Going to a chemical free home with natural household and beauty products helped me realize that health has many meanings. Here’s how to go chemical-free, and how going natural can help you on your personal health journey, too.
Note: This post contains affiliate links for The Grove Collaborative, which is where most of my natural products come from.
Can you really have a toxin-free home?
What chemicals should you avoid?
What toxic free home products should I be using?
These are all questions I asked myself at some point in time.
When I was pregnant with my daughter four years ago, I did what most first-time moms do.
I Googled and researched until my head was overwhelmed with advice on what’s best for pregnancy and babies.
I think it’s normal, and healthy to an extent. It’s important for those of us who aren’t obstetricians and pediatricians to really understand the implications of our health choices. Doing all that research is a sure sign of a good mom, in my opinion. It means you care.
Anyway, I did a lot of research. And by research, I mean I read a lot of books and scholarly articles about pregnancy and giving birth.
I was alarmed to find that even small choices made could really harm a baby…or not.
Related Reading: 17 Spring Cleaning Tips For An Amazingly Clean Home
It’s kind of an annoying notion if you look at it that way, really. There’s SO much that goes into the making of a healthy child, and knowing that is overwhelming and stressful.
But the bottom line was this: the more natural you can be before, during, and after a pregnancy, the better for your baby.
How can I be chemical free? What chemicals should I avoid?
I’m not going to go into every detail about what I learned, because it’s just too much. But know that I went all-out learning about how to reduce my chemical exposure during pregnancy, and have continued to reduce my family’s exposure since. If you’re here, you probably already know that so many beauty and cleaning products are harmful. You’re probably already on your journey to a non-toxic home. But maybe you’re ready to take it a little more seriously. (Good for you!)
The more you know, the more empowered you are.
I will say that I found out that products I was using in my home and on my body every day were known to be harmful to all humans. I had a lot of toxins in my house. (Let’s not even begin to what they could do to a growing baby.)
I’m talking about my cleaning products, my makeup, my soaps and shampoos, my food storage, cooking utensils, and more. So many of the things I was used to using no-questions-asked were either known to be harmful or potentially harmful to the human body. I needed to avoid them.
It’s a little depressing to think about, since so many things are hurtful to our bodies, but I started eliminating “bad” products and now every day I feel a little better about my choices.
But since making these discoveries and working towards living a “cleaner” and safer lifestyle, I have made big improvements that I’m proud of. Now I want to show you how I did it~
Health is More Than Looks – Building a Toxic-Free Future
Learning about the way consumerism has changed and the market for everyday products in America has been eye-opening. Now I carefully consider each product I put in my home and it makes me feel good knowing I’m helping my family be healthier in small ways. That’s all good and well, but on this journey to having a chemical-free home, I realized that I kind of had some double standards regarding health.
You see, I’d been obsessing about moving towards a chemical-free home, but I’d been neglecting taking a closer look at my own nutrition.
Why was I not okay with using toxic chemicals to clean my bathroom once a week, yet I was okay with drinking soda and eating fast food?
Why was I okay with eating a processed frozen meal but totally not okay putting certain brands of makeup on my face?
The point is, if you’re going towards a chemical-free home, make sure that you’re not neglecting the other aspects of your health. I know I’m calling you out, but I want to remind you that there are lots of different aspects of health and if you’re only focusing on one area, you’re missing the mark.
How can I live a healthy life naturally?
Trying to go chemical-free in one area of life is hard enough, but now I’m saying it’s NOT enough? I know. It’s insane. Of course we would all eat organic if we could. Of course we wouldn’t eat processed food if it wasn’t a LOT of work to eat fresh all the time. Or course we would harvest our own foods if we had the time, space, and money.
You don’t need me to tell you that you need to try harder to be healthy.
Related Reading: 21 Ways To Become Environmentally Friendly
The point is that there are so many different aspects to being really, truly healthy. I can’t help you with all of it – you need to choose to make these decisions yourself. I can, however, help you out with this one little area. 🙂
You can start by making a chemical-free home and going to toxic-free home products!
The Number on The Scale Isn’t An Accurate Reflection of Health
This is for those of you who are concerned largely with your nutrition and natural foods but neglect the other areas of health. If you care about how much you weigh or how you look, shouldn’t you care about your internal and mental health, too? It all goes together – you can’t have one without the other in my opinion.
Plus, let’s be reminded that you can be healthy and muscular even if you have extra weight on your body. Your weight in numbers doesn’t tell you how much of your body is lean muscle mass, water weight, fat, etc.
What Happens When You Start to Work Towards a Chemical-Free Home
I remember feeling totally overwhelmed when I decided I wanted to be a homesteader and homemaker extraordinaire. I wrote down a HUGE list of skills I wanted to learn as part of my journey. When I looked at it, it felt like I’d never really actually learn anything. But over the years, I focused on one little area (like making sourdough or veggie gardening) and now I feel like I actually belong in this little world of homesteading.
