As Toxin-Free As Can Be

I have no idea how to go about making this simple. When I decided to “go green” – I woke up one morning, started in the kitchen, and went around the house – tossing everything into garbage bags. Full containers of stuff, I couldn’t give away, or donate – bcuz that wouldn’t nice – it’s bad for me, but here…you can have it”. Its garbage and that’s where it belongs. Of course, by EPA standards, its probably not legal to dispose of in the trash, but…isn’t that interesting!!

My best advice – (if you don’t live alone) – divide the purge in 3 levels

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[toggle_item] [toggle_head color=”color”] LEVEL I: No One Has To Know [/toggle_head] [toggle_data]
[text] I’m gonna assume you’re the one that handles most of the household chores, and the one that does most of the shopping. You can accomplish the first wave of purging, without ruffling many feathers. Simply replace a large assortment of cleaning products, with fewer green cleaners.

My advice – avoid small containers and go for BULK. It’s too expensive to replace every single cleaner you have with something non-toxic. Basically you’re paying for the container, the printing, the shelf space (rent-prominence placement) at the store, and toxic fragrance oils. The actual part that does the cleaning – costs pennies.

There’s a good brand of safe laundry detergent at Costco. ECOS, with coconut oil based softener built in, and 100% essential oils (Magnolia & Lily). I just checked, and its $17.50 a bottle ($35 2-pack), and it does 105 standard loads (210 HE loads)!

The great things about natural/safe (liquid) laundry detergent IS – you can use it for just about everything. Seriously!!! For less than $18, you have a base for dish soap, shampoo, shower gel, bubble bath, household cleaner, whatever you need. You can’t beat that. I love Dr. Bronner’s liquid castile soap, but find it a little pricey. A little does go a long way though. I’ve found a replacement that’s just as good (especially if you love the peppermint soap!!) Dr. Woods – You can find both in my shop – HERE.

If you want to try your hand at your own homemade cleaners, bath and body products – Check out the RECIPES section of the site!

Anyway – Everything else goes in the trash! You’re cutting down on clutter too. You don’t have a hundred products – just a few. Family members might question where the regular stuff is. Tell them truth – “I’m cutting back on chemicals in the house”. At this level – they shouldn’t show much concern.
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[toggle_item] [toggle_head color=”color”] LEVEL II: A Little Give and Take [/toggle_head] [toggle_data]
[text] The second level is more tricky, bcuz we’re moving into the bathroom, and people’s ‘personal’ stashes. There needs to be a rough line in your mind, that you agree not to cross (at first). You might be totally gung-ho, but the rest of the house might have no interest at all! You’re working on communal stuff at first.

Hopefully, you don’t live in a house, where every single person has to have their own special brand of whatever. A lot of families do, and that will prove a LOT more difficult. If that is that case however, money is probably not so tight – and maybe negotiation is the best tactic. Everyone is aware of the idea that “greener is healthier” – pretty sure they teach that in schools now. So again – if you’re the one that does the shopping – simply switch over to organic, chemical-free brands, and I’m sure no one will mind.

If you’re set on going hard-core with removing the toxins, being frugal, making your own cleaners – the whole self-sufficient sha-bang – then you’re going to just have to jump in – do it – and suffer the repercussions later. Follow some RECIPES here, or search online.There’s tons.

Pour the old stuff down the drain (I know – feel guilty, but – get rid of it once and for all)(it’ll be the last time you’re contaminating the environment with it!) Pour your homemade stuff into the brand bottles, and wait……………for the backlash!! Laugh inside, that at least you didn’t replace the toilet paper with a basket full of rags! Do not laugh outwardly though…this sets off peoples defenses. You want to calmly and nonchalantly say again – “We’re cutting back on chemicals”. Notice this time I said “we”.

No, they won’t miss that part of the comment!!

If I can give any advice – with everything you’ve got in you – do not engage in a discussion about it. Say something – anything – – – “I’m right in the middle of something. We’ll talk about it later. Promise”. This isn’t to escape the situation, it’s to allow them time to process what’s taking place. It really weird how people react when you take away their chemicals! That should be a sign in itself!!

