Living Non-Toxic – Progress

It’s June. Six months into 2012 and I’m assessing my progress in living non-toxic. While I can’t say it’s been easy, I can’t say it’s been entirely hard either.  Some of the biggest changes really weren’t that difficult.  So far this year, we’ve made changes in many of the products we use, the foods we eat and especially (this one is the hardest) in our attitudes.

Our first step was to start eating organic as much as possible.  We memorized the dirty dozen and the clean fifteen and while that was enough for us at the beginning, as we learned more about GMO’s, pesticides and how these chemicals in our foods are potentially linked to a long list of chronic diseases, we wanted to eat all organic.  Honestly, once we learned about the impacts of GMO’s and pesticides, we wanted to live on an organic farm and go off the grid. But that wasn’t reasonable.

So, we read labels and we bought organic and we cooked at home.  The organic foods were starting to get expensive so we started buying our convenience foods through Green PolkaDot Box and we reduced out meat consumption significantly.  Now, we eat meat about once a week and we make sure it is organic meat from a local farmer.

We already avoided soda and sports drinks, so that wasn’t hard, but if I were going to start this journey to get healthier and reduce toxins, that’s the first thing I would do… skip the sodas. Hands down.

We started purifying our water to rid it of lead, pesticides like atrazine, and other metals and contaminants.  This change was one of the easier ones to adapt to.  We bought a Shaklee Get Clean water pitcher and all the water we drank or cooked with went through this pitcher.  We got so accustomed to the taste of this clean water that it became hard to drink anything else.  So, we started bringing our pitcher with us when we would travel and we had to each get non-toxic bottles to carry with us so we would never be forced to drink awful tap or plastic-bottled water.

We sold our non-stick cookware and replaced it with stainless steel.  This wasn’t difficult for the most part, however, scrambling eggs was no fun to clean up.  I still haven’t found a decent way to scramble eggs in the stainless pan without creating a huge cooked-on egg mess to clean up.

We also sold all of our plastic Tupperware and replaced it with glass. This really made no impact in our lives outside of the initial cost to buy the glass containers.

The other big thing we did was change our personal care products (shampoo, moisturizer, sunblock) to brands that do not contain parabens. Once you find a quality brand you can count on, this also is pretty easy.  They often do cost more, but we have cut back in other areas to make this work.  It is important and so, it’s a necessity.

So, what do I have planned for the next half of the year?  There are so many things I’d like to do to reduce our exposure to toxins.  And from here on out, the changes are going to be harder as I will really have to stay on task and stay on top of things to avoid slipping into old habits.  Here’s my list:

1. Stop using the microwave

2. Reduce consumption of products with excessive packaging or that are plastic

3. Always have clean, healthy snacks with me.

4. Find an alternative to plastic bags for dog poo.

5. Find non-toxic make-up.

So, do you have suggestions on my list?  Anything you are doing now that I should start?

Have a great summer and enjoy your families!