“Jan, you’ve got to use harsh chemicals,” my mother admonished me when I told her we were replacing traditional cleaning supplies with vinegar, baking soda, borax, and phosphate-free cleaners. “That stuff just doesn’t get things clean.” Spoken like a true woman of her generation. 
A lot of us are striving to make our homes healthier, and not just by switching cleaning supplies. We’re looking at low-VOC paints, cabinets and carpets that don’t off-gas. Here’s a model for healthy living: Healthy Home 2010. A showhouse in Palatine. Constructed by Dior Builders in partnernship with Susan Fredman Design Group, Greenguard, and First Point Technologies, among others, the home was designed to showcase stylish green interior design with a focus on indoor air quality. Indoor air quality is often ignored in the focus on green and sustainability, a point made by speakers at last night’s gala to kick off the opening of the house. They included included healthy-lifestyle advocate Mariel Hemingway, a spokesperson for Cambria, which makes sustainable natural quartz countertops (they’re installed in the kitchen of Healthy Home). Whatever Mariel’s doing, I want to do it too: she looks as fabulous as she did in her modeling days. Public tours of the home start tomorrow and continue through Oct. 10, with special events every week. Tickets ($20) benefit Healthy Child Healthy World. Mom, I’m buying you a ticket.