I did it! Today I threw out the last of my yucky, toxic, environmentally unfriendly household cleaners.
I was hanging on to the last of them, feeling bad that I was tossing out half full bottles, but they’ve been sitting unused for the past several months. (They will soon be deposited at the appropriate recycling center). The cleaning agents of choice in my home now? Baking soda, vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, castille soap, and essential oils. It is an amazing feeling to know that if for some reason one of my kids gets ahold of a cleaner, I’m not going to have to run for the poison control phone number. The worst thing that could happen would be a bit of a belly ache. Other benefits? The lack of nose and eye burning chemicals is huge, and my kids can help me clean, which they love to do.
I’ve been taking baby steps over the last six months or so to revamp the way my household runs. While not every household product we use is homemade, they are at least environmentally friendly and not tested on animals. I’ve gotten my husband to start using castille soap instead of ordinary bath soap, the kids and I have switched over to natural toothpastes, I either use homemade or natural/environmentally friendly deodorant, dishwasher soap, dish soap, and laundry detergent.
Beyond the changes in products, I’ve finally started making the effort to recycle, and am kicking myself on not doing it before. What I thought was going to take alot of effort has been surprisingly easy, especially with curb side recycling and nearby recycling bins for items the curbside trash carriers don’t pick up. Once I did a little reading and just started paying more attention, I realized that there is really no excuse for not trying to recycle at least a little bit. The city infrastructure just makes it too easy for us.
My last baby step has been to focus on feeding my family more whole foods. Since my husband and I got married, we have eaten pretty healthy and have limited our packaged foods. However, over the last year we have made an even greater effort to make the majority of our foods from scratch, by local and organic when we can, and stop buying lab modified foods. ( I love this because it gives me a great reason to eat real butter again!)
Each of these changes may seem small on their own, but the bulk of them together has made a dramatic impact on our lives. We’ve learned to pay much more attention to what we bring into our lives, to question the value of what we purchase, the quality of the food and products we use. This would be important if it were just my husband and me, but the births of our three boys have introduced a great sense of responsibility in our minds. We don’t want to blindly raise our children, not being careful to evaluate what we put before them.
The greatest benefit of all the changes we’ve been making is the focus on simplicity in life, looking at what’s important and what is trivial, actively pursuing health instead of just hoping for it.
If you’re interested in making some changes in your household, may I suggest the following titles?
Seeking to live fully,