Let’s start 2021 as we mean to go on

As we say goodbye to what has been the most challenging and extraordinary year, let us start 2021 as we mean to go on…by reducing the number of harmful chemicals in our lives and to ensure a happier and healthier future for ourselves and our families.

It is estimated that the average home contains 62 toxic and potentially harmful chemicals, that could be detrimental to our health and have been strongly linked with conditions such as asthma and cancer. But by making some very small and simple changes to our lifestyles we can all limit the number of chemicals coming into our homes and reduce the impact they may have on our lives.

Here is my top 10 list for 2021 for reducing chemicals in your home:

  1. Take off your shoes at the door. Our shoes pick up quite a concoction of chemicals from the streets, so removing them at the door instantly reduces the spread into your home.
  2. Open your windows. Keeping your windows closed all the time retains fumes and toxins from furniture, carpets and paint, inside your home. Opening your windows, even for just a few minutes every day, allows these products to exit your living space, leaving less chemical residues in your home.
  3. Avoid non-stick pots and pans. This is particularly important if the surface is scratched or worn, in any way. These pans are loaded with toxins that can find their way into your food and harm your health. Opt for copper-coated, ceramic, cast iron, stainless steel or anodised aluminium pans.
  4. Reduce the plastic in your home. When you buy something new, think about the amount of plastic in the product and if there is an alternative on the market made from a more sustainable and less harmful material.
  5. Opt for eco friendly or home made cleaning products. Many toxic and harmful chemicals are brought into our homes through our cleaning and laundry products. There are a plethora of more environmentally friendly and cost effective products that are easily available nowadays.
  6. Avoid artificial fragrances and fragranced candles. They make your home smell great, but unless they are 100% natural, the substances in them are often harmful to our bodies. Diffusing essential oils is a much better alternative to candles and air-fresheners. You can also try simmering water on the stove with apples and cinnamon, for example.
  7. Take time to read the label. Personal care products can be loaded with a cocktail of harmful chemicals. Always read the label and know what you are putting onto your skin. Being the biggest organ, our skin is able to absorb many of the products that we put onto it. It can take as little as 26 seconds for some products to enter our blood stream.
  8. Buy organic clothing and bedding, where possible. Non-organic products can contain pesticide residue which, when it comes into contact with your skin, may leach into your body.
  9. Dust regularly. Using a microfibre cloth, and no chemical polish, to dust regularly. Dust often contains chemical residue, from house hold furniture, electronic equipment etc.
  10. Buy organic food. Know which fruit and vegetables you should prioritise for buying organic. Take a look at the Dirty Dozen List. Go to the website www.pan-uk.org and search “Dirty Dozen”.

Happy New Year and above all, please stay safe!

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Cranleigh Magazine