April 22 was Earth Day, but I believe every day should be “Earth Day”. If nothing else this pandemic did teach us a lot about what our mother Earth means to us. We saw so many instances of Nature reviving itself during the lockdown. Pollution reduced, rains increased, animals felt free, the sky was clearer, there are so many things.
We all missed going outdoors, being a Nature lover it was really hard being locked inside the home, but we are glad and thankful that stayed safe! Now I don’t want to take this in any other direction so let’s come back to eco-friendly and non-toxic life style.
For me and my husband this change started when we were in USA Texas in 2011 and he fell really sick, It later turned out to be an infection but we were scared as hell as doctors couldn’t diagnose it at first. That is when it got us thinking did we eat anything bad, drink anything bad? What did we do? How did this happen? There were many questions, and that led us to research about our food, drinks, lifestyle habits etc. And what all we found was nothing nice. Next came cosmetics, that was even horrible, will talk about that sometime later.
So we decided to bring serious changes in our lives. As a beginner you might find it intimidating but simply take that first step and you will eventually fall in love with it. So here is a list of the few things you can try to make the shift.
Disclaimer: All this information is based on my personal research, I am not an expert and have used this information for our benefits based on our understanding. So please use own best judgement.
1. Stop Buying Processed Food
First was to stop processed food as much as we could. We stopped buying and that’s how simple it is to stop eating them! Of course we indulge once in a while like maybe once a week or so but not more than that. These are full of sugars and refined flour, the two most dangerous substances to include in your diet. You can still call these foods but then comes all the artificial ingredients like added flavors, colors and preservatives which are nothing but chemicals. Many are possible carcinogens. And on top of that they have very low or almost zero nutritional value and are high in trans fats. This includes snacks like chips, sodas, biscuits, frozen meals etc.
Just to give you an example we have stopped drinking Cola drinks since 2011, the reason not only it contains too much sugar but the brown color you see is nothing but a chemical called “Caramel” which is a possible human carcinogen. And there is a long list of other harmful effects! But I guess this information is enough to stop yourself.
If you can’t stop it at once do it gradually, shift to whole grains or home made snacks.
2. Read the Labels
Second we started reading the labels, Yup, this is such a simple step and yet so useful. If you read stuff that you have never heard of, strange names, names that you can’t even pronounce, that there is a Red Flag. The longer the list the more garbage is in there. Many brands that claim to be Natural and yet have so much Sugar added in there. Just pick a processed food packet now and read the label, google those common names likes Propyl gallate or Sulfites, just see what is, and what you may be putting in your and your kids tummy! You will be shocked.
Even the so mentioned “Brown and Whole-wheat breads” from popular brands are full of these nasty ingredients. Like they list 10-15 ingredients for something that can be made with 4 ingredients.
3. Go Organic
These days Organic produce and staples are easily available everywhere. They might seem a bit pricey but they are worth it. After all nothing is more important that your health. If you can’t make the switch immediately try to do it gradually, start with a few things. Always look for the certifications before buying. Don’t just go by the words “Organic” and “Natural” that are very misleading.
4. Stop Buying Bottled Water
This is literally the worst thing that you can put in your body. Stop buying this period. And don’t ever commit the crime of reusing the bottles for drinking, make craft or put an ornamental pant in it. Not only it creates so much waste that is harmful, the bottles are made of plastic containing BPA that can leach into water when exposed to high heats, I mean come on don’t tell me you have never seen those open trucks transporting these bottles in hot Sun! Or even you leaving that bottle in the car when you are out shopping! Studies have linked them to breast cancer.
5. Switch to Glass and Steel
Please stop using the plastic. We were using it way too much. Then then we totally stopped. We still have a few containers which are BPA free, but as we settle down finally I will replace those with steel or glass. Glass is best, with small kids Steel is wonderful! These are dishwasher safe, high heat safe and and be easily recycled!
6. Bonus Tip! Start Upcycling at Home
There are so many crafts that you can try and teach your kids about it! You can reuse magazines to make things, plastic containers to make planters, decorate and reuse glass jars, reuse the cardboard packaging to make crafts and storage boxes, it goes on so many options!
Here is a quick one for you to begin!
I hope you found something useful here today and are ready to take that first step.
Much love and take care,