Note: I am not a doctor, herbalist, aromatherapist or chemist. I am just an everyday mom trying to figure out how to live naturally. This recipe is one that works for myself and my family. Please consult your doctor before using any diy recipe or essential oils to confirm that they are safe for you. This holds especially important if you are currently pregnant.
Natural Living -9 Household Swaps For A Natural Home
Eliminate chemicals, scents, and plastic by using some of these healthy home swaps for a natural home. You can read more about my journey to holistic living in this blog post but know that it wasn’t done overnight! Changing your habits is HARD.. which why I wanted to give you these quick hacks to help?
I’ve been doing a lot of podcasts lately (check out the latest one here!) and this means chatting to a ton of hippies haha.
I thought that I was a natural living, crunchy girl but apparently, I’ve just brushed the tip of the iceberg.
The fun news though is that I have a renewed energy for making my household, where my kids spend the majority of their time as natural of a home as I can.
And I wanted to share!
I’ve made a lot of eco-friendly swaps over the last six years, some easier than others, and for anyone who is just getting started with a natural home, I wanted to make that easier.
So, here’s my biggest tip: DON’T FREAK OUT. <– seriously that’s the tip.
There are a zillion things you CAN be doing but every little change and swap help.
So, pick the natural living ideas that feel most right or the easiest for you and rock them.
I once read “we don’t all have to be perfect at everything but if each of us could be perfect at one thing we’d be in a good place”.
You may not be ready to switch over your plastic but if you can eliminate some cleaning products it’s a killer start.
Why I Want A Natural Home
When I was chatting with my friend Martina on Podcast #5, she said it best: we can’t control everything around us (the air, Wi-Fi frequencies etc) but we CAN control what goes in us and on us.
And it made so much sense to me!
The truth is, we’re surrounded by things that our bodies cannot process. From food and lotions and cleaning products and chemical sprays.
The way our lifestyle is, we’re never going to be fully toxin-free.
It’s my personal belief that the reason we’re struggling so hard with disease is a combination of all these things. There’s no one specific thing that causes disease but rather an accumulation of everything.
We put so much junk in and around our bodies and they have no way of breaking it down. So, we overload, and it causes issues.
Which is why I’m so freaking particular when it comes to real, nourishing food and natural living.
And since I can’t control everything around me (though I would like to…) I’m going to be a badass at what I CAN control.
And that means the food I put in my body and doing my best to eliminate chemicals in my home.
When it comes to these healthy hacks and eco-friendly ideas for your home, there’s one thing to consider:
Some of the ideas below are specifically to reduce chemicals you inhale or touch. However, some of the tips are to benefit the environment as a whole so we don’t crash and burn.
Remember, every little bit helps
Natural Living Ideas #1- Veggie Wash
Before my journey to health, I never actually washed my veggies. It just didn’t register to me.
Nowadays, I know that even fancy organic veggies come sprayed with something. And so, everything gets washed!
However, a lot of store-bought washes somehow contain chemicals that we’re trying to remove from said veggies so…wtf They’re also pricey.
What I do: I soak my fruits and veggies in about ¼ sink of warm water with 1 cup of vinegar and sometimes 1-2 drops lemon essential oil. Then I scrub them down.
Super simple and far less expensive than what you’re buying! I have a bamboo veggies scrubber and it rocks. Fun fact: this is actually my toddler’s favorite job and she normally does it (because for some reason I dislike it haha)
This one came simple to me because I’m Dutch haha. Homemade cleaning products are so much cheaper!
Many cleaning products contain super harmful chemicals because heaven forbid, we have germs! Gasp! I’d rather take on the dirt than the crazy man-made chemical something.
We touch these chemicals and sometimes eat off them (like the counter) and then we absorb said chemicals (and don’t get me started on fragrance- below!).
You can easily buy “eco-friendly” cleaners like those from Seventh generation, but I’ll be honest saying it gets expensive!
Especially when vinegar, water, some castile soap, and essential oils do the same thing.
I’ll be whipping up a recipe for all my cleaners eventually but for now, I kind of rock something similar to:
- ½ cup vinegar
- 3 tbs castile soap
- 2-3 cups water
- Essential oils
I like to use lemon, tea tree, and on guard essential oils for fighting bacteria and any other that smell nice.
I actually make my own multi-surface, floor, and bathroom cleaners. Though I do purchase glass cleaners because vinegar and newspaper never worked for me.
