What is toxin-free living? Toxins are everywhere in our environment these days, certainly in urban areas, but even rural areas are surprisingly toxic thanks to wide-spread use of chemical fertizliers, pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides. In today's world, people are increasingly hypersensitive to synthetic chemicals, some to the point of being housebound or homeless because even their home makes them sick. Formaldehyde in carpeting and new furniture, toxic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in paints, carbon monixide from furnaces, chlorine in tap water, neighbors applying chemicals to their lawns and gardens... the list is endless. Even the perfumes men and women wear today are toxic!
Not everyone has a reaction to these toxins, of course. Everyone's immune system is different, varying based upon their lifetime of exposure, the health regimen they followed (or didn't), and -believe it or not- how toxic (i.e. dysfunctional) their families are/were. (See one study of this here.)
Why live toxin-free? Aside from the many who are already unable to handle exposure to everyday synthetic chemicals, there are many more that will share their malady. Some will not have hypersensitivity to chemicals, but may develop other dis-eases (for which the medical community will offer more toxins in the form of medication). This is not about an Other, however. The next person to develop an illness with a direct link to toxins could be you.
Aside from polluting ourselves with chemicals - indoors and out, we are also polluting the air, the earth, and the water with them. It's not a granola-head way of living anymore to want to eliminate exposure to chemicals; it's common sense that we should not want to pollute our lives, whether it's the air we breathe, the water we drink, or the food we eat.
How to live toxin-free? Step-by-step, you can reduce the use of and exposure to toxins starting today!
Start in your home by removing those cleaners that contain harsh chemicals. There are non-toxic (or simply less toxic) cleaners that one can use, and many can be made at home with things already in the pantry. Throw out those highly toxic fabric softeners and dryer sheets and use white vinegar in the rinse water to soften clothing and eliminate static cling. A clean house is the best remedy for odor, so no need for poisonous air "fresheners" that only mask unpleasant odors with a chemical-based scent. A clean house is also the best remedy for pests. Remember that a small crumb of food is a feast for a pest. Thorough cleaning on a regular basis will dramatically reduce the need for drastic measures like pesticides.
GO ORGANIC! Use only organic and non-toxic treatments for your home, lawn, and garden. Buy organic produce and organic cotton clothing, sheets and towels, and personal hygiene products. Whenever you can, choose the organic version, but make sure you purchase from a reputable source!
For more ideas on toxin-free living, check out these great books!
Organic Housekeeping by Ellen Sandbeck
The Healthy Living Space: 70 Practical Ways to Detoxify the Body and Home by Richard Leviton