You’ve surely heard the term “natural living” as its popularity has grown in the past few years. When I made the decision to switch to a natural home in 2008, 15 years ago, it was nearly taboo and “just for hippies”. But for good reasons, this concept is becoming more mainstream now. So what does this way of living all entail? Its basis is making conscious decisions on what products you’re bringing into your home. It is thinking twice about ingredients on every label. It’s making eco-friendly and sustainable choices which all influence how you're living.
I admit that I am still growing in this way of life and there’s always new ways I can improve (such as minimizing plastic usage) but the more conversation and awareness there is around this topic, the better for the health of our environment and bodies. Not the mention, the better outlook for our future.
- Eliminate synthetic fragrances
This one is a great way to start. Synthetic fragrances are chemically made scents that are often toxic and cause irritation to our bodies- skin or respiratory. People with eczema, asthma or sensitive skin are already aware of this. Just read the labels! Synthetic fragrances are often found in laundry detergent, dish soap, cleaning materials, air fresheners, body washes, bath products (not ours!), candles or wax melts, perfume… just imagine what you’re breathing in and what is getting washed into our runoff water.
We have eliminated these synthetic fragrances 15 years ago and haven’t missed them! When we do smell them, it smells so strong and overpowering- And fake.
2. Reduce plastic waste
Our government is already banning single use plastics, which I fully support, but there’s a long ways to go in reducing our everyday plastic use in our homes. I admit it is so hard when our consumerism age offers us cheap and easy plastic choices all the time. But if we are mindful about this and make continuous choices to reduce this, then it’s a step in the right direction. Like remembering those reusable bags when grocery shopping, taking cloth mesh bags for bagging fruits and veggies at the store, and storing food in glass containers. Keep looking for those options of biodegradable, compostable, eco-friendly. When possible, choose natural materials- which usually don’t have artificial dyes either.
3. Embrace natural cleaners
Go have a look under your sink or above your washer, wherever you store your cleaning products. How many plastic bottles are there, each for a different purpose? Is this all really necessary? If you think yes, then that’s fine… but I encourage you to think outside the box here. No doubt these cleaners work well and eliminate 99.99% of germs. That’s a whole other subject as I don’t think eliminating all those germs in our homes is necessary, or good for our microbiome. Maybe, just maybe, we have been marketed to for years that we need all these different cleaners, filled with synthetic ingredients, to achieve a sparkling house. OR… we can use a vinegar solution for most of the cleaning tasks. Vinegar is effective at cleaning surfaces (don’t use on granite or marble) and can be herbal infused for added benefits and natural scent. I use my “Chore Bar” for stain removing and to make my own laundry soap with vinegar as a fabric softener. Then I use norwex cloths to wipe surfaces and windows as well.
These are my top 3 ways to embrace natural living in your home. I’d love to hear what works for you and different actions you’ve taken. I do find it’s necessary to keep thinking outside the “consumerism” norm and really consider what products we are buying and bringing into our homes.
Choose natural ingredients, choose eco-friendly packaging, choose what makes you feel good about using on your body and in your home.