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Most people agree that eliminating toxic chemicals from the home is a healthy choice, but many worry that going toxic-free will be too expensive. But a toxic-free lifestyle doesn’t have to be one that only a few can enjoy! There are many ways to protect our families from toxic chemicals without breaking the bank.

Take your shoes off!

Don’t walk around your house with your outdoor shoes on. Your shoes can bring harmful chemicals from outside into your living space. Leaving your shoes at the door will also save you time on vacuuming!

Use baking soda and vinegar for cleaning.

Store-bought cleaners can be expensive and hazardous. It’s cheaper to use baking soda and vinegar for cleaning, and just as effective. You can add a few drops of your favorite essential oil for a great scent, too! Check out our toxic-free recipes for homemade cleaning products as safer alternatives.

Don’t microwave plastic.

Heat can accelerate leaching of chemicals from plastics into food. Use a glass or ceramic dish instead as a safer option. Or better yet, use the oven to heat up your food.

Skip canned foods like beans.

While many companies have moved away from using BPA to line cans, in many cases they have switched to other harmful materials like PVC/vinyl. Opt instead for cheaper dried beans. It takes just a small amount of planning in the morning to soak the dried beans so they are ready to cook for dinner. You can also cook big batches of dried beans and freeze them, so that you have beans when you need them.

Avoid air fresheners and scented candles, which can contain harmful chemicals. 

Open up the windows to get fresh air instead.

Wash your hands with soap and water instead of using hand sanitizers.

Traditional handwashing, even in the age of Coronavirus, is the most effective way to remove germs and, unlike hand sanitizers, doesn’t risk exposing your family to harmful chemicals.

Eat organic fruits and vegetables where it counts the most.

Eating organic fruits and vegetables is a healthy option, but can get expensive. Focus on avoiding foods that have been found to contain high levels of pesticides. Consider choosing organic options when purchasing apples, celery, strawberries, peaches, spinach, nectarines, grapes, sweet bell peppers, cucumbers, cherries, tomatoes, hot peppers, kale, and collard greens. These crops have been found to have the most pesticide residues.

Buy a cast iron pan.

Cast iron pans are inexpensive, long-lasting, and won’t expose you to microplastics and dangerous “forever chemicals” found in Teflon pans.

Skip the weed killers as many are toxic to people and wildlife.

Low-cost options include pulling weeds by hand or paying your kids a nominal amount to do the weeding for you (five cents per weed was one suggestion). Fall is also a great time to apply mulch to prevent weeds.

Tell your state and federal legislators about the need for laws that make sure harmful chemicals aren’t used in household products.

It is impossible for us to shop our way out of avoiding toxic chemicals in products – and we shouldn’t have to! Taking action by sending an email, making a phone call, writing a letter, or having a face-to-face meeting with policymakers is a low-cost and effective way to help protect your home and your community from toxic chemicals. Check out our Take Action page for quick and easy ways you can help make a difference and take action right now!