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Dorm Rooms - Creating Healthy Environments for Learning





Gloria Gilbère

First-Hand Solutions Second-Hand Reactions











A regular column by Gloria Gilbère N.D., D.A.Hom., Ph.D.



Gloria Gilbère is an internationally respected traditional naturopath, homeopath and doctor of natural health. Author of the bestselling books 'I was Poisoned by my Body' and 'Invisible Illnesses', she restored her own health after suffering from leaky gut syndrome, fibromyalgia, and multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), and now successfully helps others do the same. She focuses on finding drug-free solutions to 'invisible illnesses' such as these which she refers to as Multiple Allergic Response Syndromes (MARS™).


You can now benefit from Gloria's wisdom and experience by visiting us at The Environmental Illness Resource regularly to read her latest column!



Monday, December 3rd, 2007:


Dorm Rooms – Creating Healthy Environments for Learning


by Gloria Gilbère, N.D., D.A.Hom., PhD., Wholistic Rejuvenist



Many of you are sending, or have sent, your young adults off to college or university. As parents, we feel the anxiety of letting go and wonder how they’ll do away from home with their new found independence. We’re concerned about their health and diet; are they going to be eating healthy meals or resorting to fast-food? Not much attention, if any, is placed on furnishing and decorating their dorms with materials that are non-toxic. This is important because their ability to learn and retain knowledge is directly affected by the level of chemical exposure. We can’t control other indoor environments, but can influence their dorm rooms – one last loving gesture to our children is to educate them about the importance of a green dorm room.


The following are suggestions for alternative indoor environments that will not add to the student’s overall toxic load of their bodies.


1) Make sure the room is free of synthetic fragrances, including air fresheners, fabric softeners, hand soaps, personal care products, etc.
Healthy Alternative: Use 10-15 drops of pure organic essential oil in a spray bottle of distilled water and use as air freshener. Use ½ cup baking soda dissolved in hot water and add to rinse cycle of washer as deodorizer and fabric softener.


2) If your dorm allows candles, replace scented candles made of paraffin and synthetic fragrance with beeswax candles. Natural candles have their own air cleaning capacity, no need for fragrance.


3) Replace scented laundry detergent with an organic fragrance-free, biodegradable detergent.


4) Avoid permanent press sheets made from a polyester blend containing chemicals like formaldehyde used to reduce wrinkles. We spend 6-9 hours in bed; why inhale toxic chemicals and dyes all night?
Healthy Alternative: Purchase natural fiber bedding – easy to find and cost-effective at major discount stores.


5) Replace synthetic pillows with natural materials (pre-washed down, cotton, wool or flax).


6) Replace polyester filled comforters and bedspreads with organic wool or organic cotton-filled duvet. Note: This type comforter is costly but will last a lifetime.


7) If purchasing a new mattress, especially for those with allergies, ask a health care professional to write a recommendation that it not be sprayed with scotch guard or fire retardant. Most companies allow you to order them with those stipulations if for a health reason. If sleeping or allergies become a problem on a new mattress because of the off-gassing of synthetic chemicals, wrap the mattress in a foil barrier cloth, found in building supply stores; this prevents getting exposed to the chemicals. If a mattress is supplied in the dorm, consider using an allergy dust-mite cover.


8) Replace plastic water bottles with stainless steel ones, available online and at outdoor sport outlets. Many actually have a filter built-in so municipal water can be used. For the dorm, purchase a tabletop container with a filter.


9) Replace plastic electric tea pot with a stainless steel electric kettle for hard water.


10) As an alternative to using a microwave, use a rice cooker/steamer for reheating or a toaster oven.


11) Avoid all artificial sweeteners as they are neurotoxins…drink juice, water, or herbal teas. If needed, sweeten with either Stevia® or Sweet Life®, natural sweeteners, found in health food stores.


12) Replace regular coffee with organic, water-processed coffee.


13) Replace plastic plates and plastic utensils with inexpensive metal kitchen ware, or biodegradable paper products.


