Create a healthier life for your family by making simple changes in your day-to-day life and switching to safer alternatives at home is a great start. With that being said, I know first hand how overwhelming it can be, so I’ve created this list to get you started.
1. Swap Out Your Non-Stick Kitchen Cookware
Make the switch to a safe alternative like stainless steel, glass, or cast iron. If you can’t switch out all of your non-stick items, replace a few of the most used ones. Teflon is known to cause a host of health problems including cancer, birth defects, reproductive harm, and so much more. Avoid as much as possible. I recommend and use these brands in my home: Calphalon (stainless), Pyrex (glass), Lodge Cast Iron (although I de-seasoned and re-seasoned it due to their current use of GMO oil). Finex Cast Iron is an excellent pan, but you should be aware that the brass handle contains the neurotoxin lead. Consider purchasing the Instant Pot. We use ours all the time and once you get the hang of it, you really become a pro! Plus, it is one of the healthiest ways to cook. Learn more about toxic non-stick (PFOA chemicals) as I explain here.
2. Ditch Plastic Baggies for Reusable Ones
Plastic sandwich bags are one of the largest sources of waste for many people. You use it once and it ends up in a landfill. Think about a family of 4 eating lunch on-the-go. A baggie for each sandwich, a baggie for a cookies, a baggie for berries… that is 12 plastic bags per day that ends up in a landfill or 4,380 plastic baggies per year! Switch to non-toxic Stasher Reusable Silicone Bags. Made of platinum grade silicone, they come in a variety of sizes and colors and are free of BPA, PVC, latex, lead, cadmium, and other toxins. You can cook, freeze, store, and more with this safe, eco-friendly option!
3. Switch to Safe Plates and Cups
This may sound silly, but did you know plates, bowls, and cups are legally allowed to contain toxins like lead and cadmium? Although over 90 ppm of lead is illegal to use in children’s toys, there aren’t regulations like this when it comes to dinnerware. Glazes, designs, and logos, often do contain high amounts of lead ranging from into the thousands. Clear glass (like Anchor Hocking) or plain white new Corelle dinnerware are safe options. Be aware, older Corelle plates do often contain lead (as confirmed by the company), so it is best to use something no older than 4 or 5 years old. We choose this Corelle set and love it! Learn more about dishes that are free of lead and other heavy metals as explained by Tamara Rubin, Lead Safe Mama here. Tamara has personally tested dozens of my items and is an excellent resource!
4. Swap Plastic Water Bottles For Stainless or Glass
Think about how many one-time-use plastic water bottles go into the trash each day. You can easily save money and the environment by ditching the plastic water bottles and using a reusable glass or stainless version instead. Plastic water bottles also have the potential to leach chemicals, especially if exposed to heat. Our favorite bottles: LifeFactory, Contigo, ThinkBaby, KleanKanteen. Be sure to use filtered water too!
5. Stick to Natural Cleaning Supplies
Ditch all of the toxic ingredients found in traditional cleaning supplies and air fresheners and opt for safer options. Vinegar, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, alcohol, lemon, tea tree oil clean just as good! There are also several non-toxic brands you can purchase as well. Be aware of greenwashing from companies and be sure to avoid artificial fragrances. Check out the What Mommy Knows Amazon Storefront for recommendations.
6. Use a ‘Free & Clear” Natural Laundry Detergent
Please, pleaseee do this – especially if you have little ones at home! Many of the chemicals in traditional detergents, even Dreft, have ingredients that are toxic or known carcinogens. Be sure to always use a ‘Free & Clear’ detergent, although they can also be greenwashed by companies, so you really want to look at the ingredients (I know, I know… why is it so difficult to find safe products?!?) Looking for something now? In my home, we switch between Better Life, Molly’s Suds, Meliora, and Eco Nuts (made from just soapberries!)
7. Replace Soaps and Personal Care Products
Chemicals lurking in soaps, lotions, shampoos, makeup and other personal care products can wreak havoc on your body. They often use harsh chemicals like triclosan, sodium laureth sulfate, sodium lauryl sulfate, methylisothiazolinone, and fragrance (which may contain up to 3,000 unregulated chemicals!). These are some of my favorite soap and lotion products from clean brands I trust: Better Life, Dr. Bronners, Earth Mama, and Carina Organics.
8. Switch to a Natural Deodorant
Traditional deodorants contain chemicals like aluminum and fragrance which have been hotly debated in relation to their health concerns. Opt for natural deodorants instead. After trying quite a few, this one is my absolute favorite – and it actually works!
Our personal home favorites are linked below.
- Un-bleached parchement paper instead of aluminum foil.
- Wooden (personal fav!), stainless or silicone cooking utensils instead of plastic.
- Organic Coffee instead of regular coffee.
- Organic Bedding instead of conventional bedding.
- Wool Dryer Balls instead of dryer sheets.
P.S. And remember, living cleaner doesn’t happen overnight – so be patient!
Thanks for reading!
Looking for more swaps and safe products for your family and home? Check out our Amazon Storefront for personally vetted recommendations.
Check out these other articles to help you live as clean as can be!
- Top 10 Tips to Detox Your Home
- Safe, Non-Toxic Dinnerware
- 5 Eco-Conscious Reusable Containers We Love
- Popular Vintage Dinnerware You Should Avoid
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