The same is true when you’re aiming to go natural in your home.
P.S. You might also like this post about easy ways to be environmentally friendly!
With every new piece of knowledge that you acquire, you acquire a new tool for your health. It can be something that helps you really take a step back and carefully consider every decision that affects it.
I have personally chosen to empower myself with knowledge surrounding the topics of toxic chemicals in everyday products, as well as health and fitness overall with a focus on homegrown and homemade foods.
If you embark on a personal journey for information regarding your own health, imagine the possibilities! You will be armed with the tools you need to completely transform your life.
Why It’s Important
Let me start by acknowledging that there’s no such thing as a truly chemical-free home. If you ask, “How can I live chemical free?” you’re asking an impossible question. Chemicals occur in nature and we are really talking about harsh, synthetic chemicals right now. In order to work towards a chemical-free home, there are several areas that we need to examine:
- Beauty/personal care products
- Our cleaning products, including laundry items
- Our toys, furniture, and clothing (think fire retardants)
- Foods – both fresh items and pantry items
- Our packaging and storage items
You’re probably thinking, “Really? Our furniture? Our storage items? What?” I know, it’s a lot! But you would be shocked at what you find out with just a little research. Luckily you can avoid certain chemicals quite easily.
But how do you remove chemicals from your life?
Chemicals like parabens and phthalates are rampant in these products, although they are merely a couple of the many harmful chemicals that can be found in them. These chemicals are known to have negative effects on hormones and fertility, and are related to incidences of cancer, birth defects, allergies, and more. Luckily, it is possible to lower your risk of these things by working towards a chemical-free home.
Easy Steps To A Chemical Free Home
So, how do we start moving towards a chemical-free home? How do I get toxins out of my house? My answer: It can be as simple or as big of a change as you want. However, I do advise starting small so that you don’t overwhelm yourself. Here’s how to get started:
Step 1: Use the EWG (Environmental Working Group) databases to check on products you are already using.
Use the Skin Deep database and Healthy Cleaning database (there’s also an app for both) to check the rankings on the products you are currently using. Using these databases, you are able to see exactly what risks each product posed and find out which chemicals in each were considered harmful. This will be foundational in moving toward a “toxin free” future.
Honestly, I didn’t even know these things existed a few years ago. They overwhelmed me a bit. But after using them several times, I can get a good sense for how “safe” a product is a lot more quickly now that I know what to look for on a label.
Step 2: Use the EWG databases to find healthier alternatives.
In the event that you need to find a healthier replacement for any product, use the EWG to find “A” rated products, or EWG verified products. These are considered safe to use. Luckily, many brands, like Beauty Counter, have moved toward making ALL of their products safer. There are also tons of toxic free home products out there now.
I’m super excited about the huge change in the beauty/personal care and cleaning products over the last several years. There’s much more to choose from and that makes it easier to make safer choices when you aren’t sure what to look for.
Step 3: Ensure that you choose healthier products by having them sent to you.
I don’t have a local health food store – they are all about a thirty minute drive for me. On top of that, my local stores have a very limited selection as far as “natural” products. So to make sure that I don’t buy random products at the drug or grocery store, I have done two things.
Firstly, I have made an Amazon list of all EWG verified products I use, so I can have them sent to me regularly. (This way I don’t forget what’s safe.)
Secondly, I have enlisted The Grove Collaborative to send me new cleaning products and other natural products. I like this because I can make one-time purchases, or I can get a subscription of products sent to me monthly, quarterly, etc. This helps me keep my needed items in stock without any last-minute runs to the grocery/drug store.
Once you try out a few new products, you’ll have some favorites as far as effectiveness, scents, etc. After you’re to that point, it gets easier and easier to choose products and brands without worrying about what’s inside. (Having a subscription has really helped me stop with impulse buys when I have limited options after running out of things.)
Step 4: Stop buying products from the regular store unless you know they are verified/safe.
To do this, you can download the apps from the Environmental Working Group and actually scan products at the store. You’ll get a rating right then and there! This is important to me because occasionally I find a product that looks interesting, new, and claims to be safe at the store. Sometimes, come to find out, it’s not! Unfortunately, not all “green” brands are really safe.
Step 5: Buy organic when you can, or learn to grow your own.
You probably already know that organic is better when it comes to food. But it is very expensive and unrealistic for some families to buy all organic. So start with a few popular food items in your household, and if you decide to start a garden, grow things you’ll actually eat!
That’s it! I hope that I have helped you understand how to have start having a chemical-free home. I also hope that you now understand how learning about these things can help you in other areas of your health.
Do you have any favorite safe, “green” products to share with me? Have tips for chemical free living? Tell me below!