All Natural Home: Make Eight Simple Changes for Huge Improvements
Last updated: October 2020
Any changes you make to improve your health can help you in the wellness journey. Creating an all natural home through toxin-free and low-waste swaps can help you improve your ecological wellness, while also improving physical, emotional, and financial wellness too. Here are eight all natural swaps that can make huge improvements in your life.
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The Value of an All Natural Home
Having an all natural home can be a daunting task if you’re used to commercial products and not thinking twice about the products you purchase at your local store. Even if you’ve started your low-waste, non-toxic journey, knowing which things to change first for the greatest impact can be confusing.
However, starting the journey to an all natural home is worth the effort and planning.
Just like the other aspects of your health, your natural home journey is about the progress, not the end product.
There are two main concepts surrounding the natural home journey. These are reducing toxins and making choices that have a low environmental impact.
One of the benefits in making more natural choices in your home is the reduction of toxins. Many of the products sold in supermarkets today include toxins that affect your body in many ways. Some toxins can affect your brain functioning, others affect your hormones.
While there have been scientific studies that have looked at short term affects of these toxins at very high levels, there have not been causal studies considering the long-term effects of low and consistent dosages over a lifetime. We don’t truly know what BPA, or aspartame, or similar chemicals truly do during real life experience.
Another difficulty when purchasing products without considering their materials or ingredients is that when one chemical becomes well known, companies create their own new chemicals that have not been tested and are unknown by many. What this means is even if something says “_____ free”, that doesn’t mean it’s all natural or clean, or healthier for your body.
So basically, knowing that we don’t know anything about what toxins companies are using to create our products should encourage you to look elsewhere for your home product needs.
You have a couple options on this front – looking for companies that maintain similar values as you, or creating your own.
Low-Impact on the Environment
Fortunately, encouraging a toxin-free home also goes hand-in-hand with a low-waste, or more commonly known as zero-waste, environment. When you simplify the ingredients, it also makes sense to simplify everything else.
While I know some people stereotype the low-waste community (the term “freegan vegan” from Parks and Rec comes to mind), I think that it’s important for everyone to assume their personal responsibility to maintaining their own health and the health of their community. This is the basis for ecological wellness.
Essentially, the low-waste mindset aims to lower the amount of waste each person produces by reducing packaging, reusing materials, and buying quality products only when necessary.
Simple Changes for Your All Natural Home
If you’ve been searching for answers on where to start to create a healthier home by using the low waste and toxin free methods, never fear! I’ve compiled ten of the most impactful changes you can make as you begin your healthier home journey. Each of these recommendations I’ve either done myself, or intend to make when I use-up or run out of my current less natural home supplies.
Let’s get started.
All Natural Bathroom Swaps
Shampoo and Conditioner Bars: One of the more common products you use in your bathroom is likely shampoo, conditioner, and soap. An easy swap from plastic bottles and chemical laden body wash is shampoo and conditioner bars, along with bar soap. I currently use soap, shampoo, and conditioner from a local handmade shop. While this is likely the lowest impact swap, J.R. Liggett’s is a really great brand for shampoo bars with simple, natural ingredients, and quality products if you don’t have a local shop near you, or want the products delivered directly to your front door.
Glass Bottles for liquids: For those bath care products that you can’t get in a solid format, I recommend switching to glass bottles. Right now, I make my own facial cleanser using a 3:1 grapeseed oil to castor oil ratio, but you can also use castile soap in a diluted ratio if you don’t want to use the oil cleanse method. All you do, is get a glass pump bottle and create your own by decanting the bulk products into your own bottles. I find that this is the best way to both reduce waste and reduce toxins at the same time for my facial cleanser.
If you have other liquid products in addition to facial cleanser, you can also use this same process. These are the glass pump bottles that I currently use and like.
All Natural Bedroom Swaps
Toxin-Free Mattress: Now I know what you’re thinking. “Caroline, switching my mattress is not a SIMPLE swap”. I would argue that while the toxin free mattress is more of an expensive purchase, it is likely that you are due for a new mattress anyway. In addition to helping your physical health by improving your sleep and potentially your back pain, getting a new mattress – if toxin free – can help your sleep and breathing quality. Here’s a good guide for buying a non-toxic mattress written by Gimme the Good Stuff.
