Do You Make These Two Mistakes That Taint Your Indoor Air?

Do You Make These Two Mistakes That Taint Your Indoor Air?  From The Zen of Pure Living

—Part 2 of the Series—

Do You Make These Two Mistakes That Taint Your Indoor Air?


Do you believe that outdoor air is dirtier than indoor air?

Well, you’re mistaken.

It’s hard to believe – right? You were always taught to be concerned about outdoor air pollution. But, in reality, it’s really the air trapped in your home that is dirtier than outdoor air.

Here’s one important fact you need to know:

—-EPA studies confirm that indoor air pollutants may be 2-5 times higher than outdoor air—-

How can this be?

First of all, you live indoors with the windows closed with the same air being recirculated by your heating/air conditioning systems trapping all sorts of airborne particles inside.

Yes sure, your air filters catch some of the larger particles, but it is really the finer particles and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) that cause health issues. And, your air conditioner/heating filters are no match for these airborne particles.

Second, if you’re making the mistake of using air fresheners and the wrong cleaning products, you are adding to poor indoor air quality.

Kinda of disturbing, isn’t it?

Simply by using air fresheners and cleaning products, you are releasing VOCs that could create health issues for you.

Here’s what you need to know about air fresheners.

Bad News About Your Air Freshener

You like your home to smell fresh and clean, so you use spray air fresheners, scented candles and plug-ins. The scents smell great, and you don’t have to worry about your house smelling funny when people stop by.

You’ve smelled bad odors in other people’s homes, and you don’t want that happening to you!
Unfortunately, while you may love the way your air freshener makes your home smell, you may unknowingly be subjecting yourself to dangerous chemicals.

You can read the full article (What’s In Your Air Freshener?), but the facts are simple.

Research shows that air fresheners contain hormone disrupting chemicals and chemicals that are likely or known carcinogens.

Check out this scary example:

—-Febreze was found to contain 89 airborne contaminants—-

Sadly, any freshener containing perfume is problematic. So, whether you’re using scented candles, plug-ins, sprays or solids, it’s all the same.

It’s troubling, isn’t it?

So, do a good thing for your health, and stop making the mistake of using air fresheners or use them on a more limited basis.

The Second Mistake – Using the Wrong Cleaning Products

Cleaning products are another source of bad stuff released into your air that you really want to take seriously.

Check out Get The Truth About What’s In Your Cleaning Products for the full story.

Want the simple truth?

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has lax regulations for disclosing ingredients so anything labeled as fragrance is largely unregulated and untested.

Fragrances can be any one of 3000+ ingredients – many synthetic, petroleum-based and toxic.

Think that buying products labeled as Green or All Natural are safer? They aren’t. Green and All Natural are marketing terms that aren’t regulated.

Admit it.

You’re a bit dismayed that labels aren’t trustworthy. And, that you are using products with untested, unregulated ingredients.

How do you find the safest cleaning products?

You can easily find the safest cleaning products though.

Use the Pure Living Space Shopping List for the Safest Cleaning Products. Click to sign up for a free printable shopping list that is all set for your next grocery run.

You’ve got what you need to improve your health today, so what’s stopping you?

Unless maybe….you’ve got an evil genius like Mary Todd Lincoln!

My evil genius Procrastination has whispered me to tarry ’til a more convenient season.”

Mary Todd Lincoln

Don’t miss the rest of the series! You’ll learn some surprising ways to clean up your indoor air and more myths will be debunked. Sign up for weeks 3-12.

How to Get Rid of Mosquitoes Without Harmful Chemicals

How to Get Rid of Mosquitoes Without Harmful Chemicals

Imagine, being outside enjoying your yard and garden without being surrounded by buzzing mosquitoes.

What if you could sit peacefully? No swatting away insects and free of sticky repellents.

Sounds good, right? But how?

You can use all natural ways of repelling mosquitoes.

So, rather than dousing yourself with DEET, and spraying harmful chemicals on your lawn, try these safer, all natural alternatives.

You can thank Howard Garrett for this advice. He literally wrote the book on natural organic gardening called The Organic Manual.

Here’s how you take back your yard.

Address Standing Water

Eliminate standing, stagnate water.

You’ve heard this bit of advice before, but there could be areas you’ve missed.

Look for standing water in your gutters, gardens, bird baths, and planters. Empty if possible. Discard things like planter trays because they collect water.

Be sure to check your gutters because if they aren’t clean, you can also find mosquito breeding grounds there too.

For standing water that you cannot eliminate, use Bti product such as Bactimos Briquettes or Mosquito Dunks. You can find these products at your natural gardening store.

What is Bti?

Bti is a bacteria that specifically targets mosquitoes and black flies in their larval stage, but causes no collateral damage. Bti is eaten by the mosquito larva and becomes highly toxic to the larva killing them within minutes after ingestion.

What you’ll love about Bti is that it kills the larvae AND repels the adults from laying eggs. The EPA has categorized the risk to non-target organisms as minimal to non-existent.

What to do If Bti is not available? Try sprinkling instant coffee crystals in the standing water.

Scatter Dry Granulated Garlic

Scatter dry granulated garlic in problem areas. Some of the worst areas are around trash cans and in the tall grass borders that always seems to be moist. Broadcast at 2 lbs per 1000 sq. ft. in beds, turf, pots and plants.

Using dry granulated garlic can repel mosquitoes for up to four weeks.

Simply buy the dry granulated garlic from the grocery store (in the extra-large size) and start shaking.

