“TOXIC” is a buzzword these days – and for good reason. Toxic ingredients have permeated pretty much every area of our lives, from food to toothpaste. It can be overwhelming to think about eliminating toxins in everything, but by setting small goals and doing a little at a time, it can be done! My families did a great job of identifying a few key things they wanted to work on to make sure that they weren’t biting off more than they could chew. Here are some of the areas we are all working on, along with tips from the David Suzuki Foundation’s Queen of Green:
- Avoid air fresheners. They mask odor problems and worsen air quality. Consider household plants for improving indoor air quality. See my post on tips for a healthy home environment, and check out the Queen of Green’s list of plants. If you want to freshen the smell of your home, consider using natural products like essential oils instead. Also think about dusting more frequently (one of those nagging things I know I need to do more often myself!) because the stuff in your house is shedding toxic dust all the time.
- Skincare, bath, beauty products, and cosmetics are notoriously bad for containing chemicals. Learn what you should avoid (here’s my handy list), and start looking at the ingredients in the products you buy. It can be overwhelming to try to replace all your products at once – my tip is to start with one thing you need to replace soon, and find a good alternative for that. As you replace one product at a time when you run out, over time you will have found a safe alternative for everything!
- Avoid products containing Triclosan, like soaps and toothpastes. Make your own super easy DIY foaming hand soap. Consider using a natural toothpaste – my daughter and I love Green Beaver.
- The vast majority of baby products contain nasty chemicals. Look for eco-friendlier products made from ingredients like wool, silicone and plant waste.
- Make sure you are disposing of household hazardous waste appropriately to avoid spreading chemicals in our soil, air, and water.
- Consider what is used to colour your hair. Hair dyes contain ammonia, petrochemicals, sulphates, phthalates, parabens and P-phenylenediamine or PPD. PPD can cause cancer and be contaminated with heavy metals toxic to the brain. Choose safer products.
- Green your cleaning! The Queen of Green has tips for cleaning products, and you can download her recipes here. While you’re at, green your laundry routine as well. Great non-toxic cleaning ingredients include vinegar, lemons (disinfecting), castile soap, and essential oils.
- Consider detoxing your bedroom from off-gassing chemicals. Learn about what’s happening while we sleep (and part 2 here), and choose non-toxic bedding and furniture.
Did one of these areas seem like something you could work on?
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