Sustainable Solutions for Healthy Homes

Empowering Transformations for Healthier Homes and Families through Strategic Inspired Healing


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She Sells Healthy Home Consultations

cropped-sshhlogo.pngSometimes thinking about health and the environment can be overwhelming, so it is EMPOWERING to know that your home and how you live in it involve choices that you can control. But sometimes, you don’t know where to start or where to get the most bang for your buck. And when you are so busy just keeping up with your routine, it can be a real pain to have something that is not working right and needs to be replaced. Or when members of your family are not feeling well and nobody has an answer.  But before you make a big purchase or a significant change to your lifestyle, make sure that you consider all of your options.

The problem today is that we almost have too much information and too many choices. In the past, a salesperson’s job would be to have all of the relevant information about their product and be able to help you to make a decision about the product. Today’s consumers have access to so much information and can comparison shop and are not limited geographically to only the local stores. But a new role is needed to help the consumers to weed through all the information and uncover their real needs and find the best solution.

There is a great example in the book To Sell is Human by Daniel H. Pink in which he describes a sales situation in which someone comes in to buy a vacuum. A good salesperson will show them the best options that they have in their budget. But a great salesperson will find out more about their underlying needs. If you ask more questions, you may find out that what is driving them to search for a new vacuum is that they are finding that they are needing to vacuum more and more and their floors still do not seem clean. It could be that their vacuum is fine, and they just need to replace a belt or clean a filter.

But there may also be a number of other things that are leading to this situation, other than that their vacuum is losing power. It could be that they need to adjust the humidity in their house, or fix the seals on their doors or windows, or place show mats by the doors, or replace their carpet.

As a healthy homes consultant, I don’t need to make a commission on the sale of the vacuum (or the windows or carpet), so I have a more objective view of the bigger picture. I help my clients to identify the root cause of their problem, identify possible solutions and help them to make the best choice for their home and their family. Working with their budget and their timeline, I help them to decipher what needs to be done first and what can wait until later.

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In this example it is just about replacing a vacuum. But often we are faced with bigger decisions, or a larger investment. I am usually called in when either the financial investment is larger, or the cost to your family’s health is significant. I am often called when families are looking to renovate or deciding whether or not they need to move to another house. I am also called by families who want suggestions for how to make their home healthier because they are at an important time of transition of their lives.

 Sometimes it is a change to their family like planning for a new baby or an elderly parent is moving in. Other times it is due to a diagnosis like asthma or allergy, chemical sensitivity or various cancers. In those cases, their care provider may suggest that they remove any toxins from their home, especially airborne toxins. This includes any products that you bring into your home like cleaning supplies and home finishes (flooring, wall coverings) and furnishings (window treatments, furniture).

Whether you are looking for someone to: 

  • Help you decide whether it is time for a lifestyle change, a renovation, or moving to a new home
  • Help you take your vision and turn it into a plan and break it down into action steps
  • Help you identify ways in which you make your home more Healthy

michelle bamboo Contact me for a free 15 minute phone call to see if a Healthy Home Consultation is the right solution for you and your family.

 

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Why you can’t buy a Healthy Home

cropped-sshhlogo.pngThere are at least 445 quotes about “Doing the Right Thing”. I just checked. But the real problem is the number of times a day that I have to make huge decisions. It makes me long for a simpler time. But then I remember that in many of those “simpler” times, people were starving or working themselves to death or scared all the time, and I try to be thankful for living in a warm house, in a safe community, with dinner on the table and a hot shower. But seriously, every day I am not sure if I am actually doing any of those things the “right way”. When you become a mom, this responsibility takes on a whole new meaning. Now you are making decisions for other people, and you never know which one of those decisions will come up again later in their therapy.

right-238370_960_720I feel like there must be something to this desire though. It must be human nature to want to do things the “right way”. I loved being a good student in school. I would follow the rules and study the material and get the right answers. I love playing board games and figuring out the strategy so that you can win. But somehow, in real adult-life, there does not seem to be an agreed upon set of rules or a strategy. We try to make the best choices that we can, in the moment, given the knowledge and resources that we have available. But then we are sure to have someone tell us that we did it wrong after all.

 

There are plenty of solutions being marketed to us that promise that if we buy their product, use their system, or take their pill, then we will be happy or healthy or successful. We’d love to believe it and sometimes we try one of the products or systems or pills just to check if maybe this is the one. But, somehow we know that tomorrow we will see another advertisement for the next, even better thing. And we know that none of them will actually do it for us.

In our deepest knowing, we realize that health and happiness are not things that you can buy. You cannot buy a better body or buy a healthy home. Those are just reflections of your current state of health. There is not a one-size-fits all solution. There is not one perfect house that you can buy that will be a healthy home. Even if you bought a house that was made out of all natural materials in a beautiful setting by local artisans it would not be healthy until it was a home that was lived in and filled with love and was cared for and maintained. A home is where you feel comfortable, and safe, and free to be yourself. And what that looks like will be different for each family.

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I just looked up another checklist of things to do for a healthy home. But just looking at the list was stressing me out (and I have studied this stuff for years!). I remember going to a seminar once about pests in the home. They had lots of info about what to do to eliminate them safely and without adding toxins, but why you need to do it because they can carry disease and destroy your property. But what I remember most if that they also had slides talking about the psychological effects on the homeowners who are having a pest problem in their home. I have been to countless seminars since then, on all sorts of healthy home topics, but I wish that they all included the physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual aspects of each issue.

