Reducing toxins | Conscious Living blog

Tess Watson shares her fourth Conscious Living guest blog, for a more holistic approach to everyday tasks in order to lead a more conscious and sustainable lifestyle.

In a matter of days my son will be turning one, which will also mean it has been about the same time since my mindset of living consciously changed.

A year or so of becoming aware of the foods I eat, where it comes from and how it is packaged.

Thinking about my actions and how they impact our planet.

Taking steps to ensure I am living a life that will reduce my carbon footprint, leading by example in the hope of providing a positive influence on our community, all in the name our children’s future.

I hope you have been questioning your way of living and altered your choices accordingly.

This lifestyle is about keeping it simple.

The following tips are easy hacks to reducing toxins.

Some toxins may seem inevitable but others are simply unnecessary.

Toxins have the potential to be extremely harmful to not only our natural resources, but can also be detrimental to our health.

Exposure to chemicals may cause hormone imbalances, disease and illness as well as altering children’s development and behaviour.

I don’t want to use any scare tactics or bombard you with the research but the truth is we all need to take a serious look at the toxins we are freely welcoming into our lives.

Industrial toxins caused by radiation, solvents, exhaust fumes, pesticides, herbicides and other strong chemicals threaten our atmosphere.

As well as exposure to environmental toxins, you may be unknowingly allowing other toxins into your system through cleaning and personal products, foods, food storage and medication.

To help with any toxins in your home’s atmosphere ensure

  • Your vacuum cleaner has a HEPA filter to enclose any small particles
  • Use a microfiber or damp cloth to dust for the same reason
  • Place doormats at all entrances to prevent the infestation of
  • environmental toxins coming inside
  • Do NOT use air fresheners

I see the easiest toxins to eliminate are those that are found within cleaning products, with choosing sustainable chemical free food a close second.

Recently, I heard someone say ‘write about what you know.’

Well, I know that vinegar, bicarb soda, lemon and some elbow grease could clean just about anything.

You do not need copious amounts of varied cleaning products cluttering under you sink.

Here’s how you can use lemon, bicarb soda and vinegar to clean just about anything.

Avoid all cleaning products and hand washes that are ‘disinfectants’ (unless you’re in high risk areas such as hospitals).

Disinfectants in household cleaning products can actually cause bad bacteria to grow which leads to creating superbugs.

Having a home that is too sterile can be detrimental to building up adequate bug fighting bacteria.

Also avoid anything with –

  • Formaldehyde (spray and wick deodorizers) – suspected carcinogen
  • Petroleum solvents (floor cleaners) - may damages mucous membranes
  • Butyl cellosolve (all-purpose and window cleaners) –  may damage your kidneys, bone marrow, liver and nervous system
  • Triclosan (antibacterial products) - may kill human cells

Okay I lied, I’ve used some scare tactics to hopefully get you thinking about what is in your products.

Now that you’re thinking about toxins in your atmosphere, think about how else these toxins can seep into your system.

Through laundry, beauty and personal products.

Remember your skin is your largest organ so if you are washing your clothes, that you wear all day, in detergents that contain surfactants, bleaches, synthetic fragrances, bleaches and dyes you’re allowing these chemicals to penetrate into your system.

The same goes for personal and beauty products.

Many contain ingredients that can be extremely harmful; some are even linked to being cancer causing as well as problematic to reproductive systems.

Click here to see a list of hazardous ingredients you should be avoiding – http://www.safecosmetics.org/get-the-facts/chem-of-concern/

If you have already been making the effort to minimise your plastic use, perhaps you’ve already unconsciously lessened the toxins you may be consuming.

Try to avoid food packaged in plastic and use high-grade silicon or glass to store your food.

By all means do not freeze or heat food in plastic.

It’s fairly well known to avoid plastic containers or water bottles containing BPA (industrial chemical) but naively, I wasn’t educated that this toxin is also found in canned goods.

Here I thought I was doing the right thing by buying organic.

Non-stick cookware isn’t an ideal option as it can leech straight you’re your food overtime.

Buying organic whole foods over foods containing preservatives and additives is an obviously smarter choice.

However, I do understand people choose particular foods due to convenience or cost.

You can get an app on your phone called E Numbers that can help you identity exactly these preservatives and additives are and what sorts of disease and illness they may cause.

If you are buying supermarket fruit and vegetables use either of these option to rid them of any chemical sprays.

Once again, I could delve deeper and dissect these topics further but please educate yourself, read the labels, choose organic and look up more easy alternatives to help you reduce toxins.