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Diving Into Clean Living

I asked a question last week on Instagram prompted by a conversation I was having with my mother while I was with her.  The inquiry said ... would you like to do a deep dive into having a clean home?  99.9 percent of my followers responded and said yes. That was a massive response to me which is why I will be talking in-depth here on the blog in the next two weeks about creating a "clean" home.  And I do not mean one that is dust-free or always tidy; that is not the goal here.  Instead, we are talking about buying and using toxic-free products in your home in the areas of the laundry room, kitchen, bathrooms, and in the air. 

Let me preface this by sharing my story.  If you are a long-time reader/follower, you know our journey.  In 2018 my husband was diagnosed with a small cell sarcoma, a GIST, growing on his stomach.  It was a large tumor, and they treated it with a pill form of chemo, surgery, and more chemo afterward. He is now NED, having no evidence of disease, and we are adjusting to our life post-cancer. When we first met with our oncologist, she gave me a list of things he couldn't drink and eat.  I was intrigued and asked if this was due to the chemo or general.  How was I to interpret the list she had given me? She responded definitely while on chemo and then also, maybe never.  Since she was a gifted and highly acclaimed doctor in the research department of our oncology office, I decided she saw and knew way more than I did and would follow her instructions to the T.  Also, upon researching and educating myself about toxins in the body and home, I fell down a rabbit hole you can't pretend you haven't seen.  I was aware that we lived in a world that needed to change, but the only thing I could change would be our home.  I vowed to make it as clean as possible for my husband and all of us. 

Now, let me back up a little.  In the United States, we do not regulate the beauty industry as we should. In Europe, they are more strict and have banned more than 1400 ingredients from being used in products.  In the US, we have banned only 30.  This is just the beauty product industry and doesn't even touch cleaning products. Our skin is the largest organ in our body.  Everything we put on our skin, beauty, laundry, and the like, is absorbed and can have various effects. Some products are not clear on what is contained, some use the word fragrance (which is trademarked) to hide ingredients we aren't aware of, and others just put the ingredient list right out there, hoping we do not understand what harm they can do.  I was blown away, indeed, by the number of items I had in my home that fell under one or more of the following categories; ineffective cleaning, harmful ingredients, smelled terrific but didn't clean well, and my favorite, dried out my skin requiring me to buy more to make it better. 

It was not a good thing at all. 

In purging my home of products, I used two different apps, EWG Clean Living and Think Dirty.  They are both super easy to use and will come back quickly with a response and a level of toxicity to you.  For example, the conversation with my mother began this conversation over her asking me to Lysol the bathroom in the hotel.  I declined. She asked a lot of questions. 

So Lysol.  If you scan the can, you will find this report in EWG. 

As you can see, not a good score at all.  And this is a product that I used in my home, my mother uses, my grandmother lived in a cloud of it, and all of us were buying to clean and disinfect our homes.  My husband and two of my children have asthma, and I can only guess the reproductive repercussions that could come.  The second I saw this report, every single can I owned was in the trash, and I have not bought another can since.  And remember, I come from a long line of Lysol-loving women.  Here's where I give them credit, they are not hiding any of the ingredients.  But do I want this in my home, "protecting" my family?  Absolutely not. 

Here is what I can do for you.  I am three years deep in the clean journey.  I can give you tips and tricks on where to check for toxic products, and in doing that, I can help you save money.  We have two cleaning products that clean our whole home. Before this journey began, I had more than 12. That means I was using something to clean the mirrors, the counter, the sink, the toilet, and something else again for the floors.  Now I have 2. Imagine the money I am saving. 

Also, this isn't a rush to go clean; it's a journey.  Every single thing you have doesn't need to go today or tomorrow.  If you are close to finishing something, finish it and buy clean.  Don't feel pressured; I hope you feel informed.  And in the best news, when I started this a few years ago, the number of products classified "green" was small, and now that number is huge!  So, you can find what you need at a regular store and not just in an exclusive MLM club.  

I hope you find this helpful.  Please email if you have questions; I am here to help where I can!! 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Paige. 10-15 years ago I purged my kitchen of plastics. There was a small newsletter type publication I picked up at Sprouts grocery. In it, a chemist who had looked into plastics said knowing what she had learned, she would not want to eat any food that had been in contact with plastic. That shook my world. And it is virtually impossible to do especially living in smaller town with limited shopping.
    No plastic my kitchen except lids to glass containers . I repackage most things into glass jars.
    I looked at zero waste living for ideas. You can find clean personal care but still packaged in plastic.
    I am greatly anticipating this series and thank you.



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