21 Safer Swaps in 2021

It's a New Year and while all new years arrive with a certain spark of hope for changes and better habits, this one feels even bigger. Even more need for change and improvements, maybe because we were all so stuck (at home) in 2020. Maybe because everything over the last few months has felt heavy and like a burden, now we are all ready to feel a little lighter, a little happier and healthier, a little bit less stuck. This list is exhausting, it's just an overview of some easy (and mostly inexpensive) changes that you can introduce as you run out of a product at home. I'm not suggesting you chuck it all in the trash tomorrow (also, recycle, please, where you can) but rather give you some resources you can refer to as you go through these consumables so you can change them out as it's convenient for you

Here's to a 2021 that has more hope and fewer toxins, friends.

 

1. Dryer Sheets

I know you don't want to. You love the smell, but, they are one of the MOST TOXIC items in your home. Filled with ..... these can be allergens, disrupters, etc. Switching to Dryer Balls eliminates all of these nasty toxins in your home and saves energy when drying. You can find some great ones for about $10 here.

2. Petroleum Lip Balm

Do you know if your lip balm has petroleum in it? My hubby handed me his to use the other night and told me it was "natural". I used it THEN read the label (which did, in fact, say natural ingredients. But, there is was - Petrolatum. This is gasoline, friends. You don't want it on your body and especially not on your lips, cause you lick those. The range of issues is big and can be found here if you want to learn more. Want to try cleaner lip balm? Here's some of our favorites.

3. Toothpaste with Flouride

This can be a controversial one (who knew toothpaste could be controversial, right?). Ditching fluoride, sulfates and artificial flavors, colors or preservatives was our motivation in making this switch. Conventional toothpaste is required to have a warning label on it about over consumption, weird for something GOING INTO YOUR MOUTH, right? Bonus that our favorite come in a recyclable metal tube and is Leaping Bunny Certified (like us!). You can find our favorite here.

4. Sponges

One of the germiest things in your home AND one of the easiest swaps to make. Typical kitchen sponges hold more germs that your toilet and never decompose in landfills when you throw them out. Making the switch to our favorite SKOY will give you the same scrubbing power, but it can be washed in your dishwasher to sanitize, reused for months and will decompose when you do finally need to throw it out. You can find it here for less than $3 each (and they last a LOOOOOOONG time.) You can find them here.

5. Single-Use Hand Soap

You're likely spending anywhere from $3 - $8 on these around your home and when they are empty you toss the plastic and it heads to the landfill for the next 1,000 years. Switching to a toxin-free concentrate means less toxins for your family and less plastic taking up space on the planet. Try our FOAMING SOAP CONCENTRATE to save money, space AND plastic.

6. Candles

Two things to look at on these. First is wax. If the candle is burning black inside the glass when you burn it, then that's also what it's doing to your lungs (and the lungs of your family). Stick to soy wax or beeswax for the cleanest burning candles. Second is fragrance. Synthetic fragrances can cause a host of issues you can read about here. So, sticking with essential oils as the scent element is going to be the safest bet.

7. Bug Spray

DEET. It's a super controversial ingredient and so easily replaced. In fact, our favorite bug spray works better AND has safer ingredients. If you're into the science and want to dig in more on DEET you can find our BLOG POST here. If you want to try our favorite Safe Bug Spray you can check Rocky Mountain Oils here.

8. Bleach

This has probably been a household staple for you since you were a kid. Bleach was made popular in the 1980's for cleaning bathrooms and clothes. Unfortunately, it has some nasty side effects and a long history of damage to lungs, eyes and skin. That "burning sensation" when you breathe it is isn't dong your lungs any favors. Swap it our for vinegar and soap for a safer, greener and effective clean.

9. Fabric Softener

These are actually bad for your clothes, you and the environment. Fabric Softeners contain toxic ingredients that can be harmful to everything from your skin to aquatic life. They also damage clothes (especially athletic wear) and just aren't necessary any longer. Most people still love them for the scent they add to laundry, but, sadly that scent that sticks around is the potentially-toxic fragrance. It was also trigger allergies and asthma in those that are sensitive to it. Just skip it and use Dryer Balls instead. Still getting static? Add a safety pin to one of your dryer balls and it'll go away.

10. Fragrance Plug-Ins

We know, we love a good smelling home, too. But. these little plug-ins pump an ongoing array of synthetic fragrance and other toxins into the air all day. That can cause migraines, allergies and has even been linked to potential carginagens. Instead, we opt for a diffuser and essential oils. It's easier to change the scent daily and some can even have health benefits. You can find our favorites here.

11. Toilet Cleaner

Most toilet bowl cleaners contain 2 nasty ingredients: Chlorine Bleach and Hydrochloric Acid. But, the best news is that you really don't need a special cleaner for the toilet. Our All-Purpose Spray will do the trick and save you space and money AND is environmentally friendly.

12. Shopping Bags

Those pesky plastic bags from the grocery store are a strain on the environment in several ways. The obvious plastic contribution (which we already know takes way too long to decompose) but it can hurt the animal and aquatic populations as well. Next time you grocery shop, grab the reusable ones from your favorite store. They are likely around $1 and will be used over and over again!

13. Paper Towels

This one really throws some people off, but I haven't used paper towels regularly since around 2010. (Now, I do still keep a roll around because I have pets and kids and sometimes that is just messy that you don't want to wash.) Instead, I have cleaning cloths that get washed and linens for napkins that get washed. Each has it's own space when clean, a drawer in the kitchen for napkins and a space in the laundry for cleaning cloths. They get thrown in the laundry and washed with towels. Want to try making a switch? Try our Microfiber Cleaning Cloths here.

14. Reusable Cotton Rounds

If you are using disposable cotton rounds there are some scary statistics around them. The pesticides used on the cotton, the manufacturing process and the environmental load for tossing them daily adds up. These Reusable Cotton Rounds form Amazon are a great, inexpensive alternative and can be used hundreds of times - just toss in the wash with towels.

15. Toxin-Free Cookware

You've probably seen the statistics around non-stick cookware (yikes) but maybe you just didn't know what to use instead? Green Pan is available at Target now, yay! It's been my favorite switch to an inexpensive option for non-stick without the PFAS.  

16. Shampoo Bars

I made the switch about 2 years ago to shampoo bars to save on some plastic in the house and have never looked back. I found one tha

17. Glass Tupperware

This is such an easy switch. No plastic leaching dangerous contaminants into our food and it's easy to keep them stored away and stacked nicely (so much easier than plastic). Here's my favorites on Amazon here.

18. Single-Use Plastic Cleaning Products

Using concentrates is a simple task and frees up space in your cabinets. It also saves around 92% of your plastic cleaning waste, which is huge for the environment. Still not sold? See here how easy it is to fill concentrates and check out our All-Purpose Concentrate scents for a clean home.

19. Reusable Face Masks

It looks like face masks aren't going anywhere just yet. But, disposable face masks are causing a huge environmental burden right now. In fact, it's estimated that 1.5 billion face masks will pollute oceans this year. Scary! Making the switch to reusable masks saves money and the planet. Luckily, you can grab them just about everywhere right now. Give them a wash with our Everything Foaming Soap and hang to dry to keep them clean and ready for wear.

20. Aluminum in Deodorant

The nasty ingredients that can be in deodorant and anti-perspirant are still getting a bad rap, including links to increased breast cancer rates among women. Look for deodorant only (no anti-perspirant) that's aluminum free. Still feel like you're stinky? You might need an underarm detox. Try a charcoal soap daily and a mask once a week while you're body is detoxing for a better result. My favorite safe deodorant is here.

21. Cluttered Cleaning Cabinet