I’ve always been sort of a “green” person, tried to be Eco-friendly and eat well but I never researched any of it very deeply. Once I had my daughter I felt like I needed to learn more about the toxic chemicals around us and what options are out there.
I have to be honest, at first I freaked out. No matter where you look there are chemicals and not very good ones! I was overwhelmed and if I could have moved to a “healthy, non toxic” island, I probably would have.
After a few days of researching I decided I wanted to give my family a greener, cleaner and healthier lifestyle and in order to do this I had to do it little by little. I started taking baby steps into this new life I want to create for us.
I am not even close to making all the changes I want to make. I am just beginning this journey and always learning new things. As I research and make changes in my family I will post my findings on my blog so keep coming back!
A few tips on becoming a toxic-free family:
Take baby steps:
The best advice I could give anyone that wants to make this change is: do one step at a time, you don’t have to do it overnight. If you try to do it all at once, you won’t. There are too many changes to be made and no one can handle them at once.
Pick one area you want to change first and do that for a few weeks. Once you feel like you’ve got it down, move on to the next. I started by getting non-toxic toys for my baby, buying organic foods, then I looked for non-toxic body products and ways to make some of them and finally I changed all of our cleaning supplies for healthier options.
Wherever you start it should be whatever it’s most important for you. I consider high priority eating better and keeping toxic chemicals of of the home (getting rid of mainstream cleaning supplies). Remember this is process that will take a few months – and that’s ok.
Use the available online resources:
Environmental Working Group:
Once you start looking for non-toxic products for the family and household, check out the The Environmental Working Group consumer guides (I use mostly their Skin Deep guide and their Guide to Healthy Cleaning). This is my products “bible” and I even downloaded the app on my phone!
You can find ratings on pretty much any baby, kid and adult product that’s on the market. So if you’re going to buy ANYTHING, look for it here first. The closer to a ‘zero’ rating (for Skin Deep guides) or an ‘A’ rating (for Healthy cleaning guides), the less chemicals and the less harmful the product is. You can search by brand or product type.
When I started my journey and wanted to find non-toxic baby & kid stuff I checked: Safe Mama, EcoLife and Think Dirty. I also used healthystuff.org to check ratings on toys, car seats and other baby items and healthychild.org to check on baby and household products as well as for tips to living a cleaner life.
There are a lot of online resources and you can always contact a company to request more information about their products. Don’t be afraid to research, question and ask.
Once I did my research I created a slit of my favorite brands and I just stick to them. You can see what we use in our home here, the cleaning products I make here and other green resources I’ve compiled here.
It’s all about balance:
Being a toxic-free family doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy a regular lifestyle. In reality it’s impossible to keep your family away from all the toxins out there so we do our best to keep them out of our house but don’t stress too much once we’re out.
Our kids have played with toys we don’t necessarily like, we eat out (sometimes several times a week) and although we chose meals with veggies most of them aren’t organic, we eat treats and so do our kids.
I believe life is about finding a balance and you will find your own balance between your family life and the rest of society. Whatever works best for you will be the right balance. You will learn more over time and change things as you learn more. You will prioritize some things over other and that’s ok.
Give yourself some space to figure out what’s best.
The most important thing I want you to remember is that you CAN do this but you can take as long as you need to figure it out. It’s better to take baby steps than not make the change at all.
If you have any questions about going green and toxic-free please reach out to me. I will do my best to help you out!
To read about my latest findings and what you can do for your family, be sure to check out these sections:
I will be updating these sections frequently.