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HEALTHY SWAPS IN THE KITCHEN
The kitchen is one of the most important rooms in your home – it’s where every meal is prepared to sustain your family. And you probably put a lot of effort into getting healthy food on the table. But beyond balanced meals and organic food, you might not realize that some of the pots and pans you cook with and the cleaners you use may contain chemicals that are potentially harmful to the health of your family.
From optical brighteners to synthetic fragrance, laundry products designed to clean your clothes and make them smell fresh can actually be harmful to your health. Signature scents like Cherry Blossom and Botanical Rain are designed to permeate and stay in the fabric.
While it may seem hard to part with your favorite personal care products, there are options on the market that are free from harmful chemicals and just as good, if not better than what you’re already using.
Beauty products can list fragrance as one ingredient and don’t have to disclose the fact that these formulations may contain hundreds of ingredients. The EWG (Environmental Working Group) found that over 3,000 chemicals can be used in fragrance, and one third of those have been flagged as potentially toxic to humans and the environment.
There are some simple solutions to make your living room a healthier place to hang out. Do you have a “No Shoes In The House” policy? This will reduce the spread of allergens, pesticides and germs throughout your home.
Air fresheners and candles can significantly contribute to indoor air pollution. They contain ingredients that can cause potential health risks, including mimicking hormones. Phthalates are just one of the ingredients you’ll find in conventional air fresheners and candles, and are widely used in fragrance as solvents and fixatives to make scents last longer (they’re inexpensive and have no odor). It’s legal to use the term “fragrance” in a product ingredient list when there may actually be hundreds of chemicals combined in one formula! Read my post on 11 non-toxic candles for more suggestions on candles that don’t contain harmful chemicals.
We spend a lot of time sleeping, yet the bedroom is one of the last places we think of for healthy home swaps. Organic mattresses can be pretty pricey, but organic sheets, organic mattress pads and organic mattress toppers are all better options if you can’t afford to switch everything out at once. Most mattresses, toppers and pillows contain flame retardants. Chemicals from flame retardants can linger in our bodies, and these chemicals are associated with endocrine disruption, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.
With conventional gardening methods for insect and weed control, pesticides and herbicides can be taken up by the plants and residue is present on the outside of fruits and vegetables.
Organic gardening focuses on healthy soil, and this method of gardening cultivates a complex ecosystem of soil microbes, plants, beneficial insects and pollinators.
Because healthy soil holds more water, less water is used in organic gardening than in conventional farming. Even if you don’t have room in your backyard for a raised garden bed, organic container gardening is a great way to get started. We use the organic products below and get juicy, delicious fruits and vegetables every summer! Learn how to garden here.