For about a decade, I have been trying to figure out how to live a toxic-free life. This is not completely achievable in our current society, but there are a lot of things an individual can do. Here is a list of some of what I do. It’s taken quite awhile to get here, so I thought I’d share.
#1 I EAT A MOSTLY VEGAN DIET
It’s good for me, it’s good for the planet, it’s extremely good for all the animals. I do eat local honey, though. Sometimes when I’m in a situation when my own food isn’t available, it turns into a vegetarian diet.
I make my own nut milk.
I make a health shake most mornings to get a lot of nutrients in one meal. It includes hemp/nut/chia seeds, detoxing spirulina/wild blueberries/dulse, magnesium-rich cocao powder, almond milk, fresh greens, and frozen banana and other fruit. Sometimes I add other things, but that’s the base.
I make fresh juice.
I also eat gluten-free.
#2 I GROW MY OWN FOOD
I still get a lot from the grocery store, especially things like bananas, avocado, and citrus fruits, which don’t grow in my climate. But I trust the food I grow because I use no pesticides or chemical fertilizers. I also buy from local food growers if they grow organically (not necessarily certified, because that is too much hassle for a small farmer, plus government involvement in food is why I grow my own). I do look for the organic certification when in stores.
I dehydrate/dry and freeze herbs and produce and make herbal tinctures from plants on my property and in nearby wild places.
The additional benefit of growing my own food is it connects me back to the land. We need that connection for our personal well-being.
#3 I MAKE OR BUY HEALTHY BEAUTY PRODUCTS
Your skin is your biggest organ. You don’t want to slather it with chemicals, which it will absorb into your body. Here are some of the things I do:
I rarely use makeup, except for mascara (blond eyelashes). When I do wear makeup, it’s Bare Minerals.
I make my own toothpaste. It’s actually a tooth powder, and my dental hygienist, not knowing that I had switched, said my teeth looked great.
I use a salt crystal for deodorant and finish it with a home-made dusting powder,. (My powder contains cornstarch, baking soda, bentonite clay, lavender and lemongrass Essential Oils.)
For shampooing, I use J.R. Liggett’s shampoo bar and an Apple Cider vinegar rinse. I love what it does to my hair, it costs less money, and it’s healthy!
I don’t use nail polish/remover. Ugh. Hate the smell, hate the idea. You can use a buffer to give your nails a shine.
I only put on sunscreen if I am going to be long enough in the sun to get a burn. Otherwise I work around being in the sun for too long (I have fair skin and freckles.) And I buy my sunscreen from a health-food store.
I wash my face with Dr. Bronner‘s soap diluted with water in a soap dispenser. I’ve started to moisturize with coconut oil.
You can find healthier beauty options, including sunscreen, at the EWG Skin Deep site.
#4 I MAKE OR BUY ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY CLEANING PRODUCTS
I make a homemade laundry detergent.
I make my own citrus vinegar cleaner by filling a half gallon mason jar with orange (or lemon, or lime) peels and pouring in white vinegar and letting it sit in a dark spot for 6 weeks. That makes a concentrate. I dilute it with water for a spray cleaner.
Baking soda makes a good sink/tub scrub. Spraying the vinegar on top gives it extra cleaning power.
I buy Seventh Generation or other healthy products for the things I haven’t started making on my own – for example, liquid dish soap and dishwashing detergent.
#5 I COMPOST AND RECYCLE
Keeping our environment clean helps reduce the toxicity. I am trying to do better in this area, but it’s really a challenge.
Composting our food scraps (or giving them to the chickens) gives us nutrient-rich soil amendments for our garden.
Reusable shopping bags cuts down on plastic bags. (And when I forget or don’t have them with me, I save the plastic bags for lining my wastebaskets.)
A refillable glass water bottle (you can use steel, too, but the taste of the water isn’t as pure) cuts down on plastics – both for ingesting and disposing.
#6 I TRY TO GET DAILY EXERCISE
I’m working on this one. A daily sweat will release toxins from your body. My favorite forms of exercise are hiking, snowshoeing, and yoga. Most of them aren’t high sweating activities. But I can get a moderate sweat going.
I hope this list will help to inspire you. You can do it! Just take one step at a time.