7 healthy and non-toxic swaps in your house

You know that fresh laundry smell? That air freshener you are using and your baby wipes? Your toothpaste, nail polish and deodorant? Unless you are already in the clean living loop, my friend your products are almost certainly loaded with a whole bunch of chemicals. Bad chemicals, the ones that have an impact on your health and our environment, our planet Earth. Absolutely yes, that exact Earth you want your kids to be living on happily and healthy!

And you can bet, that the traditional everyday products from your supermarket are a ticking bomb!

But where to start? You know it, you have heard it, chemicals and toxics are everywhere! In fact, it is mission impossible to get rid of all of them, they are even in the construction material of your house, your car, your phone, you get the idea right? But it truly is overwhelming. I get it, it was for me as well.

You have the power!

Not just over yours and your family’s health but as a customer you have the dollar power! Making wise choices will make an impact on your health now but also for the future. Using your dollar power with ethical and safe companies has an impact on our health and environment.

Making conscious choices

You don’t need to know everything about every single ingredient. I can assure you, that you can make good choices without losing hours hunting every ingredient. What you need to do first, with a little of researches is finding brands you trust or a place to shop you trust. Learn about the how and why of this brand will tell you a lot about their integrity and mission.

Avoid contra productive action – The last thing you want to be doing when you are trying to transform your household into a healthy and safe cocoon is to overwhelm yourself. I have been there, I have done it. And I do not recommend it!

Over the years, I have tested so many products, from good to amazing, bad and just not effective at all, or too expensive. I even tried homemade at some stage, let me tell you that this wasn’t leveraging my time at all!

On your mission to create a healthier household, those are the products I would swap first. They are easy swaps and do not require a big investment either. Sit back, buckle up, as we go through those 7 first healthy swaps! At the end of the post, there is a source section where you can find even more info on the topic.

Nat Carrel - The Blog - 7 healthy swaps

1 – Cleaning products

Families unknowingly fill their homes with 10,000 chemicals every day! Isn’t that scary? Watch this to give you an idea, click here

In our quest to track and kill bacterias, we are adding even more nasty chemicals to our homes, every day. We are afraid to get sick from germs, yet we are getting sick from chasing them with chemicals. Ironic right?

Fumes or cleaning products are nasties to avoid. They can really make you sick!

Healthy and non-toxic swap:
My choice here is really simple and very budget friendly as well. My prefered house cleaning combo consists of white vinegar, bicarb soda and essential oils, like tea tree and lemon.

In addition, I also have a bio and greywater approved toilet cleaner. And in order to be fully transparent, yet totally against my principle, but I wanted to get rid of an issue quickly, I have also used 2x a horrible and very nasty mould killing product. The reason was we had an extremely humid season (totally tropical leaving newbie I was!) and we got a mould invasion. Since then, I have learned and a simple habit like regularly spraying a bit of vinegar on my shower walls after showering helps prevent it.

2 – Deodorant

Thank goodness for deodorant, I think we can all agree!

However, applying a chemical loaded mixture under your armpits, day in day out can have disastrous repercussions on your health. I remember you that you are applying your deodorant directly onto your lymph nodes. Your lymph nodes are actually playing a very important role in the functions of your immune system. Poisoning them with chemicals doesn’t seem appealing to me.

In regards to deodorant, I have tested several from totally natural to a healthier version and homemade. All with varying levels of goodness and mediocrity! I believe deodorant is a very personal choice as we are all different.

However, ingredients you definitely want to avoid in your deodorant are the following: Aluminum compounds, Parabens, Triclosan, Silica, TEA and DEA (triethanolamine and diethanolamine), Talc, Propylene glycol and Steareth.

Healthy and non-toxic swap:
At the moment my heart is fluctuating between those 2 choices.
I can source this one locally. But I must admit it is rather on the top range of what I would spend on deodorant, click here
Online sourced and by far more affordable is this one, click here

Nat Carrel - The Blog - 7 healthy swaps3 – Water bottle

Plastic bottles are a nightmare to our environment, we all know that unless we’d be living under a rock.

