Toxic-free should be simple. We live in the sickest generation that has ever been. The studies linking chemicals inside of the products we use to diseases like breast cancer, prostate cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and developmental issues, infertility, and endocrine disruptors—keep growing.
After seeing the studies, I knew that going toxic-free was critical for my family. My youngest son had been born with various health issues, some which have been linked to pesticides. As a mom, it’s my job to protect my children. I was willing to sacrifice products I loved if it meant protecting my children from future developmental problems or diseases later in life.
But, with all of the guilt and horror that came from discovering all of the toxins inside of our everyday products, came a pleasant surprise. Going toxic-free didn’t mean I had to sacrifice my need for great products with great results! And, the process of ridding my home of toxic-chemicals didn’t have to be the nightmare I imagined it would be! My advice for going toxic-free comes in one word. SIMPLE.
In the beginning, I had no idea that making our home a toxic-free home could actually make life so much easier, and save us money at the same time. Here is how we made going toxic-free simple and fun.
As I started looking around my home I found that many of these chemicals were repeated in different products. With my chemical list in hand, I grabbed a garbage bag, and brightly colored stickers (or you could use a marker), pen and paper, and I chose my starting room. For me, this was the nursery.
Here are the simple steps I took to make our toxic-free change less overwhelming, and actually a lot of fun. (WARNING—replacing the chemical filled products in your home with safe products that are toxic-free will release endorphins that make you happy!)
Items you will need for going toxic-free.
Chose a starting place. We want to make this simple, affordable, and even a little fun. If it overwhelms you, then it’s a sign you need to start smaller. Being committed to this lifestyle is actually really easy and rewarding once you start. Like many things in life getting started is the hardest part. So keep it positive, and enjoy the journey.
You can choose the nursery, the laundry room, bathroom, bedroom, kitchen, cleaning closet, or another room inside your home. There is no wrong choice here. When you’ve chosen your starting room, take note of all of the products used inside that room. Let’s say you’ve chosen the bathroom, some of the products you may pull out of your cabinets and shower may include soaps, shampoos, conditioners, shaving creams, lotions, perfumes or colognes, deodorants, toothpaste, skin care products, and makeup. Pull everything out. Next, you’re going to separate your products into two different piles.
I can live without.
I need to replace.
Believe it or not you will find products inside of your house that you realize you just don’t need, and you probably won’t miss as much as you think. We live in a day and time where we are marketed attractive products for every single part of our home, body, and life. While the chemical industry and manufacturers profit heavily, our bodies and immune systems continue to be burdened down from the continual introduction of new chemicals.
An example of some of the products we chose to live without includes perfume and colognes, plug-ins and aerosol air fresheners, fabric softeners and dryer sheets, baby powder, and shaving cream.
If there are products you decide you can live without, toss them inside the bag. If you know you should toss, but are having a hard time letting them go, write a great big Skull and Bones on them as a visual reminder of what is inside of them, and add them to your find alternative pile.
After tossing what you are willing to live without, you are left with products you need to find alternatives for.
Decide how much of the alternative pile you are willing to replace right now. If the pile is big, and you aren’t ready to do everything at once, here are some methods you could use. (TIP: sometimes it’s easier to make your decision up front and stick with it).
If the product is less than half-empty toss it. Add to your “replace now” list. If the product is more than half empty and you want to finish using it, mark it with a sticker, or draw a big X so you know a toxic-free replacement will be needed soon. Add this product to your “replace soon” list.
You could choose the products to dump first by picking those that are most toxic. Add these to your “replace now list” and those less toxic to your “replace soon list.”
You could start really simple, with the basics. Deodorant, Toothpaste, Shampoo, Soaps and Lotions. If you go this route, give yourself a time frame where you will again go through and pick more products to replace. Maybe you will say in two weeks I will toss and replace 3 more products inside of my home. Mark your calendar, and hold yourself too it.
After you finish this room, move to the next room. Or, perhaps there are products in different places of your home you would like to replace instead of only doing one room at a time. Whichever route you take, remember, “I can live without” or “I need to replace” is the first question to ask yourself. The next is, do you want to replace now, or when you run out of product?
There is no wrong choice here. You are taking the steps necessary to become toxic-free. Some people take the leap and dump everything at once, and others need to take baby steps. Whichever route you choose, remember, keep it simple. You should enjoy the journey. After all, you are making decisions that will protect you and your family from toxic-chemicals. You are making a stand, and having a voice. By choosing not to purchase toxic-chemical filled products you are telling the near 3 trillion dollar chemical industry that you aren’t going to support their pockets, or be their lab rats!