But everything will kill you eventually anyway Amy, so why does it matter?
This is the biggest argument I hear when it comes to the “non-toxic” or “limit environmental toxins” conversation.
Yes it’s true. There is a lot of RISK in this life, a lot of unknowns, and even though we may try our darndest, bad things can happen.
But why not try to make better choices? Why not take some personal responsibility when it comes to our health? Why not try to swap out things here and there that could have a drastic impact on your health in the long run?
My why when it comes to health and wellness is to live a long, healthy life with the people I love free from disease. Sure, there are a lot of things I can’t control and there are no guarantees. But I want to know at the end of the day I did my best to take care of my body and my health.
Limiting the toxins you come into contact with on a day to day basis doesn’t have to be scary, accompanied with guilt, or take all your money.
Just do what you can. Go at your own pace. Do what makes sense for you and your family and don’t feel guilty for not doing it all “perfectly”. Heaven knows I’m still learning and taking things one step, one swap at a time.
Here are 7 simple things you can do (pretty much today) to limit environmental toxins in your life!
*This post contains affiliate links. You can read my full affiliate disclosure here.
7 Swaps to Limit Environmental Toxins
1. Swap out your beauty products.
This was the first thing I did a couple years ago to limit environmental toxins was swap out my most used beauty products like makeup, deodorant, and other skincare items.
You don’t have to throw everything out at once, but take a look at the products you use the most often. Maybe you swap out your deodorant, lotion, and foundation with a safer option. Consider taking a look at products that are running out and you need to replace anyway and find a safer option to replace them with going forward.
Since I have a hard time remembering all the big names and ingredients to avoid, I like to use Skin Carisma’s cosmetic analyzer tool to help me know how “clean” a product is. Simply copy and paste the product ingredients into their analyzer.
- Cleaner makeup brands I like: Thrive Causemetics, Well People, Han Cosmetics.
- Cleaner deodorant: Native, Just Ingredients
- Cleaner beauty products (self-tanner, soap, skincare, shampoo, conditioner): Beauty by Earth, Fre Skincare (use code FITAMY to save).
2. Swap out your cleaning and laundry products.
This was the second thing I did to limit toxins in my home because, well, cleaning and laundry are things I do each and every week.
Again, don’t feel like you need to trash everything under your sink or in your laundry room right away! Do some research on what products are definitely best to stop using right away (for me it was harsh cleaners and dryer sheets) and make the swap!
If you don’t feel comfortable tossing new or unopened cleaning products but you have lots stocked up, consider moving them to your “emergency storage” or even seeing if you can donate them or sell them.
3. Swap out your feminine products.
It’s shocking what they allow in menstrual products like tampons and pads, so this was another area I felt I could make some simple swaps.
If you prefer tampons and pads over menstrual cups (for some reason those freak me out lol) look for organic cotton with no dyes or added fragrance. You can also try period underwear to use less tampons or pads in general. (I’ve tried these from Amazon and they work surprisingly well for light days or when i just want extra leak protection.)
4. Swap out your cookware.
I cook almost every night and never thought twice about what was in my cookware to make it “non-stick”.
I made the change to use primarily cast iron and stainless steel when I cook. I’ve also tried to primarily use only organic bamboo spatulas and spoons and less plastic when I cook. There are still some swaps I could make, but getting non-toxic cookware is a bit more expensive so i’m taking this one in strides.
Instead of storing all your food in plastic containers, make the swap to glass! Plastic can leach into food and holds onto smells and stains. Glass storage containers are SO much easier to clean, I feel much more comfortable popping them in the microwave, and won’t leach plastic or other chemicals into your leftovers.
Tip: make sure you get quality stainless steel if you want it to last. Cheaper options often have toxic non-stick coating or will get damaged easily.
- Cast iron pans: Lodge (If you have concerns of getting too much Iron, don’t use cast iron)
- Glass food storage containers: Utopia on Amazon
5. Improve your water.
City tap water is GROSS. Seriously. It doesn’t taste good and there’s a reason. This is another fairly simple swap pretty much anyone can make and if you’re a heavy water drinker like me, it just makes sense to prioritize better water.
I wrote a lengthy post all about how sketchy city tap water can be and how much we love our Berkey Water Filter. You can read that here.
Berkey is my go-to water filter, but I’ve heard great things about Aqua Tru as well! I don’t buy plastic bottled water for several reasons. I don’t want plastic leaching into my water, it’s expensive, and all that single-use plastic isn’t great for the environment.
6. Stop using candles, air fresheners, and perfume.
Most candles and air fresheners aren’t doing your health any favors. I stopped using candles a couple years ago (although there are some safer options out there) and primary diffuse essential oils if I want my house to smell festive. You can also make your own perfume using essential oils.
I thought it was going to kill me to stop using candles and air fresheners, especially around the holidays. But good news it didn’t! It’s actually a relief to not spend a ton of money on candles, perfume, or other things I really don’t need.
7. Buy organic when possible & when it makes sense.
LISTEN. Listen. I want you to know that if you can’t buy organic all the time or ever, it’s okay. Eating non-organic veggies is still better than not eating any veggies at all. Don’t stress about this one, but if it works for you and your budget I think it’s worth choosing organic options when possible.
You don’t have to buy 100% organic. Start with what’s currently on the dirty dozen list. This list contains the top fruits and veggies that are sprayed the most with harmful pesticides.
For example, I eat spinach every day. It’s on the dirty dozen list. I aim to get organic spinach whenever possible but don’t stress when I can’t. Eating non-organic spinach is still better than never eating it.
Take a look at the dirty dozen list and see if there are any foods you like to consume daily on that list. Try to find it organic if you can.
Other products I like to buy organic (or non-GMO) are wheat and oats because conventional wheat and oats are usually sprayed with glyphosate. I also try to buy organic red meat and dairy because that usually means those cows were grass-fed and contain beneficial fats and other nutrients.
Wrapping it up
I totally get that eating organic ALL the time and only using non-toxic products ALL the time isn’t realistic for everyone. I hope we’ll live in a world one day where real, whole quality food and safer ingredients are prioritized over fake food and money, but that’s not the reality.
Just do your best and remember, YOU VOTE WITH YOUR MONEY.
It’s actually pretty awesome how many companies are out there trying to create safer and healthier choices. It’s also encouraging to see safer and healthier options at big stores like WalMart and Target.
Do your best to limit environmental toxins, stay mindful of what you use, and don’t let it stress you out! For me, it’s all about priorities. I make room in our budget for organic foods and safer products. If that doesn’t resonate with you, don’t feel bad about it!
If you have any questions post them in the comments or reach out on Instagram!