I used to associate the concept of clean with the smell of bleach or cleaners.
I am sure there are many people who can relate to that and who like me, grew up in a household where we routinely used harsh chemicals. In fact, to this day just the scent of bleach snaps me back to my childhood, scrubbing the toilet or mopping the floors with the smell so strong that it literally made my eyes water.
Times change. Today we have more people who have allergies, sensitivities and reactions to everyday products than ever before. Everyday I urge my staging clients to steer clear of chemical air fresheners, cleaners & plug ins because so many people have allergic reactions to them. I have swapped out the harsh cleaners that made my older son sick to his stomach and replaced the laundry pods that gave my son rashes with clean, non-toxic alternatives. When I started my journey to improve my health over two years ago, this has led me to make a lot of changes not just to my diet – but to the products we used everyday for everything from cleaning the toilets to brushing our teeth.
When I began realize we had to make changes, I realized that there are a lot of products out there which say they are green but that doesn’t necessarily make them safer – or cleaner – choices. In fact, after doing some research, I found that only 10% of the chemicals found in our everyday products are tested for safety and chemicals like carcinogens, formaldehydes, neurotoxins are used routinely in everything from personal care products like shampoos, lip balms, moisturizers to everyday cleaners.
I have come to learn that health & wellness depends not just on what we put in our bodies but also what we put ON them. By choosing to eat organic and to use non toxic products in our everyday life, we make the complete commitment to living clean. Here are my reasons for choosing to Live Clean:
To Create a Safe Haven
Our homes, our offices – the places where we and our loved ones spend the most time should be places that are safe. We invest a lot of time and money in making our homes safe with the right furnishings or security systems but most of us overlook the everyday products we use. Our homes should be places that improve our overall health & well-being – not endanger them with scary chemicals.
I thought that because products are marketed as ‘green’ or ‘kid friendly’ that it made them safe but its definitely not the case. In fact I was personally shocked by just how toxic we were making our home – and we are just your average family. Statistically, over 61% of kid’s hygiene products that were tested contained scary chemicals like formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane. Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen and the other chemicals are linked to cancer and other diseases. This includes major brands like Johnson & Johnson baby shampoo, Huggies Naturally Refreshing Baby wash and some American Girl personal care products. And these there just the few products that were tested. Remember – only 10% are tested so the other products are unknown.
By opting for cleaner, non-toxic alternatives to products we use everyday we can ensure that our home truly becomes a haven which improves our quality of life. Living clean is all about making informed decisions about the products we use everyday and choosing to invest wisely in products or healthy alternatives that improve your overall wellness.
To Take Better Care of my Body
Health & wellness is about more than just the foods you fuel your body with. Our health is impacted by the air we breathe, by products (or furniture) that come into contact with our skin as well as the foods we eat. When I was growing up, the number of kids who had conditions like asthma, or who were allergic to peanuts or other things was relatively low. Today, the numbers are rising and it’s become increasingly important to take a better – clearer – look at how we can improve our overall wellness.
Many of the personal care products we use have ingredients that are known carcinogens, reproductive toxins, formaldehyde and many more. Women use more personal care products than men so statistically, our bodies absorb more of these chemicals than men. This gets scary when we think about the fact that its women who carry children so these chemicals are being passed directly to the babies while they are in the womb. Since chemicals in these products penetrate the skin in seconds, it’s very important to make sure that what you are using is as safe as you can make it.
I didn’t connect the personal products we used everyday on our skin to causing illnesses and it wasn’t until we started making the switch to cleaner, safer products that we saw a truly remarkable difference. You see I had been taking medication for a skin condition that I had had forever it seemed but it never got better. I cleaned up my diet but I kept using everyday toiletries like shampoo, moisturizers, toothpaste etc. It was only when I started switching these products out that I began to see a dramatic difference in my skin and the number of skin irritations my son had, completely stopped. And those were just the changes we could see – from a wellness standpoint the number of illnesses we caught decreased sharply and our overall quality of life has vastly improved.
I truly believe that if we want to take better care of our bodies, we need to choose our products with better care. Our health and that of our family’s health is worth the time & investment.
To Be Chemical Savvy
We don’t know what we don’t know. Many of the ‘green’ products on grocery shelves aren’t any better than regular products but the marketing is clever and most of us – myself included – are led to believe that makes them safe. What most of us don’t know is that the majority of the products on the shelves aren’t really tested – they are just assumed to be safe. Yes. Let that sink in. This is because companies aren’t required to test their products unless they are shown to pose a health risk. Otherwise, it’s up to us as consumers to do our due diligence and select the right products for our home and our families. Learn more about chemicals in this informative article that I found both enlightening & disturbing.
Marketing for household & personal products is clever and often, misleading. Products are scented to make them more appealing or to make them smell ‘clean’. The reality is that these scents are just layering in more chemicals – into the air, into our fabrics – and making them more marketable to the general public. They also make the products more toxic for us & for our families and pollute our homes.
If you want to get a sense of what kind of chemicals are in your home right now, download the Think Dirty App and start scanning your current household & personal products. I guarantee you will be shocked at how toxic some of those products are – and that you will be looking for cleaner alternatives right away!
So I encourage you to look beyond what we have been taught or told – clean isn’t a smell and you don’t need harsh chemicals to achieve it. We need to redefine the meaning – and smell – of clean.
To Improve the Air Quality in our Home
Improving your health & wellness is not just about the things you put on your skin, but also about the quality of air you breathe. I mentioned above how I used to think that clean meant the air had to smell like bleach or chemicals and I know many people still think that way. Sadly, according to recent studies, it’s been shown that the combination of everyday cleaners, air fresheners and chemicals found in furniture have made indoor air more toxic than outdoor air.
Opting for natural air fresheners, choosing to use products that don’t contain the same heavy fragrances go against what I learned growing up but they are making my home a safer place to be.
To Reduce my Impact on the Environment
I have grown increasingly environmentally conscious as I get older. I live in an area that does a lot of composting, recycling and green initiatives.
The media makes me aware of the impact that our lifestyle has on the environment and I feel compelled to make conscious choices that reduce that impact as much as possible. I would love it if the solution to cleaner air & water was discovered in my lifetime so that we preserved our natural resources instead of polluting them.
The thing I have come to realize is, is that everything we do does make a difference. So choosing to use products that are safe for ourselves and EPA approved means that not only are we choosing clean products for ourselves, but we are also consciously doing our part to reduce our impact on the environment. The more people who make the shift to living clean, the bigger impact these choices will have as a whole.
Living clean is a promise – a promise to take care of your body, your home, your family and reduce the impact your lifestyle has on the environment.
Make the shift to living clean today!