Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Top-Rated Healthy Hand Soaps for Sensitive Skin

Even though hand soap is meant to wash away dirt, grease, and harmful substances, the ingredients in soap itself can have negative effects on sensitive or allergy-prone skin and overall human health. The average bottle of hand soap contains allergy-triggering artificial fragrances and dyes, as well as toxic ingredients such as triclosan, SLS, and parabens.
If you’re looking to switch out the hand soap in your home for soap with healthier and more eco-friendly ingredients, this list is the perfect place to get started.
Puracy Natural Liquid Hand Soap in Lavender & Vanilla
Puracy uses plant-based formulas to create a number of cleansers that are great for your skin and also better for the environment than traditional hand soap. This hand soap contains zero harsh chemicals. That means no triclosan, sulfates, or petrochemicals. It’s also vegan as well as gluten-free, which makes it a great option for those with a gluten sensitivity.
This hand soap was formulated by doctors and gets its fragrance from vanilla and lavender essential oils--no artificial fragrances here. It also contains aloe vera, sea salt, and Vitamin E, which serve to balance and hydrate skin naturally.
This soap also gets brownie points for being biodegradable, made in the USA, and certified cruelty-free (never tested on animals).
Buy on!
Seventh Generation Free & Clean Hand Soap, Unscented
This is another excellent plant-based liquid hand soap that can give you soft, clean skin without a single harsh chemical. It contains no dyes, fragrances, phthalates, or triclosan, making it a great option for anyone who wants or needs a completely unscented soap.
The ingredients that go into this product are both globally sourced and USA-based, but the product itself is manufactured in Tennessee, USA. The bottle is made with 100% post-consumer recycled plastic, and Seventh Generation sells large refill packs so that you can keep using the same bottle again and again--that’s an eco-friendly win!
EO Botanical Hand Soap in French Lavender
EO stands for “essential oils,” and that is exactly how this brand gives their soaps, gels, and lotions such a therapeutic smell. For their lavender soap, they source the lavender from French farms that have on-site distilleries. This allows the essential oils to be extracted from the freshly-picked lavender, yielding the most potent scent possible.
This soap contains zero sulfates, parabens, artificial dyes, or artificial fragrances, but what it does contain is a formula comprised of mild amino acid cleansers and a healing blend of chamomile, calendula, aloe vera, and white tea extracts.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Pet-Safe Houseplants the Help Improve Indoor Air Quality

Houseplants have a way of tying a whole room together, and what’s more, they’re a wonderful, all-natural way to purify harmful toxins from your indoor air. However, many houseplant varieties that are so common in home magazines are toxic to pets, so it’s important to choose your houseplants carefully.
Here are 3 air-purifying houseplants that are non-toxic to cats and dogs.
Calathea is a stunning variety of air-purifying houseplant characterized by its vibrant, variegated foliage. It comes in many varieties that vary in leaf shape, from round and smooth (like the Calathea medallion) to long, pointed, and crinkly (like the Calathea lancifolia, AKA. Rattlesnake Plant).
One interesting characteristic of Calathea is how it “goes to sleep” every night by closing up its leaves and then opens back up again when the light returns with the morning.
Calathea’s Best Environment:
  • Calathea tends to do best in medium, indirect light and can also tolerate dappled sunlight. It will be harmed if placed under direct sunlight for long durations.
  • It will thrive in conditions offering normal to somewhat high humidity.
  • It will need to be watered on almost a weekly basis, once the top 2 inches of its soil have become dry.
Areca Palm
If you’re looking for an air-purifying houseplant with some height (and a houseplant that’s hard to kill), an Areca palm could be just the thing. They’re usually around 5 feet tall when sold at nurseries, and under the right conditions, they may grow up to about 8 feet tall.
The Areca palm is a variety of cane palm. One plant will actually have several stems that come up from the soil. This plant does tend to spread out horizontally over time, but this can be managed by trimming back to the new stems that show up around the perimeter.
Areca Palm’s Best Environment:
  • Give your Areca palm bright, indirect sunlight. Indirect sunlight from a south- or west-facing window will probably do the trick. Direct sunlight will make the plant turn yellow.
  • During summer and spring, the soil needs to stay slightly moist. During fall and winter, the soil can dry out between waterings.
  • Areca palms prefer higher humidity.
Chlorophytum Comosum (Spider Plant)
This is a great plant for beginners because of how forgiving it is. It’s also a great plant for those living in colder areas of the country because it won’t suffer when your house drops in temperature (whereas a lot of other houseplants suffer below 65 degrees Fahrenheit).
Spider plants come in different varieties, including those with straight foliage and curled foliage, and are well-known for being easy to propagate.
Spider Plant’s Best Environment:
  • Keep your spider plant in bright light, as long as it isn’t direct sunlight. Direct sunlight will scorch the leaves.
  • Spider plants do just fine in average humidity.
  • It’s best to let your spider plant dry out between waterings. This plant is very susceptible to “root rot” if the soil gets too soggy.

Friday, April 5, 2019

What You Never Wanted to Know About Mold

People often hear the term “mold,” and it usually brings to mind bad smells and dark, mysterious growth in the corners of bathrooms--but what exactly is mold? Where does it grow? What makes it harmful? These questions (and others) will be answered below.
What is Mold?
Mold is a type of fungus. It’s made up of tiny organisms that come in a variety of colors, including green, white, black, purple, and orange. Mold spreads via mold spores, which are carried through the air both outdoors and indoors.
You might be surprised to find out that mold actually has a useful function in nature: to help plant material decompose.
What Causes Mold Growth?
You’re exposed to mold on a daily basis, usually in the form of spores, but don’t be alarmed just yet. The spores themselves--in small amounts--are generally harmless, but problems occur when the spores grow in concentration or when they attach to a surface and spread.
Mold spores require the following conditions in order to grow into mold:
  • Moisture (the #1 reason for mold growth in most homes)
  • A source of food (such as drywall)
  • Warmth
  • Oxygen
  • Darkness (ultraviolet light prevents mold growth)
If the conditions are right, once the mold spores attach to a surface, mold can start growing in as little as 24 to 48 hours.
Where Does Mold Grow?
Mold can grow in any room in your house, which is why it’s important to check every room. That being said, these are the most common rooms where mold is found:
  • Basements (due to poor ventilation, leaks, or flooding)
  • Bathrooms (due to leaks or the excess moisture from showering and bathing)
  • Attics (due to roof leaks or poor ventilation)
  • Crawl spaces (due to leaks, trapped water, or poor ventilation)
  • Kitchens (due to steam and other moisture from cooking and washing)
  • Laundry rooms (due to the warmth and moisture produced during laundering)
In rooms less prone to mold growth, it’s still recommended that you check for mold in the following places:
  • Air vents
  • Around the edges of windows
  • Houseplants
  • Curtains
  • Mattresses
What Makes Mold Harmful?
Some people are more sensitive to molds than others. For those with a mold sensitivity, being in a damp, moldy environment can cause symptoms similar to a cold or an allergic reaction:
  • Coughing or wheezing and throat irritation
  • Eye irritation
  • Nasal congestion
  • Skin irritation
People with mold allergies or chronic lung illnesses or immune-compromised people can potentially get serious infections as a result of mold exposure.
It should also be noted that mold exposure may increase a child’s risk of developing asthma. Recent studies have indicated that there may be a link between early mold exposure and the development of asthma in certain children, especially those who could be genetically susceptible to developing asthma.
To reduce the risk of mold growth in your home, contact GreenPro Cleaning & Restoration for air duct, attic, and crawl space cleaning and help with water damage.