10 simple steps to reduce chemicals in your life:
1. Switch it up! Start with food and products you use often and switch to one that is organic or natural.
2. Try the farmer’s Market! You can find some great deals on organic produce and also support your local farmers. Or try planting your own garden. I know this can be difficult in the winter months so figuring out what super markets carry organic and natural products is also important. (See product recommendations)
5. Remove your shoes at the front door! Shoes track in lead, pesticides, and other pollutants, which contaminate our carpets and floors. Stuff we track in from the outside can turn our home into a toxic place, especially for pets and young children who spend more time on the floor.
6. Green up your home! Houseplants are healthy for our indoor environment. Not only do
they clean the air, but they’re relaxing to look and be around.
7. Choose filtered tap water over bottled! It will have less bacteria and chemical contaminants. The bottled-water industry is largely unregulated in the United States. Choose glass or stainless steel water containers.
8. Ditch the plastic! You can use reusable straws, silverware, cups, and silicone lids instead of plastic wrap and tinfoil. (see blog post)
9. Avoid “fragrance” products. Be cautious of products with the word ‘fragrance’ on the label, including shampoo, lotions, and perfume. They contain phthalates, known to interfere with our hormones. Pick those made from essential oils instead. (Nourish Organic)
10. Switch to organic cookware! Non stick cookware is highly toxic and produces poisonous particles and fumes when heated and also plastic Tupperware when heated in the microwave. Heat your food up in the microwave in a glass container or plate.
From sauce pans to baking sheets and muffin tins, cooking products with finishes made of perfluorinated chemicals (PFC) that leach toxins remain the mainstay in many homes across the country.
It is a long and costly process for Eco-conscious consumers to switch completely from cookware coated with toxic finishes to those that are nontoxic. Do it one step at a time: take inventory of the Teflon and non-stick items in your kitchen, and replace each item with a nontoxic version throughout the year. Keep a list at hand of the following nontoxic products and brands below when shopping for Eco-friendly replacements.
- Stainless Steele: Stainless steel is a must-have in the kitchen when it comes to boiling, sauteing and baking. Pans made out of this non-toxic metal retain heat so smaller baked items tend to cook evenly. Stainless steel is also easy to clean; scrubbing pans down with steel wool will keep layers of oil from accumulating on the surface. A number of companies are now making solid stainless steel cooking products without PFC. All Clad makes an extensive collection of high quality stainless steel pots and pans. Fox Run sells a range of stainless steel bake ware at affordable prices, such as muffin tins and baking sheets.
- Glass: Glass is totally Eco-friendly, nontoxic and durable, a great material to choose when stocking your kitchen with chemical-free cookware. However, you can’t use glass pans for everything, certain items like baking tins are hard to find in glass, and some dishes like pies don’t always cook evenly in glassware. Emile Henry is an excellent brand, and one more affordable is by Pyrex.
- Ceramic: Ceramic is an organic material that has been used for baking dating back to ancient cultures. Today, you can find nicely made ceramic bake and cookware in a variety of colors. Ceramcor sells many types of ceramic cookware, including a line of a high quality line of black coated bake ware called Xtrema. Le Creuset makes a wide array of items in numerous styles and colors that are reasonably priced and often carried by large retailers.
- Green Non-stick cookware: Several businesses have developed new technologies to provide the convenience of nonstick to cook and bake-ware without PFCs or other types of toxic coating. One company, Green Pan, uses a patented technology called Thermolon to make their pans non-stick and heat resistant up to high temperatures.
Orgreenic makes similar products that have aluminum bases and special coatings made of a combination of ceramic and a newly-developed nonstick material that is apparently eco-friendly.
These are just a few ways to start making a change in your life and the environment you live in. What ways are you reducing chemicals in your home? Comment below, I would love to hear from you.