Go to the gym. Get organized. Start a new hobby. There's a list of three common new years resolutions, which doubles as a list of resolutions I've made and haven't kept a hundred times over. But my non-toxic resolutions? Those I've kept, because I've made them easy and concrete. Two years ago, I started using non-toxic handsoap, since I wash my hands several times a day. The year before, I replaced two frequently-used nonstick pans with stainless steel alternatives. This year, I'm going to improve my indoor air quality with an air filter, a few plants, and a window opening routine.
Skip those worn out resolutions this year, and try an easy, inexpensive non-toxic resolution instead. Here are the top five tips for creating your own non-toxic New Years Resolution:
1) Lose the shoes: Lower your toxic chemical exposures by leaving your shoes at the door. Lead-contaminated soil from the outside creates the majority of lead dust inside our homes. Leaving your shoes at the door can cut your lead dust levels by 60 percent, and also reduce your exposure to pesticides, dust mites, and more.
2) Open a window: We spend most of our time indoors, which is why cleaning up your indoor air quality is one of the most important things you can do to avoid toxic chemicals. Luckily, the best way to clean up your indoor air is also easy and free: Open a window for five minutes every day. This simple action significantly lowers levels of indoor air pollutants. Try to do this daily, and not just at home: If you can, open a window at work for a few minutes too.
3) Replace one thing: For most of us, it’s just not possible to replace all of the items in our homes that contain toxic chemicals. That’s okay. Instead of getting overwhelmed, why not focus on replacing one thing that you use a lot? Here are a few suggestions:
- Your most used nonstick pan: Think about what recipes you cook the most, and what cookware you use for those dishes, and focus on replacing that cookware. That way the foods you eat the most will also be the foods cooked in the healthiest way
- Hand soap: You wash your hands several times a day, so make sure you’re not exposing yourself to chemicals each time. Check out the Skin Deep database for non-toxic handsoap recommendations.
- All purpose cleaner: Your most used cleaner should be your least toxic. This is an easy, cheap fix: Use our DIY Cleaning Supply Guide to whip up a simple, two or three ingredient cleaner (Don’t worry about buying supplies; These are all ingredients you probably already have in your house, like water.)
4) Learn a skill: Easy, DIY skills will make your non-toxic journey smoother, and less expensive. This year, pick a skill that will help you detox your life, like:
- Learn how to cook your own beans or soup at home: Consume less canned foods, and less BPA, by learning how to make one thing at home that you usually buy canned. Don't worry about learning how to make everything at home! Just focus on one recipe or skill and master it.)
- Master a DIY non-toxic cosmetic or cleaning supply: Not the crafty type? Don’t worry, you can use these one ingredient DIY swaps instead of tackling a big project.
- Pick up a good habit: Wash your makeup brushes. Regularly filter your water. Try one of the two habits listed at the top of this post.
5) Make a Big Change: Why are toxic chemicals in our cosmetics, cleaning supplies, kids toys, and more? This year, don’t get overwhelmed: get active. If you make one non-toxic resolution, take five minutes to make a change our outdated chemicals legislation. Here are a few ways:
- Learn more: Find out more about our current chemicals legislation with this comprehensive guide from Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families.
- Take action: Click here to take action and ask your Senators to support the Safe Chemicals Act.
- Tell your story: Become a part of our story map by clicking here to answer the question “I want comprehensive toxic chemical reform because____________.”