I like to think that it’s inevitable that anyone who begins focusing on improving their nutrition, exercising regularly, being “greener,” and so on will get themselves involved in each of these other things. For me it started with eating better. From there I began to exercise more, and the environmental health came afterward. There are so many types of “health” in the world, from relationship health to financial health to a healthy work-life balance… the list goes on. But if we focus our attention on just one of these types of health, we’re going to find ourselves seriously lacking in other areas.
It’s not just about being healthy in one aspect. It’s about making lifelong, lasting, lifestyle behaviour changes.
Here at Living Healthy in the Real World, I tend to speak to the nutrition side of things most often. But today I want to look at how we can make the transition to household products, too. Most readers are already likely making changes to their food choices, but what about products such as dish soap, or laundry detergent, or moisturizer, or deodorant, or…? Conventional versions of these items are packed with toxins. On average, we expose ourselves to 100 environmental toxins every day. Think of how much we could reduce our environmental toxins by making at-home switches! Here are some recommendations to make the switch to all-natural, gentle, and non-toxic household products without making yourself go crazy:
- Use baking soda and vinegar as frequently as possible. Combined, these two ingredients are a machine! Even just sprinkling a little bit of baking soda on a tough patch on a countertop and rubbing lightly with a cloth will often make it go away in seconds. You can also use baking soda and vinegar for mopping the floor, scrubbing the bath tub, and just about anything else.
- Start by making just one tiny swap. Deciding to shift all of your conventional products for natural ones can be overwhelming. Thinking about the amount of cleaning supplies, toiletries, make-up, and other items we use regularly is daunting! That’s why I strongly encourage you to make just one switch at a time, and do it when you’re running low on that product. If you’re down to the bottom of your daily facial moisturizer, go to the nearest health food store and pick up one or two different creams (you might want to try a couple just in case one of them is not for you). I haven’t tried any natural shampoos yet simply because I haven’t run out of my conventional ones. Take your time. It could be months before your house is free of conventional products.
- Figure out what items you couldn’t live without. Don’t worry about swapping these items (or at least, not yet!). If you make the change for 90% of your products, but decide to keep the conventional versions for the other 10%, that’s still a really big shift and reduction of toxins in your environment! And you might just find that by the time you’ve made all of these other switches, you’ll want to give up that last couple of items that you held onto so tightly at the beginning.
- Explore. I used to always use Bounce sheets in my dryer, but recently Mr. Science and I stumbled across some chemical-free, unscented, reusable cloth dryer sheets at VitaHealth! I had no idea there was such a great replacement. Already I love them and can’t imagine going back to Bounce sheets.
If you’re stuck for finding products that you really like, check out the Internet for recipes on how to make your own all-natural products. Get creative and have fun with it!
Do you use all-natural household products? Are you interested in making the switch? What changes are the most overwhelming for you? What great finds have you discovered? Share in the comments section below!