With more and more research around the chemicals in our everyday lives and how they can influence our health, it’s important to try and find simple and achievable ways to try and reduce the chemical load in our home.
Our 10 simple steps all help to reduce chemicals in the home. Start small, no change is too small.
- Choosing organic produce where ever possible. With all produce, washing the fruit and veg helps to remove agricultural chemicals such as pesticides and fungicides before eating and cooking – this is extremely important for non-organic produce.
- Leave your worries and shoes at the door. As we enjoy our day and walk around, we naturally pick up dirt, grime, chemicals and pollutants (such as car fumes) that lay on the ground. Taking off your shoes and leaving them at your front door helps to reduce the dirt and germs we bring into our homes.
- Avoid chemically fragranced products and air fresheners. A simple step but a very effective one. We know that these fragranced products aim to have our home smelling like an ocean breeze, however they can also provide us with a daily (and sometimes hourly) dose of chemicals. Simple steps like opening a window, frequent dusting and vacuuming can all help to freshen a room. Burning essential oils can help to freshen up your home and having smelling fantastic. Also keeping a salt lamp on helps to deodorise your home. Clean your home with products that use natural plant based and essential oil fragrances.
- Go organic for personal care products; these include sanitary products, makeup and body products. It’s not only the food we consume, but also the type of personal care products we use on and in our body. Switching to organic or low chemical products all help to reduce our daily chemical load. Try organic beauty products, natural deodorants or a zinc-based sunscreen.
- Try natural cleaners around the home - you might be surprised how effective plant and essential oil based cleaners are. Or consider making your own - a little bicarb soda and vinegar and get scrubbing! These ingredients will have your surfaces sparkling in no time.
- That brand new car smell. Imported goods, clothes and new bulky items such as couches and cars often have high levels of chemicals. Washing the clothes, cushion covers and airing the items out can help to reduce the chemical load. Commonly things like flame retardants, inks, formaldehyde are found in these items.
- Filter your water. While Australia has some of the best drinking water, it is always a nice idea to support the quality even further and filter your water. Today we have counter top jugs available such as Britta and Gentoo or built in filers such as Pure water Systems.
- Store foods and drinks in a glass jar / container rather than plastic. We know different chemicals are added to plastic, some to make plastic strong and some to make plastic bend – these chemicals have been found to upset our hormone balance and our general health. When we heat our food in the plastic or store warm food in plastic, these chemicals can leach and get into our food and therefore into our body. Try storing items in glass containers.
- Keep the kitchen green and avoid Teflon coated pots and pans. While Teflon is amazing at helping eggs slip off the pan, it isn’t necessarily good for our long term health. Go for natural metals such as cast iron or something similar to glass and ceramic, and use natural dishwashing liquid and surface sprays to clean where you eat.
- Open the windows and enjoy the fresh air. There is nothing better than sunshine and some fresh air; and this is the same for our homes too. It also doesn’t hurt to pop a plant here and there. Open the windows and allow nature to do its work!