free the pen, a blog for writers

July 12, 2011

Cleaning Up Your Life to Stay Healthy

Filed under: writing techniques — freethepen @ 6:47 pm
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Seventy percent of the current population is chemically sensitive– right now– so if you think this article does not apply to you, think again. You might not be as sick as those in Dr. Rei’s clinic in Dallas, the only clinic for the environmentally effected. But I promise you, there is something in the environment that you cannot be around and be comfortable. Think about it. Cigarette smoke is one of those major smells that deleteriously effects many people, perfume another and also the smell of gasoline while pumping gasoline into a car.

Considering the fact that we are exposed to approximately 80,000 chemicals a day — we are in big trouble. This statistic makes the preponderance of cancer understandable. The unfortunate aspect of all this is that as long as we stay busy, take medicine instead of searching out the cause of illness and remain complacent about what the EPA and other companies are getting away with, we will remain physically in danger. There is a fantastic movement by Earthjustice, Wildlife Federation and other organizations to save our planet. Trust me! As a woman who has been so sick in the past (thank you God) that I couldn’t be around scotch tape, we cannot live without our environment. Pres. Obama just lessened the limit on formaldehyde that companies put into plywood and particle board. If you are remodeling or building anything, know that insulation, OSB products, paints, thinners, you name it — all contain formaldehyde. AFM is a great company to get organic building and household products. They ship out of California and Colorado. Get Co-op Green America for a telephone book directory ($10) for a list of all sources.

I could write a book on this and maybe one day I will sit with all my resources and do just that. For the time being, I’m going to suggest a few things to slowly change into your life. This can seem overwhelming but a friend of mine changed one or two things each time she shopped and within a year her home was organic and non-toxic.

So–here is what I recommend:

1. Buy organic foods. If you can’t afford them or they are not available then soak in white vinegar and rinse well. Keep in mind white vinegar is edible.

2. Clean your house with non-toxic products. If you are using standard products you are toxifying your home. Use white vinegar, lemon juice, borax and baking soda. I have a spray bottle of white vinegar and water and spray it on everything. White vinegar is an anti-microbial and anti-fungal and is more effective than bleach. Check out Gaiam’s website for clothing and household products.

3. Don’t use any product with 1. fragrance or 2. corn syrup

4. Wash new clothes with 1/4 cup of white vinegar to help remove toxins. It might take several washes for this to work. Buy clothing made with organic cotton, bamboo and soy. It is amazing what caring people are doing to save the rest of us from ourselves. Check out Gaiam, Dreamwords, Bio-Kleen, Indigineous Design, Earth Speaks.

5. Don’t use your cell phone in your car. Now I know you are thinking that this request has to do with safety and yes, it does. What happens when you use cell phones in your car is that whatever the cell phone gives off hits the metal in your car and comes back at you. If I had my way there would be no cell phones. Brain tumors are up 5% because of them and Canada and I believe Sweden has banned them for children under 12.

Be willing to face the discomfort of changing your lifestyle a little in order to save your life.

That’s all for now. If you follow these suggestions during the next month you will have made a huge step towards keeping you and your loved ones healthier.

Until next time, Jan


  1. Great post, Jan. Also – don’t stand in front of your washer/dryer or microwave when using it. Keep your distance from TVs and computers. (I’m typing on a laptop. arghh) Laptop computers will (among other things) make your legs ache… and I don’t even wanna know what it does to my eyes and chest. > When it comes right down to the nitty gritty of life, we all have to pick out the things that affect us most and do our best to avoid them. For instance, would you rather clean the corrosion off your car’s battery cables with Pepsi or Coke – or drink it and let it do its thing inside you? Your choice. It’s easier to prevent cancer than it is to cure it.

    Comment by Deborah Owen — July 12, 2011 @ 11:11 pm | Reply

  2. I had a similar experience with Coke. When I worked in an EAP program in Ca. I offered my client a soft drink and decided to have my one coke a decade. I drank a sip and left the paper cup with the coke in it on the top of the little refrigerator in the office. I tossed the rest of the soda and can but forgot the cup. The next week I arrived for another client. I went to the satellite office only once a week- so the cup with the coke sat for 7 days. The coke had eaten through the paper cup and ate the top of the refrigerator leaving a rusted circle the size of the bottom of the cup. When my client arrived she said she lets the coke go flat in a cup and cleans her toilet with it. She said it worked great on water stains. Thanks for replying to this. Jan

    Comment by freethepen — July 13, 2011 @ 3:41 pm | Reply

  3. Hi Judith,

    I think of you often and hope you are well. New cars are noxious. Wiping the inside of the car with diluted white vinegar can help and always keep the windows open to ventilate. Bio-Kleen sells geolite crystals that come in cloth sacks. Geolite absorbs odor. I have six of these little sacks and they cost only a few bucks. Lay the sacks around the car, preferably in the sun. Leave them in the car for a day or so then lay the sacks in the sun to off-gas (out of the car), then put them back in the car until the car’s inside air is more manageable. You can do the same for older cars. I hope this helps. Jan

    Comment by freethepen — July 14, 2011 @ 1:23 pm | Reply

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