This post is Part 4 of a Multi-Part series about creating a more sustainable future. Topics covered in the series are:
- Sustainable and eco-friendly building options
- Toxicity in your home and how to reduce it as you build
- Recycling and reducing waste, both in the building industry and in our personal lives
- Energy efficiency in your home
- Living off the grid and more in alignment with our natural environment
What is toxic burden?
Our bodies are designed to filter out toxins present in our environment and food through breathing, perspiration, and eliminating waste. Our blood is filtered and cleansed, our hair is a pathway to remove heavy metals and other poisons and we flush our organs clean with fresh water (hopefully!) daily.
However, the rapidity with which we are advancing technology, industry and commerce, and increasing production, population and pollutants is staggering. Perhaps too fast in fact for our own body's evolution to keep up with.
Thing about toxic burden in your body as the added pressure put on your car when it's covered in snow or hasn't had a service in a few years. It's gonna struggle. Another example, consider when you're under a lot of stress, what happens? You might get sick, or suffer adrenal fatigue, gain weight or lose sleep. The burden of stress on your system is more than your body is equipped to sustain long term.
Toxic burden comes from many areas, some of the obvious ones are:
- Chemicals in food such as preservatives, colours, artificial flavours, sweeteners or pesticides
- Harsh cleaning chemicals
- Chemicals in makeup, skin care or cosmetics and fragrances, directly absorbed into the skin
- Pollution in the air such as exhaust fumes from traffic or sprays from farming and agriculture
- Cigarettes or alcohol
Some others may not be so obvious but can be reduced or eliminated in your home, helping to keep you and your family healthy and strong.
Reducing toxicity in your home
The way I see it, start small and gradually improve little by little. There are so many things that could help you live a less toxic life, but the idea is sustainability over a lifetime rather than a yo-yo diet of sorts.
My 10 favourite ways to reduce or eliminate toxicity are:
Buying organic where possible. So easy to do nowadays, and so worth it. Better yet, grow your own garden - getting into the soil is good both for your body and your mind.
Turning off wifi where possible, at least at night when trying to sleep (yes, your phone will still sound its alarm if on airline mode!). The amount of electromagnetic waves surrounding us is insane, and totally unnecessary when we're sleeping. Do yourself a favour and turn it off once in a while.
Earthing mats or sheets can also be used to reduce the electromagnetic fields when driving, sleeping or working at a computer - it's almost as though you're working with bare feet on the ground when you have your feet resting on an earthing mat.
Put salt lamps in your bedrooms and living areas, they are cheap to buy and neutralise the ions, cleanse and purify the air. Plus, they look so soothing and cosy!
Use eco products for cleaning both your body and your home. Better yet, get yourself a Kangen unit (happy to direct you to a supplier near you) and clean your house with WATER. Honestly, the best buy ever was our Kangen water machine. It is the ultimate in planet-friendly cleaning products. It produces alkaline water for drinking, slightly acidic water for cleaning the skin (dubbed "beauty water"), strong alkaline water for emulsifying oils (put in the washing machine or use to clean pesticides off of inorganic vegetables), and strong acid water that disinfects like bleach or dettol, but is actually just water - it's so good that the Japanese have used these machines in their hospitals for over 40 years, using the strong acid water to sanitise all their tools, surfaces and walkways. Incredible!
Use natural fibres as much as possible in clothing and furnishings around your home and avoid carpets and foams with flame-retardant chemicals (which do not, in fact, prevent a fire or delay it more than a few seconds) as these are highly toxic and have been shown to cause a wide range of hormonal problems, including infertility.
Take the best multivitamin and antioxidant you can find - this will help nourish your cells, of course, but also helps your body build up the ability to naturally fight against cellular degeneration and early ageing from stress and toxic burden.
When painting, use natural paints (plant based) or at least low-VOC paint. You have to live within those four walls, so make them safe!
Build with sustainable, recyclable and/or regenerative materials where possible.
Use glass, ceramic, stainless steel or cast iron cookware and storage containers. Reduce the use of plastics, especially the throw-away kind and especially with regards to food.