Some are happy to just ignore it and that is their choice I am not going to judge.

However, there is more to it. Are you still going to avoid the nasty reality of using plastic bottle once you know that chemicals found in the bottles and in plastic food containers and packaging can leach out into the contents? Sounding a lot less appealing right!


Healthy and non-toxic swap:

We love to use beeswax wraps for our food instead of plastic or aluminium foil. For our lunches, if possible we use stainless steel recipients. Our family favourite refillable stainless steel bottles are those, click here
I especially love the fact that they keep our drink cold or warm depending on our needs.
But honestly, most stainless steel bottles are great.
For our everyday home usage, we have 4x 1lt glass bottles from Ikea in the fridge that we fill up with our filtered tap water from rainwater source.

4 – Cookware

Investing money in buying nutritious and if possible organic food is great. Yet killing it in an unsafe pan, I am asking you, “What’s the point?”

Yep, non-stick cookware is dangerous. I am quoting Dr Mercola here (read the source section for his detailed recommendations): Non-stick cookware is made using a carcinogenic chemical called perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), which starts emitting toxic fumes that you inhale every time you cook with a non-stick pot or pan! At high temperatures, the coating of non-stick cookware will also break down into a chemical warfare agent known as PFIB, and a chemical analog of the WWII nerve gas phosgene, see source listed below.

A definite No for me!

Healthy and non-toxic swap:
I have tried many different options again over the years. 
This is by far my favourite choice of safe cookware. Especially great in this size for a large family and it is very long lasting as well, click here

Nat Carrel - The Blog - 7 healthy swaps5 – Toothpaste

In my childhood I was a good girl, brushing my teeth 3x a day as you learn in Switzerland. My parents didn’t know back then about toxic toothpaste. I really can’t blame them. At school, I would even get an extra dose of Fluoride 2x a year thanks to the nice lady who came along to teach us how to properly brush our teeth.

During my childhood and young adult years, my teeth weren’t bad, yet I had cavities on several occasions as well as a dead baby tooth and a lot of issues with my wisdom teeth.

Once I became more aware of the presence of chemicals all around us and I changed my lifestyle to a healthier one (read to know why we got medically challenged click here), I also swapped for a chemical free toothpaste. To my amazement, I haven’t had a cavity ever since. The only dental issues I have had since then are related to my old fillings in need of some maintenance. I strongly believe is all thanks to a healthier diet and smarter health choices.

Well, the proof is in the pudding as they say. ZERO, we’ve had zero cavity yet for all our children (and I strongly intend to keep it this way!). They are not toddlers anymore, but almost 16, 14 and 9. And in all honesty, my kids are only brushing their teeth 1-2x a day. It is due to the fact that my boys are swimming squad in the morning, eat at the pool and go to school from there. Although we provided them with the teeth cleaning equipment, they are just not doing it. Go figure…

Chemicals to avoid in toothpaste: Sodium Fluoride, Triclosan, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Propylene Glycol, diethanolamine, or DE, see source below as to why

Healthy and non-toxic swap:
I have tried many, those are my 2 favourites:
Cheaper and widely available even in supermarkets, yet the kids make a real mess with the tube, click here
A little more expensive but zero mess and spillage and lasts for ages! click here

6 – Sunscreen

Yes, being SunSmart is paramount nowadays. However, I am not the kinda girl who cannot step out of the house without sunscreen, even living in Australia. I believe in wearing a hat and sun protective clothing and safely getting my daily dose of vitamin D so important to my health.

Unless I am swimming, you will very rarely see me on the beach without my cotton or linen shirt. I like to protect my skin with adequate clothing. Also, I believe it helps me regulate my body temperature and it does, as a consequence also mean that I am using less sunscreen. As even if my product choices are healthier, I am not super keen on constantly applying something that still is a highly processed mixture.

But of course, sunscreen is important! By all means, use it but smartly! Unfortunately, most of them are protecting from getting sunburned but are also the source of a lot of other troubles. Read below in the source section if you want to know more on that specific topic.

