Welcome to what could easily be called the age of the detox. Whether it be gluten and dairy or that of the social media variety, our awareness of the necessity for purging the negative and upping the beneficial within ourselves has never been higher.
In our quest for optimal health, we can’t neglect the place we spend most of our time: our home. After long winters of tightly closed windows and non-stop humidifiers; spring cleaning frenzies and dusty decluttering; and sticky summers spent outdoors, tracking nature inside on the bottoms of our feet, our homes deserve a much needed cleanse. Taking care to reduce exposure to chemicals, debris and pollutants by detoxing our living space allows our body’s own detoxification system to function more efficiently. This means that when the toxins do come — and they will — we’re ready and healthy enough to fight them off.
A home detox is not nearly as daunting as it may seem, particularly when taken one step at a time. A few small but intentional changes can have a dramatic impact on your home’s health, eliminating existing toxins and preventing new ones from forming and wrecking havoc.
1. Wearing shoes indoors. Most household toxins sneak in via footwear. Go barefoot or wear slippers at home.
2. Plastics. Plastics can contain BPA that eventually leak. Start your war on plastic by banishing the most common culprits first: food containers, plastic wrap and baby bottles.
3. Dust. Dust can mean more toxins. Wipe surfaces frequently, mop floors and vacuum carpeted surfaces weekly.
winter to avoid condensation. Always use fans when cooking or showering and wipe down excess water once done.
2. Dirty air. Keep windows and doors open to allow air to circulate, utilize plants to help you fight the good fight and avoid artificial air fresheners. Instead, we recommend baking soda, fresh flowers, rosemary, sage or lavender. Also clean your air ducts frequently with non-toxic cleaners and consider an air purifier in the bedroom.
3. Dry cleaning. When unavoidable, allow your clothes to air out before bringing them inside or putting them in your closet, and ask your dry cleaner not to wrap your clothes in plastic afterwards, which can seal in the chemicals.
4. Non-stick bakeware. These coatings can often have toxins and leak into your food.
5. Treated fabric and fabric sprays. As tempting as it is to stain guard furniture and shoes or buy wrinkle-free clothing, these coatings are often chock-full of lingering chemicals. Instead, opt for darker colours where possible and choose items that can easily be cleaned.
1. Cleaning products. Thankfully, there are no shortage of natural cleaning options available, often for a similar price point to their toxic counterparts. You may even try making your own using the au naturel trifecta: baking soda, vinegar and vegetable-based soap. For fragrance, use tea tree oil and lemon and always store pre-made concoctions in glass containers.
2. Skin care and toiletries. Deodorant, toothpaste, cosmetics and perfumes are loaded with toxins. It can be a daunting task to consider making a full switch, so start slow with the most important: deodorant, which is absorbed quickly through the skin and used daily.
3. Pesticides and herbicides. Look for natural options that are far less harmful, or try using no pesticides at all in your hobby garden. You may lose some produce to creepy crawlers, but the food you do consume will be chemical free and the spoiled produce makes great fertilizer.
1. A water filter. Unfiltered drinking water can be full of chemicals. Opt for a tap filter which will ensure all water you use, even for washing your hands, is toxin free.
2. A shower filter. Don’t forget about the water in your shower. Many contaminants become gasses during showers that enter the air and spread through your home.
3. Natural fiber carpets. Like wool and cotton, which eliminate the possible toxins in synthetic material, especially since a nice rug or carpet will be in your life for years.
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