10 Simple Ways to Live with Less Chemicals in Your Home
We started our "living with less" journey about six years ago and it all started with switching to natural deodorant. We really ramped up our game once we knew we were becoming parents because now we were responsible for what we put around our son as well. Since then, we have learned so much about living a life with less toxins... but I know we still have so much to learn! One thing I know for sure, is that every little bit helps. Every conscious decision to choose "natural" over the alternative can be a step in the right direction.
I am sharing with you 10 simple ways to live with less chemicals in your home. I say “live with less” because let’s face it, it is hard to go 100% toxic-free. This blog is to help you take baby steps. Don’t get overwhelmed… don’t be like me and get stressed out thinking you have to do all of this in one day. Again, every little bit helps and no step is too small!
1. Don’t be ‘greenwashed”
First off, this is SO IMPORTANT as you begin your “living with less” journey. Greenwashing is a form of marketing where companies deceptively use “green” terms and branding to mislead people to believe that their products are environmentally friendly and “safe”. Also something to note, the word “natural” is not regulated. Literally anyone can use the word natural even if their products are flowing with toxic chemicals. It’s so frustrating. So, know this when switching out your products. Read the ingredients. You can also use the EWG app to have a better understanding of what the ingredients are and whether or not they are “safe.”
2. Open your windows
Opening up the windows in your home, even for 5 minutes a day, can help with the air quality within your home. Houses are known to have 3-4 times more pollutants and air particles than outside. Something so simple can have a huge impact!
3. Clean out your candles
Candles may smell great, but unfortunately, the fragrances found in common candles are full of toxic chemicals. I know, I know, we all love our candles. BUT if you do your research and start learning about how toxic the fragrances are in the common candle… you’ll probably have all of them removed from your home by bedtime. Look out for candles that are trying to greenwash you by saying that they are soy… seriously it doesn’t matter if they are soy if they are still using perfume and fragrances in their wax.
Diffusing essential oils is a great way to have those candle smells while also staying safe. You can also check out Eternal Returns for safe candles that smell AMAZING! Aaaand they’re made locally here in Nashville.
4. Switch your cleaning supplies
Cleaning supplies are FULL OF SO MANY TOXIC CHEMICALS that are just not safe. Windex, Lysol, dish washing soap, etc. etc. Probably any of those bottles you have under the kitchen sink. 3 years ago I discovered Norwex towels. If you haven’t checked it out, you need to! We can clean our entire home with Norwex alone. I will say some of Norwex’s products probably have some touches of greenwashing, but their cleaning towels are THE BEST.
5. Trade your laundry detergent
People love their good smelling laundry. There is nothing like that fabric softener smell as you pull your clothes out of the laundry… however, here is a pretty sad statement. Are you ready? Fabric softener and your dryer sheets are probably some of the most toxic things in your home… and one of the worst parts about it is that you are wearing those chemicals on your body 24/7. The good smelling towels you wrap yourself in after a shower. The sheets you sleep on. The pillow you lay your head on. Gosh, I know it smells good but it is so bad for you.
We use the Zum soap line for our laundry. It smells so good! It isn’t as strong smelling as the toxic options everyone is used to, but they are safe, it gets your laundry clean, and totally worth the trade.
6. Make easy DIY soap
Here is an affordable way to replace your hand soap! Pour 1/4 cup liquid castile soap (We use Dr Bronners unscented) in an old foaming hand soap dispenser. Fill the rest with water. You can also add some drops of essential oils of your choice for scent!
7. Replace your Beauty/ Self Care Products/ Perfume
The products that you use on your body, face, skin, etc. etc. deserve some research. Your skin absorbs so many of these chemicals and it just isn’t worth it!
Replacing these products can get a little pricey. But, if you’re already used to wearing luxury line make-up, the prices will be very comparable! I recommend that if you don’t have the finances to trade everything out, all at once, just replace them as you run out! I am currently working on a few blogs about specific make-up and self-care products, so I will link it here once posted. I have some AMAZING recommendations for you that won’t break the bank!
8. Give a Crap about your toilet paper
You’re probably thinking, are you serious? I should even care about the toilet paper I use?! The answer is… yes. I know Charmin is amazingly soft. I know people are very particular about their teepee, but here is an alternative that is not only better for your bum, soft, better for the environment, AND they donate 50% of their profits to building toilets around the world for those who do not have one. HOW AMAZING IS THAT?! The company is called Who Gives a Crap. Literally, the cutest toilet paper to ever show up at your door too. Amazing customer service and they strive to make the world a better place. Truly a win/win/win to use their toilet paper. Here is a link for $10 off your first order! (I think I get a $10 off coupon code if you use it btw. A win/win!)
ORDER HERE: https://www.talkable.com/x/Ma9FGc
9. Take Your Shoes Off
Did you wear your shoes to the gas station this week? How probable do you think it is that there are now traces of gasoline on the bottom of your shoes? Did someone else you don’t even know step in dog ****, walk around Target, took some of the same steps you took, and now there are traces of you know what on your shoes? Do you think that anywhere at all that you went, there may be something on your shoes that you really wouldn’t want on the bottom of your feet or in your child’s mouth? If you think about it, the bottom of your shoes are really disgusting and you don’t want that in your home. It is never too late to start taking your shoes off and asking others to do the same!
10. Switch out baby products
Before becoming a mom, I read about a lot of different baby products, specifically diapers & wipes. It is shocking some of the chemicals that exist in these items. They are usually a little bit more expensive than your common brands. Here is a list of wipes & diapers that I found through another blog with varying price points!
I hope this blog inspires you to take some "greener" steps for you, your home, and your family. I don’t have all the answers, but I do encourage you to do your own research, discover it for yourself if you need, and weigh the costs of making the switch. I understand that different families have different incomes and budgets, but things such as leaving your shoes at the door is free! I know all of this can be overwhelming, so just start with 1-3 of these things and move your way down the list! As I mentioned before, this has been a 6 year journey for us and we are still learning. Even small steps towards "natural" living can be a step in the right direction!