Home is a place of residence for an individual, a family, and perhaps pets. A growing number of Americans are interested in making sure their homes are as free of toxic chemicals, or green, as possible—partly in response to news about the pervasiveness of toxic pollutants in our food, our water, and the products we use on our bodies and in our homes.

 

More people are cooking at home, for health and financial reasons—and more of them are choosing organic produce, meats, dairy products, and packaged foods. Filtered water or water-filter systems are good choices to avoid chemicals commonly found in public water supplies.

Nontoxic housecleaning products are increasingly popular: Studies show conventional cleaners can cause respiratory problems—and can be harmful to the health of young children and pets. To avoid toxic ingredients in many conventional personal care items, consumers also are choosing natural and organic personal care items, such as baby shampoos and lotions, makeup, creams, conditioners, and more. Pesticide-free organic cotton bedding, towels, and clothing are very ecofriendly choices; natural latex or organic mattresses don’t contain toxic flame retardants (PBDEs).

 

Fair-trade jewelry, coffee and food items, and decorative items make wonderful gifts and help workers around the world earn a living wage. Soy candles—unscented or with essential oils—emit less soot than conventional wax candles.