What’s In Your Cabinet?
Do you know what toxins are in your home right now? Would you like to kick them to the curb and start living a healthier lifestyle? It may take a little time, but read on how I am making it happen in my home.
“May contain ingredients with potential for chronic aquatic toxicity, acute aquatic toxicity, nervous system effects.”
That’s a quote from the Environmental Work Group website regarding ingredients in a brand-name automatic dishwasher detergent I once swore by. Yes, it made my dishes and glassware sparkly. But it is also believed to contain nasty toxins that not only kill the fishies, but cause cancer, asthma and respiratory problems, skin irritation, and developmental and reproductive toxicity in humans. Call me crazy, but sparkly dishes with a side of cancer and dead rivers ain’t for me.
The Truth Is Out There
The more I investigated the contents of stuff lurking under my sinks, in the medicine cabinet, and in the laundry room—common household and personal items I used regularly—the uglier it got. Did you know that those convenient make-up remover wipes can contain formaldehyde-releasing chemicals! Formaldehyde is a known human carcinogen, as per the International Agency for Research on Cancer, which is an agency of the World Health Organization.
Now, I’m not one of these people that want to live forever. Heck, I’ll probably live to 100 doing nothing but leaning on my genetics. But I would prefer to not be embalmed before the coroner shows up. I’m just wacky that way.
Out of the Frying Pan?
So I did my research on the store-bought stuff I’ve been using for decades and then found non-toxic, plant- and essential-oil based household cleaners and personal products that won’t wreak havoc on me on a cellular level or turn whatever waterway my tub drains to into a massive slow-moving fish kill. And if I was going to make the switch, I needed to make sure the essential oils I would be using were 100% pure. Why would I stop using products with ingredients that are toxic only to begin using essential oil-based products that were distilled from plants that were grown using pesticides and herbicides, or that are cut with things to make the price tag cheaper? No, my new products had to come from a reputable company with total transparency from sourcing seeds, to growing policies, to distilling and testing for purity.
Money Was Tight, But I Had a Plan
If you’re anything like me—a stay-at-home, work-from-home (aka struggle from home) 24/7 caregiver—simply going cold turkey from buying my hand soap at the dollar store, and everything else I buy with coupons and only when on sale, was just not fiscally feasible. Spoiler—going toxin free will cost you more, at least upfront.
Now, I most decidedly don’t want to die like Madame Curie, but I also don’t have the couple million she won for two Nobel prizes, or my own money tree. Slow, steady, and methodical was the only way I could make it work. I’m betting it’ll work for you too.
The first thing I ditched were the cadre of scented candles, air fresheners, and odor eliminators. I share my home with three cats and a dog, so you can bet I was fairly addicted to anything that kept my house from smelling like a zoo on a hot day. Instead of covering up odors with stuff containing sodium borate, (developmental/endocrine/reproductive effects) and other bad actors, I turned to the power players of the essential oil world, the everyday oils that are anything but ordinary: lavender, peppermint, lemon, eucalyptus, tea tree, orange. I diffused them daily, and guess, what? Not only did my house smell amazing but the emotional and mood lifting effects were noticeable. Then I discovered ways to use them topically, and my whole world changed.
I set myself a reasonable monthly budget for my oils that wouldn’t break the bank. I just wanted to use the oils, but when my first commission check paid for my monthly allotment, I found I could start adding additional oils and other products slowly. After a few months, I had a good stockpile of everyday oils, so I could really start adding more and more household cleaners, make-up, and personal products. I’m about half-way to completely eliminating toxins from my home! And my commission checks keep paying for my monthly subscription.