Simply put, your chemical footprint is the sum total of your personal care, beauty, cleaning products, and pharmaceuticals. Many of these products contain dangerous chemicals, including contaminants of emerging concern (CECs). CECs are pervasive and can lead to health and environmental issues. Reducing the number of chemicals that you come in contact with every day is not only a healthier choice for you but can substantially reduce groundwater contaminants.
When I got my diagnosis of severe chemical sensitivities, the only safe path was complete avoidance. I had to take a closer look at everything I was using for both personal care and cleaning. It was shocking to see how many toxins I had been exposing myself to every day. I spent the last few years further reducing my chemical footprint and have experienced health benefits; and saved a ton of money.
Are you ready to take steps in the right direction?
1. Create an inventory of your products
Spoiler alert, you are probably using 2-3 times as many products as you think you are. The best way to tackle a problem is to understand how big it is. Find out what your number is; you will be amazed!
2. Check your labels
Product labels today can be complicated to decipher unless you have a chemistry degree. Do not get overwhelmed and give up. A good starting point is to eliminate anything that contains: BHA, BHT, sulfates, mineral oil, parabens, synthetic fragrances, formaldehyde, phthalates, petroleum, and coal tar dyes. Eliminate these toxins from your daily routine, and you'll be off to a great start.
3. Use less of your products
Most of us use more than the recommended amounts, and it can really add up over a lifetime. With most products, a little goes a long way. If you really want to commit, you can embrace the minimal bathing trend gaining popularity with the Hollywood set.
4. Give DIY a try
Try your hand at making commonly used products, and you'll improve your health and save your hard-earned dollars. One easy option to start with is a homemade all-purpose cleaner. Simply add 1 part white distilled vinegar and 1 part water in a spray bottle. Add in a few drops of your favorite essential oil to elevate the mix. It is incredibly effective and you will spend pennies on the dollar compared to commercial options.