When we heal the earth, we heal ourselves. ~David Orr
I used to believe that one was “loony” to believe in healing the earth. Environmentalism, I was taught, was just a way to deny the sovereignty of God and the place of mankind on this planet. I have since decided that God is the ultimate environmentalist and the planet would be better off with most of mankind. It’s not that I worship the earth. This is where I live. I’d like to live a long, happy life. Therefore, the condition of this planet matters to me. A lot.
When I first learned about changing the cleaners, hair products and medications that our family uses, I was skeptical. After all, I grew up with Clorox bleach, Suave shampoo and Tylenol and I’m alive. If the goal is just to live, then yes, I’m good. But I WAS NOT thriving. My body was shutting down and letting me know that unless I did something to change it was going to take me out.
So, out went the shampoos, conditioners, toothpaste and deodorants. The toxic cleaners that sat under the sink, gone like the wind. The medications I *THOUGHT* we needed. Recycled. Once I emptied the house of the toxic products, I had to replace them. But with what?
Hair & Body Care. Before I could decide what products to use, I had to find out which products I wanted to avoid. Searching I read this article from Mother Earth Living, Top Ingredients to Avoid in Personal Care Products. After a few months of trial and error, we have our go-to list of brands for our care products.
- Toothpaste: Tom’s of Maine Whole Care Gel Spearmint
- Deodorant: The girls chose Tom’s of Maine. Mine is from Trader Joe’s. The boys – they still refuse to give up their “manly” deodorants.
- Shampoo/Conditioner: I like Avalon Organics.
- Soap: We purchase this natural-based soap from Whole Foods. LOVE it. Just love.
- Facial Care: Andalou Naturals
- Makeup: Still haven’t made the switch. Not sure what route to take yet.
Home Cleaners. This is one area I’ve tried to change in the past. But I always return to the old stand-byes. After all, nothing kills germs like Lysol. Still, I want our house to feel inviting, not smell like a hospital ward.
- Bio-Kleen. We are pretty much using Bio-Kleen products for everything.
- Seventh Generation. I like their dishwasher tabs.
Medications. We have not really needed to use medications much in the last few months. We still have ibuprofen and Tylenol if we need it. We have tried some homeopathic items for colds and allergy season. But honestly, they’re not working. My son’s hay fever is so bad he can barely go more than 3 minutes without sneezing. This is where we are willing to use the traditional medication if needed.
Yard Care. This will be our next project. To eliminate all chemicals from our yard and garden. This means we have to live with weeds and bugs. I’ll let you know how that works for us.
Once we discovered that the alternatives to chemical-based products existed, it was easy to make the switch. What I still am trying to find is a good alternative for bleach/Lysol. If you have any suggestions I’d be glad to hear them!
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This post is part of the 5 Days of Maximized Living Series.
This blog contains a referral link. If you sign-up with Vitacost to receive a $10/$30 coupon, I too will receive the same coupon. My budget would appreciate the gesture!