Holistic Approach to Wellness
My containers are glass and stainless steel, not plastic. Plastic containers can leach chemicals, especially when heated even if they say “microwave-safe.”
My pots and pans are nontoxic Non-stick cookware can contain toxic perfluorinated chemicals like PFOA. Better options include stainless steel, cast iron and anodized aluminum.
My kitchen cleaners disclose all ingredients—or they’re home-made. Companies aren’t required to disclose what’s in cleaners and dish soaps, so make sure the brands you use do. Or make your own—baking soda as a scouring powder; vinegar as a glass and surface cleaner.
My food is fresh, frozen or packaged in glass or cartons. The lining in most canned food is made of toxic BPA, which can leach into your food.
My hand soap does not contain triclosan. Avoid this unnecessary and potentially toxic antimicrobial. Studies show your hands will be just as germ-free using regular soap and water.
I use non-chlorine-bleached paper towels and coffee filters. Chlorine and an associated class of chemicals called dioxins are bad for the planet and especially bad for workers exposed during production, manufacturing and waste management.
My shampoo, body wash, moisturizer and other personal care products do not contain the following problematic ingredients: – ingredients with “PEG” and “eth” in the name – BHA and BHT – Coal tar – DEA and TEA – DMDM hydantoin – imidazolidinyl urea – fragrance – hydroquinone – nonylphenol – parabens – quaternium – styrene – synthetic musks – toluene – triclosan and triclocarban.
The brands of bathroom cleaners I use disclose ingredients on the label—or they’re home-made. Companies are not required to disclose ingredients of cleaners and detergents, so look for products made by brands that disclose ingredients, or make your own (tip: a stiff-bristled tile brush and vinegar work great for tile grout).
I dispose medications without polluting. Don’t flush those pills! Water-treatment facilities generally don’t remove hormones, antidepressants and other medications from waste water, so they can end up in our drinking water. Check to see if your pharmacy has a medication take-back program; if not, ask it to start one.
I use non-chlorine-bleached toilet paper and feminine products. Chlorine and an associated class of chemicals called dioxins are bad for the planet and especially bad for workers exposed during production, manufacturing and waste management. TIP: Let Think Dirty check your personal care products for you. The new Think Dirty app for iPhones is like a personal shopper for safer products. Scan what’s in your bathroom, and get recommendations for safer options when it’s time to replace an empty bottle.
Living room/Bedroom/Home Office
I use elbow grease, club soda, diluted non-toxic laundry detergent or vinegar to remove stains from carpets and clothes and I avoid stain-resistant materials. Stain-resistant materials can contain toxic perfluorinated chemicals, which have been associated with delayed menstruation, later breast development and increased incidence of breast cancer.
I use a “wet” cleaner for my dry-clean-only clothes. Even most “dry-clean-only” clothes can be washed in water as long as the temperature is carefully monitored by you or by a professional “wet cleaner.” When you do dry-clean your clothes, air them out outside to allow the harmful chemical residue to dissipate.
I keep batteries and electronics out of children’s reach, and dispose of them properly. Used in batteries and electronics, cadmium has been linked to early-onset puberty, which is a risk factor for breast cancer. Don’t put batteries in the trash; look for battery recycling or disposal centers in your community.
I don’t use chemical air-fresheners in my home. Air fresheners’ synthetic fragrance can contain chemicals that disrupt our bodies’ hormones. Freshen the air naturally using vinegar or baking soda to neutralize odors. Or add cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves to boiling water during the winter or citrus during the summer. Houseplants can also clean the air.
I protect myself against toxic flame retardants. Lower your exposure to flame retardants (which disrupt hormones) by replacing foam furniture and carpet padding that are crumbling; use a vacuum with a HEPA filter; dust with a wet cloth; discourage children from putting electronics in their mouths; and wash your hands frequently with (triclosan-free) soap and water.
I dispose of compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs) by returning them to my local hardware story. CFLs contain mercury, a neurotoxicant linked to reproductive, immune and respiratory toxicity. Mercury may also disrupt our body’s hormones.
I dispose of electronics responsibly, by returning them to the store or manufacturer, or to an electronics recycling program.
Cadmium and other metals are used in electronics. Cadmium has been linked to early-onset puberty, which is a risk factor for breast cancer; other metals have a host of associated health concerns.
The brand of laundry detergent I use fully discloses ingredients. Companies are not required to disclose ingredients of cleaners and detergents, so look for products made by brands that disclose ingredients, or make your own (tip: add ½ c. of vinegar to the rinse cycle to remove stubborn odors).
I use non-chlorine alternatives to bleach. Chlorine and an associated class of chemicals called dioxins are bad for the planet and especially bad for workers exposed during production, manufacturing and waste management (tip: use either vinegar or baking soda to brighten whites and remove stains)
I use non-toxic alternatives for pest-management. Chemical pesticides are toxic and their residue can hang around for years. Ask your garden store about non-toxic alternatives, or look for DIY recipes that rely on everyday items like vinegar and dish soap.
I use safer options for sun protection. Sunscreens often contain small amounts of chemicals that mimic estrogen. Stay out of the sun during peak hours, cover up, and when you do use sunblock, look for safer solutions, such as non-nanoized zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.