Movie of the Week: Chemerical
Experiment of the week: Try 3 organic cleaning solutions/hygiene products
This week, I am investigating the chemicals that are all around us every single day. Will using organic products really make me feel healthier? I’m about to find out.
“The Average American Uses about 25 Gallons of toxic, hazardous chemical products per year in their home… A major portion of these can be found in household cleaning products.”
—Prosperity Without Pollution, by Joel S. Hirschorn and Kirsten V. Oldenburg, 1991, from Natural Solutions
I recently watched Chemerical, a documentary about a family who ditched the chemicals and went organic. They threw away all of their cleaning products and personal products filled with harmful chemicals and used all organic cleaning solutions and personal products. The family seemed skeptical of the effectiveness of the products before using them. They soon found out that the products worked well at cleaning without all of the harsh chemicals and strong perfumes. This documentary taught me that it’s time to make the switch to organic to save the environment, our health, and our money! See this movie on Netflix and on Amazon for $2.99.
Is it really that bad?
Here are some alarming statistics on the items in your home right now!
“Of chemicals commonly found in homes, 150 have been linked to allergies, birth defects, cancer, and psychological abnormalities.“
—Consumer Product Safety Commission
“In the past 50 years more than 75,000 chemicals have been introduced into the environment. Today 300 synthetic chemicals are found in the bodies of humans. Even newborn babies have synthetic chemicals passed on from their mothers.” —REACH (Registration, Evaluation, and Authorization of Chemicals, a European Union program)
“In 2000, major American companies dumped 7.1 billion pounds of 650 different industrial chemicals into our air and water.” —Alexandra Rome, Co-director of the Sustainable Futures Group at Commonweal, a nonprofit health and environmental research institute, until 2000.
It’s obvious that these chemicals are a real threat to all of us. So what can I do about it? What can you do about it? How can we change things for ourselves and future generations?
What are the alternatives?
According to the Organic Consumers Association, “A few safe, simple ingredients like soap, water, baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice and borax, aided by a little elbow grease and a coarse sponge for scrubbing, can take care of most household cleaning needs.”
This seems simple and less expensive than buying cleaning products. Here are some recipes for organic home cleaning solutions. The following recipes are from Earth Easy.
• Baking soda or vinegar with lemon juice in small dishes absorbs odors around the house.
• Having houseplants helps reduce odors in the home.
• Prevent cooking odors by simmering vinegar (1 tbsp in 1 cup water) on the stove while cooking. To get such smells as fish and onion off utensils and cutting boards, wipe them with vinegar and wash in soapy water.
• Keep fresh coffee grounds on the counter.
• Grind up a slice of lemon in the garbage disposal.
• Simmer water and cinnamon or other spices on stove.
• Place bowls of fragrant dried herbs and flowers in room.
This is going to be a tough product for me to give up because I enjoy the commercial air freshener products. However, I am going to give it a try and see how well it works.
“For light drain cleaning, mix 1/2 cup salt in 4 liters water, heat (but not to a boil) and pour down the drain. For stronger cleaning, pour about 1/2 cup baking soda down the drain, then 1/2 cup vinegar. The resulting chemical reaction can break fatty acids down into soap and glycerine, allowing the clog to wash down the drain. After 15 minutes, pour in boiling water to clear residue. Caution: only use this method with metal plumbing. Plastic pipes can melt if excess boiling water is used. Also, do not use this method after trying a commercial drain opener–the vinegar can react with the drain opener to create dangerous fumes.”
“Moisten oven surfaces with sponge and water. Use 3/4cup baking soda, 1/4cup salt and 1/4cup water to make a thick paste, and spread throughout oven interior. (avoid bare metal and any openings) Let sit overnight. Remove with spatula and wipe clean.”
What about personal care items like shampoo, conditioner, soap, toothpaste, hairspray, makeup, deodorant, etc? Can these be replaced with organic products?
One brand that I have recently discovered is Green Beaver. They have organic products for hair, face & lips, body and teeth. They even have products designed just for kids. I plan on ordering the Lavender Rosemary Shampoo for $10.99 and the Lavender Rosemary Conditioner also for $10.99.
What about makeup?
Physicians Formula appears to be a great company if you are interested in converting your makeup supply to more eco-friendly/natural products. “Physicians Formula products are formulated without over 100 known irritating ingredients still found in many cosmetics on the market today.” -Physicians Formula Check out their products for face, eyes, lips, nails, and skin. Look for these products at Rite Aid, Walgreens, CVS, and more.
Also check out Lavera makeup. Lavera has makeup that is 100% gluten-free, cruelty free, and all natural! I like their cruelty free approach! There are several products that are “Vegan Society Certified.” This makeup is slightly more expensive but there are many discounts/promo codes available.
Let me know if you have a favorite organic/eco-friendly/cruelty-free product/DIY recipe!
What are some other ways to naturally improve the look of my skin? I came across this image and I think it’s worth a try.