Last year I wrote an Earth Day blog about changes you can make to reduce your impact, mostly as it relates to food and shopping. This year I wanted to share some swaps you can make in your home to reduce your impact on the environment while also reducing the number of chemicals you are exposed to on a daily basis. Many of these chemicals are known endocrine disrupters, meaning they disrupt hormone signaling and can lead to cancers, infertility, and thyroid dysfunction. Ewg.org is a great resource to look up information on how many of the chemicals often found in the house affect our bodies and for finding alternatives.
This turned out to be a very easy swap to make. We are actually using cloth wipes, since they are smaller and more of a use-once-then-wash situation. It makes blowing your nose into them a little easier to do. We just leave them out in a basket on the kitchen table so they are easily accessable to everyone - even my 4-year old knows where to go grab a napkin. Then I have a small waste-basket-turned-laundry-basket that sits under a cabinet in the kitchen, and when it gets full or we are getting low on napkins, I throw them in the wash. Click here and here to buy!
Low waste hand soap from Blueland
This is a brand I discovered when looking for an alternative laundry detergent. They have lots of products that come as tablets or powders that you just disolve in water - since most of what you buy at the store is made of water anyway! Their foaming handsoap is pretty on my counter and doesn't feel at all like a natural alternative. The ingredients are clean, and there's no plastic involved!
Homemade Vinegar Cleaner
This one is super easy! Unfortunately, even the "cleaner" household cleaners still have stuff I don't want in my house. I waited until one of my cleaner bottles was empty, then refilled it with 3/4 white vinegar and 1/4 water. I usually add 30-40 drops of an antibacterial essential oil such as lemon, tea tree, or OnGuard to make it smell better too. I have found this works on everything except the shower.
I know, I know, this is a hard sell for some. And if you're beyond the baby phase skip onto the next item. But seriously, cloth diapers are so easy. I have pocket diapers, so it is exactly like disposable diapers except my trash can is a laundry can, and I do 2 extra loads of laundry a week. I have saved SO much money and SO much plastic from going to the landfill by using cloth diapers. And the best bonus of all - no chemicals against my baby's skin and my baby NEVER had a diaper rash. Here are my 2 favorite brands: GroVia and Nicki's Diapers
Diffuser with EO instead of paraffin candles
Paraffin candles release toxic chemicals into the air when burned, and when they are scented with synthetic fragrance there are even more harmful chemicals you are breathing in. So swap out those candles for naturally scended soy, beeswax, or a diffuser with essential oils. I love citrusy oils such as sweet orange, and you can get creative and mix your own blends!
Do you have a favorite low waste, toxin free product? Share it with us!