Ditch & Switch
Spring is (almost) in the air!
When we think of Spring, we think of words such as fresh, new, green; but does it make you think of your liver? In traditional Chinese medicine, the season of spring is closely linked to the liver, and one of the livers main functions is to aid in detoxification. In fact, spring is one of the best times of the year to detox, because of these natural rhythms of the seasons and how they relate to our bodies.
There are many everyday products that have the potential to overburden our systems, but luckily there are always healthier alternatives. Try these Ditch & Switch ideas to spring clean your home and your body, and to lighten the toxic load on your liver.
HOUSEHOLD DITCH & SWITCH
Candles 🡪 Essential Oil Diffuser
Paraffin candles are suspected to release toxic chemicals into the air. Benzene, a well-known carcinogen, and Toluene, linked to reproductive toxicity, are common ingredients in conventional candles. Instead, try using natural soy wax candles or essential oils to freshen up your home. Each essential oil has different benefits and using a diffuser can help put those benefits into the air we breathe. For example, diffusing eucalyptus can help with sinus problems, or lemon oil can brighten your mood.
Plastic Wrap 🡪 Beeswax Wrap
Plastic Wrap is made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and contains a chemical called DEHA. DEHA is like phthalate in its chemical structure. It can leach from the plastic into food and is a known human carcinogen. Plastic wrap does not typically contain BPA, though some studies have detected small amounts in certain brands. Even low doses of BPA can lead to health problems, such as birth defects and other reproductive issues. Plastic wrap is also not biodegradable, and often ends up in marine habitats, causing issues for wildlife.
Beeswax wraps are a much safer alternative. They are typically made with a piece of organic cotton fabric and coated in a mixture of beeswax, natural resins, and oil. They are incredibly eco-friendly. They are naturally anti-bacterial & free of chemicals. They help to keep food fresher for longer, they smell amazing and often come in fun colours and patterns. This is one of the best switches you can make for the environment as they are completely reusable and compostable.
Dryer Sheets 🡪 Wool Dryer Balls
Commercial dryer sheets are caked with synthetic perfumes and chemicals. Common ingredients in dryer sheets include benzyl acetate – linked to pancreatic cancer, benzyl alcohol – a respiratory tract irritant, and even chloroform – a neurotoxin and carcinogen. This is not only harmful to us humans, but to our pets as well. Does anyone else have animals that like to sleep in the clean laundry baskets?
A healthier alternative is Wool dryer balls. These are made using sheep’s wool. They are made with a completely renewable resource, and the fibres are 100% natural. Wool dryer balls speed up your drying time. A load in the dryer with wool dryer balls vs commercial dryer sheets dries up to 40-50% faster. They also eliminate static, are anti-microbial, and hypoallergenic. They are completely fragrance-free, but if you would like to add some scent to your laundry, feel free to add a couple of drops of your favourite essential oil to the wool.
PERSONAL CARE DITCH & SWITCH
Conventional Deodorant 🡪 Natural Deodorant
Conventional deodorants or antiperspirants usually come with Aluminum as an ingredient. In fact, it is one of the main ingredients that block your pores from sweating. Research has shown that aluminium from antiperspirants can build up in the body and over time can become carcinogenic. Natural deodorants are free from Aluminum and are made with non-toxic ingredients.
Conventional Toothpaste 🡪 Natural Toothpaste
Conventional kinds of toothpaste usually contain fluoride. Although a trace mineral, it can be toxic in the amounts lots of us are exposed to daily. Fluoride has the potential to cause permanent tooth discolouration, stomach irritation, acute toxicity, and skin rashes. Natural toothpaste is free of fluoride and contains gentler ingredients such as baking soda, clay, and essential oils. For extra Ditch & Switch points, look for toothpaste in glass jars or biodegradable packaging.
Bath Bombs 🡪 Epsom Salts
Most bath bombs on the market are made with heavy amounts of synthetic fragrances, colours, and additives. Although they look and smell funny, bath bombs can turn your bathwater into a stew of chemicals. Instead, try using Epsom Salts and essential oils. Epsom salt is a crystalline form of magnesium, which absorbs through the skin when added to warm bathwater. You can also add essential oils straight to the bathwater for an aromatherapy experience.
DITCH & SWITCH FOR THE PLANET
Bottled Shampoo 🡪 Shampoo bars
Leave the plastic behind and look for shampoos & conditioners that can either be refilled or come in the form of bars for a waste-free hair care routine.
Microbead exfoliants 🡪 Biodegradable exfoliants
Microbeads in our skincare products are generally made of plastic and are too small of size to be caught by water management systems. They get washed down the drain and end up in rivers, lakes, and oceans, affecting the tiniest wildlife.
Single-Use Plastic 🡪 Reusable bags
It is no question that single-use plastics are one of the largest pollution issues we’re facing. Ditch the plastic bags and switch to reusable cotton or hemp. Even plastic sandwich bags have eco-friendly alternatives made of silicon or fabrics.