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[toggle_item] [toggle_head color=”color”] LEVEL III: [/toggle_head] [toggle_data] [text] Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Morbi commodo, ipsum sed pharetra gravida, orci magna rhoncus neque, id pulvinar odio lorem non turpis. Nullam sit amet enim. [/text] [/toggle_data] [/toggle_item]

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Note from Mama: My perspective is always towards the healthiest possible, spending the least amount of money, on the best quality. Cutting back on cheap-garbage-junk, and clutter – and downsizing with higher quality essentials. If you have the money – I assume you already have the best. Unfortunately we live in a world where the the more affordable something is – the more toxic it is. I’m always going to offer the most frugal, resourceful methods for these quests. You can make these changes a little at a time. You don’t have to rush out and spend a ton of money all at once.
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[toggle_item] [toggle_head color=”gray”] KITCHEN [/toggle_head]
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COOKING & BAKING

Go through all your cookware – separate out the glass, cast iron, and stainless steel. Stainless isn’t the best, but it’s not bad. Everything else – EVERYTHING else – throw in the garbage!! Just do it. Don’t think about it. We make do with what we have. You’ll adjust – I promise. You know what you use on a regular basis. Trust the shift.

If you can’t afford to buy new bakeware – get a few rolls of parchment paper to line stuff with, so at least it’s not in direct contact. Use glass when possible – that’s the cheapest alternative, and off-brands of Pyrex (sets) can be bought at Walmart or Big Lots for pretty cheap. When people ask what you want for X-mas or your B-day – tell them cast iron cookware!! Try Walmart camping section for cast iron. You’ll rarely see it at second-hand shops, or yard sales.

Put a call out on Craigslist, or hit up your relatives! Lots of people have it lying around as decorative items. If you tell them what you’re doing – I’m sure they can part with a couple pieces – knowing it will be cared for and put to good use!

See my list of non-toxic cooking items in my shop

STORING FOOD

Replace all plastic food storage containers with glass! Never fill container to top. Never heat food in plastic or styrofoam.

Plastic containers are okay for dry food – grains, rice, flour, etc. Get some diatomaceous earth, and put a tablespoon in all your dried food storage containers – to keep free from bugs!!

Don’t put your glass containers in the recycling, keep them for storing food, smoothie drinks, or fermenting in.

Some things you can’t avoid buying in plastic. Transfer to glass as soon as you get home, especially acid foods.

WATER

Don’t buy bottled water!! Investing in a water filtration system.

People that tend to drink a good amount of water, usually do so from individual size plastic bottles. Start by getting glass or stainless steel bottles for each member of the household. (see my shop under “useful gadgets). Next, start putting away money for a filtration system. Where I live, there’s always a glut of Stainless water bottles at Goodwill.

FOOD STORES

Canned food – This is one area where BPAs are most ignored. Unless it says BPA-free on the label. It’s not. The worst leaching is with tomatoes, and canned beans, or anything acidic. Cut back on canned foods where you can. Buy dried/dehydrated food in bulk, and have some comfort at being prepped (encase the shit hits the fan). Some people argue canned is better for prepping, encase theres a shortage of water, or no shortage – but water is contaminated. You need a lot of water to rehydrate food! Either way – something to put some thought into.

It’s all about choices and knowledge, right?

REPLACE

Replace regular white table salt with a colored, natural sea, celtic, or himalayan salt  -YES, it has iodine in it, and about 40 other vital minerals.

Replace white sugar with organic, raw, natural sweeteners like, raw (local) honey, real maple syrup, date sugar, coconut sugar, molasses, turbinado, etc).

Throw out all liquid oils. You can keep the olive oil, but definitely no canola! All liquid oils are processed with Hexane, same stuff they use to make gasoline. If the label doesn’t say hexane-free, it’s not! Use virgin, organic coconut oil – it’s great for anything -frying, baking, sauteing, anything – and it’s a great beauty product as well.

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[toggle_item] [toggle_head color=”gray”] BATHROOM [/toggle_head]
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If you must have this or that product, at least make sure it’s fragrance-free!! More people are addicted to the fragrance of a product, not the quality or outcome it gives. You’ll have a lot easier time, separating yourself from store-bought bath and body products, if you switch first to fragrance-free. Fragrance oil is completely toxic!

Throw away anything in your bathroom that lists FLUORIDE as an ingredient. Also avoid toothcare products with Triclosan. Both are poisonous, neurotoxins. Serious stuff. There are wonderful, effective, natural, dental hygiene products available without poisons.  This is especially important for children!!

Go for one all-purpose bathroom soap – liquid castile can be used as body wash, bubble bath, and shampoo.

Hang a spray bottle of Magnesium Oil in the shower. Make your own – super-saturated solution of water and magnesium flakes.

Keep a jar of coconut oil in the bathroom as moisturizer and hair conditioner.

