BUT you can change how much chemical exposure your family has beginning today! We can't change the amount of chemicals in the air we breath, we can't change the number of chemicals used in public places (that we are exposed to every time we go out), but we can change the number of chemicals used in OUR OWN HOMES! I challenge you to rid your household of 1 chemical in each of the following categories each week until your household is practically chemical free #ChemicalFreeHouseholds.
Category #1: Foods
Read the boxes and nutrition labels of every food product you buy. If there is even one name that you can't pronounce, then it is probably a chemical. Don't buy that one. Look for an alternative that has no chemicals listed. And NEVER buy the old one again, and if the 1st alternative you bought to replace the old one doesn't taste good, look for another one next time. Consider going back to the old way of doing things... buy fresh produce and make your food from scratch. Check out the "organic" section for food mixes... some of them are pretty good... but some aren't. You have to try each one. And no matter what you buy use good quality seasonings (without chemicals... read those label too!) to season them up. this makes a world of difference! If you eliminate one more chemical laden food each week, then soon you will be eating chemical free food!
Category #2: Body Products
Body products are a tough category. I MUST have a deodorant that works. Period. End of story. BUT... there are no chemical-free antiperspirants. There are only deodorants. Antiperspirants keep you from perspiring as much. Deodorants prevent your perspiration from having an odor. BUT I sweat much. Especially under my arms!! The first chemical free/natural deodorant I bought was in the version of a salt stick. It was fine during the fall, winter and spring, but come summer it stank... literally! So I bought another and another and a 4th one! Then I started researching sweat. Sweat is filled with chemicals and contaminants leaving your body. So I decided to let deodorant be my last thing to switch. And if you perspire like I do you may want to wait on it too. (After 2 years of getting rid of chemicals in my household and eating healthier, I was able to go back to my salt stick without problems, even in the summer!) So I switched my skin products first. All of my 400 body lotions (OK, maybe only 12 or 13!) had many chemical names. I ditched them a for 2 products. Lanolin and Coconut oil. Both are natural and *should* be chemical free. BUT read your labels... I recently ran across some lanolin with added ingredients. I use lanolin for everyday dryness. When I am super dry, or need to treat my elbows and feet, I use Coconut Oil. Both work well. There is so much I could write on here but I will keep it short. Look for another Blog post soon on body products. And read the post titled Things.To.Get.Rid.Of below for more ideas. Banish one a week and you will get through with chemicals on your skin!
Category 3: Cleaning Products
My cleaning closet is almost bare because I now clean without dangerous chemicals. And it used to be packed with bottles of things that I only used occasionally... special products for cleaning carpet, special products for cleaning my outside windows, special products for my inside windows, and special products for my mirrors, special products for cleaning my oven and for unstopping my drains when they got plugged, and the list goes on. Then I discovered NORWEX! They have been the answer to most of my cleaning needs, and their products rarely have to be replenished, but they aren't cheap. So I could only purchase 1 product per month, but this enabled me to get rid of 3 or 4 products in my closet each month because most of their products are multi-taskers! I do have to tell you that, despite being a Norwex consultant, I do use a few other products. I will be doing a post on cleaning products soon too! Check out the posts I did a couple of years ago titled Avoiding the most dangerous cleaning agents.... and What about those cleaners I make myself... for more ideas of what to cut out! Especially go to the two links from Cleveland Clinic at household-chemicals and chemicals-chart.
Category 4: All other sources
There are a few more sources that can all be lumped into one group. But they often release more chemicals than the ones I have already listed. I have made a list of those items with a possible substitution. These are not all possible contaminants but hopefully will get you to thinking!
a. Candles - replace with aromatherapy such as an oil diffuser
b. Scentsy style pots - Consider simmering spices in a 1 qt crock pot... I like cloves and orange slices (This was the toughest one for me because I love Scensty.)
c. Air Freshener sprays - I invested in a supply of pure essential oils. I make a room spray with 10 drops of Essential Oil in 1 cup of water, put in a small spray bottle, shake before spraying. You can adjust the number of drops... use less if smell is overwhelming.
d. Laundry detergent - There are several "Green" versions available. Norwex has one that I like. Another thing about any laundry detergent is that most of us use 2 to 3 times as much as required. Before, when I was using regular brands, I had begun using only a tablespoon and my clothes were just as clean. With my Norwex Ultra Power Plus detergent, I can wash a full load using only 1 teaspoon of detergent! Even hubby's dirty farm laundry!
e. Floor waxes and polishes - This is a tough one.... I know that these all give off fumes, and I am fortunate that I don't have floors that require wax or polish but I googled the subject and there are products available for this use. My one floor that I used to use floor polish on, I just keep it really clean and forget about polishing. It's a small bathroom and it's in the master suite so no one else sees it!
f. Check out my older post What do you do on "Cleaning Day"? for more ideas about items in this "other" category! Especially check out Environmental Working Group's Hall of Shame for cleaners and household products! Quite a few of these used to be in my cleaning cabinet! UGH! [EWG]
SO, I wish you well on banishing chemicals one product at a time and if you have questions feel free to email me at the link below! I love answering questions!!
Until next time!
Credits to "Signs of the Times" for information on Chemical Revolution