Written by Lisa Dreher, MS, RDN, LDN
Living Green and Clean

Living Green and Clean

You might have asked yourself, “What’s up with this “green living” trend and why should I swap my house cleaners, body care products, and other chemicals with cleaner alternatives?” Well, it’s estimated that the average adult carries at least 700 toxins in their body and that newborn babies can carry over 200. This is very alarming because research has shown many health problems that result from this level of toxic burden including obesity, chronic fatigue, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, cancer, infertility, and various hormone imbalances, allergies, behavioral/mood disorders, neurological conditions, and Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, among many others. Regular exposure to very common products that contain so many harmful chemicals could be robbing you of your physical and mental health. Fortunately, there are many resources available to help equip you and your family with healthier, safer products.

Here are some of our favorites:

  1.  The Environmental Working Group – is a non-profit organization that draws from the most current research to identify harmful chemicals in our environment and several resources to help protect the public from unnecessary toxic exposure. One thing I often discuss with my patients is the Dirty Dozen and Clean 15. This list provides the top 12 fruits and vegetables that are laden with herbicides and pesticides and should always be purchased organic when possible.
  2. Seventh Generation – has been producing safe, plant-based cleaning products for almost 3 decades. They offer everything from household cleaners to baby’s diapers to feminine care products. They also provide a variety of suggestions for living a greener, cleaner lifestyle.
  3. Local Harvest – “Connects people looking for good food with the farmers who produce it.” Living green and clean is not just about the products you use to clean your home or wash your hair. It is very much linked to what is at the end of your fork. You are what you eat, and we believe that sourcing your food locally, in season, from high quality farms is one of the most important things you can do for your body and the environment.   
  4. Think Dirty –  this easy to use app allows you to search or scan the barcode of cosmetic and personal care products from the U.S. and Canada. It then provides a breakdown of product ingredients, a toxicity score from 1-10, as well as recommended products.
  5. Green Home – offers everything from non-toxic kitchen and bath products to office supplies, pet care products, as well as bedding. (Yes, you can get mattresses here!) Most products offered by this company are organic and made from sustainable materials. Not only that, but they are mindful of the impact that shipping has on the environment, so they use the least amount of material necessary.

 

Having so many resources is great, but it can be overwhelming. Start with one simple change, even if that means just becoming familiar with the Dirty Dozen, or swapping plastic food containers with healthier alternatives. Taking on one change at a time will keep stress low and help make the process of living greener and cleaner more enjoyable!  

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