It’s easy to live a non-toxic lifestyle, right? Just eat healthy and avoid toxins! Think again. The constant false marketing of toxic products like air “fresheners” and fabric softeners, the lack of regulation on chemicals used in everyday products, the lack of full disclosure of ingredients on product packaging, as well as the deadened sense of smell that most of us have through years of bombardment with synthetic fragranced products in most public and private spaces all contribute to a mass cultural confusion about what is harmful vs. what is healthy (just look at cancer and autoimmune disease rates for proof!). Once you truly start to detoxify yourself of these chemicals and fragranced products, you’ll find your sense of smell more highly attuned, the way it was meant to be.
Here are our basic tips for avoiding harmful toxins:
• Remove all chemical products from your home; if you are chemically sensitive avoid essential oils as well.
• Use non-toxic lifestyle, body care, and cleaning products.
• Use inert building materials; “green” products are a good place to start, but if you are chemically sensitive you need to research beyond green – see Safer Construction Tips for the Environmentally Sensitive and Building Materials
• Have a separate pair of indoor and outdoor shoes to avoid tracking contaminants into the home.
• Cook with fresh ingredients each day; avoid eating left-overs if possible.
• Keep areas with regular water use (kitchens, bathrooms, showers) clean and dry to avoid mold; wipe down sinks and shower/bathtub tile surfaces after use to reduce standing moisture.
• Clean shower curtains and the underside of bathmats (where mold usually grows) regularly.
• Conduct regular maintenance and cleaning according to the manufacturer’s instructions on all humidifiers.
• Eliminate standing water and repair all leaks and water damage from floods within 24 hours, before mold can grow.
• Remove or replace wet carpets.
• Rise with the sun and go to bed when it gets dark to make maximum use of daylight. Use natural lighting (sunlight) whenever possible.
• Spend time in nature – walk barefoot on the earth, hug a tree, sit on a big rock, find a waterfall, stream, or lake.
• Do things manually if there’s a way – use a manual juicer, a “bike blender,” or a broom/mop instead of a vacuum cleaner.
• Limit your use of cordless and cell phones; avoid microwave ovens, hair dryers, electric toothbrushes, electric blankets, and other electric products.
• Keep your bedroom clear of electrical appliances; trade your digital clock for a battery operated alarm clock. If possible, turn off the breaker to your bedroom or unplug all appliances before going to sleep each night.
• Install windows with low-e coatings to help block radio and cell phone waves.
• Avoid places that use wireless networking (WiFi) – libraries, airports, internet cafes. Keep computer use to a minimum.
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Note: please check with a qualified health practitioner before incorporating any new tool into your recovery program.