Chemical free living, one step at a time

Join our latest Biome Blogger, Julie Orr as she shares her experience of reducing the chemicals in her home. For more information on the Biome Blog Program, go to our Green Living Guide and contact Tracey.

Small changes make a big difference

When I became a mum I wanted to give my kids the best possible start to life. A part of this was cutting out as much chemical exposure as possible. Not only did I recognise that the foods we consume contain chemicals (especially the processed variety), but that the household products we use everyday contain chemicals that affect our health too. If you are beginning your journey to better health or simply need a bit of encouragement to keep going, here are a few easy suggestions to help reduce chemicals in your home, with minimal effort. Start with small achievable changes. By implementing small and simple changes you not only reduce chemicals in your home straight away, but are more likely to keep those changes long term. You don't need to jump into the deep end and start inventing your own homemade cleaning products ... although this is something you may want to play around with in the future.

Let's start with making our home smell nice. Air fresheners are widely used in homes to either reduce unwanted smells or to recreate the smells of nature. How about we go straight to the source! Where would we find natural smells? You guessed it... in nature. 100% pure essential oils are a great place to start. With such a variety there is sure to be something that you like. Try using your favourite oil in a burner or diffuser. I recently purchased and LOVE the Banksia Scent Pot. You may also like to try "Queen B" natural beeswax candles which give off a subtle yet beautiful smell of honey. Or you could pick a bunch of flowers! Soap is another small item you can change that will make a big impact. Soap is used throughout the home in the bathroom, laundry and kitchen and it is an item that can be swapped with little stress. When you buy organic handmade soaps, they have an ingredients list that you actually understand. Plus with so many organic handmade soaps on offer you will most likely enjoy trying all the different types. They can even add the sense of luxury to your home because they often look much nicer than the generic chemical-laden ones. Extend this to shampoos and body washes and your body will benefit too. The small change that will probably make the biggest impact is - a cloth! Or maybe several? Microfibre clothes were introduced a few years ago now, but have come a long way. You can get your hands on a cloth designed for just about every purpose when cleaning your home. And they are sold just about everywhere. Microfibre clothes are said to clean better than chemicals do. There are other cloths available for cleaning purposes that are not microfibre and well worth a try such as the Thurlby agave wash cloth which is made from fibres of a cactus. And of course if all else fails there is good old elbow grease. By using cleaning cloths of one sort or another, you can reduce a huge amount of household chemical cleaners and lessen the chemicals on your bench top, bath/shower, glass, oven, and even floor. As you can see with just a few small changes, chemical use in your home can be reduced dramatically. Take some time and make a list of all the chemicals you currently use and think of chemical free alternatives. Your future will thank you for it.

Further reading

Check out this article that road tested the humble microfibre cloth
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