In many households you will probably find the following items, but you won’t find them in my home. Why? Well, if you know anything about my values you know that I take my health of body and earth seriously. For a longer answer, continue reading!
 

Aluminum Foil

First up is aluminum foil. This should be a no-brainer but yet so many still use this toxic product. It’s aluminum! A heavy metal! Yikes! Not only a health hazard, it’s also quite harmful to our earth. It takes a considerable amount of resources to make, emits 12 tons (!!!) of greenhouse gases and takes at least 400 years for aluminum foil to break down. Ready to not purchase this product again? Good!

What to use instead

It’s pretty easy not to use aluminum foil. Use dishes with lids. Baked potatoes don’t need anything, simply place on oven racks. If you really must use something to cover a baking sheet, choose If You Care Parchment Paper.

Plastic Wrap

Have you ever noticed the amount of plastic surrounding us? Plastic is everywhere! Anytime I can choose something else, I do my best to.

The materials used to make plastic wrap (i.e. Saran Wrap) for that matter is particularly alarming. The chemicals include low-density polyethylene (LDPE) and diethylhexyl adipate (DHEA) which are endocrine disruptors that cause a host of health problems.

What to use instead

I use Bee’s Wrap instead of plastic wrap. You can wrap or cover anything! Lunches, fruit, veggies, bowls, dishes, glasses- you name it, Bee’s Wrap is a wonderful addition to your kitchen and lifestyle. Not to mention the earth benefits as well!

Bee’s Wrap does use beeswax so if you’d prefer a vegan option, checkout Wrappa.


Plastic Bags

Like plastic wrap, plastic bags (i.e. Ziplocs) are no better. SC Johnson (maker of trademarked Ziploc) claims that their bags are BPA free. Even if that is true, the rest of the toxic chemicals and process used to make plastic bags aren’t safe for our health or mindful of the planet. (Plastic bags are made with oil.) Our world is drowning in plastic! It’s best to avoid plastic bags all together- including the plastic bags at the store (grocery, Target, etc).

What to use instead

For shopping bags, use canvas (washable!) or my personal favorite, ChicoBag. They scrunch up into a tiny self-containing pouch that you can keep in your purse, diaper bag, suitcase, vehicle, desk, backpack! I always travel with at least one of them. If you attend trade shows, many exhibitors handout promotional reusable large bags. I have a whole stash of them!

For small plastic bags, I use Colibri and ChicoBag although I typically only use them for when I’m out and about or traveling. I reuse glass jars for storing leftovers, pantry items, etc.

If you are wondering what to use for freezing, you can use glass jars!

Nonstick Cookware

One thing I’ve very adamant about is not using nonstick cookware and bakeware. Nonstick means Teflon (a very toxic chemical made by Dupont) that is linked to a variety of health issues including cancer. In fact, did you know that when nonstick cookware is heated to high temperatures, it can kill birds?! That chemical is in the air that humans breathe! Because Teflon does not biodegrade- meaning it builds up in the person's bloodstream over time- this causes severe health effects. And as you will learn below, indoor air is more toxic than outdoor air! (EPA)

What to use instead

Glass, stainless steel, cast iron, Le Creuset enameled cast iron and stoneware are the top choices for non-toxic cookware and bakeware.

Plastic Cooking Utensils

Another common household product I don’t use is plastic cooking utensils. (No plastic straws or plastic eating utensils either!) Using plastic when cooking (heat!) releases harmful toxins into the air and your food.

What to use instead

Choose wood, bamboo, stainless steel cooking utensils.

Build the healthy habit of bringing your own reusable straw if you purchases drinks (smoothies, coffee drinks, etc) that come with a straw. Did you know that 500 Million straws are used and thrown away each day in the USA?! Mother Earth is paying the price for our negligence. You can use Simply Straws, Strawesome or these stainless steel straws. Stick them in your bag, purse, backpack, car, lunchbox!

Instead of plastic cutlery, use To Go Ware! We each have a set in our family. Again, put a pair in your bag, purse, car, backpack or office drawer. You’ll find them come in handy over and over again!

Plastic Containers

Tupperware and plastic containers are quite popular for storing leftover food. However these leach into the stored food. And besides, glass is so much prettier! Note: never microwave food in plastic!

