By Guest Blogger Emily Walsh

Running a family is a never-ending task, especially during the holiday season. Between hosting guests in your home, running the kids to holiday plays, and attending Christmas parties, being constantly on the go can cause you to take the easy way out when you’re in a rush to keep your house in tip top shape.

The new year is said to be the gateway to new beginnings. A time to celebrate past success, to cherish those who matter most and fresh starts. Here are some simple ways to cope with the toxic germs hosted on kids backpacks and shoes, to the toxic substances that are potentially concealed in your home.


Out with the old and in with the new. Every holiday season the house is going to be filled with brand new toys, gadgets, and new shiny gifts. It’s the perfect time to sit down with the kids and sort through all the old toys that might be taking up too much space in the house. Parting with old treasures may seem to be an impossible task, but you can stay motivated by donating toys that are still in good condition to the less fortunate. By doing this you can kill two birds with one stone by eliminating clutter and toxic products, all while teaching your children and important life lesson of giving. Removing unwanted clutter can free up space creating a healthier environment.

Cleaning Products

With house guests coming and going, there may be little to no time for big cleaning projects but it’s easy enough to vacuum, sweep, and wipe down all appliances. Incorporate a toxin-free cleaning routine for your family to use while entering into the New Year. Be on the lookout for cleaners with these toxic ingredients:

  1. Butoxyethanol- Commonly found in kitchen and window cleaners. In the past, people who have been exposed to this chemical have reported vomiting, headaches, a lingering metallic taste in mouth, dizziness, and irritation of the eyes and nose.
  2. Ammonia- Multi-purpose cleaner, furniture wax, oven and drain cleaners. Exposure to ammonia can cause immediate health risks that include burning eyes and nose. Direct contact with skin can cause serious irritation similar to burns and potentially result in lung damage in some cases.
  3. Chlorine- Tap water, laundry whitener, toilet bowl cleaners, and mildew and mold removers. Chlorine can negatively affect the body’s entire respiratory system, causing difficulty breathing, coughing, tightness of the chest, and more.
  4. Phthalates- Dish soap, scented cleaners, air fresheners and even certain toilet papers have all been linked to having some forms of phthalates. This chemical has the ability to seep through the porous skin and damage the body’s organ including kidneys, liver, and even the reproductive system

Healthier alternatives are fragrance-free detergents along with any natural or all organic products. Look into using diluted vinegar for almost all your cleaning needs.


When hosting events and parties, it’s imperative to make sure your house is in good health. Securing large furniture will help kids avoid damaging the floor and walls, a typical way for asbestos to potentially be released indoors. Although these steps may seem trivial, they can prevent harmful exposure to asbestos, the one and only cause of mesothelioma. Typically developing years after coming into contact with asbestos, mesothelioma has a life expectancy of under a year.

Other toxins to watch out for that may spark a more immediate reaction include radon, the number one cause of lung cancer among nonsmokers, lead poisoning, and CO2. Tasks like updating your batteries in your smoke alarms and testing the ground for radon could keep your family safe for years to come. Living in older homes may present you with a few more obstacles then a modern house would, but this in no way should hinder your holiday fun or ability to host the family this season.

Celebrate Together

Toxicity doesn’t just fall under air quality and dangerous products in the home. A less toxic new year comes with spending more time with one another and enjoying each other’s presence not just presents.

Want to see more blogs like this and get notifications on local events and happenings? Subscribe to our free weekly newsletters here.