Clean Living Series: Simple Swaps For A Non Toxic Home
Welcome to clean living made simple! I don’t think that chemical-free living needs to be complicated, so in this post I’m going to introduce you to clean living and give you some practical ideas for getting toxins out of your home.
So let’s start with this:
What exactly is clean living?
I look at clean living as an intentional lifestyle choice that involves clearing toxins out of our homes and lives for better health. As we become more aware of just how many disease-causing chemicals are all around us, we have the choice to start making changes to protect ourselves.
Clean living could involve a lot of different strategies, but I think there’s one key strategy to build on:
Keep it simple.
Living a cleaner and greener life doesn’t have to happen overnight. In fact, when you make small, consistent changes, I think there’s a much higher chance those changes will stick and become a new lifestyle.
I personally don’t have the time or energy to make drastic changes all at once.
So if you feel the same way or if you’re new to clean living, here are 7 super simple swaps to start out with for a non toxic home.
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#1- Swap Out Plastic Water Bottles For A Reusable One
Switching out single use plastic water bottles for a reusable water bottle is one of the easiest and best swaps you can make. It will keep plastic water bottles out of landfills and keep you from drinking chemicals that leach out of the plastic.
All you have to do is get in the habit of filling your reusable water bottle and taking it with you.
I recommend going with a plastic-free reusable water bottle. With more research coming in on chemicals in all types of plastic, I don’t think any type of plastic bottle is a good choice.
So what does that leave you?
The two main options are stainless steel and glass. Stainless steel bottles are lighter than glass, which also means larger sizes are available (in case you drink a lot of water).
You can also get insulated options that will keep your water and other beverages either hot or cold. One of the best companies to go with is Klean Kanteen. They have many sizes and options available.
Despite it being slightly heavier, I much prefer glass to stainless steel and love my Lifefactory bottle from Amazon.
I had a stainless steel bottle for a while, but I felt like it gave a slight metallic flavor to my water, so I switched to glass. Glass water bottles also come in lots of varieties, including insulated.
#2- Swap Out Tap Water For Filtered
Why filter tap water?
This one is going to depend somewhat on where you live and (of course) whether you have tap water.
Unfortunately, in many cases, tap water is not as clean as it should be. Some areas may have toxic chemicals like lead in the water. City and town water is often treated with chlorine to kill bad chemicals, but the chlorine itself can stay in the water system and build up in our bodies.
Fluoride has become a controversial addition to water. It has traditionally been added to help with oral health, but some worry it may be harmful rather than helpful, especially when it builds up in the body. (1)
Now, this doesn’t mean that you need to put in a fancy filter system or anything. (Simple swaps, remember?)
BUT you do want to be a bit careful choosing how to filter your water. A water pitcher filter is the easiest and least expensive way I know of to filter water.
The thing to look out for is what does the pitcher filter actually take out?
I had to spend some time looking before I found one that filtered out fluoride (which was what I was going for). I did eventually find a quality water pitcher and filter from Aquagear.
This pitcher/filter combination is a little more expensive than other brands (Brita, for example), but it’s high quality and better than any other I’ve used.
The only downside is that the pitcher itself is plastic (sigh), but you can’t win them all. In spite of the plastic, filtering your water with a pitcher filter is a really simple step that can make a big difference.
#3- Swap Out Air Fresheners For A Diffuser
Air fresheners are supposed to keep the air in your home smelling clean and fresh.
What most of them really do is fill the air with chemicals, which you then breathe in. So much for clean air.
The best and easiest solution for this is to switch out store-bought air fresheners for 100% pure essential oils and a diffuser.
Using essential oils in a diffuser will not only make your home smell good, it will also actually purify the air and freshen it naturally. And you’ll get the benefits of aromatherapy by breathing the oils in.
#4- Swap Out Dryer Sheets For Reusable Dryer Balls
Did you know that the dryer sheets you put in with your clothes are possibly the most toxic thing in your house?
Thankfully, this is another easy fix.
There are different DIY options out there for making your own dryer sheets, but the easiest solution I’ve found is to use wool dryer balls.
The dryer balls help to reduce static in clothing and also speed up the drying process by helping the clothes to separate and dry faster (which means less energy used).
Just make sure you get 100% wool dryer balls so that you know it’s completely made of natural fiber.
I got mine at a local market, but you can get a 6-pack of these highly rated wool dryer balls from Amazon. These ones say they last for 1000 loads, and that seems pretty accurate from my experience.
So make this simple swap and you’ll get some toxic chemicals out of your home!
#5- Swap Out Your Toothpaste For A Natural Brand
Toothpaste is supposed to keep your teeth clean and prevent cavities.
And yet this is another place where toxins are hiding out in your home and harming your health. Did you ever think about what was in that toothpaste that’s supposed to make your teeth sparkly white?
Especially if your toothpaste is bright blue or contains other artificial ingredients, it’s time to make a change.
There are some good options out there for natural toothpaste that isn’t weird. My favorite is Tom’s of Maine. They have lots of options and flavors. You can get toothpaste without fluoride or with a natural form of fluoride, depending on what you want.
Jason is another brand that I haven’t personally tried, but they have a good reputation for quality and natural ingredients in their toothpaste.
All of their formulas that I’ve seen are fluoride-free, so if you prefer to stick with fluoride in your toothpaste, Tom’s may be the better choice.
#6- Swap Chemical-Filled Shampoo For All-Natural
Personal care products- like shampoo- can be some of the worst offenders when it comes to toxic chemicals.
I like to use the Environmental Working Group’s database (EWG for short) when it comes to finding natural products. They give products a rating (the lower the better) based on the ingredients and how toxic they are.
There are also EWG Verified products that have passed their quality tests and are verified as nontoxic.
Avalon Organics is a shampoo brand that consistently has a good EWG rating and has several EWG Verified shampoos. I’ve used their shampoo in the past and really liked it, especially Avalon’s Lavender formula.
If you are looking for a budget-friendly and nontoxic option, Herbal Essences came out with two EWG Verified shampoos. I have yet to try them, but they are on my list!
#7- Swap Out Toxic Deodorant For A Nontoxic Version
One of the worst ingredients in many deodorants is aluminum, which is there for its antiperspirant properties. It’s still up for debate whether the aluminum is deodorant may be linked to a higher risk of breast cancer, but I prefer not to take chances.
Switching to an all-natural deodorant can take a little more getting used to than the previous swaps because most natural versions are not antiperspirant.
It may take a little experimenting to find a natural deodorant you like, but going aluminum-free is definitely worth it.
Here are some options to try:
- I use a mineral roll-on deodorant called Crystal Essence. It’s liquid, which took a little getting used to, but it’s not sticky, dries pretty quickly, and best of all- no white marks! You can try it from Amazon here.
- Crystal Body Deodorant Stick is an unscented deodorant and only has one ingredient- mineral salts that eliminate odor. This one has a high rating (4 stars), is very affordable, and can last a year if used according to instructions. Try it from Amazon here.
- If you want one to help you stay fresh and dry all day, try Schmidt’s Natural Deodorant. Many people swear by this one, and it’s also formulated for sensitive skin. Try the Jasmine Green Tea sensitive skin formula from Amazon.
Make These Simple Clean Living Swaps For A Non Toxic Home
Moving towards clean living and having a non toxic home doesn’t need to be difficult or overwhelming!
Taking these small steps towards a healthier life will add up to something much bigger. So pick a few of the swaps I just went over, and get started!
For more about toxic free living, check out this post: What Is Toxin Free Living? + Tips To Get Started.
What swap do you want to make first? Let me know in the comments!