I’m sure you’re probably overwhelmed with all the info about chemicals in cosmetic products, in food, in the air, and yes, in disposable diapers. Of course we would all love to have all-natural cosmetic and hygiene products and eat fresh all-organic foods, but I also have to be practical about time and cost efficiency.
So I wanted to come up with a few simple ways that you can lower your family’s chemical burden (other than using cloth diapers, which is sort of a given for readers of this blog). Here’s is my list:
- Eat lower down in the food chain. Chemicals do tend to accumulate as you get higher up in the food chain (think: swordfish). Try incorporating more fresh vegetables and grains into your diet… it’s cheaper than buying meat, so maybe you can afford to incorporate more organic foods into your family’s diet as well. We try to prioritize where we will spend extra money for organics – milk and eggs are high on the list, and we also try to buy organic tofu, bananas, apples, and salad.
- Get rid of unnecessary scents. No, that doesn’t mean you have to go around smelling like an incense stick, but there are a lot of excess scented products that are marketed really hard there days (think home fresheners). If you absolutely must have a scent, try to look for one made from natural oils. Or look for unscented varieties of your favorite detergents and cleaners.
- Ditch unnecessary household products. This includes fabric softener and anyone still using a blue toilet cube. Yeah really, you don’t need them. Ok, I admit I did miss that nice soft scent of fabric softener when we first got rid of it, but our clothes are just fine – really!
- Say no to vinyl. The off-gassing from vinyl products contains a multitude of chemicals that have bad health effects (never mind the fact that it just smells awful, and the vinyl chloride used in the production of vinyl is carcinogenic to the workers). Rubber duckies are available in latex, and shower curtains are available in a variety of non-vinyl materials.
- Dust-busting. Ok, this may not be as simple as the others, but keeping the dust levels down in your house will help decrease the chemicals you breathe in (dust particles tend to trap chemicals). Vacuum as often as you can, and wipe down those surfaces!
These are just a few ideas, and I’ve tried to keep them as pocketbook-friendly as possible! Share what you do to lower your family’s chemical burden!