Chemicals! They are everywhere. We hear things everyday about all the cancer causing agents we run into on a daily basis. Products that we think are safe are jam packed with terrifying chemicals with unknown effects.
Unfortunately some are impossible to change. You can’t control the air quality or proximity of cell phone towers. I genuinely get anxiety when I think of all the possible things I’m exposing myself and my kids to by using plastics and eating processed food. But the bottom line is that you can’t change everything and you can’t be perfect.
Slowly over the years I’ve changed a few things to help my comfort level and feel a bit better about my every day life. The truth is I can only do so much. My kids are always going to eat Mcdonald’s. I’m probably always going to buy hot dogs for convenience. I’m not perfect and never will be. These are quick changes I made and you can too!
You are a busy person and adding work to your life won’t make changes sustainable. These are things that I’ve changed that don’t take a lot of extra work for me.
This List is 14 Ways you can use less Chemicals in your Home Today
- I switched my laundry soap. When I started reading about how many chemicals are in laundry detergent and dryer sheets I was floored. You wash your sheets, pillowcases, clothing, blankets and towels with laundry soap. These are all things you are in contact with all day. So I researched and came across https://www.ewg.org/guides/cleaners. This website is an amazing resource. They rate all of the detergents from grade A through F. Even many advertised as “clean” or “organic” still get C or D ratings. The one that I use that I love is Nature Clean Powder. The powder is a bit of a pain. I mix it into water before dumping it in the machine and it works great.
- Dryer Sheets. After learning how many chemicals are laced into dryer sheets I switched to wool dryer balls. They work pretty well. I miss the smells of the sheets but you get used to it. I tried putting essentials oils on the dryer balls and it works a little but not great. An extra bonus of the wool balls is that when you switch to new ones, you can give the old ones to your kids to play indoor hockey with. No more wall dents!
- Dishwasher soap and dish soap – You eat off of your dishes and drink liquid out of cups so the last thing you want is them coated in chemicals. From the same website listed above https://www.ewg.org/guides/cleaners. I found Nature Clean dishwasher pods and Eco-max Natural Lavender Ultra Dish Wash. I love them both!
- Shampoo and conditioner – The same website has a handy dandy personal products guide as well https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/. Instead of the letter rating system for personal products they rank 1-10. I use Deva Curl products because I have very curly hair. The rank a 4 out of 10 on the personal products scale. Not as good as a 1 but in an acceptable range for me.
- Hand soaps – We use a variety of hand soaps. Usually I buy whatever is on sale. But I use the same guide https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ to make sure I”m not purchasing anything with too poor of a rating.
- Body Soap – I make my own with Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap. You can buy foaming soap dispensers at Walmart or on amazon. I fill halfway with water. Then I put a cup of castile soap and 8-10 drops of my favorite essential oils. Super easy and smells amazing.
- Beauty products – I don’t wear a lot of make up so this one was easy to switch. I should wear more but I’m lazy ha! A friend of mine starting selling Beauty Counter so I tried a few products and became hooked. They are all Ewg.org certified which says a lot too. My skin looks better than it ever has. In the past I struggled with adult acne and since switching to beauty counter I never have any issues. Check out their product line here. Its a bit more expensive than what I used to buy but it lasts forever!
- Milk and Meat – I once had a conversation with an owner of an organic grocery store. I am not in the position to buy completely organic groceries for our family of five. I asked him if I were to switch just a few things what would he recommend? He said milk and meat no question. They both have a lot of hormones that get passed onto the consumer through ingestion. Yuck.
- Cleaning products – I make my own. I have experimented with a ton of recipes using vinegar, castile soap, essential oils and witch hazel. Bonus is that I never worry about my kids grabbing chemical cleaners out of a cabinet and they can help me clean without me worrying about them ingesting something poisonous. Check out my full article on Castile Soap uses.
- Radon test – I feel like I hear about radon a lot. But the other day someone told me they had never even heard the word. It is a tasteless, odorless gas caused by uranium decay. Ok so how does that affect me? Sometimes when homes are built, the ground is disturbed and uranium in rock can release the gas into your house for years. It is the second highest cause of lung cancer next to smoking. You can have a radon test done in your home and if it comes back positive there are methods to stop it from coming into your home and the air you are breathing. For more information check out https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/health-risks-safety/radiation/radon.html
- Use mineral makeup and sunscreen. Sun Bum is amazing! Costco also has a mineral makeup brush that I used for my infant daughter all over her hair because she had such fine hair and wouldn’t keep a hat on.
- Use glass instead of plastic when you can. Its pretty much impossible not to use plastic. Its everywhere. But small changes like storing leftovers in glass instead of plastic make me feel better.
- Buy organic frozen fruit and veggies. I mentioned before that buying organic everything is a bit of a stretch for us. I wish I could, but its so pricey and it spoils quickly. I found a bit of a work around for produce. My kids love eating frozen fruit and smoothies so I buy organic of these items since they last longer. You can buy t?hem in big quantities at Costco or during sales to stock up.
- Plug your phone in at night in the hallway – I used to sleep with my phone under my pillow. Then someone told me they started plugging it in elsewhere because of fear of brain cancer. Who knows if cell phones and brain cancer is a myth but its such an easy change so why not? Not a terrible idea!
I know its impossible to live a completely chemical free life. But small changes can add up to big difference. Implement these changes and feel better about trying something new and healthy.