From non-stick pans to cleaning products, canned foods to antiperspirants, there’s a variety of items we use daily that are potentially damaging to our health. It’s admittedly impossible to avoid every unhealthy product (and trust us, there’s a lot to be wary of), but change begins with awareness. By informing ourselves of the good, the bad, and the ugly, we're able to choose alternatives that are better for ourselves and the planet.
Ready to detox your home? Here are five everyday products you probably didn’t think were harmful, along with our recommendations for sustainable substitutes to use instead.
Time to clean out your makeup bag! Chapstick is considered a handy beauty product to nurture dry lips, particularly as we move into vata season. But one look at the ingredient list shows a handful of components that aren’t so great for your delicate skin.
Be on the lookout for petroleum, parabens, fragrances, and salicylic acid. Ironically, some of these ingredients actually make your dry lips even drier (rude), and have been linked to bigger health problems like reproductive issues and cancer.
Sustainable Swap: Natural, organic, unprocessed coconut oil. It’s a simple way to add moisture to your lips and it smells amazing.
A good night's sleep is one of the best things we can do for our health. And although we spend nearly one-third of our lives in bed, not much thought is given to the quality (or toxicity) of the mattress we’re sleeping on. Many of our household products, including our mattresses, are made with chemically treated materials
that negatively impact human health. Over time, they release toxins and contaminate the air in your bedroom. Reducing our exposure to these toxins and getting them out of our house is a simple first step for living a healthier life.
Sustainable swap: Try an Avocado Green Mattress, made with natural and organic materials, and free of polyurethane foams and off-gassing memory foams. They’re handmade in California, biodegradable, recyclable, and GREENGUARD Gold Certified—meaning they’re scientifically tested to meet some of the world’s most rigorous emissions standards for chemical exposure and pollutants.
Unless you're one of the lucky ones living on the beach in Croatia and wearing nothing but a bathing suit all day, you've likely got a closet full of clothing. And unfortunately, not all textiles are created equal. According to Science Daily, man-made fabrics like polyester are treated with thousands of harmful toxic chemicals during production, which are then in contact with your skin. Polyester also traps odor, and the skin germs found in sweat create a yucky environment that allows for bacteria to more easily grow. That is not something you want near your skin.
Sustainable swap: Natural fabrics including organic cotton, merino wool, cashmere, linen and hemp. Sustainability is in fashion, and lots of beautiful brands are offering comfortable and cute pieces that don't do harm to your body or the environment.
You've probably heard of BPA. This chemical, AKA bisphenol-A, is hazardous to your health, and often found inside plastic containers. The chemicals and toxins found in plastic can leach into whatever they come into contact with and damage the body on a cellular level. Recent studies have linked BPA to health problems like hormone regulation, fertility, and immune deficiencies. Moreover, plastics are just plain terrible for the planet, and too often end up in our oceans and soil.
Sustainable Swap: BPA-free containers, break-proof glass containers, stainless steel straws, stainless steel containers.
We can all appreciate walking into a room that smells like lavender or citrus, but there’s a danger behind certain scent delivering methods. While air fresheners promise to mask or get rid of bad odors, they typically contain harmful chemicals. According to Science Direct, air fresheners emit over 100 different chemicals, including volatile organic compounds and chemicals such as phthalates, benzene, formaldehyde, and solvents. Moreover, Science Direct’s research shows that exposure to these chemicals, even at low levels, have been associated with a range of negative health effects
, including migraine headaches, asthma attacks, breathing difficulties, respiratory difficulties, and neurological problems.
Sustainable Swap: Use an essential oil diffuser, add fragrant plants to your house, or use potpourri with natural ingredients like rose petals or lavender.
What swaps have you made in your home? Let us know in the comments below