10 Simple Ways to Reduce Contact with Chemicals in Everyday Life
Think about our daily lives, how many times a day do we reach out for creams, sprays, detergents, food, drink… and consequently, how many times are we coming into contact with chemicals, and most importantly, are there any easy ways to make some switches without any drastic changes and without breaking the bank?
The answer is Yes! There are many roads that lead to a healthier life and improved wellbeing, and it is easier than you think. Here are 10 easy things anyone can do in order to achieve a less chemically ridden life.
1. Swap your chemical cleaning products for natural ones
Have you ever got a hold of PINO-Clean bench spray to kill unwanted flies in the kitchen and noticed it’s really effective? I have! Did this make you think there may actually be some very highly toxic components in there? Well, you weren’t wrong.
The average household contains about 60 toxic chemicals. Ingredients in common household products have been linked to asthma, cancer, reproductive disorders, hormone disruption and neurotoxicity.
Chemical compounds found in every day cleaning products travel from our bench tops into our food, as micro particles are left behind, whether you cleaned a benchtop or the oven.
It’s simply not worth the risk to continue to use chemical cleaning products when it’s so easy, more economical and just as effective to swap to natural household products. Try adding some eucalyptus oil to a spray gun with water to wipe benchtops clean or for stubborn areas use a recipe combining vinegar, essential oils and baking soda.
I can guarantee you will fall in love with natural fragrances and prefer these products to the store-bought ones.
2. Switch to a natural sunscreen
Chemical Sunscreens do their job by incorporating chemical sun filters, such as oxybenzone, octinoxate, octisalate and avobenzone, which create a chemical reaction and work by changing UV rays into heat, then releasing that heat from the skin. These chemicals are absorbed into the blood stream. Chemicals found in regular sunscreen contain chemicals that are estrogenic — they are endocrine system disruptors - and carcinogenic.
The endocrine system is the collection of glands that produce hormones that help regulate metabolism, growth, development, tissue function, sexual function, reproduction, sleep and mood.
Sleep, mood and thyroid hormone disruptors… I think they are best left at the lab!
Natural sunscreens contain natural mineral ingredients, such as titanium dioxide or zinc oxide as natural sun filters, which work by sitting on top of the skin to deflect and scatter damaging UV rays away from the skin. They are not absorbed into the bloodstream like its chemical cousins.
3. Commit to purchasing one or 2 organic things every grocery shop
It can feel overwhelming to enter a health food store with a million and one items labelled organic… which items should I get and how can I avoid an astronomical shopping bill?
So why not ease into it? Simply switch a couple of staple items that you use very often just at your local supermarket. For example, I buy organic carrots as we use them frequently in food, pasta sauce, stir frys and as a snack on the go. I have also switched to organic tea and coffee. All up, I probably increased my grocery bill to an additional $5 a week, so the cost is not significant, especially if you are now saving on cleaning and washing products. It is an investment in our health and wellbeing after all! A big bonus is that some of the organic items such as coffee and chocolate are also fair trade which guarantees a fair deal for workers in developing countries.
4. Switch to natural alternatives when washing clothes
Did you know all that money and effort you have put into your laundry over all these years may have been in vain? I’ll let you in on a little secret. You do not need to use laundry detergent. You don’t even need fabric softener! Yes, you read correctly!
Try ½ cup of vinegar instead of fabric softener. Drop 1/3 cup of baking soda into your machine drum before washing to replace your laundry detergent. Spray your clothes lightly before drying with a solution of water and some drops of lavender oil for a delicious scent.
Isn’t this a great way to save on your washing bill as well?! See how we are offsetting the cost of buying organic produce? Now we’re talking!
5. Swap to a natural moisturiser and cleanser
Our skin is our largest organ and we have to nurture and nourish it, not poison it! Any lotions we apply on our skin are quickly absorbed into our bloodstream. As we use these every day, even multiple times a day, it’s imperative to make sure these are chemical free.
As a bonus, did you know that natural ingredients are more potent than laboratory ingredients as they are the real deal, not a simulation? … See stronger results.
6. Switch to vegan shampoo and soap
The same can be said about shampoo and soap.
Shampoos contain phalates, sulfates, parabens, palm oil (big no-no for the environment and the natural habitat of orangutans), silicones, and other nasty chemicals. These are bad not only for our health but also our hair. Once you switch to natural shampoo your hair will be less dry.
Have you heard about shampoo bars? They are the latest craze; one bar lasts around 80 washes and there is no plastic packaging. Zero waste. Hair is soft and supple, and they foam up beautifully. Browse through our site to discover our organic shampoo and conditioner bars.
7. Avoiding dish washing detergent
If you think about how often dishes are washed and that we eat off them, an obvious residue remains and dries onto our dishes which we then ingest. So, who knows how much we ingest each day… each year?
It makes sense to seek a natural alternative to the chemically ridden commercial ones.
If there is a trend on the rise to avoid applying lotions on our skin that contain chemicals, does it not make sense that we use the same reasoning when it comes to our digestive systems and we try to avoid eating them as well?
8. Let’s be wise about our cookware
Choose glass instead of plastic when storing food to avoid exposure to BPA or other hidden chemicals and never heat plastic in the microwave, as this can cause toxins to seep into your food. Choose stainless steel, stone or cast iron pans over non-stick as these are coated with chemical compounds that can leak into our food once the surface becomes damaged.
9. Incorporate natural detox methods into your routine
I am going to save you some pain. There are some easy ways to greatly assist your body in toxin elimination that don’t involve a 7 day fast on stock and lemon water, that leave you hanging for dead. You can do these on a regular basis and build up some good habits, so you won’t have to take drastic measures.
Regular exercise eliminates toxins through sweating
Drink plenty of water daily, more than 2 liters if you can, to flush toxins out naturally
Try foods like celery that assist cleansing our body, why not a daily juice or smoothie?
10. Look out for sneaky processed Maltodextrin in foods
Look over the food labels of many of your processed food packages and you may notice a very common ingredient called maltodextrin. This compound is often used in our everyday foods, like yogurt, tomato sauce, salad dressings… even MILO has it, and you may have been oblivious to the fact up until now.
Maltodextrin is used as a thickener, filler or preservative in many processed foods. It’s artificially produced, derived from genetically modified corn (any alarm bells going off yet?).
Although the American FDA does not require safety testing for genetically modified organisms (GMOs), increasing independent research has linked them to a number of health issues, including Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, kidney damage, antibiotic resistance, reproduction disorders and allergies.
And why is our corn genetically modified you may wonder? It’s a staple food also used in many processed foods, so the demand for it is huge. Unfortunately, it is not very tolerant to herbicides. Herbicides are used to kill weeds and protect crops. Herbicides are poisonous compounds which can remain active in the environment for long periods of time, potentially causing soil and water contamination and adverse effects to other living organisms. By genetically modifying corn, it becomes more tolerant to herbicides that assist with crop yield.
Now you see, that little by little, there are many ways to stop the invasion of chemicals in our lives. We are in control and every switch you make helps. Start by changing just a few things and soon you will be on a whole new enlightened journey, to a healthier, happier you.
What will you do first? I can’t wait to hear.
Yours in healthier living,