16 July, 2021
Make sure you read labels
DO YOU read all of the labels on your products? Has this never crossed your mind? Becoming aware of the toxins in products, including every jar and packet is one of the most important steps in taking charge of the health and wellbeing of you and your family. Every choice you make in this arena in turn affects the health of the planet.
By Lucy Smith and Karen Jacobsen
DO YOU read all of the labels on your products?
Has this never crossed your mind?
Becoming aware of the toxins in products, including every jar and packet is one of the most important steps in taking charge of the health and wellbeing of you and your family. Every choice you make in this arena in turn affects the health of the planet.
If you are new to this practice it can be a shock to discover just how many toxic ingredients and chemicals we ingest and spray and wash our clothes in.
Note that ingredients are listed in the order of most to least in therms of quantity. If there is an ingredient you cannot pronounce, this is a red flag. If there are numbers, the ingredient is potentially an additive or preservative.
Why is this important?
Behavior issues, acne, depression, hyperactivity, carcinogens and hormone disruption are just some of the repercussions from ingesting toxins and chemicals.
These are in every day items and likely if you visit your pantry, your bathroom cupboard and (gulp) even your children’s school lunch boxes, it can be horrifying to discover the poisons we are unknowingly making a part of our daily lives.
This can be an overwhelming process. I know it’s made me wonder how it can be allowed, but there you have it, money talks. Cheap ingredients are unfortunately frequently not the cleanest ingredients.
Keep an eye out for the word “natural” on products. You guessed it - it doesn’t necessarily mean there is anything natural about that product at all. Same with the use of the word “healthy.”
There is an app called Chemical Maze, which is a fabulous resource. You can type in names of ingredients and identify the risk levels of each item.
If you prefer, there is also a book. These insidious ingredients are everywhere. It seems hard to fathom, but asbestos is found in some children’s make up kits. That is not a typo. Asbestos.
We would love to think regulations protect us and have our well being as top priority. Please, please take charge of this area of your health by becoming aware of the ingredients in every single product in your home.
Other places to look - your cleaning cupboard.
This can also be a time consuming and ongoing process to become better educated. Rethink that “clean smell” as you walk through the supermarket, as many carcinogenic ingredients lurk there in plain sight.
The topic of make up and body products is vast and we will delve into this in a future column.
The fewer number of ingredients, frequently the healthier the product is for you.
So What Do I Do Now?
Here are some ideas of how to replace products.
Become a label detective and look at every item closely. You can make this an educational opportunity with the children in your life when you are shopping.
Take charge of the products you bring into your home. Much of this can be trial and error, but question before purchasing.
When it comes to cleaning, we generally use many more chemicals than necessary. Think of the cleaning products your Grandmother (or Great Grandmother) used. Vinegar, bi carb soda, citric acid, washing soda, eucalyptus oil and clove oil; and be amazed at how inexpensively and effectively cleaning can be.
How Does This Relate to Zero Waste?
When we purchase from zero waste conscious businesses we are generally using less ingredients, fewer plastic containers and reducing waste. Making your own cleaning products can be easy, inexpensive and effective. You might even have fun.