29 Apr Be Chemical Free
“The Earth is what we all have in common.”
– Wendell Berry
The Warrior One studio, as many of you know, is proudly chemical-free. We have actively sought to provide our cliental with a healthy, clean and safe environment where you can engage with your body, practice yoga and work towards an overall improvement on your health. But what does chemical-free living really entail? If words like organic, natural, clean, non-corrosive, pesticide-free and additive-free come to mind then you’re on the right path! A chemical-free lifestyle is a big commitment, but the health and environmental benefits are endless. Apart from significantly reducing your carbon footprint, eliminating chemicals from your home and your daily routine can have profound results for your body.
Consider the amount of toxic chemicals you are exposed to each day. Laundry detergents, oven cleaner, dishwashing liquids, bleach, chlorine, air freshener, cans, plastic containers, deodorants, shampoos, nail polish and fresh fruit and vegetables are only some of the household items that contain dangerous substances. In any typical day the human body can be exposed to over 700,000 chemicals and long-term exposure can lead to serious health concerns. Those who suffer from conditions of asthma, allergies, chronic headaches, nausea and fatigue are potentially worsened due to daily contact with chemically laden products. Some chemicals, known as endocrine disruptors, can have a damaging influence on our hormone development and function and can seriously weaken our immune defences. And, probably the most worrying of all, our oblivious use of carcinogens is considered a leading cause of cancer.
It’s hard to know where to even begin to reduce your contact with toxins. These days we are reliant on chemically loaded products to perform even the most mundane tasks like shaving your legs or wiping the kitchen bench. However, the issue of chemical use isn’t just limited to products inside your home. Changing a printer cartridge on the work photocopier, getting your hair coloured at a salon or simply fertilising the garden are all ways in which you are brought in contact with these harmful elements. Therefore, if you plan on lowering your user consumption of toxins and attempting a chemical-free lifestyle, the best advice is to start small:
- You are what you eat: It can be pricey, but forking out some money for better quality produce will do you the world of good. Look for organic, fresh foods that are free from heavy processing and packaging, and always try your best to buy local Australian goods. Recite the dirty dozen to your memory – a list of fruit and veg often contaminated with dangerous pesticides. These include cherries, celery, capsicum, apples, grapes, nectarines, peaches, pears, strawberries, spinach, potatoes and raspberries and should be washed thoroughly before eating. Buying organic almost guarantees that the produce is as close to its natural state as possible, meaning it won’t be covered with chemical nasties. Farmer’s markets and good Aussie fruit grocers are your best bet in finding the good stuff.
- Green clean: Choose one chemical-based cleaning product from each room in the house and make the switch to something natural. It could be washing powder for the laundry, spray and wipe for the kitchen, air freshener for the toilet and drain cleaner for the bathroom. Do some research on which products you can buy from the supermarket that have fewer toxins and are healthier for the environment as well as your body. Better yet, get creative and make your own natural cleaning remedies – seriously, the things you can clean with bicarb-soda are limitless!
- Explore your beauty drawer: Both women and men (yes, you guys listen up too!) should be investing in quality natural washes for your hair, face and body. Next time you’re in the shower read the ingredients label on your shampoo bottle. If the list is full of numbers and chemicals that you can’t pronounce then it’s definitely time to swap it. Like the previous tip, choose one or two products to start with so your wallet doesn’t take too much of a hit. Again, do your research so you’re familiar with which supermarket brands are the best option. Body+Soul can fill you in on the basics behind organic beauty products too.
It’s understandable that living completely chemical-free is highly unrealistic for many individuals and families. Though the health and environmental benefits are high, the effort and cost of an organic lifestyle can sometimes take its toll. Before you take on the task of ridding yourself of all toxin-loaded products and habits, remember that it’s perfectly fine to start with small changes here and there. However, what is most important is increasing your knowledge about the harmful effects of chemicals and then spreading the word to friends and family. This way, we can all work toward a healthier chemical-free lifestyle as a community.