Hey Ya’ll! As I’m sure you’ve read on this blog, my health has been an issue for a little while now. While I am waiting for test results and follow up appointments with my doctor (next week cannot come soon enough!), I have done a lot of inner work on what I want for my health. The bottom line is, I want to clean up my environment, which I believe translates into my overall health and wellbeing. There is absolutely no need to have as many chemicals around me as I currently do. I took inventory the other day of all the chemicals that I come in contact with (and sadly, my family comes in contact with too) that just don’t need to be in my presence any longer.
The list is long, but here are several things that caught my attention: make up, soaps, hair products, nail polish, skincare products, detergents (dishwasher & laundry), dryer sheets, air fresheners including candles, various cleaning products and sprays, and non-organic produce and poultry. I’m sure there is so much more, but this was my initial list of things to start weeding through and replacing with non-toxic, chemical free versions. I know I’ll never be the all-or-nothing type or a perfectionist about this, but I am certainly going to start being more conscientious about what I’m exposing my body to. Nobody is perfect and life is too short to be overly stressed about everything little thing, right?
While I would love to get my whole family on board with these changes, I realize that they are on their own journey in this lifetime. Perhaps living chemical free isn’t important to them, although I really hope they catch on and realize how important it is to reduce their exposure to such toxins. I want them around for a really long time in the healthiest way possible.
My son, who is only 3 years old, surely will benefit from a mama who is healthier herself and who has his best interest at heart at all times. The best I can do is be a role model for healthy living and hope that they appreciate the changes I am making. So here I am blogging about my journey going chemical-free and I hope it inspires you to make some changes in your life as well!
I recently came across the Environmental Working Group organization which informs and educates consumers about the dangers of a multitude of products. This site is amazing! I love that it allows you to search for products you are currently using and learn how toxic or dangerous it is and what concerns it might pose for you. Heads up: You might react like me and immediately throw away things when you read the findings. On the flip side, it offers reviews and studies on products to give you substitutes that are just as effective but less toxic to your health! I love an organization that empowers people to make informed, safe decisions for themselves.
I found myself searching for all sorts of products including toddler-friendly soaps, sunscreens, and wipes! For me, I have been researching better deodorants to try, sunscreens that are just as effective for my fair skin, and home cleaning products that are more natural. The database is so helpful, I can’t recommend it enough! I am taking this journey seriously but slowly because I don’t want to be a crazy lady throwing away everything in my house all at once. Instead, I plan to use up what I currently have and then swap out harsh products with healthier alternatives. This might also help my family lean into the changes too – fingers crossed! There are some exceptions and those products that are just glaringly hazardous are tossed immediately with no further regard. Bye bye. Adios!
So here are some changes I have already made:
- Buying organic produce for at least the Dirty Dozen foods.
- Purchased fragrance and dye free detergents (laundry & dishwasher)
- Using wool dryer balls instead of dryer sheets. They work just as well as dryer sheets!
- Using chemical free, all-natural ingredient body soap. I currently use Alaffia black African soap.
- Sampling several natural, chemical-free deodorants. I will be writing a separate blog post on this one to review the products I have been using.
- Started reducing the number of manicures/pedicures I get much to my husband’s dismay (he LOVES when I get my nails painted). I used to go every two weeks! It’s time to let my nails breathe!
There is something so liberating and powerful about taking control of my environment. With every product I discontinue, I know I am one step closer to enjoying a healthier me! I really look forward to continuing this journey and cleaning up my act in every way possible. Not just for my sake, but for my family’s sake. They might not be doing the research or taking the time to be educated on this subject, but I sure am and I hope you will too! Let me know where you are on your chemical-free journey. Just starting? Already there? I’d love to hear!