14) Use salt lamps. Crystalline salt is a natural air ionizer that boosts negative ions in the air; an environment rich in negative ions has a positive effect on your physical and emotional health.


15) To avoid neurological and immunological disorders caused by electromagnetic fields, make sure all transformers (little black boxes) are kept at least 6 feet from sleeping area. Replace electric digital alarm clocks with battery-operated ones to reduce emissions.


16) Replace chemical bug sprays with herbal alternatives found in health food stores.


17) Be sure to place natural plants in the room to add oxygen and help neutralize air of toxic substances. The top 10 plants that are perfect for dorms include:


Spider plant
Reed palm
Dwarf date palm
English ivy
Rubber plant
Australian sword fern
Weeping fig
Boston fern
Peace Lily
Areca palm


Note: When placing plants within the room, strike a balance between light and ventilation, they need both just as we do.


18) Use a Kleen Green Magic micro fiber cloth for all dusting and cleaning of furniture, mirrors, glass, countertops and chrome. You simply rinse under hot water, ring almost dry and wipe. One cloth costs $2.00 and lasts for months. This avoids using chemicals and is the most healthy, cost-effective way to clean everything except the inside of the bathroom commode. Purchase a toilet bowel cleaner that is biodegradable and natural.


19) Read labels on all personal care prod. Purchase organic products from a health food store or a company meeting the highest organic standards. Remember, the skin is the largest organ of elimination and absorption – if it’s on your skin, it’s in your body.


20) If you need to paint, use non-toxic paint that is free of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). It costs a bit more per gallon but you’re not being subjected to toxic fumes for months.


21) For those last nights of studying, use essential oil of mint instead of coffee. It miraculously keeps you alert and awake. Check with roommates. Otherwise you may keep everyone in the dorm room awake. Place a couple of drops on a cotton ball or cotton swab and take a whiff when you get sleepy.


As a parent, why not take this opportunity to educate your student about the consequences of a toxic indoor environment? It’s a complex lesson in health, the environment, and personal responsibility, naturally.




Dr. Gloria Gilbère is a traditional naturopath, homeopath, doctor of natural health, a Wholistic Skin and Body Rejuvenist and creator of a certificated course by the same name that is taught all over the world. She is internationally respected as an authoritative influence in the causes, effects and drug-free solutions for Leaky Gut Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue and Chemically Induced Immune System Disorders.


She is author of 9 books including: “I was Poisoned by My Body”, “Invisible Illnesses ”, "Nature's Prescription Milk: Discovering the Healing Powers of Goat-Milk Products ” and “Pain / Inflammation MATTERS ”


For details regarding:

  • Personalized consulting via telephone worldwide or at her office in Sandpoint, Idaho, USA;
  • Health education travel programs and lectures;
  • Certificated Wholistic Rejuvenation (WSBR™) classes for skin, spa, and health care professionals;
  • To purchase products used and recommended by Dr. Gilbère, her books, a list of her speaking and educational forums, and an archive of her articles, visit her website at



Learn more from Gloria's books:



I Was Poisoned By My Body, The Odyssey of a Doctor Who Reversed Fibromyalgia, Leaky Gut Syndrome, and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity - Naturally!cover

I Was Poisoned By My Body, The Odyssey of a Doctor Who Reversed Fibromyalgia, Leaky Gut Syndrome, and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity - Naturally!


» Buy Now


Invisible Illnesses

Invisible Illnesses

» Buy Now


Pain/Inflammation Matters: Recipes for Life

Pain/Inflammation Matters: Recipes for Life

» Buy Now







The information provided is not to be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or cures for any condition, disease or disorder. It is presented as educational and investigative material and the consumer assumes full-responsibility for using any product, procedure, protocol or therapy.

Gloria E. Gilbère, LLC, and its representatives, does not warrant and shall have no liability for information provided in this newsletter or on this website, intended or implied. Consult your health care professional for medical-related conditions or concerns.





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