In general, I like to think people have become more conscious of the products they choose to use for themselves and for their families. There are organizations like the Environmental Working Group, which educates consumers on the safety of certain brands, and that make navigating this landscape a little less scary.
But it’s still not always easy to shop chemical-free—especially when it comes to our every-day items, like personal care products and the containers we pack our lunch in.
Though going completely chemical-free might not be feasible for everyone, it’s a proposition you should consider in many aspects of your life, as it’s not only good for you and the planet, but it can make you happier, too.
One of the best ways to figure out how you can effectively implement safer products into your life is by taking stock of what you already use. Take a look through your bathroom, kitchen, bedroom, garage, etc.—what do you see? If most of the items you use, from your shampoo to your gardening supplies, aren’t natural (or at least mostly natural), do some research for the best chemical-free swaps. You might not be able to find a replacement for everything, but baby steps are still a step in the right direction.
Clean up your grocery list.
Changing up the foods you eat is one of the most obvious (and direct) ways to live a more chemical-free life. Many of the items we buy at the store can actually be full of harmful pesticides, which is why your best bet is going organic for your produce. You don’t have to stop at fruits and veggies, though. Take a look at the packaging your food comes in, too; opt for natural packaging instead of plastics, which can sometimes contaminate your food.
This is one you probably already know about. It’s no secret that many of our cleaning products are basically just toxic chemical bombs wreaking havoc on our personal space. The good news is, it’s actually super easy to make your own natural cleaning solutions. The natural world is full of anti-microbial ingredients (hello witch hazel and citrus peel) that can keep your countertops clean sans bleach. Figure out what scents and ingredients you like best, and keep them on hand.
Doing good feels good.
You might still be wondering how all these lifestyle changes—as good for your health and the environment as they may be—can actually make you happier. But the secret lies in the peace of mind that living greener can give you. Just knowing that you aren’t filling your body and the earth with chemicals is enough to put a smile on your face.
The next time you’re thinking about picking up a bottle of floor cleaner or perusing the personal care aisles for a new night cream, make a conscious effort to look at the ingredients you’ll be putting out into the universe. You’ll be grateful you did.