Spray With Garlic Spray

Spray adult mosquitoes with garlic spray or garlic-pepper tea. Using garlic sprays can repel mosquitoes up to 14 days. See recipe below for how to make garlic-pepper tea. You can buy garlic spray at your gardening store.

After spraying, your place will have a strong garlic odor, but it quickly fades and is well worth it to be able to enjoy some yard time.

Use Natural Herbs as Repellents

Use mosquito repellents that contain natural herbs such as aloe vera, citronella, vanilla, eucalyptus, tea tree oil and citrus oil. These really do work well and are available at your natural grocery store.

HOMS BiteBlocker from works well.

You can also mix your own. Try Vanilla dabbed on the skin or clothing. Or, Vanilla Mix which is 8 oz. water, 2 tsp. vanilla extract and 1 tsp. orange oil. Spray on skin and clothing liberally.

Garlic Pepper Tea Recipe:

To make garlic/pepper tea, liquefy 2 bulbs of garlic and 2 hot peppers in a blender 1/2 to 2/3 full of water. Strain the solids and add enough water to the garlic/pepper juice to make 1 gallon of concentrate. Use 1/4 cup of concentrate per gallon of spray.

To make garlic tea, simply omit the pepper and add another bulb of garlic. Add two tablespoons of molasses for more control.

Be very careful with the pepper solids and concentrate because it might irritate your eyes and skin.

So, put down the DEET and grab some garlic and Bti and take back your yard!

Got fleas or ants? Check out our other articles on natural pest control:

The Best Way to Get Rid of Fleas Naturally

Six Killer Ways to Kill Ants Exterminators Won’t Tell You

The Best Way to Get Rid of Fleas Naturally

Best Way to Get Rid of Fleas, Naturally

So you’ve got fleas in your house, and you’re miserable. Those flea bites are incredibly itchy and take forever to heal. You’re perturbed with everyone and everything.

So far, you have resisted calling the exterminator because you know the treatment is probably pretty toxic. You’re wondering if less toxic remedies really work.

The answer is yes! You can get rid of fleas using organic, non-toxic remedies.

Here’s how:

Take these steps to get rid of fleas:

1. Apply Diatomaceous Earth

Apply diatomaceous earth in dry weather to outdoor areas using a dusting machine. This will kill the fleas in the yard. Treat the entire area thoroughly. Wear a dust mask when applying since breathing the DE dust can be harmful to your lungs. Use only natural diatomaceous earth that contains less than 1% crystalline silica dioxide. Never use swimming pool DE.

What is diatomaceous earth (DE)?

DE is a white powder that is the fossilized remains of marine phytoplankton. When a bug with an exoskeleton (think flea, ant, roach, bed bug) comes into contact with DE, it sort of works under the shell, punctures the body, and the bug dies.

Sounds good, right?

Fortunately, it does not have the same effect on mammals. DE is totally non-toxic. There is no buildup of tolerance like poisons because the killing method is physical, not chemical.

Remember to keep the DE dry and although you can eat food-grade DE and rub it on your skin, do not inhale DE because the silica is bad for your lungs. (source:

2. Dust Your Pet’s Sleeping Quarters

Dust your pet’s sleeping area with DE being careful to avoid breathing the dust. If your cat sleeps around, you will be dusting a lot of areas.

3. Apply Nematodes (don’t skip this step)

Apply beneficial nematodes to your lawn. Look for a brand called NemAttack or ask your local natural gardening store for what they recommend to combat fleas. You’ll need to do two applications 7-10 days apart in the early morning or pre-dusk when the sun’s rays are gentler. Nematodes can be added to your lawn using a watering can or hose end sprayer. Follow the directions on the label.

What are beneficial nematodes?

They are microscopic roundworms that occur naturally in soil and can be used to control a variety of pests including fleas. You probably don’t want to know the details about how they work.

You’ll be pleased with the end result.

4. Bathe Your Pet

Bathe your pet with mild herbal shampoos looking for orange oil or tea tree oil as ingredients.

Not brave enough to give your cat a bath even after watching at least 10 videos on how to do this safely?

Opt for rubbing the cat’s fur with a lemon grass, cinnamon, sesame and castor oil spray.

5. Comb or Brush Your Pet

Comb or brush your pet. It will help remove the fleas and relax you both.

6. Vacuum, Vacuum, Vacuum

Start vacuuming daily and don’t stop for a month (fleas have a fairly lengthy life cycle). Vacuum pet’s sleeping areas, carpet and basically anywhere where flea eggs could have fallen off.

To ensure that the fleas do not hatch inside your vacuum cleaner, vacuum up some DE or take the bag to the garbage immediately.

What are the best ways to treat flea bites?
Here are the most effective:

  • Soothe bite with moistened green tea bag 2-3 times a day. While odd-sounding, you’ll find this works well.
  • Apply lavender essential oil in a carrier oil (coconut oil works well) to the bite. The lavender oil takes the sting out and so the bite will heal more quickly and you might get a reprieve from the itching.
  • Apply tea tree lotion to a water proof band-aid and leave in place. Change the band-aid once or twice a day.

Looking for other ways to live healthier without making yourself crazy? Sign up for The Zen of Pure Living 12 Week Email series.

If you have ants, check out Six Organic Pest Remedies for Ants That Work.


The Organic Manual: Natural Organic Gardening and Living For Your Family, Plants and Pets by Howard Garrett