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Category: Healthy Living Tips

Triclosan – Common Household Chemical of the Month

I thought it would be interesting and informative to start highlighting a common household chemical/toxin every month. There are so many icky toxins in our homes, and the crazy thing is that most people just don’t know about them, or are so accustomed to using them that they’ve never thought about the negative effects! I’m hoping that by shining light on certain chemicals, that eyes will be opened to their dangers and side effects and that more homes will kick them to the curb!

Triclosan.

Where is it found? In most liquid dishwashing detergents, as well as hand soaps labeled “antibacterial”.

What is it? An aggressive antibacterial agent that can promote the growth of drug-resistant bacteria. Rebecca Sutton, PhD, a senior scientist at the Environmental Working Group explains “The American Medical Association has found no evidence that these antimicrobials make us healthier or safer, and they’re particularly concerned because they don’t want us overusing antibacterial chemicals — that’s how microbes develop resistance, and not just to these [household antibacterials], but also to real antibiotics that we need.” Other studies have now found dangerous concentrations of triclosan in rivers and streams, where it is toxic to algae. The EPA is currently investigating whether triclosan may also disrupt endocrine (hormonal) function. It is a probable carcinogen.

Why you should kick it to the curb. It’s likely a carcinogen – aka a substance capable of causing cancer in living tissue. It disrupts hormone function. It helps in building resistance of antibiotics, which is not good when your body actually needs them!

Safer Substitutes

  

Norwex hand wash and dishwashing liquid! My kids LOVE the hand soap because it foams. The dishwashing liquid smells so yummy, and they are both SUCH safer alternatives. Click on either photo to grab yours today 🙂

Simple & Effective Ways to Reduce Waste

Last weekend, our family made & canned 104 quarts of applesauce! We try to do this every year or so, and it gets easier as the kids get older – but the demand sure does increase! Canning is one way we try to cut down on waste as a family.

It’s a win-win because the day of canning (and I mean WHOLE day!) is such a fun time and the kids love being able to help. Everyone has a role, even if it’s toddling around with an apple in each hand munching away, AND we get a few months worth of applesauce with no can waste! The day of canning got me thinking about other creative ways we can continue to reduce waste. Here are a few of my favorites!

 

Makeup Cloths –

These are the ultimate chemical free facial cleansing cloths. Most store bought makeup removing cloths are soaked with chemicals that are not kind to your skin. This suede like material does an amazing job at removing makeup – foundation, mascara, eyeliner, etc, WITHOUT chemicals! Store bought makeup removal wipes can be expensive! Using 1 or 2 a day really adds up. Just think how big of a difference it would make if you didn’t have to reach for a disposable makeup removal wipe every night!

Click the picture to buy yours today!

 

Counter cloths –

You can read my in-depth blog post about Counter Cloths herebut to keep things short, I LOVE these guys! My family uses them almost constantly in the kitchen. They are such an amazing alternative to paper towels. Even the same size as a half paper towel sheet, but better! Honestly we use these guys so much I can’t even imagine how many paper towels we would go through if we used them. They clean up messes and most importantly, stop the growth and spread of icky bacteria, mold, and mildew with BacLock.

Click the picture to buy yours today!

 

Envirocloth

The “everything” cloth! I always say you can never have too many of these puppies! It’s amazing how many messes these have cleaned in my home with 6 kids, chickens, and our huge pup. These cloths can do it all (except dishes)! If you’ve yet to try Norwex products, start here with this guy! Read more about what makes the Envirocloth so awesome here!

Click the picture to buy yours today!

 

Silicone Container/Cup Lids

If you find yourself reaching for aluminum foil or plastic wrap to cover dishes often, these could be a great solution for you! They are so versatile and able to fit over almost all types of pots/pans/bakeware/cups/etc. Stock up on a few of these Silicone Lids and say goodbye to the plastic wrap problem!

Click the picture to buy yours today!