This is why I offer customized solutions for the families that I help. I don’t have one answer that fits every family or every home. I work with them to find something that is achievable in their reality, and that works for their lifestyle and their budget. I help them to identify action steps that they can try right now that will start to make a difference in their lives. I help them to prioritize which things to do first and where they can save their time and energy. Sometimes it is just nice to have someone to discuss these things while we are trying to make those million choices a day. I know that when I have to make a big decision, I appreciate having mentors and professionals to call for advice. Even if they don’t have one right answer for me, they usually help me to narrow the list.

If you are looking for some help with choosing healthier options for your home, call me for a customized, holistic consultation that takes into account the physical, emotional, psychological, and financial needs of your family. 

 


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Becoming More Sustainable…Not Just for Earth Day!

We all want to do our part to help the environment, right? But how do we go about this?  Becoming sustainable is about your personal impact on the world and attempting to reduce your waste. Making more sustainable choices will not only help the environment but it might just help your spirit as well.

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Becoming more sustainable is about

living closer with nature and

making a conscious decision to simplify one’s life.

Reducing waste and increasing one’s connection with nature will have many positives. A study in the U.K showed that just five minutes of working with nature each day had a positive impact on the participant’s mental health.

So how can you make these changes in your life? Here are a few tips:

Plant a garden

No matter where you live, you can plant a garden. No, it does not need to have ten varieties of vegetables in order to qualify as a garden. Gardens come in many shapes and sizes. Go to your lcoal garden supply store and speak with someone about plants able to survive in your area. I like family-owned small businesses with lots of persona experience with their products. Before heading to the store I suggest taking a few notes with you. Will you be planting indoors or outdoors? How much light does your space get each day? What direction is your space facing (north, south, east or west)? What types of things would you like to plant (flowers, succulents, vegetables)?

I also suggest that you create an idea of what you want your garden to look like when it’s done. Will it be a vertical garden, a fairy garden or a full-fledged vegetable garden? If you decide on a vertical garden, I suggest you utilize recycled materials to grow your plants. Many thrift stores have pots you can purchase for cheap and you can often find pallets for free. Don’t be afraid to create your garden using unique items. Show your own style and creativity!

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Furthermore, you can reuse items to grow your plants instead of throwing them in the trash. Clear lidded to-go boxes from your favorite restaurant, empty two liter soda bottles or coffee cans can be used as pots. Doll these up with a bit of paint or stones in a mosaic pattern. Your family and friends won’t even be able to tell you grew your garden with the help of what others may call garbage.

Save Water & Compost

Once you have created your garden you will need to feed your plants. Why not utilize Mother Nature and feed your plants naturally instead of spending money on a sprinkler? You can actually save water from all sorts of cooking and cleaning for other purposes. Using water left over from boiling eggs, noodles or potatoes can help nourish your plants. Make sure not to unintentionally kill your garden by using cleaning water full of chemicals. To help save water, remember to take shorter showers. Just cutting off two minutes of a daily shower can help save ten gallons of water each day. Or purchase a water saving showerhead.

Composting is also great. There are hundreds of small compost bins available for sale. Or, with a bit of ingenuity and the right materials, you could create one that fits your needs. If you live the in the city and don’t have room for a bin, look for local companies that have a pick-up service. Some of them will also trade you composted soil to use in your container gardens.

Get crafty with Upcycling

As suggested throughout this article, you can reuse many household items that are often tossed away. People often forget about things such as clothing or sheets. Do not be afraid to get a bit crafty and find out ways to utilize these items so you can enjoy them repeatedly. For example, you can tear up old sheets into long strips and use them to crochet a new blanket or rug. You can also cut squares out of your old t-shirts to sew into a quilt. My Girl Scout troop used t-shirts that were too small (but they loved the designs) and made them into cloth bags. One of the girls took a favorite sundress from when she little and made it into a purse.

If you do not have time to reuse or renew these items, you can recycle them by donating to your local thrift store.

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These are just a few ideas on how to become more sustainable. If you only choose to do one or two of these things you are still helping to lower your carbon footprint and possibly increase your mental health as well. Just remember that there are tons of other ways you can become more sustainable. So go out there! Do something beneficial for both you and the environment.

Looking for more ideas for your organization? Ask Michelle to come speak to your local group.


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What does it mean to be Sustainable?

I come across many instances of Green-Marketing, or more often misleading marketing. The use of the term Green has become a pervasive trend to the point where some people are losing interest. If everything is labeled Green regardless of whether it is environmentally-friendly, then it begins to lose its intended meaning.  I once saw a product that was made in China out of 100% petroleum-based products, and it was labeled with a large logo that included both “American” and “Green” in the title.

And it is funny, because most people who are living a “Green” lifestyle (choosing natural products, living in harmony with their environment, making responsible choices, shopping locally) would make the choice for their own economical and health reasons, regardless of branding. If you ask someone of my grandmother’s generation who lived through the Great Depression, they know more about how to “reduce, reuse, and recycle” than the most avid environmental science student. For this reason and for many others, I chose to use the word Sustainable for my business. But now even that word has begun to be used to mean many things.b-1024x768-CMI-Sustainable-Innovation-PW

So to clarify, when I say “Sustainable” I think of:

  • Things that will give you the most bang for your buck.
  • Products that are made to last for generations, not decades.
  • Classic finishes and furnishings that will stand the test of time.
  • Homes that will serve you through all the phases of life. (universal design)
  • Responsible lot development (Smart Growth) that uses existing infrastructure and walk-able communities
  • Proper Home Site planning and house design that naturally reduces energy-usage by      incorporating passive-solar, wind breaks, large overhangs etc.
  • Healthy yards that incorporate edible landscaping and perennials and don’t require      regular watering or the use of pesticides and herbicides.

So if you are interested in finding Sustainable ways to save money and be healthier, contact me to set up your home consultation and we’ll work together to the best long-term solutions for your home.