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Green and Healthy Housing: Improving Your Quality of Life Pamela R. Turner, Ph. D Green and Healthy Housing: Improving Your Quality of Life Pamela R. Turner, Ph. D Associate Professor & Extension Housing Specialist University of Georgia [email protected] edu

Why Green and Healthy Housing? v Holistic approach to housing n Environmental Factors • Why Green and Healthy Housing? v Holistic approach to housing n Environmental Factors • Reducing waste going to landfill • Recycling and reusing materials • Saving resources for future generations n Economic Issues • Reducing energy and water costs • Reducing health care costs n Health Concerns • Reducing asthma and allergy triggers • Eliminating tripping and falling hazards

Healthy Homes Are: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Dry Clean Ventilated Pest-Free Healthy Homes Are: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Dry Clean Ventilated Pest-Free Safe Contaminant-Free Maintained

Simple Ways to Live Greener v Reduce waste n v Use less water n Simple Ways to Live Greener v Reduce waste n v Use less water n v Fix leaks & Wash full loads Conserve energy n v Recycle & Reduce consumption Switch to CFLs & Turn lights off Decrease indoor contaminants n Reduce chemicals & clutter

Decreasing Indoor Contaminants People spend an average of 90% of their time indoors where Decreasing Indoor Contaminants People spend an average of 90% of their time indoors where organic pollutants are 2 to 5 times higher v Contaminants in your home: v Lead Mold Radon Pests Asbestos Formaldehyde Environmental Tobacco Smoke Carbon Monoxide (CO) Pesticides Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

Three ways to decrease contaminants in your home 1) 2) 3) Control what you Three ways to decrease contaminants in your home 1) 2) 3) Control what you bring in Clean often using non-toxic or green cleaning products Reduce clutter

1) Control what you bring in v Reduce consumption n n Buy fewer household 1) Control what you bring in v Reduce consumption n n Buy fewer household cleaning products Don’t buy “extras” like air fresheners Buy safer products (non-toxic or low VOC) v Add a doormat & leave your shoes at the door v Greatest number of environmental exposures and risks for young children occur inside the home

Reduce tracking in Where did you trod today? v v v v Along a Reduce tracking in Where did you trod today? v v v v Along a sidewalk covered with bird droppings? In a gas station restroom? Down the aisles of a grocery store? In a dog park? Across a lawn recently treated with chemicals? Around an old building with peeling paint? Through your back garden?

Where does house dust come from? § § § Brought-In (30 - 40%) Home-Grown Where does house dust come from? § § § Brought-In (30 - 40%) Home-Grown (garbage & clutter) What is in dust? § v Four footfalls n v Lead dust, dead insects, pesticides, fungal spores, cigarette ashes, dust mites, dead skin cells, pet hair, etc. 85% of soil brought inside can be contained within the first 10 to 12 feet SOLUTIONS: n n Add a doormat Take your shoes off

2) Clean often using non-toxic or green cleaning products Household cleaners were among the 2) Clean often using non-toxic or green cleaning products Household cleaners were among the top 5 substances resulting in calls to U. S. Poison control Centers in 2008. Accounting for 213, 595 calls. v Clean Often n v Modify your habits Green Cleaning n n Buy fewer products, or Make your own cleaning products

Habit Modification: An ounce of prevention…. § § Reduce the need to clean Clean Habit Modification: An ounce of prevention…. § § Reduce the need to clean Clean as you go Capture the dirt (microfiber) Schedule cleaning § Daily tasks (Wash dishes, wipe counters and spills, sweep floor, put things away, etc. ) § Weekly tasks (Vacuum, damp mop, dust, etc. ) § Get your family involved 11

Green Cleaning Buy and use fewer different products v Focus on basic cleaning ingredients Green Cleaning Buy and use fewer different products v Focus on basic cleaning ingredients v n n n Alkalis Acids Surfactants Abrasives Disinfectant

Green Cleaning v Alkalis n n v Purpose: Remove oily dirt and grease Types: Green Cleaning v Alkalis n n v Purpose: Remove oily dirt and grease Types: Baking soda, borax, washing soda Acids n n Purpose: remove hard-water deposits, discoloration, rust stains Types: Vinegar, lemon juice

Green Cleaning (cont. ) v Surfactants n n v Purpose: Cut grease and grab Green Cleaning (cont. ) v Surfactants n n v Purpose: Cut grease and grab onto the dirt Types: Plant-based Abrasives n n Purpose: Scour off dirt, grease or particulate matter Types: steel wool, nylon mesh

Green Cleaning (cont. ) v Disinfectants & Bleach Purpose: Kill microorganisms on surfaces n Green Cleaning (cont. ) v Disinfectants & Bleach Purpose: Kill microorganisms on surfaces n Types: Chlorine bleach, hydrogen peroxide, sodium perborate, sodium percarbonate Household cleaners making claims about germ killing or antimicrobial properties must meet FIFRA standards. n v n Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA)

Save Green when Cleaning Green Homemade All-purpose Cleaner Ingredient 3 T. white vinegar ½ Save Green when Cleaning Green Homemade All-purpose Cleaner Ingredient 3 T. white vinegar ½ tsp. washing soda ½ tsp. vegetable oil based soap 2 c. hot water Makes 16 oz. Cost 32 oz @ $2. 00 55 oz. @ $6. 00 32 oz. @ $5. 00 Less than $10 per year Green All-purpose Cleaner 32 oz. @ $5. 00 to $6. 00 General All-purpose Cleaner 32 oz. @ $5. 00 to $6. 00

Beware of Greenwashing No standardized definition for “green” v Look for: v n n Beware of Greenwashing No standardized definition for “green” v Look for: v n n Full ingredient disclosure 3 rd party certification • Green Seal, Cradle to Cradle, Design for the Environment v Online resources n n n The Green Guide (www. thegreenguide. com) Consumer’s Union Eco-labels (www. greenerchoices. org) FTC Green Guides (www. ftc. gov/opa/2010/10/greenguide. shtm)

3) Reduce Clutter 18 3) Reduce Clutter 18

Clutter Control = Pest & Dust Control Stop inviting pests into your home Reduce Clutter Control = Pest & Dust Control Stop inviting pests into your home Reduce clutter and you reduce dust and hiding places for pests Petroleum Jelly Store food in pestresistant containers.

Impacts on Health Prevalence of asthma increased 75% from 1980 -1994 § Economic cost Impacts on Health Prevalence of asthma increased 75% from 1980 -1994 § Economic cost is $19. 7 billion annually § Average cost person with asthma is $3, 300 v Pests associated with asthma and asthma symptoms: § n n n Mice Cockroaches Dust Mites 20

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) An environmentally and health friendly approach to managing household pests. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) An environmentally and health friendly approach to managing household pests. v Control: v n n Entry Food and water Hiding Places Use baits only when other methods don’t control the problem

Tips for Living Greener 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) Add a doormat Leave your Tips for Living Greener 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) Add a doormat Leave your shoes at the door Make your own green cleaning products Clean often Reduce clutter More tips for living greener on: www. ugagreenway. com

Pamela R. Turner, Ph. D. Extension Housing Specialist prturner@uga. edu www. ugagreenway. com 23 Pamela R. Turner, Ph. D. Extension Housing Specialist [email protected] edu www. ugagreenway. com 23