Tips on reducing toxic chemicals in your home

When my son was diagnosed with autism in 2009, I immediately began to clean up everything that went into, onto and around his body. As I began my research, I was amazed at how much toxicity exists in our homes. Now more than ever, I am paying more attention to toxicity issues. Here are some of the changes I made in our home to reduce toxicity levels:

Food: Buy organic foods as much as possible. Some heavily sprayed crops include almonds, rice and coffee. We also avoid genetically modified foods (GMO’s) See a full list at: www.nongmoshoppingguide.com. Water: I filter almost all the water we use or consume. Reverse osmosis is great if you can afford it. If not, filter your water with a water filter pitcher such as Brita, PUR or Shaklee. Since your skin is like a sponge, it’s also important to filter chlorine from your shower and bath water. A shower filter such as Lifekind or Aquasana is a great investment for your health. Kitchen Products: In the kitchen, I switched to phosphate and petroleum free, biodegradable dish liquid and dishwasher detergent. I eliminated dishwasher rinse and replaced it with vinegar. I replaced my all-purpose cleaners, glass cleaner and degreaser with Shaklee’s H2 Organic Super Cleaner. Try BPA free glass containers by Pyrex and Anchor Hocking instead of plastic storage containers. Invest in high quality stainless steel and cast iron cookware (If you do use non-stick, try a high quality sauté pan by All-Clad or Calphalon, which feature the high end non-stick product.)

General Cleaning Products: Distilled white vinegar and baking soda are my mainstays for cleaning (you can buy bulk amounts at Costco). There are also many brands on the market such as Seventh Generation, Biokleen, Bright Green, Method, Ecover, Green Works, Earth Friendly Products and Shaklee. Laundry Products: My favorite “safe” laundry detergent is Shaklee, non-fragrance, but there are many good, biodegradable, non-toxic detergents on the market. Try vinegar for clothes with heavy odor. Shaklee also has a great brightening and stain product called Nature Bright Laundry Booster and Stain Remover. For added fragrance, add essential oil drops (such as lemon or orange) to a wet cloth and drop it in the dryer. Bathroom Cleaners: Try Green Works or Seventh Generation.  I only use non-chlorine bleach when I absolutely have to use bleach.  I properly disposed of our drain cleaner and invested in a drain “snake.” It works fine and ironically we have fewer clogs than before.

By Kim Rice. Kim is a Wellness Coach, gfcfcoaching.com, and mother of three children in Pleasanton writing about topics such as autism, depression, and diet and life transformation. She earned her BA degree in Journalism from the University of Detroit and has over 20 years of corporate writing experience.