Everyday products such as cosmetics, body care products, and cleaning supplies contain dozens of chemicals. Some chemicals are relatively harmless, and some are harmful to health. The daily chemical overload can affect your health, including hormone production and reproductive health. Some chemicals are neurotoxic, and many can cause allergic reactions. Many chemicals commonly used in cleaning products or cosmetics are harmful to the environment and can be dangerous to pets. There are several ways to reduce the number of chemicals used in your home.
Skin Care Products
Take a good look at your cosmetics and skin care products and study the ingredient lists. Do they contain synthetic fragrances, aluminum, parabens or phthalates? These chemicals should be avoided. Can you replace these products with natural, organic, or homemade alternatives? Making your own natural beauty and skin care products is easy and fun, and there are countless all-natural beauty recipes you can find here.
Homemade cleaning products are easy to make, and they are usually just as effective as the products you can buy in stores. A mix of white vinegar and water cleans many bathroom and kitchen surfaces, and baking soda can be used for scrubbing pots, pans, cups, and mugs. Lemon juice disinfects chopping boards and deodorizes the fridge. Sprinkle baking soda on carpets and furniture, leave for half an hour, and use a vacuum cleaner to remove the powder. Choose natural, eco-friendly washing powder and follow the instructions on the packet: most people use too much washing powder for each wash.
Try clearing blocked drains with baking soda and vinegar. Pour baking soda down the drain followed by vinegar. The mix will start to foam and form bubbles. Leave for 10-15 minutes and then run a lot of plain water down the drain. This method is effective and chemical-free.
Avoid Artificial Fragrances
Synthetic room fragrances can contain chemicals that cause allergic reactions, and that can be harmful to your health. Try herbs, flowers, or essential oils instead. A drop or two of essential oils in a diffuser will infuse your home with a natural fragrance. Choose citrus oils for an uplifting scent, eucalyptus or citronella to repel mosquitoes or lavender for a relaxing fragrance in the bedroom. Fresh or dried flowers, such as bouquets of lavender, fill your home with natural fragrance. Sachets made with dried lavender flowers keep moths and other insects away from bedsheets and other textiles.
Synthetic fragrances are added to many products from washing powder to skin care. Choose fragrance-free products or organic and natural products that contain only natural fragrances, such as essential oils.
If you're curious about the benefits of essentials oils vs synthetic fragrances in skin care products, click here to learn more.
Reduce Plastic Use
Plastic waste is a major environmental problem. Plastics also contain phthalates and other toxic chemicals. Avoid plastic containers and buy products in paper bags or glass jars. Avoid PVC and polystyrene that are not easily recycled and that contain toxic chemicals. Use your own shopping bag and refuse plastic bags in shops. Get a wooden chopping board for the kitchen as wood is antibacterial and more environmentally friendly than plastic.
Chemical-Free GardeningThere are many ways to reduce the use of chemicals in the garden. Banana peels, coffee grounds, chamomile tea, eggshells, and horse manure are excellent natural fertilizers for your garden. Nettles can be used to make a natural insecticide that helps to remove aphids. Fill a bucket with stinging nettles, cover them with water, and leave to steep for 24-48 hours. Remove the nettles, filter the water through a sieve, and spray the nettle water directly on plants to remove aphids and other unwelcome insects. Cinnamon can deter ants so sprinkle cinnamon anywhere you do not want ants to go in the garden or the house.
There are many simple ways to reduce chemical overload at home. Take a critical look at all the products you are buying and read through the ingredient lists. Learn the names of the most commonly used environmentally toxic chemicals and choose products that are free of these toxins. At Yva Collection, you will find only toxic-free natural products.