Have you ever felt overwhelmed about reducing the toxins in your home? I sure have! I’ve been on a journey to detoxify my home and live a less-toxic life for the past 11 years. It all started when I was pregnant with my first daughter. I came across some information about harmful ingredients in children’s products and then went down the Google rabbit hole. I was shocked at what I found out. To this day, there is little regulation when it comes to harmful ingredients in products for children and adults. I have IBS and anxiety and have found that reducing the toxic load on my body has helped me to heal. I know many other people are suffering with chronic health issues, and lowering toxins can be an important part of the healing journey.
Luckily, things are changing and many companies are choosing to use only safe ingredients in their products and we’re learning more about what is in our products. I am not an expert, and certainly not totally toxin free, but I have done a lot of research over the years and made many changes where I’ve seen benefits. I know every family is different, so do what works best for yours. Pick and choose things you can do easily and try not to stress about it. Even changing few small things can make a big difference!
Switch to safer products over time.
This doesn’t have to happen overnight. As you run out of products around the house, simply buy a safer version of that product. The Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Database is an awesome resource to find products that are safer. It rates products from 1-10 and shares which ingredients are harmful and why. A few examples of harmful ingredients I try to avoid in household products and cosmetics are: fragrance, parabens, phthalates, polyethylene glycol (PEG), triclosan, and sodium lauryl (ether) sulfate (SLS, SLES).
Improve indoor air quality.
Indoor air quality is very important for health. Indoor air quality can be improved by opening windows, using an air purifier (ideally with a HEPA filter), or buying air purifying plants. Check out the NASA list of the best plants for air purifying. Vacuuming, dusting and cleaning the floors with non-toxic products is also important because dust can trap toxins (this also means changing your household air filters when recommended). If you want to go an extra step, try to buy furniture and rugs that are free of harmful flame retardants.
Reduce use of plastic when possible.
Plastic can contain toxins that are released when heated. If you use plastic, try to hand wash and keep them out of the microwave. I have been slowly switching to glass and stainless steel over time because it can be pricey. I’ll be the first to admit that it’s hard for me to give up my ziploc bags, but I am trying to use them less often by replacing them with reusable bags, bento boxes, and glass storage containers. You can also swap out plastic straws, cups, and plates for stainless steel ones.
Increase healthy habits.
This is an area I can certainly do better in! The more we eat healthy, exercise and find ways to manage stress, the better equipped our bodies are to handle all the toxins from our environments. Some fun ways I like to detoxify are: taking epsom salt baths (when I can), grounding (standing barefoot on the grass or ground), getting sunlight for the vitamin D (don’t forget the sunscreen), walking, and meditating.
Buy healthy/organic food when possible.
I use the “Dirty Dozen” as a guide for buying fruits and vegetables and buy organic when I can. I also try to mostly steer clear of buying foods with dyes, hormones, corn syrup, and high sugar for the kids at home. That’s not to say that I don’t let them eat “junk food” when they bring it home from school or get it for the holidays. We try to keep a balanced approach so do what works for your family. I’d also like to start buying more local produce at farmer’s markets and growing our own.
Turn off as many electronics as you can at night.
Ok, so this one may seem kine of “out there.” Because we don’t yet fully understand the long-term effects of electronics and radiation from Wi-Fi and 4/5G, I have a goal to reduce my family’s exposure to theses potentially harmful types of radiofrequency (RF) radiation. I am nowhere near where I’d like to be on this and my kids probably get too much tablet time, but I do make it a point to turn of the Wi-Fi at night (we use an outlet timer that automatically shuts the router off between certain hours) and put devices in “airplane” mode at night and when not in use. Ideally, I’d like to do more, but it’s not in the budget right now.
Don’t stress about it!
By switching up a few things over time, you are making a big difference for your family’s health. Do as much or as little as you are conformable with and don’t feel guilty if you can’t be perfectly toxin-free (no one is!).
What are some ways you and your family reduce toxins in your home? I love learning new tips!