Monthly Archives: June 2015

Real Reasons to Switch to Eco-Friendly Cleaning & Laundry Products

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As children, many of us were exposed to marketing jingles and colorful product labeling that may have unconsciously shaped our buying choices when we became adults. Nostalgically, we find ourselves staying true to some brands we knew in our childhood without questioning whether these products really align with our current values. Many of these product formulas were created before we became aware of how some of the ingredients affect our health and the environment.  

Old Reliable, But Risky Ingredients

Many traditional multi-purpose cleaners, dishwashing detergents and laundry products rely on harmful chemicals to provide a good cleaning experience. Many of these chemicals can create health risks to people, animals and aquatic life during exposure, or even years later, through the air, soil and ground water. To protect yourself and your family, learn to read the labels on cleaning products. Start by steering away from products that contain any of the following ingredients.

Volatile Organic Compounds

Volatile organic compounds, commonly referred to as VOCs, are typically found in spray and aerosol products, such as room fresheners, disinfectants, paints and cleaning compounds that come in spray or aerosol form. With the potential to linger in the air even after the mist dissipates, people and pets are at risk of inhaling chemicals that have been associated with kidney, liver and central nervous system disorders. Symptoms of exposure include irritation to the nose, eyes or throat, as well as headaches and coordination issues, and can build up over time.

Phthalates

Phthalates are used in hundreds of applications ranging from detergents and insecticides to usage by plastic and vinyl manufacturers. Food packaging often contains these chemicals, to increase its flexibility. Phthalates are thought to be a carcinogen, as well as a cause of reproductive issues, particularly in men.

Triclosan

Once a popular ingredient in antibacterial wipes, gels, soaps and other compounds, triclosan has been removed from some products due to questions about possible links to endocrine disruption and antibiotic resistance in humans, but can still be found in other products. With more studies in progress, avoiding this chemical is advised.

2-Butoxyehtanol

One of a group of glycol ethers, 2-butoxyehtanol is a common ingredient in solvents, cleaning compounds, liquid soap, and other products. High-level exposure is known to cause serious health problems including liver and kidney damage and pulmonary edema, while cumulative exposure can result in neurological issues and blood related conditions, like anemia.

If you have been using traditional cleaning compounds that contain these or other harmful ingredients, learn to read labels and avoid purchasing any that are known or thought to cause health issues. Instead, opt to purchase environmentally friendly products or consider learning to use safe natural ingredients, such as vinegar, baking soda and lemon juice, as an effective, safe alternative to manufactured cleaning compounds.

To help remove harmful residues in your home from years of using traditional products, call Mopfrog of Lunenburg, an eco-friendly cleaning company. Their cleaning experts are specially trained to clean your entire home using only natural ingredients and environmentally friendly tools and methods. For a naturally clean, healthy home, call Mopfrog today!

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Enjoy Beautiful Water Efficient Landscaping

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Most of us grew up during a time when watering the lawn an ordinary part of a typical summer week. Recent drought conditions in California, Texas and other regions of the United States, however, are changing how we view the water supply and forcing us to be more aware of the need to conserve and protect it. These tips from Mopfrog of Danbury will help you make a real contribution to water conservation efforts, no matter where you live.

Insuring Against Drought, From the Ground Up

If you are currently landscaping a new home or making changes in your current lawn or garden, take the opportunity to build in drought resistance from the ground up. Begin by choosing to seed your lawn with a variety of grass that can withstand dry weather, such as:

  • Zoysia
  • Bermuda
  • St. Augustine
  • Buffalo
  • Bahia
  • Or other varieties native to your area

Remember to consider your region and climate before making your final selection and, if you are living in a drought-restricted area, consult with your local water department to see if there are any ordinances concerning the choice of grass seed, due to drought conditions.

The Benefits of Mulch

Mulching is one of the best ways to keep soil moisture levels healthy around each plant, tree and bush in your lawn or garden. Place a 2” to 4” inch layer of organic mulch around the entire drip line of plants, trees and bushes. To get maximum benefit from the mulching process, leave the outer edges of the mulch elevated and depress the interior of the circle, sloping down toward the tree. This will ensure that any rain or irrigated water can be utilized by the growing plant or tree, instead of flowing away from the plant.

Conserving Water With Good Watering Practices

Pay careful attention to how and when you water your lawn and garden to avoid waste and ensure that maximum moisture is available to the plants by:

  • Checking the placement of sprinklers and ensuring that the water is making contact with the actual landscaping and not the gutter, driveway or sidewalk
  • Deep-soaking gardens and landscaped areas only when needed (in most cases, placing an empty tuna can on the lawn and watering until the can is filled is a good way to tell when to stop watering)
  • Not watering during high winds or during the hottest part of the day when the heat and air movement will prevent water from actually benefiting the plants
  • Building soil health by adding organic materials to the soil to improve its ability to hold moisture
  • Grouping plants with similar water needs together, to make watering them easier and more efficient

Before turning on the sprinkler, remember to check grass to see if it actually needs to be watered. Healthy, hydrated grass will spring back quickly after being walked on. However, if you step on the grassy areas of your lawn and the grass remains flattened after you lift your foot, your grass is telling you it is time for a refreshing drink of water.

Making the effort to conserve water usage in your landscaping can inspire others in your area to do the same.

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Make Every Morning a Better Morning

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A successful, stress-free day rarely happens when the morning gets off to a rough start. If you find that your days have become a victim of a morning routine that is increasingly rushed and disorganized, here are a few simple tips from Mopfrog of The Hamptons to help you regain control of your morning and improve your entire day!

Hydrate and Nourish Your Body Each Morning for Energy and Focus

Food cravings, energy lags and an inability to focus on work are common problems that many of us experience during the workday. What you may not know is that these problems and many others are often caused by a lack of proper hydration and nutrition. If you are shaking your head as you read this because you think you have no time to worry about these things during your already hectic morning schedule, you may be simply over-thinking the process.

Break the Night’s Fast with Proper Hydration

Most of the systems in our bodies remain on the job while we sleep. During the course of the night, these activities use up much of the body’s hydration reserves, leaving us dehydrated, achy and sluggish when we awaken. To test this theory for yourself, place a glass of water on the bedside table tonight when you retire and drink the entire glass in the morning before you get out of bed. Doing this replenishes the body’s water reserves, leaving you feeling much more alert and ready to take on your day.

In addition to adding additional hydration to your morning routine, remember to keep energy levels high throughout the day by taking frequent hydration breaks. For the best results, choose plain water or water with a slice of citrus for flavor, instead of coffee, sodas or other sweetened beverages that can cause your blood sugar levels to spike and then plummet, leaving you ready for a mid-afternoon nap, instead of productive.

Grab and Go Nutrition 

Although a sit down breakfast is a great way to spend time as a family, the nutrition your body requires can be obtained through simple foods that can be eaten on the run. Even better, these foods can be prepared ahead of time, so all you have to do in the morning is grab and go from your own kitchen, instead of stopping at the local drive-thru. Here are some great examples for you to try:

  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Fresh fruit bowl
  • Yogurt and fruit parfaits
  • Oatmeal with fruit and nuts
  • Whole grain toast with a spread of peanut butter or avocado and tomato slices

To avoid feeling hungry a couple hours later, pick the right type of carbs – like fruit and whole grains – and pair with healthy fats and lean proteins. When shopping for these foods, always choose the healthiest ones possible. Look for organic labeling or source them from a local organic grower in your area to ensure that they are fresh and produced without harmful chemicals and additives. Avoid processed carbs and sugars and instead choose whole grains, healthy fats and lean protein to give your body the fuel it needs to stay alert and active all day long.

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