HOW TO: Non-Toxicify Your Home
Every day brings a blank page to make a change. Whatever you want to do, YOU CAN DO… you just can’t do it all at once. Right now, we have the perfect opportunity to refocus on parts of our life we want to change and do it in small sections so it’s not overwhelming.
When I have conversations with people about transitioning to a healthier lifestyle, I immediately see the wave of being overwhelmed come over them. I quickly make sure that they know, this is about progress NOT perfection. Rome wasn’t built in a day. This will take time and to make it more accessible you’ve got to break it down and make it feel like something you can accomplish. Don’t think you’ve gotta change everything over night… you’re not going to be able to unless you’ve got millions in the bank. Trust me, I wish there was a magic button for it but there is not. When I first started living healthier, it was through my food. Then I changed out my personal care products and then cleaning and so on. I picked one thing at a time and did better. Celebrate the small wins. I want you all to know that the magic of it all is that you can do the same thing.
This blog is all about simple lifestyle swaps and tips that can help prevent ways to exposure to harmful chemicals that are potentially in your daily routine.
PLANTS – snake plans and English ivy double as air purifiers. The addition of plants into your home will dramatically change the air inside. Plants are natural air filters. USE THEM. They are also really pretty and offer another way to decorate. I have several different types of plants that I love and have in my home. Unfortunately I don’t have succulents because I kill them everytime but everything else I have been able to keep alive. You can read more about plants, the ones that I’ve found to be easiest to keep alive and how they help purify the air by clicking HERE.
TAKE YOUR SHOES OFF WHEN YOU GET INSIDE – take off your shoes and stop the risk of bringing in heavy metals and pesticides. Dr. Charles Gerba, professor of microbiology and environmental sciences at the University of Arizona, studied the bacteria on the bottom of shoes and found that they can track all kinds of gross stuff inside homes. Shoes can pick up anything from mold, allergens, and fecal matter amongst other things. If you wear shoes for more than a month, 93 percent will have fecal bacteria on the bottom of them. We bought a little cubby piece of furniture that has baskets for our shoes. This is located beside our door for easy access.
CHOOSE GLASS OR STAINLESS STEEL WATER BOTTLES – this helps minimize your plastic consumption and prevents the plastic from seeping into your water. Did you even know that plastic could do that? Probably not. I didn’t until two years ago. Since then, I have thrown out all of our plastic cups and we now use glass mason jars and Healthy Human Tumblers. You can read more about the Healthy Human tumblers by clicking here (there’s also a discount code for you!) At first, Derrek was really mad at me for throwing away all of his plastic cups but after I showed him what was happening with them he happily obliged. More and more companies increasingly use BPA-free plastic, but laced into plastic bottles are other chemicals that can seep out if bottles are exposed to heat or sit around for a long time. Some of these chemicals are possible endocrine disruptors. So every time you wash your products in the dishwater or with really hot water, these leach out. We even transitioned the kids cups and plates over to Replay Recycled and do not waste money buying cup after cup and plastic plate after plastic plate.
BUY A HIMALAYAN SALT LAMP- A what? I love these little lamps and I have one in almost every room of the house. The negative salt ions released by heating can boost blood flow, improve sleep, increase levels of serotonin in the brain, and calm allergy or asthma symptoms. As a Himalayan pink salt lamp absorbs water and particles from the air, it also takes positive ions with them. Then, when the heated salt releases cleansed water vapor back into the air, it also expels negative ions which have the opposite effect on our airways – increasing cilial activity to keep your lungs clear. I’ve always read to keep them near a TV or computer so it helps clear the air from the technology. The kids have them in their rooms and use them as night lights. I buy mine from a local place called Earthfare but you can find them online at Amazon. Make sure to read this post for more information about salt lamps.
