The sooner we come to terms with the fact that we are living in a toxic environment, the better. Once one becomes conscious of something, then they can make the necessary steps to change it.
Toxins, harmful chemicals, and pollutants are in the air we breathe, the foods we eat, the water we drink and bathe in and mostly all man-made products. So what to do about it?
Well, here are 14 places to start protecting yourself:
Buy local and organic. Conventionally grown food is grown with pesticides and more than likely GMO. These pesticides used in the production of crops can be found in our body, causing some pretty scary health conditions. But there’s hope! In an exciting study at Harvard University and the University of Washington, researchers substituted children’s typical diet for organic food for only five days and they found the metabolites for organophosphate pesticides disappeared from their urine and stayed that way until they started eating their conventional diet again. Buying organic is the only way to go and buying food from local sources is much better for the environment (since it doesn’t have to be transported far away). Support your local organic farmer and catch the wonders of a farmer’s market near you! And if possible, grow your own organic food.
Cultivate a green thumb. Even bringing a few plants into your home can clean the air drastically. Plants filter out pollutants in the air better than air filters and provide us with vital oxygen. There’s one question that I get continually about keeping houseplants – “How do I know when to water it?” The answer is simple – water when the soil feels dry to the touch. If the soil is wet, leave it alone (and check back in a day or two.) English Ivy, Peace Lily, Lady Palm, Boston Fern, Snake Plant and Golden Pothos are a few air-cleaning plants to consider.
Filter the water in your house (showers and all). If you must drink your tap water, try and score a reverse osmosis system or at least the filtering water bottles which won’t break the bank. Check out your water district’s Consumer Confidence Report to view levels of contaminants in your drinking water. If you’re concerned about what you see, there are plenty of filter options that range in efficacy and price. Make sure to research which water filters filter out fluoride (which has been shown to affect the body is some highly undesirable ways).
Go Vegan. That’s right, I said it! Going vegan is not only great for your health, but it also saves the planet. It has been said that the world’s largest driver of global warming is the meat industry. If not for the planet, do it for your own health. Most animals on the meat market are injected with hormones and fed an unnatural diet. If you are a die hard carnivore and must eat meat – opt for organic, cage-free meats and grass-fed beef. Antibiotics (that are injected into most animals we eat) act like hormone-disrupting chemicals in the body.
Use glass, ditch plastic. BPA is a scary, scary chemical found in many plastics and cans. The effects of BPA are just starting to be exposed and what the chemical does in animal testing is horrifying. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found the hormone-disrupting chemicals bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates in both 93 percent and 73 percent, of routine blood and urine tests. Make sure you buy products and containers labeled BPA-free. Also, most canned foods are BPA-infested, so stay clear! Plastics, as we all know, are bad for the eco-system, so why not go glass?
Vacuum often (and change the filter regularly). Ordinary household dust is a major factor in breathing in toxins. Vacuum daily to avoid pollutants in the air you breathe.
Dust with a damp rag (instead of a feather duster). Feather dusters can spread and fan dust around. Instead, opt for a wet rag or a damp sponge to pick up the dust without the possibility of breathing it in or spreading it around unnecessarily.
No chemical candles indoors. Many candles that seem harmless actually contain potentially harmful chemicals. Choose candles made from either soy or even better – beeswax. That heavenly scented candle that you can’t get enough of could actually be doing harm, so if you want the nice fragrance, look for candles scented with essential oils. Anything labeled “fragrance” is more than likely toxic.
Use all-natural cleaning products. There’s really no need to use harsh chemicals like bleach, that are completely toxic to the body, not only when touched, but when inhaled. There are a lot of great companies that make all-natural cleaning products. You can even make your own cleaning products with stuff already in your home like baking soda, lemon juice and essential oils.
Plant a tree (or more!). Plant some trees in your backyard. If you don’t have a backyard, plant in your neighborhood or anywhere else in the world. There are few things more satisfying than seeing something you planted grow to fruition. It’s good for your health to have more trees around you and digging in the soil and it will be a healthy offering for the generations to come.
Himalayan sea salt lamps. These beautiful lamps don’t just serve to spice up your home decor, they emit ions that are good for you! They are also believed to protect from harmful electromagnetic frequencies (EMFs) from computers, TV’s and other electronic devices. Make sure when buying Sea Salt Lamps that you are buying from a company that’s ethical and fair-trade.
A/C off, windows open. No matter how clean you think your home is, it’s just not better than the air you get from the outdoors. Open your windows and let the oxygenated air in from the great outdoors. Moreover, frequent use of an air conditioner is associated with breathing problems, fatigue, dry skin and also the inability to deal with hot weather.
Smudge. The ancient art of energetic “space clearing” helps purify the air of harmful bacteria (shows recent studies). It’s typically done with sage bundles. Burn the end, blow out the fire and let the smoke fill your house. Set the intention of clearing your home of any toxins and ask for the blessings to flow in!
Detox regularly. Juicing, dry skin brushing, fasting and doing other types of physical cleansing can help rid the body of excess waste and toxins. Cleansing is recommended seasonally. However, many people cleanse weekly (as in one day per week) or biweekly with great results.