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Making the Non-Toxic Switch

A few days ago, Meredith came over (like she frequently does) and Raven excitment-peed all over the dining room floor (like she frequently does)(but only when she's super excited to see someone). I have no clue how to break her excitement-pee tendencies. I thought she would have grown out of it by now, but maybe she just needs more time? In any case, I keep lots of cleaning product handy. At one point, I had multiple bottles of enzyme cleaner for the carpeted areas of the apartment.

As Meredith and I were mopping up her "little" puddle, she complimented the smell of the products we were using and asked what kind they were. Cue my moment to share my enlightenment. Why, yes! They do smell great, and they're non-toxic!

I recently watched a documentary on Netflix titled The Human Experiment (briefly mentioned on this Netflix round-up post). Ten minutes into the film I was hooked, which isn't necessarily a huge feat. People sharing their honest and personal stories always, always reels me in. You could be telling me about your ingrown toenail, but if it's compelling and dramatic enough I will surely listen.

But back to the documentary. By the time the credits rolled, I decided I was making the non-toxic switch, and by "I" I mean we, and by we I mean anyone who lives in or visits my home.

Listen, Linda. HONEY*.

I was one of those people who looked at Jessica Alba and her Honest company with a slight side eye. As a woman, I'm glad she's collecting her coins and making big moves, but as a working-class citizen, my bank account does not appreciate an $11 price tag for a 32-pack of dishwasher tabs - not when Target's Up&Up brand offers a similar product for $5. However, after looking at how the autism, cancer, and other illness rates are on a steady incline, I decided it wouldn't hurt to at least look into the hype.

The documentary, in my opinion, was both informative and flawed. It presents some solid, well-formed opinions, but, like most documentaries, it's definitely told from an subjective viewpoint. The filmmakers didn't exactly lay out a clear link between certain chemicals and respective diseases or disorders, and I walked away wondering why I shouldn't use deodorant with aluminum or plastics with BPA, etc. It didn't fall on deaf ears, though. I did have the itch to do my own research.

I've always felt physically invaded whenever I used too much bleach or standard all-purpose cleaner around the house. The smell is so strong and not in a pleasant way. Couple that with the fact that I hardly knew what any of the ingredients were... it was time for me to do better. Knowledge is so easily accessible these days that there's no excuse for me not know what Alkyl Dimethyl Benzyl Ammonium Chloride is (found in most all-purpose cleaners and has a "high acute inhalation toxicity," according to the government-regulated Haz-Map database).

I decided I want to at least be able to pronounce the ingredient list on the back of any given bottle of cleaner. I'd also prefer the chemicals I use be naturally occurring and derived, and it was time to move away from that strong and unpleasant bleach-y smell. Sorry, Scrubbing Bubbles; it's been real, but the ship has sailed.

That being said, switching to less-harsh cleaning products has been a slow process. My favorites include Method's All-Purpose Cleaning Spray, Mrs. Meyers Room Fresheners, Green Works Bathroom Cleaner, and Honest Dish Soap (yep! slightly less side-eye for the Honest products!). They do cost a bit more, but I find I need less to get the job done. I used to spray and spray traditional air fresheners, only to be left with the artificial scent of floral arrangements. Mrs. Meyers Room Sprays use essential oils, and one or two spritzes is all I need to fill the area with naturally fragrant scents.

I still haven't caved and bought those dishwasher packs. Like I said, it's as slow process. There's a separate world out there for DIY options, and I'm nowhere near close to cracking that atmosphere. When our budget is tighter, I'm sure I'll buy whatever is more affordable and readily available, but I plan to do what I can about what I'm inhaling and ingesting. That goes for food, skincare, and makeup as well, but that's a whole 'nother monster post for a whole 'nother day.

Any other chemical-conscious peeps out there? I love how this natural living craze is starting to take over. If we're going to go "crazy" about something, at least it's our health.


* In case you didn't catch that Listen, Linda reference.







Comments

  1. Very interesting and informative post. I'll have to watch that with my boyfriend so that we can talk about bringing non toxic items into our home. I think that's a great sign of getting older or more mature. When I was younger (and broke!) I didn't care what I used really. . .now I'm willing to spend that extra few dollars to get something that helps the environment. I haven't purchased anything from Honest company before (but go Jessica Alba for switching from a lackluster career into a billion dollar business) but I've heard amazing things about their wipes!

    coffeeslag

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    Replies
    1. I completely agree about maturity. That's such a good point! I never would've paid more for quality when I first started living on my own. Funny how priorities change as we get older. Yay for adulting.

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