If you’re new to the green way of life, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all the areas of your life that can be “greened.” Many of us begin with a gateway into the green living and finding ourselves exploring additional ways to spruce up our lifestyle. Perhaps you changed your diet only to discover that your kitchen equipment needed a revamp, too. Or maybe you detoxed your makeup bag and realized that your cleaning products were far from savory. I know it can feel endless–and given our modern lifestyles, it kind of is!
But the thing to remember is even a single improvement can make a difference in your health and sense of well-being. Also, let’s be real–not all of us have the means to drop $$$ on a new home water system/organic mattress/eco carpeting. (But if you do, go for it!) For those of use who want to make gradual, more affordable changes, here a few healthy home essentials.
My Healthy Home Essentials
1. Drinking/cooking water filter. After my city sent out a water boil notice on multiple occasions (thanks to sewage in the tap–eek!), my husband and I bought a drinking water filter. We still had to boil our water during the notice, but the filter helped remove the oodles of chlorine pumped into the tap water. It also infuses the water with alkalinizing minerals. We use this one by Zen Water Systems.
2. Shower/bath water filter. Filtering out excess chlorine from your bath/shower is kinder to your skin and hair. I’ve used this Culligan shower filter for about three years (the cartridge is replaced every six months). For a bath, you can get a bath ball filter. Since living in two cities with hard (mineral-heavy) water, I’ve found that using a shower filter makes washing my hair more efficient. With softer water, it’s easier for shampoo to do its job.
3. Cloth shower curtain & curtain liner. I’ve found that our cloth shower curtain liner lasts longer than the plastic variety because it’s easy to throw in the wash every few weeks. I call this a healthy home essential because the cloth is far less likely to degrade and release fumes during a hot shower.
Georgina Shower Curtain (Cotton)
4. Glass food storage. I try to store the majority of my food, including dry goods in mason jars or glass pyrex containers. Not only is glass more durable, I also find that it looks chicer than plastic! By using glass, you’re avoiding BPA and other nasties from plastic (more on that here).
5. Teflon-free cookware. Teflon-coated pans are, unfortunately, not health promoting. When heated at high temperatures, Teflon pans release unfriendly fumes that can kill pet birds and give humans flu-like symptoms according to the Environmental Working Group. You always have the option of using stainless steel cookware and Corningware. If you’re used to using non-stick pans, however, I recommend picking up an Orgreenic skillet. These are coated with ceramic rather than Teflon and are amazing when it comes to non-stickability. Plus, they’re super easy to clean.
6. Green Cleaning Kit. Fortunately, environmentally-friendly cleaning products aren’t that difficult to find–and they’re not necessarily super expensive. Seventh Generation, The Honest Company, and Green Works are just a few of the companies that make effective cleaning products without the unpleasant and possibly hazardous fumes. The internet is also rich with recipes for DIY cleaning products that use baking soda, essential oils, lemon juice, or vinegar.
7. Organic Pillow. Replacing your entire bedding situation can add up, but if you want to make a start, begin with your pillow. This is the item that’s closest to our faces (especially for stomach sleepers!). There’s a range of organic/clean pillows on the market with varying price tags. Just be sure to look for an animal-free pillow (no down, no wool, etc.). Not only are down and wool pillows not cruelty-free, they may prove irritating for those sensitive to animal products.
What green changes have you made to your home? Share your healthy home essentials in the comments below 🙂
More in Home: 7 Vegan, Cruelty-Free Cleaning Products
How to Make Your Space Greener
Best Natural and Cruelty-Free Laundry Detergents
10 Must-Haves to Maximize a Small Kitchen
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Photo: Kaboompics, Denver Watson via Unsplash, Anthropologie, Olia Gozha via Unsplash, Clem Onojeguo via Unsplash, The Honest Company.