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Not too long ago my family and I embarked on our journey to a more natural, chemical free lifestyle. We changed the way we ate, preferring to source local, natural foods over processed and chemical laden boxed and canned food. We also switched many of the products that we use in our everyday life to more natural and environmentally friendly products.
Switching was surprisingly pain free as more and more companies are catering to the demand of more natural and earth friendly products. In honor of upcoming Earth Day and Earth month I want to share with you some simple and pain free ways to cut down on the chemicals in your home.
1. Ditch your old toothpaste-
Did you know that most commercial produced toothpastes contain artificial colors, preservatives and dangerous chemicals like triclosan (a pesitcide found in many toothpaste brands). One of the first things we did was switch our usual toothpaste to Tom’s of Maine Flouride-Free Antiplaque and Whitening Toothpaste. Lucky we didn’t have to search to find it as our local Walmart carries Tom’s of Maine products and you can grab a coupon for $1.00 off here.
Tom’s of Maine products are not only all natural, but they are eco-friendly as well. Sustainability practices are a priority in their business model along with an emphasis on recycling and a firm stance against animal testing. Tom’s is definitely a company that cares.
2. Get rid of “Antibacterial” soaps-
I know we all fear the germs that our kids bring into the house, but by using an antibacterial soap to get rid of them you are actually doing more harm than good. One of the main ingredients of antibacterial soap is triclosan. Yep, that pesky pesticide that we find in toothpaste is also found in your antibacterial soap. In the process of killing the bad bacteria, it also kills all the good bacteria and leads to antibiotic resistance. Switching to a natural soap that doesn’t contain triclosan, chlorine, or phosphates will keep your family pesticide free and allow their immune system to build up a good supply of healthy bacteria.
3. Trash your chemical home cleaners-
Most cleaning products contain chlorine or ammonia and are extremely toxic. The worst offenders are drain, oven and toilet bowl cleaners. Lucky for us effective home cleaning doesn’t require industrial strength chemicals. The best weapons against dirt, germs and grime are probably already in your pantry. White vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, baking soda and lemon juice all make incredibly effective cleaners by themselves or mixed with a bit of plain water.
4. Check out your local farmer’s market-
It’s no secret that the majority of the chemicals we are exposed to come from our food, pesticide use is a regular commercial farming practice and foods that are not organic contain a large amount of residual pesticides. Organic foods are a great option but it is usually cost prohibitive to eat entirely organic. Farmer’s markets can be one of your best resources for finding inexpensive, pesticide free food. Talk to the farmers before buying to ensure you are getting something grown with natural growing practices.
5. DIY lotions and bath scrubs-
This is one of my favorite tips, once you start using homemade scrubs and lotions, it’s doubtful you will ever go back to your old chemical laden products again. You can find about a zillion recipes on Pinterest for homemade scrubs and lotions, but I love the ones that are easy to make and use minimal ingredients that I already have on hand.
I have experimented and come up with a scrub and lotion recipe that is not only chemical free, but leaves my skin soft and smooth. The addition of essential oils help to lift my mood and get me excited to start my day. Now I’m going to share them with you!
Invigorating Orange Sugar Scrub
1 cup granulated or organic sugar (organic sugar has a rougher texture that can be irritating if used everyday, regular granulated sugar is easier on the skin and good for everyday use)
1/4 liquid coconut oil (coconut oil becomes liquid at room temperature)
10-12 drops sweet orange essential oil
Mix orange essential oil into the coconut oil then pour into the sugar, stir with a wooden spoon until well combined. Store in an airtight container for up to a month.
Invigorating Whipped Body Butter
1/4 cup shea butter
1/4 cup coconut oil
2 ounces of almond or jojoba oil
10-12 drops of sweet orange essential oil
Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan and heat over medium heat until just melted. Pour into a glass bowl. Stir well. Put bowl in the freezer for 20-30 minutes, it should be solid, but not hard, you should be able to easily leave a finger print when you touch it. Take out of freezer and whip with a hand mixer until light and fluffy, it will have the consistency of whipped frosting.
Detoxing your home isn’t as painful as you might think, start with these simple steps and you will be on your way to a chemical free home in no time!
Did I miss anything? What are some of the steps you have taken to detox your home?