Tuesday, January 1, 2019

19 Non-Toxic Living Tips for 2019

Want to live a healthier less toxic life, but don't know where to start? Here at Non-Toxic Munchkin my philosophy is simple:  small changes = big impact. 

 Any change you can make at home to decrease your exposure to any one chemical will have a big impact on you and your family's health.  With that in mind, here are 19 easy changes to make in 2019. 

 So, go ahead, print them out, place them on your fridge and start incorporating them into your daily routine! 

1. Take your shoes off. Your shoes bring in petroleum byproducts, pesticides, heavy metals and fecal matter etc. Start the habit of leaving them by the front door.

2. Open your windows, year round if possible. The air inside out homes is more polluted than the air outside.  Opening the windows, even for a couple of minutes, allows fresh air to circulate and nasty chemicals to leave your home

3. Stop using toxic store bought conventional cleaning products and instead
make your own. Conventional cleaners are filled with really bad chemicals- linked to everything from asthma to diabetes, 
reproductive disorders, hormone disruption, neurotoxicity and cancer.  Making your own safe cleaners is as easy as mixing vinegar with water. Read our post 


4. Switch out your family body wash/soap and try Castille Soap or natural fragrance free options instead. (We love Dr Bronners and Baeo Baby but our Shop has plenty of options for adults and for kids that are safe too!)

5. Buy 1 non-toxic lipstick or gloss to use daily. Save your favorite ones that are not non-toxic for special occasions. I like: Beautycounter (I especially like their glosses and lipsheers) RMS Beauty and Kosas

6. Stop using plastic to store food in the kitchen. Even BPA free plastic usually contains replacement chemicals that are very similar to BPA and are equally harmful.  Above all, do not heat plastics. Instead of reheating plastic 
in the microwave, reheat food in glass containers or better yet on the stovetop. Stop placing plastics in the dishwasher machine; if you must use plastic then hand wash. In a nutshell, when plastic is exposed to heat it can leech bad chemicals into your food.  Switch to safer materials like glass

Similarly, stop using plastic lunch containers for your children's (and your) school lunches/snacks on the go. Buy some stainless steel, silicon, textile and even glass containers instead. If you are looking for ideas of which are safe to buy take a look at our Amazon Shop .

8. Stop using Teflon or old non-stick pans for everyday cooking (especially if you are cooking food for young children!) Place them in the very back of your cabinets or somewhere where it is hard to get to.  The fluorinated chemicals used in traditional nonstick technology, like Teflon,  are linked to kidney and testicular cancer, immune system dysfunction, developmental and reproductive harm, thyroid disease, high cholesterol, and liver damage.

PFOA and PFOS have been taken out of the market for the most part but the industry has replaced them with related PFAS chemicals that are now being found to pose similar risks.  Instead start using stainless steal or cast iron. Shop our favorites

9. Save the Environmental Working Group's Dirty Dozen list of fruit and produce with the highest pesticide levels on your smartphone or print it and have it handy in your wallet when shopping, and refer to it when deciding what fruits and veggies you should buy organic and which you can opt out of. 

Continual exposure to pesticides in food has been linked to chronic, lower dose exposure is associated with respiratory problems, memory disorders, skin conditions, depression, miscarriage, birth defects, cancer and neurological conditions such as Parkinson's disease and ADHD.

10. Donate or throw out children's loose fitting flannel pajamas and start using tight fitting pajamas which do not contain flame retardants (these will always have a yellow tag that specifies the item does NOT have flame retardants on them, and thus should fit snuggly). For more information you can read our post Ho Ho No! How to Stay Away from Toxic PJs

11. Take a look at your children's toys.   From this year own choose, when possible with care.  Choose toys made from well known and reputable manufacturers, choose toys made of natural materials like FSC certified solid wood, organic textiles, natural rubber, silicone and bamboo, throw out vinyl/soft plastic toys and avoid cheap Dollar Store like toys. By following these recommendations you will most certainly avoid harmful chemicals including: heavy metals wich are neurotoxins, and hormone disrupting chemicals, like phthlates which are commonly found in cheap, plastic toys.   (yes, our favorites are in our Amazon Shop)

12. If you are still using plastic baby bottles or sippy cups, make the switch to stainless steal or glass (with silicon covers) for daily use.  Remember, e
ven BPA free plastic usually contains replacement chemicals that are very similar to BPA and are equally harmful linked to infertility, diabetes, male impotence, heart disease, obesity.

13. Stop using toothpaste with fluoride for young children and yourself (fluoride as it is used today is a neurotoxin. Children are already getting their fair share of it in the drinking water, no need to expose them to more on a daily basis in their toothpaste.)  The toothpastes I like most are in my  Shop

14. Make sure mattress protectors in young children's beds and cribs are not vinyl. Opt for safer plastics or wool. I like Naturepedic's wool protectors these.

15. Discontinue using artificial air fresheners, plug ins or sprays around the house. These are exposing your family to horrible endocrine (hormone) disrupting chemicals. Instead, open windows to let fresh air in and opt for natural beesewax candles.

16. Stop using fabric softener and/or drying sheets. These are, seriously, some of the most chemically loaded items in a household since they coat our clothes with a subtle layer of slimy chemicals, called quats, known to cause asthma to develop in otherwise healthy people as well as fragrance chemicals that are endocrine disruptors.

Alternatives? 1/2 cup of white vinegar per load during the rinse cycle is said to help. I use rubber balls that are sold in some stores to help alleviate static in the laundry or Molly suds wool dryer balls (available here )

17. If you do not already have a water filtration system, and live in an older home (pre 1978) then consider purchasing a basic NSF 53 Certified lead filter from your local hardware store. If you want more filtering (which I do recommend) look for a solid carbon block filter certified to NSF/ANSI 42, 53 and 401(and 58, if you would like to add reverse osmosis)
If you rent, a good thorough option is:
Travel Berkey Water Filter with 2 Black Berkey Filters and 2 PF2 Fluoride Filters
You can read a more detailed guide on buying water filters here.

18. Use your cel phones sleeping mode- not just at night.  Do you carry around your cel phone a lot?  Do you place it in a pocket, on your body?  Do your kids play on your phone?
 So you sleep with your cel phone near your bed?I actually do carry my phone around my arm when I am hiking or running and in my back pocket when I am walking to pick up my kids from school and dont have my purse, BUT I always place it in on sleep mode.  Why? The reason is that cel phones do emit harmful man made radiation and should never be placed on your body or close to it.  In fact, the The FCC's Office of Engineering & Technology, OET Bulletin 65, states that computer laptop type devices need to be placed at least 20 cm (approximately 8 inches) from the body.Yes, it is very low levels of radiation but no one really knowns the long term effect of constant EMF on humans, especially children.  Our children are born with cel phones nearby constantly and will be exposed to low levels and multi sources of EMF on many different frequencies. Magnetic and electric fields are always present every single day for their entire life (there are other sources of electromagnetic radiation like internet routers, wifi, laptops, some baby monitors, smart meters etc This is also why I don’t let me children use my phone unless its on speaker mode and why, at night, the phone is always placed on airplane mode if I leave it charging near my bed.

19. Finally follow us on Instagram ( @nontoxicmunchkin ) and Facebook so that you can read all of our tips and blog posts in the new year!!

Remember; the key to successfully raising a non-toxic munchkin in a non-toxic house?   It can't be overwhelming and it must be EASY and  FAST.  Take your time, don't get overwhelmed and in no time these new habits will become second natured and part of your daily routine!
Happy New Year!