A natural, non-toxic home.
Sounds great right? Maybe it's on your to-do list?
Sure, in a perfect world. But who has time to DIY a mountain of natural cleaners and who has the money to purchase an organic bed?
I get it. It's tough.
But here's the secret: you don't have to do it all at once.
That's right, you don't have to get stressed about switching out all of your cleaning products and toiletry products RIGHT NOW. Do it slowly and focus on just one thing at a time. If you've been living with the chemicals for years, another few months won't make a difference.
I took about a year to switch out my cleaning products first, then air fresheners, then laundry detergent, then hand sanitizers and hand soaps, then toiletries, then beauty products. Finally, if I need new furnishings or linens or decorations, I made sure to look for sustainable, healthy options. But that's only if I needed to bring new things into my home at all (it's an ongoing process).
Below I'll spell out for you a simple strategy for switching to a natural, non-toxic, healthy home.
But first, in case you need more proof that a healthy home environment is necessary...take a gander at the typical ingredients that commonly come into our homes through cleaners, air fresheners, beauty and body-care products and even on furniture.
- Parabens - disrupt the endocrine system and may increase breast cancer risk
- Phthalates - disrupt the endocrine system and affect reproduction
- Triclosan - linked to skin sensitivity, liver damage and hormone disruption
- Chlorine - aggravates asthma, destroys gut bacteria, can disrupt thyroid function, linked to colon/bladder cancer
- Perchloroethylene (PERC) - commonly found in dry-cleaning solutions, spot removers, and carpet and upholstery cleaners, it is a neurotoxin and possible carcinogen
- Chloroform - found in dryer sheets, it's a neurotoxin and carcinogen
- 2-butoxyethanol - irritates skin and eyes
- Benzyl acetate: linked to pancreatic cancer
- Fragrance - triggers allergies and asthma, linked to hormone disruption
- Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) - can cause severe skin irritation
- Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) - may damage liver and kidneys, disrupt hormones and promote tumour growth
- Ammonia- commonly found in glass cleaner, causes eye, skin and lung irritation and worsens asthma.
- Formaldehyde - aggravates allergies, irritates the skin and burns eyes, nose and throat, a carcinogen
- DEA (diethanolamine), TEA (triethanolamine) and MEA (monoethanolamine) - can cause allergic reactions, linked to liver and kidney cancer
Ready to begin making the switch?
Here's a simple strategy for switching to a more natural home without a huge investment of time or money:
- Choose one area. For example, cleaning products are a good place to begin. Or maybe skin products like lotions and soaps.
- Choose just one product at a time to replace.
- Replace something only when you've used up your current product. No need to waste your already-purchased luxury skin cream and you certainly don't need to ditch your furniture for organic pieces until they're worn out.
If you'd like to get started with non-toxic cleaning as the first natural change you make, I've got some resources for you.
1. Learn my all-time favourite DIY natural cleaning product formula: the all-purpose cleaner. I use this daily on countertops, my sinks, toilets, floors and even windows. It's just vinegar and water and essential oils. And it really works!
2. My e-book, A Simple Guide to a Naturally Healthy Home, takes you on deeper dive to DIY more natural cleaning products, as well as print out labels with the formulas on them so you can attach them to bottles. The 27-page guide will walk you through not only cleaning products, but also how to use essential oils, simple ways to reduce plastic and off-gassing in your home, and even how to replace your furniture and decor sustainably over time with better eco-versions.
I hope you'll consider slowly but surely making the switch to a more natural home - the benefits for years to come are well worth it.