In 52 Healthy Changes, Everyday Life, Homemaking
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roducts surround us. We use them from the moment we wake up to the minute our heads hit the pillow. Just think about it…the shampoo and conditioner we use in the shower, toothpaste we use each morning and night, cleaners we use on our floors and candles or air-fresheners we use in our homes.

Every one of these products potentially has chemicals and toxins that negatively effect our health. And these are just the ones we have control over. I haven’t even mentioned the ones we don’t have control over. Pollutants we breathe in the air, the car exhaust on the freeway, the cigarette smoke by the grocery store entrance, the perfume from the lady sitting next to you at church… We can’t escape all chemicals and pollutants, so the trick is to avoid the ones we can.

Please know, my point is not to discourage you but to make you aware that there are environmental toxins lurking everywhere. So this week we will take action. Just a small step in eliminating excess toxins from our lives.

The assignment is pretty simple, but it will take purpose and intention. Find a pen and a small notebook, something in which you can keep a running list (make sure you have enough space!). As you go about each day this week, write down the products you use. Be specific, write out the brand and even scent of each product. Keep that notebook with you as you go through your day, jot down each product you use from the time you wake up, until the time you go to bed (you might be surprised how the products add up, I certainly was!).

Once you have a good list going, go to EWG.org/skindeep and search three or four of the products on your list. Each day, check three or four more products and jot down their score. Some products will be on a number scale of 1-10 (1-best, 10-avoid), or a graded scale of A-F. 

Once you’ve finished your list and are satisfied that you haven’t forgotten any of your daily or weekly products, go through your cupboards that house the products you only use monthly, or yearly, and jot these down as well. I’m talking furniture polish, stainless steel cleaner, dishwasher and washing machine cleaners, floor polish…these are all emitting fumes with harmful effects as well, even sitting unused in your cupboards!

Have you ever walked down the air-freshener/laundry isle at the grocery store and just about suffocated from all the different scents bombarding you? Did you ever wonder how these scents could be so strong coming from a bunch of sealed packages? Now, albeit on a smaller scale, the products in your home are also leeching chemicals/scents into the air. Chances are you’re just used to them by now.

Alright, you have your lists and you’ve checked their ratings on EWG, now what? Now you keep this list handy, next month we’ll be grabbing these lists and putting them to further use. This was strictly an educational step (and hopefully eye opening) to the toxins/chemicals that surround us.

I will say this, if you happen to run out of one of your products before the next newsletter comes out, try replacing your product with one that scores well on EWG! If you’re unsure of a product, we may be able to help! We have tried many different household products and have listed our favorites on our Products We Love page. See if we’ve reviewed one that might work for you!

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Showing 4 comments
  • Avatar
    Lauren
    Reply

    We have been slowly replacing household products, but something I’m hung up on is TP & paper towels. I just learned about the fact that most are processed with bleach or chlorine and contain BPA. Really?! Why? Any suggestions on brands or knowledge on how much contact we really get from the chemicals in these papers?

    • Kelsey Steffen
      Kelsey Steffen
      Reply

      I know Lauren! The more I research the more I realize how harmful many products can be. It’s sad really…this toilet paper from Azure is recycled and whitened without chlorine or bleach. As far as paper towels, this brand is also made without chlorine or bleach, but they’re a bit pricey. We switched to huck towels a while ago to save money (I used paper towels like crazy before!)…they come in a variety of colors so you can color coordinate which towels are for kitchen use or bathroom use, etc.

  • Avatar
    Tracey
    Reply

    Not sure if I’m doing something wrong but I’m trying to use the EWG website to find the kirkland shampoo,conditioner and lotions products but nothing is coming up. Is there something specific I need to type in the search box?

    • Kelsey Steffen
      Kelsey Steffen
      Reply

      You’re not doing anything wrong. EWG has not reviewed any Kirkland products. But, if you look at your product’s ingredients list you should be able to type in each individual ingredient (obnoxious, I know, but worth it!) and get a rating that way. I ran into that with a few products we had on hand. If you just want to know a good replacement, just type in keywords like “shampoo”, “lotion”, “deodorant”, etc. They always list the best rated first.

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