Tips for Switching From Synthetic To Natural Home Products
Take a look at your home products—what do you see? Sure, they may appear normal at first sight. But there are many products we use at home that could be harming us, our children, or our pets without us realizing it.
What we may be unsure about is which products we should switch out and which ones we can keep. The eco-friendly market is now booming because many people are experiencing the effects of the chemicals they’ve been using for years.
Or perhaps, they’re beginning to understand just how important it is to take care of our planet. If you’re looking to make your home toxin-free, here are some tips for switching from synthetic to natural home products.
What Does “Synthetic” Mean?
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, synthetic means, “something resulting from synthesis rather than occurring naturally; a product (such as a drug or plastic) of chemical synthesis”.
Essentially, synthetic materials are created by humans rather than nature itself. This can be quite harmful to humans, pets, and potentially, the environment. Let’s explore deeper into synthetic materials.
How Are Synthetic Products Produced?
While most synthetic products include a general foundation of production, it’s important to note that each product must be examined on a case-by-case basis. Manufacturers may sometimes pull natural resources to create synthetic items, while others are 100% factory-made.
For example, when synthetic ingredients are combined with natural compounds to make a product, scientists will closely analyze the atoms that make up the natural substance and arrange properties to create an identical version.
Effects of Synthetics
While it may be easy to guess, utilizing synthetic items whether at home, work, in your car, and anywhere else can become quite harmful to your body and environment over time.
Additionally, most synthetic ingredients are non-biodegradable, so when they’ve reached the end of their use, they add to land, water, and air pollution because the earth cannot naturally eliminate them.
Our skincare and health routines may include many products that we don’t usually think twice about. For example, products like moisturizers, lip balms, and vitamins or supplements may need to be replaced.
Most lotions and lip balms contain certain amounts of petroleum jelly. This compound can be harmful to our bodies because they hold high amounts of PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) which negatively impact our nervous and cardiovascular system. Switch to waxy or salve products such as Waxelene or Dr. Bronner’s Organic Magic balm.
Additionally, the outer casing of many supplements is made synthetically. It’s always best to get most of your nutrients from natural foods like fruits and vegetables.
Similar to skincare, many of your beauty products like perfumes and clothing may also contain large amounts of synthesized ingredients. It’s critical to understand that the fragrance industry may be loosely regulated, meaning the ingredients they use are considered “trade secrets” and don’t need to be disclosed to the public.
Try looking for products that don’t contain phthalates, plastics, or petroleum-derived materials. There are many products on the market that offer more natural perfumes!
Many clothes are made from polyester, nylon, lycra, and more. These ingredients can be harmful to humans and the environment, as they’re mostly made from plastic—which is detrimental to the environment. Try to look for more sustainable clothing with biodegradable fabrics, which you can find in many department stores.
When doing laundry, try to avoid scented beads and detergents that contain harmful chemicals. Scented beads may add a boost of scent to your clothing, but they’re nothing more than artificial fragrances and other unknown ingredients.
There are many alternatives you can choose from when it comes to washing and maintaining a clean, subtle scent on your clothes. For example, try to opt for eco-friendly products that contain natural ingredients, while still fighting odors, dirt, and grime.
Furthermore, you may consider using a scented shelf liner to keep your linen smelling fresh for weeks, while also complementing any home’s color palette.
There are many cleaning products you may use in your kitchen that contain synthesized materials, but let’s talk about the items you may not have thought of! For example, when you go grocery shopping, try bringing a reusable shopping bag with you instead of utilizing the plastic bags at the store.
Additionally, while most plastic bottles may offer a cost-effective price, it’s best to go with reusable glass bottles. Not only do they last longer, but replacing plastic items with glass and other sustainable materials may also be better for your health and the environment.
When it comes to your morning routine, it may be time to examine the ingredients you put in your coffee. For example, artificial sweeteners are considered harmful to our health because in the food industry, “artificial” is another word for “synthetic”. Be sure to always examine the nutritional labels in your food and drinks.
When it comes to your pets, try replacing heavily scented shampoos with non-scented and natural washes to ensure your pet’s coat does not contain synthetic materials.
Furthermore, it may be best to avoid “crystal” kitty litters, as they’re made with synthetic crystallized silica. Silica gel—you may remember it from the “Do not eat” and it is known to absorb moisture, which may seem like a perfect formula for litter. However, if silica gel beads are ingested—which, many kitties tend to accidentally inhale or consume litter—it may cause bodily harm to your furry companions.
Try opting for litters created with natural ingredients such as clay, corn kernels, and unscented compounds to keep your pets safe.
When it comes to children, their bodies are extremely sensitive. So, it’s best to closely analyze the products we use on them such as scented diaper wipes and certain moisturizers. Be sure to check the labels of your baby’s products to ensure they’re as natural as possible for your little ones.
While it may be difficult to eliminate every single synthetic product you use in your home, it’s important to recognize that any reduction—big or small—of synthetic materials means better health for you and your home. Hopefully, these tips for switching from synthetic to natural home products will help you to be more aware of your home products and opt for natural alternatives!