 

Reusable Wet Wipes bag

This is a lovely idea for families with kiddos on the go! I know for us, every time we’re out and about the kids touch things with germs, get sticky fingers, wipe boogers on their fingers, and so on! Fill one of the Reusable Wet Wipes bags with a few moist Travel Size Envirocloths, and you’re all set. Remove yucky bacteria and germs on the go without going through any disposable wipes!

Click the picture to buy yours today!

 

Straws

Plastic straws are a HUGE environmental issue these days! In America, we use over 500 million plastic straws per day – and most of those end up in the ocean, polluting the water & killing ocean life. Did you know at least 267 different species have been affected by plastic pollution in the ocean? If we can’t get this problem under control, by 2050 there will be more PLASTIC in our oceans than FISH. That just isn’t right!! YOU can help make a change! I’ve been so happy to see some popular restaurants and cafes making changes to help reduce the amount of plastic straw waste, and you can join the fight too! These stainless steel straws are perfect for at home or on the go. Keep a couple in your purse or car so you’re able to say no to plastic straws while dining out. Seriously, every time you say no adds up and is one less straw in our oceans. Let’s keep this earth beautiful!

Click the picture to buy yours today!

 

Grocery bags

Plastic bags are used for an average of 12 minutes. Another easy way to reduce waste is bringing your own reusable grocery bags when you go shopping instead of using their disposable ones! The average American family takes home 1,500 plastic shopping bags in a year – but only 1 percent of plastic bags are returned for recycling. That means that the average family only recycles 15 bags a year; the rest ends up in landfills as litter. Holy smokes! There are so many better uses for those than going home with us! For example – Americans use 100 billion plastic bags a year, which require 12 million barrels of oil to manufacture. It only takes about 14 plastic bags for the equivalent of the gas required to drive one mile. 100,000 marine animals are killed by plastic bags annually, and one in three leatherback sea turtles have been found with plastic in their stomachs.

Click the picture to buy yours today!

Guys, we CAN make a difference and we are responsible for taking care of our earth. Think of a few ways you can join the fight to reduce waste in your life and let’s start making those changes today!

Start em While They’re Young!! – Part 1

Some people (sometimes I would think most people in our society but I want to stay real and as positive as possible here) think that it’s irresponsible to have many children. I do understand the mindset behind this…”we are in an over population crisis! People are starving all over the world!…People use and wast so much energy in our country…There are landfills popping up everywhere..” and on and on it goes. I’m not saying these points are not valid, they certainly are! However I do not believe that the solution to these problems is making sure our communities have 1.5 children. I personally have seen landfills grow and even took a class in engineering school to learn how to design one to fill MORE garbage. I personally had a grandfather that said the meanest things about me wanting a large family. But here’s the thing, there is power in patiently educating without shoving points down people’s throats.

I do believe that we need to do better. Better in taking care of what has been given to us and being grateful for this earth that we live on. We need to show our kids that these are gifts given to us and to be good stewards of them. What will happen if I shove my believes into them without patiently teaching the HEART of the issue? They’ll flee from it all.

There are so many things that I am personally learning and I’m seeing how much grace I need in this as well. (Like when I’m just too lazy to rinse out the 12th yogurt container so that it can be recycled).

One thing I want to talk about today is instilling responsibility in my kids and teaching them that they need to take part in helping diligently and cheerfully. If I do everything for them, they will grow up believing that things should come to them on a silver platter. First they learn at home so that they can go out in society and apply it there.

Every morning my children are expected to do two chores laid out for them. We have a chore chart on the refrigerator that changes every season. I’m not saying that this is easy. Goodness there are many mornings that I want to run far far away from teaching this chore thing!

Along with these chores, my kids are learning about healthy living and how we keep our home safe from chemicals. They are able to do just about every task because we use Norwex and I don’t need to worry about toxic junk getting on their hands or being consumed.

 

Using Norwex in my home has effected my kids in ways that I don’t always realize. The other day I was trying to get some supplies together to do a craft with the kids. When I asked them if we had any paper towels, my 5 yr old responded by saying “what on earth is a paper towel??! It sounds like a towel made out of paper and that’s weird”. These simple things can have huge impacts for our world and communities. We can all take part in educating in some way!

