In the past few years I have noticed a huge shift towards people wanting to live more naturally. “Green” products and ratings have emerged, apps that rate how clean products are, such as Think Dirty, have popped up and people are genuinely more cautious about what sorts of products they are bringing into their homes. In an effort to help my family & household live a more natural life, I was looking for ways to make the change without having to spend a lot of money up front (hi, new baby & new house, we have a budget haha). While it can be an expensive journey to remove toxins from your life, there are small steps you can take here and there that can make the process more manageable.
Here are a few tips of what you can do to start removing toxins from your home:
Change out cleaning products
While they are supposed to be cleaning your home, many cleaning products are actually extremely toxic. Did you know that some common products have warnings such as “fatal if swallowed” or “high hazard ingredients”? According to a press release by The Environmental Working Group “just 7 percent of cleaning products adequately disclosed their contents.” This means that there are ingredients that could be harming your health that aren’t even listed on the back. In fact, 53 percent of cleaning products under review contained lung-harming ingredients.
Why do we continue to bring these products into our homes? When I asked my friends and family about this most of them explained it was just habit. Someone in their family was known as the “cleaner” (we all have one, someone who always has to have the home perfectly crisp and clean), used the product in question, and recommended it. We are in fact creatures of habit. But I am here to say that we need to break the habit now, for the sake of our health.
So what are your options? Well some of my favourite cleaning products are: baking soda, white vinegar, lemon juice, and essential oils. In fact, we even use essential oil based cleaner concentrate in our home because we trust the ingredients, and the smell doesn’t instantly give us a headache (like many other cleaners we used to use). Check out this video over on my Facebook page about how I swapped out some of the most toxic products, and what I use now.
Stop using dryer sheets/fabric softener
While these products promise silky soft clothes and fresh smells, they are actually some of the most toxic products in your laundry room. Not only that, but they can get expensive after a while! Once again we circle back to the ingredient “fragrance.” The companies in question don’t even have to list what it is, they just put fragrance on their ingredients list. This means we genuinely have no idea what is in it, but I can promise it’s nothing good.
We have started using wool dryer balls and essential oils in place of these toxic products. The dryer balls are quick to make up (or even quicker to buy) and they can last for months. Which means you are not only saving money (not buying dryer sheets for every load of laundry), but you are kicking a toxic product out of your home. Beyond the health benefits, these dryer balls also have the ability to dry your clothes quicker, which means you aren’t running the dryer for that long (more money in the bank!)
Diffuser instead of air freshener
Air fresheners are quick and easy to mask an unpleasant smell. Quick spritz of the bottle and instead of smelling old food in your kitchen, you now get the pleasure of smelling chemical flower scent + old food. Ha, maybe not, but really, does anyone else feel like they can see the chemicals floating through the air when these are sprayed?
Ditch the air fresheners and get yourself a diffuser + some oils. They last longer (only using drops at a time) and they are way healthier for you! Not only that, but you can change the scent based on your mood that day. Fresh wild orange, crisp peppermint, spicy cinnamon, the possibilities really are endless. Especially when you take into consideration all the mixing and matching you can do to create your own blends.
Diffusers today are becoming widely popular and popping up all over the place! My favourite diffuser is the Lumo Diffuser (see more info here). I love diffusers that run for intermittent periods of time (5 minutes on, 5 minutes off) as I feel like the oils are lasting even longer. Longer lasting fresh aromas AND no yucky chemical headache? Yes please!
Essential oils instead of perfume
A quick Google search of “Why perfume is bad for you” brings up 67 million results. Again, a commonly used product for so many, for so long, is turning out to be so bad for you. According to Time Health, reading the back of many perfume bottles reads like a chemistry book. Once again listing the ingredient “fragrance” as a danger to consumers. Why? Apparently this term is a catchall for 10,000 different ingredients. And thanks to trade secret laws, companies are protected from having to divulge just what those ingredients are. One such group of ingredients, phthalates, are actually shown to disrupt hormones. I’m not sure about you, but I don’t see the benefit of using a product to “smell nice” when it has the potential to disrupt my body in such a drastic way.
Once again I turn to essential oils to replace these nasty chemicals. These oils (when used properly), are completely natural, direct from the source, no additives or chemicals, and better yet, safe. They smell great, a little goes a long way (again, good for a budget), and I don’t have to struggle to pronounce the ingredients. Unless I’m using Helichrysum, that one I always struggle with.
Ready to make the switch?
I’m here to help. I believe in the power of living naturally. Whether you want to make some drastic changes all at once, or you need to implement the changes gradually, I can work with you to help you find the best natural solutions for your family today. Please, share this article with your friends, and your family. Let’s spread the word that these nasty products don’t have any place in our homes. Commit to living a healthier life today!