Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Healthy for the Holidays!

Who loves the holidays?  I know I do.  Besides Halloween, Christmas is my most favorite time of year!  This is probably because it gives me an excuse to bake to my hearts content.  During Christmas there is no excuse needed for showing up with a tin of cookies or a pot of homemade dulce de leche (it's my current obsession).  The foodie in me delights.  The cleaning lady in me cringes slightly as all of those hugs and handshakes means germs are flying around like no ones business.  To help you get through your holiday season (whenever that might be) health intact, here are a few green and clean suggestions:

  1. Sanitize your door handles.  During the holidays I do this regularly.  Just take your sanitizing spray every few days (or before and after a gathering) and wipe all those handles down!  Pay special attention to the bathroom handles (include the toilet handle here) and the kitchen handles (include the stove top knobs and cupboard handles).  I would also wipe down the knobs on stereo equipment if you have any self-assigned party DJ's coming over.  
  2. Brew a pot of spices.   This is my favorite holiday tradition.  As soon as December 1st hits (and it's in a couple of days, yay!) I put a pot of water on the stove and fill it with holiday spices.  For me this includes a cinnamon stick, cloves, nutmeg, black pepper and lemon peel.  Sometimes I'll include star anise and cardamom depending on my mood.  Many of these spices have antimicrobial effects (cinnamon especially) so steaming up your house with them will keep the air clean.  You could also buy a diffuser and use essential oils but I just love my little pot bubbling away on the stove.  
  3. Scent up your soap.  I find if soap smells nice then I like to wash my hands more often.  This is especially true if it also comes in a nice bottle.  It's all about creating an experience!  What I am going to start doing this holiday season is creating my own spicy holiday blend for guests to use.  It's easy to do.  Just purchase a nice unscented soap and add essential oils.  One of my favorite blends is cedarwood, cinnamon oil and orange.  As an added touch, it's fun to put out a handmade sign with a cute name for the soap and a note to encourage its use.  Getting your kids involved could lead to them using it more as well!
  4. Put out single use hand towels or paper towels.  What I am also going to start doing this year is putting out a pile of hand towels or paper towels for guests to dry their hands with.  The problem with having one communal towel is that people who don't wash their hands well use the same towel as people who do wash their hands well.  There is almost no point to washing your hands if you are then rubbing new germs all over them during the drying process.  While some greenies might be shouting "Mutiny!" at this suggestion, I beg to differ.  I think serving up one paper towel for hand drying is a lot greener than a pack of tissues and a whack of cold medication once people get sick.  
Thanks for reading and this holiday season: Spread the love not the germs!