‘We felt duped, ‘green washed,’ and disappointed in ourselves and the companies we thought we could trust…’
Our path to natural living started out with a switch to organic foods as a staple in our home cooking. I made many changes in my diet while breastfeeding my first child. At first, I lacked the ‘tools’ that I have now for reading food labels. I did not want my son exposed to hormones and added antibiotics in food. Neither did I wish him to be exposed to pesticides and insecticides. I attempted to eliminate chemicals, toxins, dyes, and synthetic fragrance from his baby bath products. We changed over to buying organic on the fruits and veggies listed on the Dirty Dozen list. He drank 100% organic milk products. We still were not perfect, but we were minimizing our exposure to toxins.
Our knowledge of clean eating and recipes, non-toxic home choices, and GMO’s has grown over the past few years. I cannot eat an apple anymore if it’s not organic. A non-organic apple does not taste the same. Try that challenge- only buy organic apples for a month, eat one daily if you can, then buy a few non-organic apples. You WILL taste the difference in the skin, the aftertaste, waxy coating on the apple. I urge you to try this.
What’s great about this path is you can alter one lifestyle choice per week!
I used the Environmental Working Group’s- EWG website often now. I urge you to click on the link if you wish to obtain more information.
Week 1: Buy only organic fruits, especially those that have the highest pesticide content- apples, peaches, grapes, strawberries to name a few. It’s summer time these staples are available for excellent pricing.
Week 2: Eliminate one bath and beauty product and replace it with a safe alternative. (or make an alternative yourself!)
Week 3: Visit a whole foods or natural food store. It can be overwhelming at first. I suggest seeking out one new product or item, buy it, then leave promptly. Or visit one section to peruse the products. May I suggest the cleaning aisle? Just be careful. I accidentally bought a hair conditioner at a health food store that contained a creepy chemical.
Week 4: Eliminate one household cleaning product. The last time I cleaned with a bleach based product I felt sick for an hour afterwards and had a headache. You may want to start there. Baking soda, Vinegar, Essential oils, and Castille soaps are primary ‘safe’ cleaning alternatives I use daily in our home.
We had used free and clear products the past few years that I truly felt were deemed as pure and safe. With a little research, I realized some of my ‘safe’ products were not as safe as previously believed. That is a magic word ‘believe.’ We believe what we see in most cases, correct? The proof is on the visible ingredient list on the back of the bottle. The further proof is when you type in chemical names in a search bar on the internet. We had unfortunately been ‘green washed’ by front labels on our products.
We felt duped, ‘green washed,’ and disappointed in ourselves and the companies we thought we could trust.
Items are marked free of phlalates and parabens, yet will still contain cancer causing ingredients. Baby lotions are marked ‘gentle on babies skin’ but contain unnecessary chemical fragrances and dyes.
Our OLD free and clear laundry detergent:
A ‘green’ baby bath product with ‘organic’ in the name failed us again when we simply turned the label over and read it.
ETHYLHEXYLGLYCERIN which can irritate the skin, eyes, and lungs.
Our NEW laundry routine: I can attest also, our clothes are clean and soft. I can wash tough stains and delicates both with no qualms. Soft is important to me with our clothing.
- Dr. Bronner’s Castille Soap. I love the Lavender for laundry. 1/3-1/2 cup of soap for a large load in a normal washer. I use half of these amounts for my HE washing machine.
- Vinegar in our Rinse cycle. Add ½ c. vinegar to the rinse cycle. Note: I use half of these amounts for my HE washing machine.
My son has a peanut allergy. This had made me into a label- reader out of necessity for our food. How could the foods we put in our bodies be organic, yet our household products not be?
Sometimes we do have to buy products, but we can be educated consumers. The EWG’s website has easy to navigate and well categorized consumer guides with printable materials and a Skin Deep app for your smart phone to help you make wiser decisions. We can make an impact as consumers in what we purchase.
Simple living is often about making your own products from a few ingredients. It’s better for the environment and our water systems. We can reuse containers which is better for less waste. Start slowly you can make a positive change for your family.
I am interested in your feedback. Do you have any suggestions for a ‘Challenge of the Week?’
*At this time I do not get paid for my opinions or product suggestions. Use your own discretion and be an educated consumer about any product you buy, test, or use in your household. Always check for allergic reactions before using any new product.