Open Your Windows: One of the easiest things you can do to help improve your impact on the environment and reduce toxins in your home is to open your windows. Whether it’s for a few minutes, or all day, opening your windows can help let clean air into your home. If it’s super cold outside, obviously don’t leave your windows open for hours, but letting some air in for a few minutes will not affect your air conditioning or heating bill. Additionally, opening your windows at opportune times – when the outside temperature is between 60 -70 degrees CAN help save on your energy bill and reduce your impact on your environment.
All Natural Kitchen Swaps
Plant Based Dish Detergent and Soap: One of my favorite swaps that I’ve made since starting my ecological wellness journey to an all natural home is getting natural dish detergents and dish soaps. At first, I attempted to create my own using castile soap. While many bloggers recommended recipes that they liked, I never could get the consistently right. So I follow my earlier tip on liquids and buy in bulk.
I currently am using Puracy dish soap and I have really liked it so far. They use all natural ingredients, and I like that I can buy their product in bulk to reduce plastic waste. Also, I’m using Planet Dishwashing packs. While there is plastic packaging, I haven’t found a good brand without lemon scent (causes spots on my silverware) that uses a compostable container.
Let me know if you have a good dishwashing detergent in a compostable container!
Re-Use Your Glass Bottles and Containers: Something I love to do in my kitchen is re-use my glass bottles and containers. I find that this is a good way to reduce plastic storage usage, and re-use the packaging that I’m already paying for. For example, I purchase kombucha when I go to the store, and I re-use the glass bottles to store small foods like snacks, and as water bottles during the day. Other common foods with glass containers that you’re already paying for are pre=made sauces, olives, pickles, applesauce, and vinegars. USE THOSE. Don’t throw them away when you’re don’t with the original product!
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All Natural Laundry Swaps
Make Your Own Low-Impact Detergent: Here’s a little secret. I made laundry detergent FOUR YEARS ago for $20 dollars when I was in my sophomore year of college from natural and low-toxin products. I am STILL USING the same detergent that I made three years ago because the recipe made so much detergent, and you don’t use as much per load as other powder detergents.
The original laundry detergent recipe comes from Bren Did, and guys, it’s great. It requires bar castile soap, washing soda, baking soda, and baby or free oxy-clean. I’m likely going to have enough to make it through the next three months, but will definitely be making the recipe again.
Use Dryer Balls: Dryer balls reduce drying time, so they reduce your energy consumption. They are also a good swap for dryer sheets which are laden with chemicals. While you can certainly purchase a variety of dryer balls online or in stores, I’ve made my own.
I purchased 100% wool yarn, wrapped the yarn into four different balls about the size of a baseball, then placed them in the leg of panty hose with a knot between each ball. The set went into the dryer until they felted together and were ready to be used. It only cost a few dollars initially, and I’ve been able to reduce drying time of countless loads of laundry. You can also add your own scents to the balls using essential oils before tossing them in the dryer with wet loads. My favorites to use are peppermint oil and lavender oil on my sheets and towels.
Simple yet High Impact Changes
By making any of these eight changes, you can begin to make a high impact on your ecological wellness. As you might have noticed, by making many of these swaps, you will also improve your physical wellness, and emotional wellness. Additionally, many of these swaps are cheaper than pre-made products (Seriously guys you have to check out the laundry detergent!) so you can improve your financial wellness by saving money!
Let me know what swaps you decide to make, and what improvements you’ve noticed as a result of the changes!
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Disclaimer: Although I am a mental health professional, I am not YOUR mental health professional. The information provided on this website is for educational and informational purposes only and using this website does not establish a counselor-client relationship, or constitute provision of mental health services. I am not responsible for any damages resulting from your use of the content on this site, as the information provided does not substitute for collaboration with a health professional. Please consult with your health professional before making changes to your health regimen.