Thursday, February 28, 2019

Why (and How) I am going Non-Toxic

Overall health and wellness has always been important to me. I have several family members who have been diagnosed with serious illnesses, some of whom didn't make it. Unfortunately, seeing the people in my life who I cared for and loved deeply suffer made me realize how fragile and fleeting life is. I am aware that some of those things were unpreventable, but I began to question whether there was anything I could do to give myself the best chance for a long and healthy life. Over the years I started to switch to balanced, clean eating by weeding out a lot of unnecessary processed foods. I began to incorporate physical activity into my everyday routine. I also prioritized my mental health including self care. Still, I never looked into the household and beauty products I use every day until the beginning of the year.

That is, until I started looking at all the ingredients listed on the back of the products I was using on my one year old. 

Suddenly I began asking myself, "what the heck is that ingredient?" I honestly never questioned it before, because I assumed that stores wouldn't allow companies to sell products unless they were safe for use. Why pay more money for products that are already working perfectly well? I began to Google just what those preservatives, fragrances, and other unpronounceable words were and I was shocked. "Fragrance" which is listed on almost every product you use on a daily basis commonly contain parabens, phtalates, and synthetic musks that can cause hormone disruption, reproductive problems, or other serious health concerns. According to the Environmental Working Group many companies are allowed to use "fragrance" as a catch-all term without having to describe what chemicals make it up. Even in my own life I have had allergic reactions such as rashes from products such as Tide, and was told by doctors to switch to fragrance free blends. 

I'm certainly not trying to condemn any company in particular, or any mother who uses conventional products. I simply began to have a shift in thinking. "If I am told not to take or use this while pregnant...then why use it when I'm not?" It must not be good for me, either. I decided to get back to basics. As I am currently a stay at home mom, the home is my workplace, so I am going to be overhauling it this year slowly to as many non-toxic products as possible.

The plan of action is this: I am going to replace items that we run out of with "better" options. My husband and I are creating a hierarchy of what is the most important to us for being non-toxic, and what we are fine continuing to use. The products we would like to focus on are ones that touch or are absorbed into the skin, as well as cleaning chemicals which we may be breathing in. This is especially important to me as I often clean with the little one around. I also plan on making many products at home. I can share DIY "recipes" as I perfect them in this space.

Switching to (mostly) non-toxic products can be quite expensive. That is why we are focusing on doing this over the year rather than all at once, and as we run out. DIY cleaning solutions often use things in the home such as vinegar, baking soda, and castille soap. Therefore it will be easy to throw them together with what is on hand.

I am excited to share this journey and what I learn along the way. If you have switched to non-toxic products, I would love to hear from you! Let me know your favorite products/DIY solutions. 

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