Creating a More Non-Toxic Lifestyle
No matter where you are in your journey to detox your life, we can all do a little better clearing out the harmful items in our lives and homes that are making us sick. This guide can help you wherever you are in your journey to a non-toxic lifestyle.
If You’re Just Getting Started…
If you’re wondering, “How do I live a toxic-free lifestyle?” the key is to start with small steps that have the most impact.
Remove Unhealthy Foods
The easiest first step is removing harmful chemicals from your foods. Read the label on packaged foods. If it contains unpronounceable words or letters such “BHT,” it probably has chemicals in it that you do not want in your body. You want to eliminate all of these harmful ingredients:
- Artificial preservatives, flavors, and colors.
- MSG, which can be called by other names, such as hydrolyzed protein. See a complete list here.
- Artificial sweeteners like aspartame.
- High fructose corn syrup and excess added sugar.
- Hydrogenated oils.
Start by limiting or removing pre-packaged foods as much as possible and planning your meal around fresh, whole-food ingredients. Use good quality meat, legumes, vegetables, and fruit, along with olive oil, palm oil, and coconut oil to create healthier dishes. Healthy fats like avocados, fatty fish, and nuts are also important in a balanced diet.
If you are eating dairy products, stick to fresh whole sources, such as butter or ghee instead of margarine. And I advise you to buy organic when possible for a cleaner option.
You may not realize it but your tap water can be full of toxins. Most of us are aware of the scandal in Flint, Michigan, where tap water was contaminated with lead yet officials ignored the issue. What you may not realize is that is not the only place with contaminated water. Your water may contain pharmaceuticals, other heavy metals and chemicals, and toxic levels of fluoride.
That’s right – fluoride can be a dangerous neurotoxin when exposed to high levels! To address this, use a water filter. Each one has its pros and cons. The ideal solution is a whole-home filter along with a water softener if you have hard water.
I recommend you do your research but start using whatever water filter is in your budget as soon as possible. Bottled water is another option, however, this can put you at risk of exposure to harmful chemicals from plastic bottles.
Remove Greenwashed Products
Another key to living a non-toxic lifestyle is to clear out harmful chemicals in your bath, beauty, and home care products. Greenwashing is when brands claim they are harmless or eco-friendly yet still use toxic chemicals. That means you might be using carcinogens and other toxins in your “safe” products.
One of the top offenders in this field is fragrance. Many companies use proprietary ingredients in their fragrance formulas and keep them secret. And thanks to the lack of regulation in the U.S., untested chemicals can creep into your home, causing allergies, irritation, or worse, accumulation of cancer-causing or endocrine-disrupting agents in your body!
Besides fragrance, there are many other chemicals these companies put into products, such as SLS, or methylisothiazolinone, or ingredients that contain ethylene oxide. While these products may have less offending ingredients, they are still troubling for people with sensitivities.
Beyond the Basics
If you’ve been practicing a non-toxic lifestyle for a little while and are ready to go deeper, these next steps can be a great help for you:
You may have heard about the dangers of 5G but are uncertain if it is harmful, and if so, what you can do about it. Unfortunately, much of the research on 5G is funded by parties who benefit from its rollout. The level of harm from Electromagnetic Radiation (EMF) from both 5G and 4G is unclear, yet research has linked to EMF oxidative stress, which can cause aging and disease.
To protect yourself from EMF radiation, which is all around us, use daily practices such as grounding, buy radiation shields for yourself and your devices, and build a healthy immune system to combat oxidative stress.
Deep Clean Your Air
Even you don’t live in a heavily polluted area, the air in your home may not be safe. Indoor pollutants include mold, pollen, tobacco smoke, radon, carbon monoxide from your stove, cleaning products, personal care items, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), pesticides, or even the building materials used in your home.
Additionally, mattresses, couches, and chairs “off-gas” or release VOCs when they are brand new. It may be a better idea to buy used versions of these big-ticket items! If you are buying new, we recommend you weather them for a few days in your yard or basement to clear these gasses, especially baby mattresses.
Meanwhile, there are numerous ways to clean your air, including using HEPA air filters in your home, air purifier systems, and easy-care plants.
Remake Your Healthcare
Western medicine has recently been under scrutiny for overprescribing strong medications such as opioids. But it’s not just the industry that’s at fault. Today, people go to the doctor or the emergency room for far too many minor reasons.
We need doctors for help with things like breaks and fractures, serious illnesses, and surgery. However, you do not need to go to the doctor for colds, low-grade fevers, nausea, allergies, rashes, minor cuts and burns, and other minor medical issues that are not chronic and concerning. You may be putting yourself at more risk of getting sick at the doctor’s office!
There are many tools in your home that you can use for natural remedies, an essential part of a non-toxic lifestyle. Essential oils, manuka honey, shea butter, balms, and other items can serve you well for these problems.
For example, shea butter is an excellent treatment for rashes and eczema. Another example is manuka honey, which can be added to a bandage to treat minor cuts after cleaning. Research non-toxic experts and sources on how to use natural products for healing!
For Those Seasoned In a Non-Toxic Lifestyle
Even if you’re a seasoned hand at non-toxic living, there are always ways you can strive to do a little more! Here are some areas you may not have considered yet:
Upgrade Your Car
If you require a vehicle to get around, you might want to consider changing to an electric or hybrid vehicle to get around. Here, you should not just be concerned with fuel economy, low emissions, and the environmental consciousness of the car company. Your car’s efficiency may also be impacted by color, weight, and suspension, according to Eco Warrior Princess.
Additionally, diesel cars spew nitrous oxide, and fully electric cars can also hide dirty sources in their manufacturing. A deep dive into research is your best bet when considering a hybrid or electric car. Either way, we recommend carpooling and public transportation whenever possible.
Homesteading in a Small Space
Homesteading is not just for those living in rural areas! People in suburban areas are raising chickens. Urban dwellers are using hydroponics in their apartments. If you don’t have much of a green thumb, start simply by sprouting grains in a jar in your kitchen – you can find lots of videos on YouTube to help.
Another simple item to grow right in your kitchen is an herb garden. Start with herbs that are easy to grow, such as basil, thyme, or parsley. If you’re still intimidated by gardening, you can buy an indoor gardening system that comes complete with pot, light, and even seeds!
If you are looking to convert your existing garden to grow foods, start with tomatoes or cucumbers. Speak to your local gardening outlet to make sure you make wise choices for your regional climate and soil conditions.
Sustainable Tourism for Vacationing
If you are looking to get away for a while, eco-tourism is a hot new trend that many travel agencies offer. Most people think this refers to an outbound nature adventure, but touring a regional culture can also be a form of eco-tourism. Not only will you be immersed in the area’s foods, arts, and traditions, you will be helping to support your local community, much like when you purchase Fair Trade items.
Today there are lots of tourism companies that can help you book this kind of travel – and this industry is likely to grow. You can make environmentally friendly choices both at home and afar!
These are some of the top ways to make changes that support non-toxic living. While there are many other areas of your home and life to detox, regularly making small changes sustains a healthy planet – and a healthy you!