As we go through our daily lives, we are confronted with information overload. We are pressured by the media, our friends and our family to buy specific brands — and everyone has an opinion. How do we sort through it all? Where do we begin?
Here are five simple ways to begin greening your life.
- Start to phase out plastics in your home — especially those that come in contact with food. Plastic and food just don’t belong together. There are so many toxic chemicals in plastic that can leach into your food. Not only are the chemicals in plastics dangerous, but the production of plastic is hurting our environment. Plastic ends up in our water ways and landfills, killing wildlife and not decomposing.
- Make the switch to reusable bags. The next time you visit the supermarket, bring along reusable bags. Leave them in the front seat of your car or in another visible spot so that you remember them. For those visits to the mall or pharmacy, carry a smaller version in your bag or backpack.
- Switch to non-toxic cleaning products. Conventional cleaning products are filled with toxic chemicals that don’t belong in your home. As your cleaning products run out, consider replacing them with a non-toxic alternative. Try to find brands that don’t contain harsh chemicals such as ammonia, synthetic fragrance, chlorine bleach, parabens and phosphates. Another option is to make your own cleaning supplies.
- Replace your personal care products with safe, non-toxic alternatives. As your shampoo runs out think green. Replace the old with something non-toxic and safe. I check all of my personal care products on the EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database before use. If a product has a high hazard score, it shouldn’t be coming in contact with your body.
- Leave your shoes at the door. Our country has an obsession with the “perfect lawn,” requiring applications of synthetic pesticides that are not only killing weeds and other naturally occurring plants, but are harmful to you and the environment. All of those toxins march right into your living space when you wear your shoes from outdoors into your home. We have declared our home a “shoe free” zone. All shoes come off in the garage, and they stay there until the next time we venture out.
The key to living a cleaner greener life is to gradually make a shift. It’s important to remember that things don’t happen overnight.