We are currently working through a 30-day guide to low-tox living and we have already worked through week one! Those are incredible baby steps toward cultivating a well life. With each one, the spark burns brighter and brighter. And the peace of mind that comes with intentional changes and coming to understand ingredients and the effect they have on us? Priceless. The goal is not to be consumed by it. The goal is to simply know better so we can do better. Let’s dive into week two of my 30-day guide to low-tox living!
*Note: If you missed Week One of my 30-day guide to low-tox living, you can dive in right here. And if you haven’t yet, be sure and download the free printable guide to have as a visual while you tackle each baby step:
This is going to be one of the most simple baby steps of this 30-day guide, but what an impact it has! Did you know that chemicals and compounds in dryer sheets can cause and/or worsen asthma and skin irritations? Did you also know that chemicals in dryer sheets create formaldehyde? They also include benzene which happens to be found in vehicle exhaust.
The current United States Consumer Product Safety Commission does not require dryer sheet manufacturers to list actual ingredients, including the chemicals used in fragrance blends. A single fragrance in a product can contain a mixture of hundreds of chemicals. Do you or your children suffer from respiratory issues, runny noses, asthma, skin issues, migraines, or gastrointestinal symptoms? Turns out the seven hazardous air pollutants + 25 volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are not safe for human beings that are found in dryer sheets just might be contributing to that. And all of that is tumbling around with the clothes that you and your family are wearing daily. This was all news to me a few years ago, too – you are not alone!
Toss those dryer sheets and make the switch to wool dryer balls. They are not only a much healthier option but incredibly economical as well and your household budget will thank you for this switch! They will last you for over 1,000 loads! I simply buy these organic wool ones and love adding some drops of our favorite oils to them for additional scent.
P.S. If you are worried about static, make sure to not over-run your dryer load and hang dry anything that will cause it such as mesh jerseys and mesh shorts.
When I learned that sodium percarbonate is one of the major components of laundry detergents and that it is also classified as a poisonous agent, I thought ‘this is absolutely ridiculous. We need that to wash our clothes?!
That is when we started making our own DIY laundry detergent (you can still find that recipe right here). And that was great for a while, but once I heard about Thieves laundry soap it was the easy button to get a clean option in our home while reducing the hands-on work. You can read more about how I use and dilute Thieves laundry soap here.
There are many options out there to discover a cleaner product for you, your family, and your home!
This was a bigger one to tackle, but we continually say how glad we are that we did it! Many times throughout this journey and learning what I have, I continually say that convenience will forever be our downfall. Our society wants things to be easy. And non-stick cookware seems like a great way to cut time in the kitchen, right? Well, a story shared by a friend was enough to get me to move this up on our list a bit!
This friend’s father was diagnosed with cancer. Upon testing, his doctors determine that more than likely his cancer was caused by the Teflon from non-stick pans. Enter all the feels here as I looked at my stack of non-stick pans sitting in my kitchen cupboard. You can read more about the dangers of Teflon and our top reasons why we made the switch to cast iron in our kitchen right here.
We have loved the switch, cleaning them is no more of an effort than our previous non-stick cookware, our food tastes better, and interestingly enough, everyone’s iron levels are now in range too! Wink!
P.S. My favorite brand of cast iron to collect for our kitchen has been Lodge. Not only is their cookware affordable, but they are of incredible quality and made right here in the U.S.A.! You can shop my favorite ones on my Amazon page right here.
This was my most recent baby step to ditching more toxins in our home and lifestyle. And this one? It required quite a bit of unlearning in what I thought I knew about sun exposure and the use of sunscreen. There is so much bad education out there when it comes to sun exposure. The truth of the matter is it has a lot to do with what we put inside our bodies as well as being safe with how long we are in the sun and what time of day we are in it. So many variables that I had never been educated on before! Because from the very beginning we are simply told to apply sunscreen and then head outside!
The short version of the story? We no longer use traditional sunscreen. But with as much learning as I did on this subject, you know there is a post about it for you to dive into it all as well. You can read more about it right here.
When we do need to use something, and even though it’s not the perfect solution, we make sure to use a zinc-based mineral sunscreen because it is far better for us than chemical sunscreens. The EWG has a wonderful guide to sunscreens that they suggest and you can catch that here.
It’s interesting the dots you don’t connect when you aren’t aware of ingredients and the effects they can have. There was a bright blue dish soap we used in our kitchen religiously. And we couldn’t figure out why our daughter’s hands would always hurt and itch every time she helped with dishes. Duh. Turns out it was the harsh ingredients in our dish soap. For so many years I equated chemicals to clean. And it is such a backward way to think because, in all actuality, those chemicals are simply making us sick and causing harm to our health.
We have since moved onto a plant-based dish soap from the Thieves line from Young Living and love it. This is another easier area to tackle and get a safer and healthier option into your home and kitchen!
In week one of my 30-day guide to low-tox living, we talked about getting in the habit of turning our wifi off at night. This is because of EMF radiation. While I am grateful for technology and what it can do for us, I also am a believer that it takes decades to understand the effects things can have on our health. We have seen this play out time and time again. And the EMF waves and radiation from electronics that we are constantly using, have on, and in our hands? Well, it definitely makes me question things and want to develop better habits.
While it seems that in the last decade this subject is finally being talked about as well as researched, there is still so much to come I’m sure. What we do know is that our phones emit EMF and even more while they are plugged in and charging. A good reason not to be charging our phones next to our bed for sure.
But did you know that screen use has been directly linked to disruptions of our circadian rhythm? This is our natural sleep-wake cycle. Research has shown that the blue light emitted from cell phones, tablets, and other devices disrupts the production of melatonin. This means that it is taking us longer to fall asleep and also reducing the amount we get. And because sleep affects so much when it comes to our health, finding a new spot to charge our phone might be a really great baby step to tackle!
No one likes stains. We can agree on that one, but I used to use the harshest chemicals and products to tackle them. Why? Because I thought that was the only way! Unfortunately, chemicals used in conventional household cleaning products account for indoor air pollution that is 2 to 5 (and sometimes upwards of 100) times worse than the air outside. Not to mention that with over 80,000 chemical compounds out in the market, only 1,498 have been reviewed as of 2018. That is barely scratching the surface!
I decided to toss the junk and give the Thieves line a try since I was using it for our household cleaner as well as laundry soap. When you mix Thieves dish soap and Thieves household cleaner you get a pretty hardcore stain remover! If you want to learn how I make my Thieves stain stick and also get the free label download, you can dive into it all right here.
And as I have mentioned before, be sure and utilize the EWG app as you shop for safer and healthier alternatives in this area. It’s a lifesaver!
Another week down and even more baby steps we have tackled in my 30-day guide to low-tox living!
A friendly reminder: This isn’t about stressing ourselves out when we think about all the things we still want to tackle or even the things we might not want to change. That’s simply trading one bad option for another – the stress of it isn’t good for our health either! We simply want to control our controllables. Don’t let this overwhelm you, but inspire and empower you. Because small and simple baby steps lead to big, significant change!