Detox Your Home - Part 1 (The Kitchen)
Making your entire home toxin-free can seem extremely daunting, and expensive! From cleaning products in the laundry, cosmetics in the bathroom, plastics in the kitchen, pesticides in the garden and air pollution in the lounge room, the list goes on.
We have put together a series of how you can detox your home one room at a time to keep yourself and your family happy and healthy. Plus we are mindful of budgets so there will be plenty of money saving tips and alternatives too!
To kick things off, we're starting in the kitchen. More time than you probably think is spent in the kitchen, not just cooking but the mass of cleaning that comes after it, unpacking the groceries, kids doing their homework etc etc so you want to make sure that you're in a healthy, hygienic and toxin free environment.
Here are our top 5 tips to detox your kitchen:
Swap to Stainless Steel Food Storage
Toss the plastic and invest in better food storage. Plastic is not good for you or the environment, it is toxic to produce, toxic to use, and toxic to dispose of. Although the toxicity of plastic is not yet fully known or tested, plastics used in the kitchen are only considered "safe", not because they have been proven so but because they have not been proven to be unsafe.
It is known, however that a number of common plastics used in the kitchen contain chemical additives such as bisphenol-A (BPA) and plastic softeners (called phthalates), which are used to improve or change the quality of the plastic for its intended use. These chemicals, which are known hormone disruptors, actually leach into your food, especially when heated.
Choose safer and eco-friendly alternatives like glass, ceramic or stainless steel. You may not even need to buy all these things new! Reuse old glass jars and bowls you already as well as tin foil, which is also a great option as it can be washed and reused.
Say no to non-stick pans
Ok we know this is a hard one, yes we are all about convenience but this is a non-negotiable. When heated too high, non-stick cookware leaches their chemical coatings that are extremely toxic and persistent in the environment. Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), a chemical used to make Teflon, is a likely carcinogen and similar chemicals have been linked to kidney and liver damage. Although manufacturers say it's unlikely for the chemicals to be released, high heat after about 2-4 minutes can result in PFOA fumes being emitted from the non-stick surface.
Same with the plastics, try safer alternatives such as glass, ceramics, stainless steel and cast iron, most of these are cheaper than the non-stick anyway! Want to find out how you can safely recycle your non-stick cookware and bake ware? Environmental website Earth911 has some great tips.
Invest in a water filter
This is a controversial topic. It is said that tap water contains a number of contaminants, impurities and chemicals such as heavy metals, bacteria, chlorine, ammonia and fluoride. Whatever your view or theory, a water filter is a fantastic investment for your whole family. Using a water filter leaves you with clean, 100% pure alkaline water with pH value of usually around 7.5 – 8.5. Although water filters can be a little pricey, it is a one off cost that will last you for years on end.
This is a no brainer. Eating organic (and preferably locally grown to support Aussie farmers!) is the easiest way to be sure you're getting the healthiest and most environmentally friendly fruits, veggies, meats and snacks. Foods that are certified organic are produced without the use of chemical fertilisers, pesticides, GMOs or other artificial chemicals and additives.
Organic food can cost more which may limit your ability to by all organic but check out the Environmental Working Group's list of the Dirty Dozen & Clean 15 which will show you what you absolutely need to buy organic and what foods you can afford not to. Plus using the old tricks like bulk buying, price comparison, eating leftovers and only buying what actually gets eaten by your family are all effective ways to save.
Swap to natural cleaning products
Keep your kitchen sparkling clean and fresh without the use of harsh chemicals that leave that awful headache-inducing stench in the air. Try switching to 'green' cleaners that are made using natural ingredients and won't leave chemicals behind on your dishes, cutlery, counters, or appliances. To find safe cleaners, check the label and be sure to avoid ingredients such as nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs), triclosan, ammonia, chlorine bleach, DEA, TEA, hydrochloric acid, sodium hydroxide, and sulfuric acid. To make it easy, we have a range of chemical free cleaning products.