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After extensive studies, the European Union has banned over 1,500 harmful chemicals that are still allowed in US products. While it’s impossible to completely avoid chemicals, becoming a more conscious consumer can help your family reap health benefits and help protect the environment.

Whether you’re deciding to adopt a more natural lifestyle to improve your health, or the growth of discharge is breaking your heart, it can be overwhelming to completely overhaul all of your products and habits. Most people who have transitioned to a more natural lifestyle recommend choosing one area at a time to focus on, such as food, cosmetics, or cleaning supplies.

“You have to be convinced of what you are doing, otherwise you will revert to your old habits/patterns. Spend an hour a week changing something in your lifestyle and stick with it. These small changes add up over a period of time! said A. Muller, a natural-minded mother from James Island.

Avoid the “dirty dozen”

Instead of feeling the pressure to eliminate every fast food run or “junk food” from your pantry, focus on what you can add, starting with more fresh organic fruits and vegetables.

Each year, the EWG (Environmental Working Group) publishes a list of products with the most pesticides at least. A great way to start cleaning up your diet is to start buying the fruits and vegetables on the “dirty dozen” list in the organic section of your favorite grocery store.

Organic items tend to be pennies more expensive, but you’ll likely feel an immediate payback with improved gut health. Services like Misfits Market offer organic produce at discounted rates by selling oddly shaped items that grocery stores won’t display. Organic produce isn’t chemical-free, but it’s more carefully regulated and uses less harmful cultivation practices.

Beware of artificial ingredients

Thus, many food products on the market, and in particular those intended for children, contain artificial food colorings. These dyes have been linked to hyperactivity in children, immune dysfunction, and even cancer. They are easy to avoid by reading the labels. They are usually listed at the bottom of the ingredients section as a color and number (i.e. Red 40, Blue 1, Yellow 5.) Even products that appear to be natural in color often contain one of these harmful dyes.

Some great Instagram accounts to follow for organic/non-GMO nutrition advice are @justingredients and @flavcity

Beware of greenwashing

Another great way to reduce your toxic load is to replace your household products. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, “Using green cleaning products can help reduce the human health and environmental problems that come with cleaning.”

When changing cleaning products, beware of “greenwashing”. Greenwashing is when companies use vague buzzwords like “natural” or “sustainable” or images of wide open spaces on their packaging to convince consumers that they care about the environment and offer a “non-toxic” product, when it is not. the case. A familiar example is when Dawn markets her dish soap as saving animals after an oil spill, when in fact the soap contains chemicals that are harmful to humans and animals (including the artificial colors mentioned above) .

Just like with food, there is no need to waste what you have (it would probably be even more harmful to the environment). Instead, when you finish a product in your home, look to replace it with a less toxic product intended for the same purpose. You might struggle to find truly eco-friendly products at the big box stores, but apps like “thinkdirty,” “detox me,” or “EWG’s Healthy Living” can help you determine if a product really is that non-toxic. or environmentally friendly as it claims. to be.

Instagram influencers such as @alittlelesstoxic and @doctor.gonzalez offer product reviews, suggestions and surveys for consumers looking for non-toxic options.

Gradually replacing food and household products is one of the easiest ways to begin the transition to a healthier, more environmentally friendly and less toxic lifestyle. As you begin to master these areas and join online communities with people seeking to do the same, you’ll likely learn even more ways to live naturally and improve your health. For example: house plants that promote clean air or the benefits of home birth, etc. However, when you start, be sure to take one bite of the elephant at a time, as the stress will neutralize any positive benefits you might get from “going home.” green.”

Originally from West Ashley, Allie Douglas and her husband Brock are the parents of their three-year-old child…