Sometimes the idea of switching out products for better options, reducing our toxin load, living a healthier lifestyle can seem overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be! Our family has been making baby steps for the past five years and all of those baby steps have culminated into big, wonderful changes! For the month of September, I wanted to give a peek into the things we have done in our home to reduce our toxin load, to choose better options for our health, and how we have worked to cultivate a well life. It’s my 30-day guide to low-tox living!
Each day I will be sharing one baby step we have made in the process of cultivating a well life. From making our home a space where we can thrive to ditching and switching products to support our health. I will be updating this post as the month goes on, but if you want a real-time deeper look into each area we tackle, be sure and come hang out on Instagram or Facebook with me!
Also, be sure and download the free printable guide to have as a visual while you tackle each baby step:
Deodorants and antiperspirants are loaded with harmful ingredients that are tied to endocrine disruption, hormone disruption, and more. And all of those harmful things applied daily to those soft tissues, breast tissues, and lymph nodes are not what we want. Aluminum, being one of those ingredients, is used because it clogs your pores and helps reduce sweat production. However, sweating is our body’s way of ridding itself of toxins and heavy metals! We want to sweat and we want to make sure we are doing it daily.
A big misconception is that sweat smells. However, sweat does not have a smell. The smell comes from the bacteria on our skin when mixed with sweat. When you stop using your deodorant or antiperspirant to switch to a natural option, your body will go through a detox period. This is generally a 2 to 4 week period where your body will rid itself of the build-up of toxins from your conventional deodorant. The odor will increase around the two-week mark, but will then begin to subside. Those 2-3 weeks will be the hardest part of it, but if you stick it out it will be well worth it!
Find a natural deodorant that is free of aluminum, parabens, and most of all fragrance! Remember to download and use the EWG app when shopping!
The dust bunnies in our homes can be a major source of unhealthy chemicals – Phthalates, PCB’s, and “forever chemicals” are just a few of them. Forever chemicals such as PFOA and PFOS never break down. They build up in our organs and tissues and stay in the body for several years once it enters the bloodstream. This buildup can cause thyroid problems, hormone imbalances, lower sperm count, reproductive issues, low immunity, liver dysfunction, and can even affect cognitive development in little ones.
These chemicals come from the products inside our homes that shed chemicals over time. Shoes, flooring materials, plastics, fragrances, non-stick cookware, personal care products, and more. They shed and combine with pollen, pet dander, dead skin cells, and organisms to create dust in our home. So what can we do about it?
Number 01: Regularly dust surfaces with a damp cloth. This will help to not kick up the dust into the air and actually remove it. Baseboards, ceiling fans, vents, window sills, behind appliances, and even your electronics.
Number 02: Use organic and natural products in your home – from what you use to clean with to your personal care products to help eliminate toxins.
Number 03: Vacuum regularly and use a HEPA filter if possible.
Number 04: And wash your hands before preparing or eating a meal. Especially little ones who spend a lot of time playing in areas of the home where dust accumulates such as the floor and with toys that have been stored in bins. Make sure your hand soap is a natural, non-fragranced soap!
We know that radiation from electronics is a real problem. If you haven’t yet jumped into the subject of EMF radiation (electromagnetic frequency radiation), it is extremely eye-opening. And the wifi in our homes connecting all of our devices and keeping us connected to the outside world is the single largest source of radiation. Turning your wifi off at night is one of the best ways to dramatically reduce your exposure, improve your health, and get better sleep.
Household cleaners sold on store shelves are a huge issue when it comes to the toxins and harmful chemicals in our homes. And with greenwashing being so rampant, the cleaners marketed as safe might just be the very opposite. Fumes from conventional household cleaners can induce asthma and other respiratory problems. The ingredients in these products can contain carcinogens as well as preservatives that release low levels of cancer-causing formaldehyde.
We switched to this plant-based cleaner and will never look back. It has been wonderful to be able to clean without coughing on the fumes and making sure little ones aren’t near. Be sure and fina healthier solution for your home. And use that EWG app to make it easier!
With past recalls of insect repellent and ingredients like DEET and permethrin (classified as a carcinogen and linked to things such as immune system problems, tumors, and even killing brain cells), this is one area that I like to make my own. Not only does it get the job done, but I know all of the ingredients being used and have peace of mind when it comes to the kiddos. This is a great area to clean up and find a better option!
Who knew that shower curtains can contain chemicals that we don’t want in our homes? Unofrtunately, it’s true. Vinyl shower curtains and liners release up to 100 toxic chemicals into the air which includes known carcinogens and reproductive toxins such as toluene and ethylbenzene.
Make sure and find a non-toxic and PVC-free shower curtain. This fabric liner is what we use and I make sure to wash it every two weeks or so.
When it comes to candles, even air fresheners and plugins, we have to be aware of a few things. If a candle is made from paraffin wax or is made with synthetic fragrance, burning it will pollute the air in your home with VOC’s and other toxins. This is because paraffin is a by-product of petroleum. Synthetic fragrances can contain phthalates and other substances known to cause cancer and disrupt hormones. Also, some candle manufacturers still use lead in the wick of the candle which we don’t want burning in our homes either.
There are healthier candle options out there such as beeswax and soy. For our home, we liked the idea of a better option that also did away with the fire hazard all together. Using essential oils, I am able to diffuse all of the scents I loved when I used candles in our home. I love the ambiance it brings to our home, how many different gorgeous scents I am able to create, and that it is safe.
We covered a lot in this first week of my 30-day guide to low-tox living!
Remember, it’s impossible to truly rid our homes and lives of all toxins. It’s simply the reality and the world we live in. But we simply control our controllables. Knowledge is power and when we know better we can do better! Don’t let this overwhelm you. Let it empower you. Because small and simple baby steps lead to big change and that is a wonderful thing!
Dive into Week Two of our 30-day guide to low-tox living right here!