Replace all store-brand makeup with natural, organic, non-toxic brands.

Make super-hold hair gel by boiling flax seeds in water, and straining (see recipe)

Throw away – rubbing alcohol, nail polish remover, hair spray, toners with alcohol, perfumes, and after-shave, baby powder, and anything else you know is nasty. If in doubt – muscle test on it. Yes or no.

Use cornstarch in place of baby powder.

Opt for natural bristle brushes where you can (hair, toothbrushes, body brushes)

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[toggle_item] [toggle_head color=”gray”] LAUNDRY/CLEANING CLOSET [/toggle_head]
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Choose ‘green’, toxic-free products, or make your own homemade brands. This is hard for most people to switch over – for numerous reasons. People are programmed to think that clean should smell like something. Clean shouldn’t smell like anything in particular – definitely not spring rain, mountain forest, baby powder, or fresh baked apple pie. Unless you’re making a fresh, baked apple pie!

Fresh, clean STINK abounds in homes, from the carpet powders, room sprays, deoderizers, laundry soaps, and softeners, to toxic candle landscapes. It’s all bad news for your health!! Again, there’s nothing I can say, but bite the bullet on it. If you can not bare to throw out a $16 bottle of Tide – fair enough. Enjoy the last of it, and don’t buy it again.

Use all that money you use to spend on brand-name cleaners, and buy some gorgeous essential oils, some bulk lavender, and some beeswax candles! Put sachets in your dresser drawers, spritz clean laundry with essentials, and nothing beats the sweet smell of beeswax.

If you’re house is particularly smelly, after a party, or cooking fish – something like that. Put a cast iron pan on the stove top (low), and add about a 1/2 cup of dry coffee grounds. It’s what professional crime scene cleaners use, to remove the smell of death from a room, where a body has been rotting. If it does that job – it will for sure handle any smells you’ve got!

Okay – Lightbulbs! Are you “green” to a fault? Have you been won over by the eco-saving CFL (compact fluorescent light) bulbs? You’re taking some stupid chances with them. They’re full of mercury!!! You can’t just toss these things in the trash when they burn out! God forbid the break in the house – serious serious serious problem!! There’s actually stories on sites like https://www.hereon.biz/motion-sensor-light-bulb/ of people that called the hotline to ask how to go about cleaning up a broken bulb, only to have the EPA arrive at their home, for a professional hazard cleanup, that runs about $5000 to decontaminate the room.

This is what happens if you step on a bulb with bare feet, which is under pressure, and break it.  It’s not worth it! Regular lightbulbs are getting harder to find. LEDs if you can afford them, regular light bulbs – and just switch the lights off when you’re not in the room. Only use CFLs in out of the way places – ceiling lights, or outdoor lights – NEVER EVER in table lamps or in children’s rooms – EVER!!!!!

Combat roaches with diatomaceous earth – Read more on the benefits of diatomaceous earth here). Use sticky fly paper for flying insects, or a try a baggie, filled with water, with a penny in it – hung near outside doors and windows. Throw out all bug sprays!!

Use live traps for rodents, especially if you have pets!! I begged a landlord once, not to use rat poison on a chipmunk problem. I begged her!!! She did it anyway – and my cat got hold of a half-dead chipmunk – $1500 later!!!!!!!

While we’re on the subject of pets – Everything store-bought for your pet is pure garbage – I don’t care how healthy it says it is, or how much money you’re paying for it. It’s junk. If you truly love the furry members of your family, as most do – seriously consider making you own food for them, or if you’re practicing (or going to start practicing) a Traditional diet, just add them as an extra mouth to feed, with regular meals. The best possible diet of all for cats and dogs is raw meat (all parts), with some fruit & veggie treats. It can take some pets a few days to adjust to raw. Withhold all other food. Eventually they’ll get it – and prefer it! Make sure you’re not giving them tap water.


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[toggle_item] [toggle_head color=”color”] PICKING AND CHOOSING YOUR BATTLES: THE REST OF THE HOUSE [/toggle_head]
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Unless money is no object, there’s not much to be done about the toxins in your carpeting, mattresses, foamed-cushioned furniture, and laminate wood floors. We’ve also only touched on chemical toxins up to this point.

There are other lurking dangers in your house – radon, EMFs (electromagnetic frequencies) from all the stuff that plugs in, not to mention those damn smart meters, and EMRs (electromagnetic radiation) dangers from WiFi, microwaves, cell phones, computers, and television sets. Altogether it’s enough to leave you feeling hopeless.

