d love to hear them.What are unacceptable levels of chemicals in our lives?
Latest research from Colmar Brunton shows that many of us don’t actually know what’s in the products we use every day around our homes and on our bodies, yet at latest count, there are around 80,000 chemicals being used in products today, with 1000 new chemicals developed every year around the world.
Legislation can’t keep up with chemical development and many regulations worldwide are out of date.
- In the US, outdated chemical laws make it extremely difficult to ban or restrict a chemical’s use. Regulators must prove a chemical poses a clear health risk, but the Environmental Protection Agency has sufficient health and safety data for only about 200 of the 80,000 chemicals in use. For example asbestos (a known carcinogen) can still legally be used.
- In NZ Triclosan, a widely used antibacterial agent used in soaps, hand washes, toothpaste and cosmetics, has been determined by the Australian National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS) as hazardous and should be classified as an irritant to skin, eyes and respiratory system and toxic.
One of the first steps to protecting the health of our families and our homes is to be better informed about safe chemicals and to take a precautionary approach to anything that could be harmful to our health. That’s why I’m so excited about this movie, take a look at the trailer when you have a minute and let us know what you think.