Want to go green when it’s time to eat, shop and clean? If so, you are part of a growing trend of people who are opting for earth-friendly products that are better for their health, and also better for the health of the environment. Further, if you suffer from asthma, eating organic food, buying unscented makeup and clothing that is not treated by chemicals, and selecting cleaning products that are free of toxic fumes can make you feel much better. By making such easy, but important, choices, you can be helping the planet and also preventing some of your most bothersome symptoms at the same time.

What Green Means

So you have asthma and want to use only products that won’t aggravate your condition, but you aren’t sure what to choose or how to use them. Perhaps the best place to start on your new goal is by becoming a label reader. Most harmful products won’t advertise themselves as dangerous to your health, so you need to get smart and know what to look for and what you want to avoid. While the jargon and array of environmentally-friendly products you can buy can span a wide range, true green products are simply those that don’t contain chemicals or dangerous fumes, so they will be good for the planet and good for you.

Let Instinct Be Your Guide

Don’t feel overwhelmed thinking that you need to know all of the chemical names to begin to get a handle on what products to steer clear of. Reading the ingredients will give a feel of what the product is made from, but don’t get caught up in each ingredient if you don’t know what it is. Use your best judgment and also read the warning signs and list of possible dangers and symptoms to see if breathing side effects are possible or if special ventilation or disposal is needed. These can be important signs. Further, it is important to know that even plant-based or nature products can trigger allergic reactions and asthma, so just the fact that something is advertised as natural doesn’t necessarily mean it is the smartest buy.
Finally, keep in mind that not all harmful ingredients are even listed on the labels of some items, so the best rule of thumb is to steer clear of scented, toxic or complicated-seeming items. When in doubt, don’t buy.

Less is Often More

Remember that you don’t always have to spend a lot for green products. While some brands do charge much more for green makeup, clothing and household items, don’t get swayed by a fancy label. You will need to look at each purchase separately to decide if the high price tag is warranted or just a gimmick. Some clothing and food that is advertised as organic or safe have more labor involved, may support important fair trade practices and can be made using more expensive materials, but in fact, many other green products are inexpensive options that occur naturally in our environment. So try looking for the simplest, most cost-effective things you can find.

What to Buy

Many green advocates suggest investing in some easy household products that can multi-task in your life. There are a range of basic items that have been suggested as safe since they aren’t likely to trigger your asthma symptoms and can replace some of your most dangerous products in your cabinets and in your life.
Here are some multi-purpose items you can buy and combine in different ways:

  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar
  • Natural soaps
  • Salt

These items, when used in different ways, can replace your mirror, tub and tile cleansers, keep your windows clean, scour your pots, unclog drains and even sanitize. So in addition to making your asthma better and protecting the environment, going green also offers an unexpected chance to save money and to simplify.