Carcinogenic sunscreen, I say NO! I mean what’s the point, avoiding skin cancer from the sun to get another form of cancer from the sunscreen?

Healthy and non-toxic swap:
The healthiest choice you can make here is to be SunSmart and protect your skin with adequate clothing, a hat and sunnies as well as to know when to remain in the shade!
For a day at the beach (surf lifesaving competition, surfing, leisure,…), my choice is this brand, a better health choice that does actually protect our skin effectively, even in the water, click here
For everyday use, where we are less exposed, this is my healthy choice, click here

7- Air freshener

Think about what an air freshener actually is and what you do with it.

It’s a mixture of chemicals and artificial scents blend together that you then spray in the air and inhale! Inhale inside of your body of course. Does it make sense?

Not for me. My family’s health is worth more than the smell of my house.

Healthy and non-toxic swap:
Here again, I go for simple and natural. Personally, I love my diffuser with a few drops of essential oils. I also have a spray bottle filled up with half water, half white vinegar and a few drops of essential oils. It is super versatile, just like a commercial air freshener, as I can spray this in any room or on furniture, in the car or wherever it is required and it really does the trick. The reason I am adding vinegar to it, is to avoid mould creation.

And what now? Go ahead and start implementing, one by one!
Let me know in the comment box below, which one are you going to implement first?
All those healthy swaps are relatively simple to incorporate into your lifestyle and I hope you’ll find them useful. (Also, this post contains some affiliate links to products. I may receive a commission for purchases made through these links – I only recommend products I am using myself.)

Sources:

https://davidsuzuki.org/queen-of-green/dirty-dozen-cosmetic-chemicals-avoid/
https://www.azocleantech.com/article.aspx?ArticleID=790
https://www.mercola.com/Downloads/bonus/dangers-of-nonstick-cookware/report.htm
https://www.livestrong.com/article/167101-what-are-the-harmful-ingredients-in-toothpaste/
https://www.ewg.org/sunscreen/report/the-trouble-with-sunscreen-chemicals/
https://www.lung.org/our-initiatives/healthy-air/indoor/indoor-air-pollutants/cleaning-supplies-household-chem.html
https://considerable.com/are-air-fresheners-bad-for-you/

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About the Author:
Natascha is firstly a wife and mum of 3, originally Swiss and a French native speaker, she lives in Queensland Australia. She also is a passionate online entrepreneur and author.
Natascha’s passion is to share the message of Living a Life of Purpose.
Her mission is to help other mums create more freedom to live their dream life while becoming healthier and happier!

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9 replies
    • Yan and Nat Carrel
      Yan and Nat Carrel says:

      Thank you Ella, much appreciated!
      Those are all great ways to start a journey with fewer chemicals. So important for us but even more for our little ones right!

      Reply
  1. Kevin Akidi
    Kevin Akidi says:

    Wow. Thanks, definitely trying out some of these tips. There are so many toxic things we use everyday and don’t even realise that they are bad for our health.

    Reply
    • Yan and Nat Carrel
      Yan and Nat Carrel says:

      Absolutely! Everywhere. We have to make smarter choices, we can’t just ignore it and hope for the best.
      Did you know that women are exposed to over 200 chemicals before even leaving home, scary right!
      Thanks for your support Kevin!

      Reply
  2. Loren
    Loren says:

    Great tips. Thanks so much for sharing them. I work with people with hormonal imbalances and all of those products contribute to hormonal imbalance, it is very important o reduce or eliminate them.

    Reply
    • Yan and Nat Carrel
      Yan and Nat Carrel says:

      Yes totally! hormonal imbalance can be a real issue and most people don’t understand how it happens, everyday products use are a real trigger.
      Thank you Loren!

      Reply

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  1. […] Also, on a similar topic, you can get inspiration for healthy swaps in this previous post: 7 healthy and non-toxic swaps in your house […]

  2. […] 7 healthy and non-toxic swaps in your house […]

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