Did you know that there are currently 84,000 chemicals in the United States? Europe has banned 1,100 of these chemicals from being used in products while the United States has currently banned only 11.
Making changes toward a safer home can be overwhelming to say the least. Parents can’t keep up with the science and many cannot afford to spend more on everyday, household products.
Here are some tips to start making changes today that can protect your family long term. (Remember, keep it simple by setting achievable goals.)
Taking small steps will keep you from becoming overwhelmed or discouraged. Slight changes weekly or even monthly can greatly reduce the toxins inside your home and protect your family’s health!
Goal #1: Organic Food
Try to purchase organic foods whenever possible. While this can at times be more costly, shopping locally helps minimize the cost and supports local farmers. Many find this to be less expensive than purchasing non-organic food at their local grocery store.
- Small Steps: If purchasing everything organic seems too overwhelming, start by choosing organic when buying the most pesticide-laden foods. Or, decide this month to purchase all of your meat or dairy organic so that it is free of antibiotics and hormones. Next month or when you are ready, add something else to your list.
To help you decide which foods are the most important to purchase organic, use the EWG Dirty Dozen & Clean 15 Guides to help you choose affordably.
Goal #2: Avoid Pesticides Whenever Possible
Look for natural alternatives to rodenticide, ant bait, or any other kind of chemical sprays or traps. (For an easy, ToxicFree® bug repellent you can make at home, check out my post: Keep Spiders at Bay the All-Natural Way.)
- Step 1: Try to purchase food locally that hasn’t been sprayed with pesticides, and always make sure you wash your fruits and vegetables well with filtered water. Try ToxicFree® and alcohol-free Sanitizer Home and Hand to wash your produce.
- Step 2: Keep children and pets off any lawn that has recently been treated with pesticides.
- Step 3: Use safe, ToxicFree® products to clean your home such as Healthy Home’s Clean.
- Step 4: Check your hand sanitizer, hand soap, and personal care products for a dangerous chemical called Triclosan. To learn more about this ingredient and the danger of traditional hand sanitizers, check out my post, The Truth About Alcohol-Based Sanitizer: Why My Children Aren’t Allowed to Use It. In search of an alternative to products with Triclosan and other toxins? Visit the following links: for hand soap and sanitizer.
For more information on how pesticides affect your health visit:http://www.nrdc.org/health/pesticides/gpests.asp.
Goal #3: Improve Your Air Quality Indoors
According to a study published in the Environmental Health Perspectives done at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, fine particles, including formaldehyde and acrolein, are the worst indoor contaminants for non-smoking households.
- Step 1: Open your windows daily to let in fresh air when possible. Even just 10-20 minutes a day can make a difference.
- Step 2: Stop using air fresheners. They’re loaded with dangerous chemicals that can be harmful to your family. Need to freshen your air and kill odor naturally? Try the Sanitizer Home and Hand.
- Step 3: Be sure that you never microwaving your food using plastic containers or plates as the heat can cause BPA and other dangerous chemicals to leak into your food. Start replacing your plastic food storage containers with glass and stainless steel. It is best never to store food in plastic. An added bonus— there are no stain or odor issues with stainless steel and glass!
- Step 4: Dust and clean your furniture and floors well on a regular basis to remove fine particles that may contain toxins.
- Step 5: Fill your home with plants that are known to improve indoor air quality. Plants such as the Spider-plant, Peace-lily, English Ivy, and Aloe plants are known to absorb toxins in the air such as formaldehyde, benzene, carbon monoxide and xylene (a solvent used in leather). Purchase a few plants and remember to start your plant family in the room where we spend a 3rd of our lives—the bedroom.
Just a few small steps can have a big impact on making your home safe and ToxicFree®!