A Friendly 7-Step Guide: Minimising the Use of Toxic Products in Everyday Life

Before we start a family, we rarely worry about toxic products and chemicals in our everyday life. As soon as we begin running our own household, or once we bring a child into the world, the worries increase – after all, we’re now in charge of an innocent life. But keeping a tidy house without endangering anyone’s health doesn’t have to be difficult. To help you keep your home and your family safe, we’ve got a little guide right here that will tell you what kind of stuff to watch out for and what are the alternatives.

Words: Brigitte Evans

1. Chemicals Are Not the Enemy

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The term 'chemical' does not have a negative connotation in itself. When looking for safe products, don’t stick to the idea of finding something that’s 'chemical-free', and don’t trust companies who make this claim, because it’s false. Chemicals can be found in the nature, they can be man-made by being extracted through nature, and they are necessary in order to create a usable product. What you want to avoid are specific kind of chemicals, those that research has shown to be harmful in some way. Trust only certified companies.

2. What to Avoid

Now we come to the most important part – read the label in the back. Certain things, such as phthalates, polychlorinated biphenyls, and polybrominated diphenyl ethers, were found to be cancerogenic, and things such as lead and mercury were tied to developmental issues with children, lowered IQ, and memory problems in adults. Organophosphate pesticides that are used in almost half of the pesticides in the U.S. have been linked to the increased chance of children developing ADHD, so a lot of doctors believe it’s better to seek alternatives and try to eat more food that was grown in accordance to organic standards. Those polybrominated diphenyl ethers, that we just mentioned, are commonly used as flame retardants and can be found in furniture, wall paint, and even children’s toys. The point is, always be informed about what you’re buying, and taking into your home and that way you’ll lessen the chance of having something harm you.

3. Hygiene

When it comes to hygiene, it’s best to go for organic products. You want gentle skincare and haircare that contains none of the harmful chemicals we mentioned, and it’s good to pick things that are made of organic, carefully-regulated ingredients by companies who are eco-friendly. It’s particularly important to pick high-quality natural baby products for your children because they’re sensitive and need special care.

4. What to Eat

Organically-grown produce is the best, but we realise that it might not always be available to you. Avoid pre-packaged food, food colourings, canned goods, and processed food – stick to homemade meals as much as you can.

5. Cleaning Products

Did you know it’s actually possible to make your own cleaning supplies? Save some bucks and avoid toxic ingredients, by using things like baking soda, vinegar, and diluted lemon juice to clean surfaces. Here are a few suggestions and formulas that you can use to keep your house clean with ease.

6. Air Pollution

With global warming on the rise, air pollution is becoming more difficult to deal with. Reducing your carbon footprint and buying a good air cleaner with a HEPA filter can help your household, especially if you have a family member who deals with allergies or has asthma.

7. Less Plastic All Around

Plastic-packaged things are bad for your health and they create a huge amount of unnecessary waste for the planet. A much more eco-friendly solution is to store your food in glass and metal containers, to drink filtered tap water instead of bottled water, and to generally reduce the amount of plastic packaging in your home.

Keeping your home toxin-free isn’t really difficult, but it requires you to become mindful, careful, and to really do your research and become educated about environmental hazards. We encourage you to try our tips and read up on things on your own – the more you know, the more positive change you can make in your life.