For the past few months I’ve been on a mission to convert my household and life to a non-toxic environment.  I now shop for and use products that are made without: SLS/SLES, Parabens, Dyes, Synthetic Fragrances, Formaldehyde Donors, and Methylisothiazolinone.  I’ve also gotten rid of most of the plastic in my house.  Most plastic and containers are made with BPA or Bisphenol A, a synthetic ESTROGEN (crazy right) used to harden polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resin.

The dangers of BPA are are ever unfolding. Most recent studies have shown that exposure to it promotes breast cancer cell growth, impaired neurological and brain functions, cardiovascular system damage, reproductive system abnormalities, early puberty and the list goes on. {Source: EWG}.   BPA leaches out of plastic 55 times faster when exposed to heat, so if used, it should never be microwaved, used to store hot liquids or foods, or washed in hot water.  But when you’re wrapping up and reheating leftovers, your go to is plastic.

What I’ve done to minimize and eventually eliminate BPA, phthalates, and polyethylene from my home:

  1. Go fragrance free.  I try to purchase cleaning and beauty products that contain “no synthetic fragrance” or products that are “scented with only essential oils” or items that are “phthalate-free.”  We’ve also eliminated using air freshners.  Our new favorites are products from Seventh Generation, The Honest Company and Mrs. Meyers.
  2. Get rid of the plastic containers.  I’ve replaced the plastic with silicone and glass. Also we’ve replaced plastic sandwich bags with wax paper bags, or parchment paper.
  3. Avoid packaged food
  4. Say, “No, I do not need a receipt.  Please e-mail it to me.”   Receipts contain 250 to 1,000 times the amount of BPA typically found in a can of food {Source}.  Gas station receipts are particularly notorious for containing huge amounts of BPA.
  5. Get stainless steel, silicone or  glass water bottles.  Bkr has some very stylish water bottle options.  If you choose a stainless steel option, make sure to get one that is not lined with plastic. Kleen Kanteen is a safe choice
  6. Upgraded our shower curtain liner.  Who knew that most shower curtain liners are made with polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic, which contains a number of toxic chemicals?  The chemicals released from these liners may cause respiratory irritation as well as damage to the central nervous system, liver and kidneys.  I know, crazy right?  We’ve switched to aPVC-Free, 100% PEVA, non-toxic shower curtain liner that does not let off a chemical smell and is mold & mildew resistant and Chlorine free

The next few are suggested but my household was rid of these things a long time ago.  Eat at home; most  food  in restaurants originates from highly packaged sources or is stored in plastic. Eliminate soda.  Switch from plastic bags to jute or cloth bags or bags made frombio-degradable materials.  Avoid canned food; 92% of all canned food is lined with BPA coating.  Stop using coffee machines.  This one was huge for us.  We stopped drinking coffee 6 months ago upon learning that it is a diuretic; however, we were still using our Keurig for instant hot water when making tea, not realizing the amount of plastic that the hot water comes in contact with in the coffee maker.  Now we boil our hot water in a stainless steel pot.

Crack the Triangle Code

I finally figured out what the numbers on the bottom of plastic bottles and containers mean!  I call it “Cracking the Triangle Code”.    No matter how hard I try, I am never going to eliminate all of the plastic in my life so I’ve increased my knowledge about the various plastics what impact they have on me and my environment.

Every plastic container or bottle has a recycling symbol. The symbol is a number, ranging from 1 to 7, within a triangle. While you may think nothing of these symbols, they can actually offer a great deal of information regarding the toxic chemicals used in the plastic, how likely the plastic is to leach, how bio-degradable the plastic is, and ultimately the safety of the plastic. {Source}.

1 – PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate)  || #2 – HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene)  || #3 – PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride)  || #4 – LDPE (Low-Density Polyethylene)  || #5 – PP (Polypropylene) || #6 – PS (Polystyrene) || #7 – Other (BPA, Polycarbonate and LEXAN)

At a very high-level and in my opinion avoid symbols 1, 3, 6, and 7.  2, 4 and 5 are safest.  Most sites that I’ve visited consider 1 as safe but my jury is still out.  Do your own research!

Bye Bye Nail Polish

The last change that I made was personal since I am the only female in our home.  I am going nail polish free.  So apparently there are hormone disrupting chemicals in nail polish which can be absorbed into the body.   Your nails, cuticles and the skin around the nails are very absorbent.  A lot of nail polishes contain 5 harmful chemicals 1. dibutyl phthalate 2. toluene  3. formaldehyde 4. formaldehyde resin, and 5. camphor.   Phthalates are classified as endocrine disruptors and mimic the hormone estrogen in your body. They are proven to impair the hormonal development of male fetuses, cause organ damage, and may even instigate early-onset menopause. {Source}

Now, there are a few nail polish brands that have eliminated the use of all 5 chemicals referenced above but I’ve decided to let my nails breathe for a few months and then maybe I’ll try one of the brands below.

  1.  Zoya (also vegan)
  2. RGB (also vegan, cruelty-free, gluten-free, and fair trade)
  3. LaCC (also cruelty-free, vegan, and made without gluten, parabens, and xylene)
  4. Ella + Mila (also cruelty-free, vegan, and fair-trade)
  5. Priti NYC
  6. Kure Bazaar (also cruelty-free, and contains only 15% synthetic ingredients)
  7. Jamberry (Their products are free of the 5 chemicals listed above, as well as ethyl tosylamide, xylene, and TPHP (triphenyl phosphate)

Will my house and my body ever be completely toxin free?  Probably not, however the older I get the more I realize that I need to take more steps towards maintaining a healthy nervous and immune system by removing toxins.  I finally feel like my family and I are on the right track in living an abundant life!

Cheers to 2018!!