What to use instead

Glass jars! I upcycle glass jars from food that I buy (like sunflower butter, sauerkraut, etc) and I also have a healthy stash of mason jars in a variety of sizes.

Paper Towels

Paper towels are such a waste! They also contain chlorine which contains Dioxin and this man made chemical can’t be eliminated by the body which isn’t good for your health!

What to use instead

Towels! Throw them in the wash and reuse over and over again. I have a special stash for cleaning, dishes and hand towels. I like NatureZway for cleaning. I also keep a few in the car and in my bag for those times when you need to wipe your hands, especially with children!

Fabric softener // dryer sheets

This is a big one and something I’m pretty passionate about not using. Ever. (This also includes conventional laundry detergent such as Tide, .) Did you know that indoor air is more toxic than outdoor air? This is according to the EPA, mind you. One reason for this is because of all the toxic products used inside the home (two listed below). And let’s not forget offices too! Fabric softener and dryer sheets are so very harmful to our health. Not just in the air we breathe but our skin as well. Our skin absorbs what we put on it and when we put clothes on that have been touched by toxic laundry detergent, fabric softeners and dryer sheets, those chemicals will be absorbed into our bloodstream. This is especially concerning for babies and young children. This is a very heavy toxic load on their growing bodies. When you add in all the other synthetic chemicals and toxins that our children are subjected to, it is no wonder why they are so ill these days!

The chemicals in these conventional products are carcinogenic and endocrine disrupting which will lead to infertility (in both men and women), cancer, and a host of other health ailments.

What to use instead

  • First of all, get some indoor plants to clean up your indoor air!
  • Secondly, throw out all of your conventional laundry products and replace them with these recommendations.  
  • Molly’s Suds is a great brand to use for doing wash. She also makes dryer balls to replace your dryer sheets with.
  • Branch Basics is another option for your to consider. They also carry non-toxic cleaning supplies.

Air fresheners // toxic candles

As mentioned above, indoor air is more harmful than outdoor air for a variety of reasons. Air fresheners and toxic candles add to this harmful air quality. This would also include car air fresheners and bathroom sprays. 

What to use instead

  • Open the windows! Fresh air flowing through your home will do your body and spirit good!
  • Get some indoor house plants to help purify the air.
  • Learn to live without synthetic smells. You don’t need to have added smells in the house at all times. Burn a non-toxic candle every now and then.
  • I have a few non-toxic candles but rarely burn them. (Choose ones without soy, metal wick, or synthetic fragrance. Try Cellar Door Candles or Way Out Wax.)
  • Bake some organic sprouted grain bread. Or some organic chocolate chip cookies.
  • Put some dried lavender in a vase.
  • Simmer whole cloves and orange slices in a pan on the stove or use a crockpot. Great for the holiday time!

You can diffuse essential oils as well. I have a defuser in the bathroom for when guests come over. I am very cautious using essential oils around babies and children so that’s why I defuse in a specific room for a very short duration.

(Note: I know I many will ask what essential oil brands I prefer so I’ll share them here. I like Guru Nanda, Edens Garden, Mountain Rose, Plant Therapy.)
 

Conventional Antibacterial Products and Soaps

This includes Lysol, Purell, Dial, hand sanitizer gels and anything else that contains conventional antibacterial chemical ingredients. Why? Our microbiome actually needs germs! Killing all germs (which inofitself is technically a misnomer as germs indicates that germs are bad and they aren’t) destroys the gut and leaves the body defenseless. You wouldn’t go to a battle without armour, would you? Well, that’s what germs are- armour to keep you well!

What to use instead

I carry a small travel size bottle of Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap in my bag for when we need to wash our hands in public places. If I don’t have it, I simply use water and wash hands vigorously and skip using the public soap dispenser. Dr. Bronner’s also makes an organic hand sanitizer.

For cleaning I simply use Tea Tree Essential Oil on a reusable cloth (a few drops) or apply to a bucket of water for cleaning floors. Other favorite essential oils for disinfecting and cleaning are lemon, rosemary, lavender, eucalyptus and peppermint. Boulder Clean is another pre-made option for you. 

For washing hands at home I use either Moon Valley Organics or Dr. Bronner’s.

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There you have it! What items on this list will remove from your home first? Make one small change frequently to protect and improve the health of your family! 
 

 

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