Getting real about household toxins

If you’re a progressive mom type, or someone who considers the benefits of clean living you can’t have missed the amazing amount of info posted lately about the amazing amount of toxins that we live with in our homes, our makeup drawers, our laundry room, basically a whole host of poisons that we breathe in and rub over our bodies and expose our children to that weren’t around when we were kids and we just use willy nilly without thinking about it. Okay. I need to get real about this.

I spend a LOT of time trying to avoid toxics in my family life. Our dairy and most groceries are organic, the various soaps and shampoo we use are all earth friendly and don’t have parabens and lecithin, we don’t drink bottled water and wear mostly cotton, but OY, can you make yourself crazy with all the warnings out there of what to avoid. If I listened to all the warnings, I wouldn’t ever leave the house, well, really I would have to move to the country to avoid the bus fumes that are poisoning my unborn child and making him 2 IQ points dumber than his non-city dwelling counterparts, compost my own dirt to grow my own vegetables, invest in baking soda and vinegar stock for all the cleaning products I’ll be making and start washing my hair and everything with Dr. Bronner’s (a delightful product that serves a purpose…just please don’t ask me to brush my teeth or wash my hair with it).

The health warnings can be really alarming not to mention overwhelming. And I don’t believe that it’s all hype. I do believe that we should be concerned with what we put on our bodies and clean our counters with and I suppose I could try making my own all purpose cleaning agent, but I feel like it will get made, used once and then sit in the back of the under the sink cabinet along with the carpet cleaner and HA, I don’t even know what else is back there.

okay – to be fair – I recently read about one eco-friendly cleaning tip that I would try – oven cleaners are nasty. Even if you don’t buy into the whole non-toxic cleaning agents theory, any product that suggests you leave the house while using can’t be good for anyone.

To clean the oven spray the bottom of your oven with water. Sprinkle baking soda over the area. Spray with a little more water and let it sit overnight. Spray it again with water in the morning and wipe away baked on grime. Apparently this also works for baking sheets. I’m skeptical, but next time I feel the need to clean the oven (or ask my wonderful hubs to do it) I’ll give it a go.

I guess what I’m trying to say here is, it’s really tough to wade through all the warnings. I don’t want to expose my kids to more chemicals than they have to encounter just living in this city on a daily basis, but I’m also not willing to live with composting worms under my sink (where would the homemade cleaning agent live). We all have to draw the line in the sand somewhere and do the best we can and make the best choices we can that will help promote cleaner living and a healthier planet and kids.

So for now, I’ll probably continue wearing my toxic mascara and sleeping on my toxic pillows, but I’ll think twice about where my fruit is coming from and maybe I’ll learn how to grow an herb garden in my kitchen window.

There’s a great website, Healthy Child, Healthy World that has all sorts of great info about this kind of stuff. I was inspired to write this post by this Green Checklist, because I do love a good quiz.


1 Comment

Filed under Family, Healthy habits, musing

One response to “Getting real about household toxins

  1. Thanks for your very nice comments about our site, Practically Green. We do hope that we make it easier for moms everywhere to figure out where they are in their healthy green journey and how to take smart, practical steps to improve!

    And I still have the toxic mascara too!! On my list of things to do this year to improve 🙂

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