STICK WITH STAINLESS STEEL, CAST IRON OR GREEN NON-STICK COOKWARE – traditional non-stick pans are coated in toxic chemicals used to make Teflon (a chemical called c8). Don’t spend money on organic foods if what you cook them in is cheap. That really doesn’t make sense. Switching to safer cookware is HUGE in my book. You can read more about how I did it and what cookware I use and love by clicking here. I also suggest that you watch a documentary on Netflix called: THE DEVIL WE KNOW it will explain in depth about the dangers of what’s in cooking products.
CHOOSE NONTOXIC LAUNDRY PRODUCTS – Why? Laundry products cause A LOT of indoor air pollution aka VOCs. VOCs stands are volatile organic compounds. Yes, this is also covering paints and varnishes but laundry products are a huge hidden culprit. Some chemicals do emit smells when containing high VOC levels BUT MOST DON’T and that’s the scary and more dangerous part. What makes chemicals a “volatile” organic compound is the fact that it can become a vapor or gas and enter the air at room temp. They also release over long periods of time called “off-gas” and cannot be stopped until every ounce is depleted. VOCs can cause problems like headaches, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, eye, nose and throat irritation, allergic reactions and visual imparments short term. Long term they can cause issues with liver damage, kidney disorders, cancer, damage to central nervous system (which can cause behavioral issues.) So what what is exactly the connection to laundry products and what do I suggest to use? Read this post for more in depth information.
INVEST IN AN AIR PURIFIER – Every day, we breathe in so much oxygen, why not help your body get the best quality? When the weather is nice I love going outside and always opening the windows but when it’s cold or super hot it’s just not an option. This is why decided to invest in a few air purifiers in our home. Air purifiers are a must in my option but not all are created equal. Standard HEPA purifiers are 99.97% effective at capturing particles but not virus-sized particles. For this reason, we searched until we found a few that capture 100% of airborne particles at 0.003 microns in size. Check out this post for more information and a discount code for $280 off your own.
PURCHASE A HUMIDIFIER – (unless someone in your home has asthma) Low humidity can have adverse affects on our health. This is why we see more cold and sickness during the winter months. Using a humidifier can help get rid of health issues. There are three parts of the body that are susceptible to low humidity: throat, eyes and nasal. In my opinion, everyone should own a humidifier and here is why. We have several in our house that are on 24/7. I clean them once a week outside… ideal would be every 3 days but I just can’t commit to that right now. To clean, I run through one cycle of white vinegar (this is why I do it outside.)
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE BENEFITS OF ESSENTIAL OILS – Y’all, oils have been used since biblical times. It’s where the term “fragrance” came from but quickly mutated into the unknown. LITERALLY! We are not allowed to know what “fragrance” means in any of our products because that’s a term that is a trade secret and protected by the FDA. It could mean any of thousands of ingredients but we just don’t know. ARE YOU USING CANDLES AND WALL PLUG INS? FEBREEZE? These are big indoor air polluters. Check out this post I shared on oils why we choose them over candles and plug ins.
WHAT ARE YOU CLEANING WITH? – I highly, highly, HIGHLY suggest looking up ALL of your cleaning products on EWG (it’s a database where ingredients and products themselves are rated on 1-10 scale of safety). Most are highly toxic and can cause an assortment of issues including passing out! No bueno. I personally use Norwex for cleaning – they are microfiber cloths that are bonded with silver. Silver kills and smothers 99.9% of all germs and bacteria so all surfaces can be cleaned and sanitized. I also love using the On Guard concentrated cleaner mixed with water and poured into a glass spray bottle OR good ole white vinegar in a spray bottle. There are several options you can go here but check out this and make a change in your home since you are in it daily!
I also want to share a few things that are actually small and free practices you can do every day in your home to help make it more nontoxic:
-open the windows
-take shoes off in the house
-regulary caecum and dust
-turn off your phone at night (or put on airplane mode) at night
I hope that you all have enjoyed this blog. Please let me know if you have found an easy way to detoxify your home! I would love to add it on here.