Not all of us are willing or able, to move somewhere remote, and live completely off-grid. Although, with an ounce of common sense – it’s what we should all do! Pretty much anywhere you go, you’re going to be subject to WiFi, and cell towers, and power grids, and contaminated water, and EMFs. Maybe in light of all that, you can understand why, seriously cracking down on the toxic junk you can do something about, is so important!

Here’s a short list of WiFi radiation exposure symptoms, commonly found in children. Children are the most susceptible – Impaired concentration, loss of short term memory, headaches, fatigue, sleep disorders, digestive problems, weakened immunity, depression, and anxiety. In large doses, over prolonged periods of time – it can cause cancers, like leukemia. If your young children use tablets, make sure the WiFi is turned off!!!!

For all practical purposes you can drive yourself batty – worrying about every little thing. This quest is to be taken seriously, and your effort to eliminate health hazards from your home is a genuine show of love and concern. Approach it as such. Have a family meeting if necessary, and validate everyone’s issues with it, but stand you ground in the end. If possible – accomplish this quest to it’s fullest, so you can rest a little easier, and feel a whole lot better.

My quest personally falls on deaf ears. I’m by no means the head of the household, which is the main problem. I live with my best-friend, and her 83 year old father…then it’s James and myself. I’m the crunchy, nut-case, which is all well and good, until it crosses into their comfort zone. Both of them have large, rigid zones!! The 83 year old’s opinion is – “If it hasn’t killed me yet – it can’t be that bad”. He’s got a minimum of 6 cans of bug spray at any given time – in his room, bcuz that’s where I keep putting them. From May to October, he dowses himself daily with mosquito repellent, and it has to be at least 40% DEET. I’m sure he goes through a half-dozen cans in a season.

When I made the move to ‘green’ cleaners, we had a huge blowout. I’ve come to the conclusion that he’s really a 13 year old girl, trapped in an old mans body! He threw a hissy-fit, and refused to use my homemade laundry soap, or dish soap. I had gotten everything out of the house, but that one issue that I was forced to give in on – started a chain-reaction with my best-friend as well – little by little by little – the house is full of shit again!! I don’t use it, but James and I are still subject to its effects. I don’t think its fair of them to impose their toxins on us, and they don’t think its fair, I impose my ideals on them. There it stands. I’m not going to give up though. Its no good to throw up my hands in defeat. I have to be more stealthy. I guess.

So be warned – it’s a constant battle (if you care), and the easiest way I can see to approach it – is to have everyone on board when you start! Work out the details before hand. Discuss everything before you start – mostly bcuz people can’t really wrap their minds around how drastic the changes are. So, you’ll get less resistance up front. That way, at least – everyone is dealing with their own struggle, and only coming to you on the big issues. If you just go for it, without informing anyone – you’ll simply be seen as the enemy – and not get any sympathy or understanding at all, which is how I went about it. 😛 Learn from my mistakes.

If you can somehow get everyone to see it as a FUN EXPERIMENT/ADVENTURE – you’ve won half the battle.

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INGREDIENTS YOU’LL NEED TO MAKE YOUR OWN CLEANERS

Big Bag of Baking Soda

Regular Distilled White Vinegar

Lots of Bottles of Hydrogen Peroxide

Couple Boxes of Borax

Essential Oils (optional): Any you like

Liquid Castile Soap (like Dr. Bronner’s or Dr. Wood’s)

Fresh garden herbs, citrus fruit, or citrus peel

Olive, Coconut, and maybe Castor Oil

Salt

Plain Ol’ Water

IN A NUTSHELL

Start by tossing out stuff that only yours hands touch – if you’re the only one that does the laundry – go ahead and green that. Etc. Switch out all of your beauty and hygiene products for safe, natural ones. Natural cosmetics, soaps, lotions, and hair-care products abound. Use muscle testing to see if they’re safe for you! If you do all the shopping – and you know your family will be difficult to convert – start by switching everything to ‘fragrance-free’, once they get over that addiction, they’ll be less resentful towards other changes. Just wait till you start on their diets!!!!! LOL – actually it’s pretty much the same nightmare relived. If everyone can keep their sense of humor about it – you’ll all weather it better.

DO NOT MAKE A HUGE DEAL ABOUT THE CHANGES YOURSELF – IF YOU MAKE IT SEEM LIKE ITS NOTHING – NO BIG DEAL – IT DOES HELP OTHERS ADJUST EASIER. 

There’s a good movie to have everyone watch – CHEMERICAL

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