Chemical Free Living:
6 Simple Tricks for a Chemical Free Home This Summer
There are so many things to love about summer, from long days spent outdoors to barbecues and family trips. Amidst all that adventure, summer can introduce some pretty grungy stuff into our homes. And, with that extra grunge can also come a new set of toxic chemicals to avoid. But we’re here to help! From the sunscreens we use, to how we clean up summer gunk, to the water we drink, the products and routines we observe at home give us an opportunity to take control over the toxic chemical exposure in our environment. Here are some simple ways to keep a clean, chemical free home through all the dog days of summer.
Keep A Chemical Free Home This Summer With These 6 Tips
- Rethink your suncare routine: Sunblocks can be full of toxic ingredients you’ll want to avoid because they get absorbed into the skin and can accumulate in the body over time. Common ingredients in sunblocks are associated with health risks like hormone-disruption, cancer & organ system toxicity. Steer towards mineral sunscreens with zinc and skip any sunscreens using oxybenzone, octinoxate, homosalate & retinyl palmitate.
- Go Green. Literally: Could your fiddle leaf fig be doing more than just looking pretty in your family room? Scientists say yes. Plants use a process called phytoremediation to absorb gases and VOC’s through the surface area of their leaves, essentially filtering them from the air. Benzene and formaldehyde are two examples of harmful toxins that plants can help to eliminate from your home. Need some ideas on which plants to choose? Here’s a great roundup from Wellness Mama on plants that are beautiful, useful and hard to kill. Top picks include palms and philodendrons (for the black thumbs among us), and useful herbs like lavender and rosemary.
- Get the 411 on your H20: While tap water is regulated by the EPA, a body that requires yearly testing and reports, tap water can still test positive for bacteria, metals and VOCs. Knowing where your water comes from, having your water tested, and investing in a pitcher filter or a home filtration system are great ways to mitigate risks posed by your home’s tap water.
- Go fragrance-free: Fragranced products can be especially appealing in the summer because things can get extra stinky. Fragrances go a long way in helping us believe that we, or the things we clean, are really clean. The problem is that fragrances play with our perceptions while introducing significant health risks into the products families use. The fragrance industry is self-regulated, which means they don’t have to disclose their ingredients. The one word “fragrance” on a label can hide a toxic cocktail of more than 100 ingredients. Fragrance chemicals can pass through the skin and enter the blood stream. They are manufactured from petroleum and coal tar and are classified as carcinogens, hormone disruptors, neurotoxins, skin and respiratory irritants. Most contain phthalates, an ingredient used to make the scent last longer, but it’s not listed on labels either. This one is particularly dangerous, given its association with hormone-disruption, reproductive & developmental toxicity, cancer & respiratory issues. And don’t be fooled by a product claiming to have “natural” fragrances. There is no definition for “natural” and they can be just as harmful as the synthetic ones. Going fragrance-free is one of the biggest steps you can take towards a more toxic chemical free home this summer. You don’t need fragrances in your laundry or dish detergent, personal care products or cleaning products.
- Take off your shoes: Generations of moms have been fighting the good fight to keep their kid’s muddy sneakers off their clean floors, but the problem is bigger than dirt. Studies are finding that toxins from lawn chemicals, gasoline from rain water and substances from road work can be tracked into our homes on our shoes, exposing us to hazardous materials and carcinogens. Shoes also become home to bacterial strains like e.coli, so removing them is a great way to reduce the pathogens that make their way into our homes as well.
- Vet your cleaning supplies: Summer can put your cleaning products to the test, from cleaning off moldy patio furniture & baby pools to deodorizing super stinky post-camp, workout clothing & shoes. Don’t reach for the hazmats – you don’t have to! Force of Nature is proud to offer a non toxic, cost effective cleaning and deodorizing solution that families can feel good about using around their kids. From that slimy baby pool to the sticky high chair tray, Force of Nature is as effective as bleach and gentle enough that your kids can help you clean. It’s a small appliance that turns tap water and a capsule of salt, water and vinegar into a powerful cleaning solution that cuts through grime, oil and sticky messes and removes odor with no dangerous chemicals or fumes. Learn more about how Force of Nature can help you create a more toxic chemical free home here.