When you think about it, there's a lot going on around our bodies! From the products we ingest or apply topically to those we use in our home, car, or office, it can be easy to forget that each and every one of them will have an impact on our biology. We live in an age of plastics, pesticides, waterproofing, non-stick cooking tech, fragranced products, and processed foods, but all it takes is a conscious attitude towards what we surround ourselves with to benefit both our health and the planet's wellbeing.
What is a Low-Tox Life
Of course, it would be impossible to go completely toxin-free, as disheartening as this may be. However, the goal of a low-tox life is not perfection, only consciousness.
The term 'low-tox life' was coined by now-consultant and advisor Alexx Stuart. She eventually became weary of treating her chronic health issues with anti-biotics only for them to flare up repeatedly. After successfully consulting a naturopath, she delved into what our food, hygiene and household products actually contain, and how this impacts on our health.
Her conclusions led her to seek an increasingly natural lifestyle. She made more conscious choices about what she surrounded herself with to reduce toxins and chemicals in her body and her environment. Her focus was on creating a safer environment for herself and her family.
How to go low-tox
Successfully engaging in a low-tox lifestyle is not as intimidating as it sounds. It can be remarkably fun, economical and straightforward to reduce the levels of toxicity in your home!
In the Kitchen
1) Where you can, buy local, organic and whole foods - think fewer products, more produce! Consider animal diets (is the cattle grain-fed or pasture-fed?) and ideally buy whole poultry or larger sections of meats, with the goal of using as much as possible. Be creative in the kitchen! Looking at how food is packaged is also essential.
2) Stick to stainless steel. Non-stick and Teflon utensils emit harmful VOCs which can hang out in the atmosphere for a while.
In the Home
3) Synthetic fragrances, such as scented candles, air fresheners, fabric softeners and reed diffusers, are a significant contributor to the toxins in our homes. Opt for beeswax candles or essential oils instead.
4) Household cleaning products contain a slew of harmful chemicals, including synthetic fragrances, so make your own vinegar-based cleaning solutions instead. Fill a spray bottle with 300ml vinegar, 200ml water and 5-10ml of your favourite essential oil. Tea tree, lavender and eucalyptus are great options! They are disinfectants, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal.
5) Bring the outside in. Plants are both visually pleasing and help to purify the air inside your home.
Beauty and Hygiene
6) Make natural products the focus of your beauty and hygiene routines, from your shower gel and shampoo to your aluminium-free deodorant. I promise they do work!
7) You can use carrier oils such as coconut oil, jojoba oil or beeswax as moisturisers, make-up removers, and a slew of other things in and of themselves. However, you can also use them as a base to DIY your own products, which is fabulous fun.
In the Outdoors
8) When it comes to waterproofing, plastic materials and aerosols are the go-tos. But to avoid the use of plastic, and to steer clear of air pollutant chemicals, choose nature's solutions: beeswax and lanolin! These are great natural waterproofers for leather and fabric and can be re-applied as need be.