R R & R

I do believe it is my responsibility to teach my kids how to be good stewards of this earth. I cannot help but cringe when I see trash littered all over the place because I am reminded of how some people just don’t care about taking care of our planet for future generations to come. Who wouldn’t want their kids and grandkids to enjoy clean lakes to swim in, clean hiking paths, clean drinking water, healthy air, and more and more.

I grew up in a state that values taking care of the environment so there were strict penalties for littering and pollution causing which is all fine and dandy BUT I think it is MY job as a parent to instill these values into my children. How?

*Model the behavior you want your kids to have by showing your kids how to reduce, reuse, and recycle. We show them what is important to us with the choices that we make and the priorities that we have (car we purchase, house we buy, being creative with using things over for another purpose, etc.)

RRR*Talk with them! Talk about why we choose not to put everything in the trash and why we hang a Norwex grocery bag in the kitchen that continually overflows with recyclables. Talk about why we don’t take 20 minute showers. Talk about why we don’t leave our toys around for the dog to chew up (and possibly choke on). You get the picture.

* Involve your kids as much as possible. Plant a garden with them. Clean up dog poop in the yard with them to show the value of keeping things from getting nasty and how we all need to have some dad gum responsibility.

*Celebrate Earth Day or something like it. My kids LOVE any reason to party 🙂 and they remember all the parties that we have no matter the reason. Many times we think of the nasty things happening on the planet (oil spills, plastic in the ocean, extinction of the whales) which is good to be aware of to learn from. But I want my kids to celebrate the beauty of what God created for us to be stewards of.

* Practice being more sustainable. We recently bought 6 backyard chickens to eat the ticks & other bugs without needing to use a chemical to do so. We will use our chickens for some winter dinners and then buy more chicks in the spring.

Being a good stewart is a big and sometimes hard job but the rewards that we reap from what we sow are more than worth it.

Sleeping with the Enemy

I hate to break this to you. This type of thing sometimes is better left unknown while you sleep in peace because knowing what I’m about the tell you will most definitely cause you to loose some shuteye. While you sleep in your cozy beds at night, you very well could be sharing your pillows and mattresses with millions and millions of these guys:

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dust-mites

Delightful eh? Dust mites make up 80% of the dust in your home and they live on dead skin cells, fungi & bacteria, and water vapor. We provide these ugly bugs all the nutrition they need to survive and multiply while we sleep. Dust mites also love to live in sofas, dog beds, stuffed animals, etc. but most live in your bedroom!

A single dust mite will produce 20 to 100 fecal pellets per day! Nasty! And this is what people are allergic to. The average person will toss and turn while they sleep 75 times in a single night. When we move in our sleep, dust mite feces expel into the air for us to breath.

I personally sleep a lot better at night when I’m NOT breathing in bug poop (or hearing my husband breath loud from his bug poop allergy). Thank you Norwex Mattress Cleaner!

norwex-mattress-cleaner

The Norwex Mattress Cleaner is an enzyme designed to remove organic material (dead dust mites, dust mite feces, dead skin cells) from mattress, pillows, bedding, and fabric furniture. It also neutralizes nasty odors in your bed (anyone have urine smells or stains in your bed?).

How to Use:

  • Use once every three months (I personally use it on the first day of each season so I remember to keep up on them bugs.
  • Spray directly on mattress, pillow, stuffed toy, etc.
  • 10 sprays for a twin, 15 sprays for a queen, 2 sprays for a pillow.
  • NO DOT use on non-absorbent crib mattress or covers.

How Does this stuff work? The Mattress Cleaner uses enzymes to feed on the dead dust mites, fecal material, pet dander, dead skin cells, and yeast & fungi. The enzymes feed off of these materials until the end result is carbon dioxide and water. When the enzymes are finished eliminating the organic material, they disintegrate! (NO dust mite bones left behind 😉

Please reach out if you have any questions! I have been amazed at the testimonials that I have heard from using this product. People with asthma especially have benefited from the Mattress Cleaner and I’m so excited that there is a simple solution to their breathing problems.