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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Four Ways to Celebrate Earth Day


In celebration of Earth Day, these simple steps will improve your health and help the environment at the same time. 

#1 | Get the plastic out
Re-purpose plastic food storage containers to hold things you don't plan to eat and replace them with glass containers. Endocrine-disrupting chemicals in plastics can mimic or block natural hormones made by the body and have been linked to reproductive and developmental problems like early puberty, infertility and cancer. Evidence is mounting that these chemicals also interfere with neurological and immune systems and contribute to thyroid disorders, obesity and cardiovascular disease.

Because most of these toxins are fat-soluble, they are stored in tissues, rather than excreted. They can accumulate in the body and be transferred from mother to child through the placenta and breast milk. When these endocrine-disrupting chemicals are released into the environment, they can have similar negative effects on wildlife.

#2 | Clean out your cleaning products
Replace toxic household cleaning products with non-toxic alternatives.

#3 | Compost
Composting not only reduces waste, it also saves greenhouse gas emissions from refuse transport and provides nutrient-rich plant food for gardens, yards and parks. Even apartment dwellers can compost.

#4 | Add indoor plants
Plants can help detoxify the air. These indoor species have been shown to remove harmful chemicals like benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene and/or toluene:
  • Moth orchid (Phalenopsis sp.)
  • Dendrobium orchid (Dendrobium sp.)
  • English Ivy (Hedera helix)
  • Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
  • Heartleaf philodendron (Philodendron oxycardium, syn. Philodendron cordatum)
  • Peace lily (Spathiphyllum 'Mauna Loa')
  • Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema modestum)
  • Gerbera Daisy (Gerbera jamesonii)
  • Pot Mum (Chrysantheium morifolium)
  • Rubber Plant (Ficus elastica)
  • Boston fern (Nephrolepis exaltata "Bostoniensis")
  • Red-edged dracaena (Dracaena marginata)
  • Warneck dracaena (Dracaena deremensis 'Warneckii')
  • Dwarf date palm (Phoenix roebelenii)
  • Bamboo palm or reed palm (Chamaedorea sefritzii)
  • Snake plant (Sansevieria trifasciata 'Laurentii')

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