This one kills me, and I used to be the WORST culprit. I would pretty much buy out the Febreze section in Walmart in my twenties because it made everything “so fresh”. HA
Did you know fragrance isn’t overly regulated? Meaning, that sh*t can be ANYTHING. And we just sit around and inhale, inhale, inhale.
Eff that. I personally make my own DIY room spray if I need something fresh, or I just rock some essential oils in a diffuser.
Same job, far less inhaling of toxic shit.
Story: I used to eye twitch at those people who said they needed everyone not to wear perfume because the smell gave them headaches. Like really? Suck it up.
.. and now I’m that person!
Once you eliminate certain things from your home and your system you are FAR more sensitive to the issues they actually cause.
If I go into a restaurant bathroom (which is obviously normally sprayed) my nose is going crazy and it’s like an instant headache.
Close quarters make it even worse. New car smell or crazy car fragrance kills me.
This is probably one of the easiest natural living swaps in your home you can make and it offers a HUGE difference. No air fresheners, no cheap candles, and no random other spray things.
Diy laundry was one of my first ever natural swaps and I’ve never looked back! You can read more about my diy laundry trials here.
If you chose to make your own laundry- it’s easy! But what I love most about this swap is that if you purchase a natural brand it normally comes in a cardboard box. Which means less stress on the environment.
Think of how much plastic you go through (laundry, take out, self-care products). and that’s just you.
So, anything that each individual can do to reduce their plastic is a win for the environment.
Lemons work for just about everything in the house and if you’re transitioning to a natural home- by some.
They get odors out of wooden things, they clean wickedly, you can make infused vinegar for cleaning with the leftovers (which makes the cleaning product more potent).
Lemons help make things smell fresh (boil the rinds and your house smells amazing) and you can even use rinds in your garden to ward off squirrels.
Body Care For Natural Living
This transition to eco-friendly swaps might take you a bit longer. And remember- that’s okay! But what we put ON our body is just as important at what we put in it.
Switching your lotions, deodorant, shampoos, toothpaste etc to either homemade or a natural alternative makes an insane difference to your system.
Think of how much STUFF females put on daily- it’s insane.
And if each of those has their own chemical makeup… it’s a lot for your body to sort through.
Obviously I make my own lotions, lip chap, sunscreen, etc but that may not be for you. There’s a lot of killer natural brands out there that are well worth the money. Joyous Health has some awesome hair care products and for beauty products and deodorant (I failed so effing miserably making my own haha), I use Primally Pure products.
They only contain natural ingredients and they’re free from harmful chemicals. I have an obsession with their Blue Tansy deodorant. If you snag some swag from them, use code fitasamamabear to save 10% on your first order.
Use Old Clothes
This is one of those “grandma” things but valid! We are so goddamn disposable, it’s mildly depressing.
Instead of throwing out old clothes (which probably took a ton of water and resources to make), use them for something new:
- As a base for kids painting
- To wipe slides at the park after the rain
One of the easiest ways to help out your house is to switch to glass. Tons of products come in glass jars anyways (sauerkraut, kimchi, almond butter etc) so re-use those jars and slowly wean out plastic containers!
Make the switch to class containers, beeswax wraps and silicone bowl toppers for storage. You help the environment, your food stays fresh longer and there won’t be any plastic stuff leaking into your food if you put it in hot.
Grocery & Produce Bags
The easiest hack to start with! Replace your traditional grocery bags with a few reusable ones.
The next step is to make sure you actually bring said bags to the grocery store haha
I’ve also recently picked up some local, produce bags which makes farmers market visits far more awesome.
That said, we definitely forget our bags sometimes and end up with plastic (what can you do). At the very least, reuse the plastic bag for garbage cans, kitty litter etc.
Paper cups seem like the most innocent thing. And they totally are. Buuttt if you’re trying to have a more natural home, opt for silicone instead.
Anything that you can use time and time again is far better than something having to be made for one-time use.
This applies to straws, utensils, etc
Don’t forget to pin these natural living ideas!
There are a lot of systems you can implement to have a more natural home. I personally like to focus on toxic load things we directly touch or consume. But swapping to reusable items to help the environment is a good place to start too!
And, if you need more inspiration, check out the best eco-friendly gifts you can give to others who want to start their journey!
Remember, it’s not about how perfect you about doing ALL THE THINGS but about the difference, you can make by just implementing some of them. Trying counts.