Have you started to pay more attention to what's in the products you use on yourself, on your family and in your home?
Maybe your bathroom is now containing lotions and potions with labels stating 'No sls, no parabens, no petrochemicals, no artificial fragrance'...etc etc or maybe you've been to a demo for a 'chemical free cleaning solution' and you've reduced the chemicals you use on yourself and in your home.
But, is the dog still in the corner scratching ferociously?!
Maybe you've heard all the buzz words but don't know where to start or are concerned it'll be expensive or aren't sure how necessary it all is.
The easiest changes to make are those inside your home. Getting the council to change its policy on weed killing is like banging your head against a wall - believe me, I've tried, it's ok though they "only use Gylphosate" directly behind my wall and the other chemicals that are used to spray the adjacent reserve "only go up to the wire fence" and yes it's all perfectly "safe" but they just have to put up warning signs anyway hmmm.
Anyway, you CAN have an impact on your exposure to toxins inside your home - by being aware of what goes in you and on you - and that goes for what's going in and on your pets too. If you think about it, your dog's sense of smell is about 40 times greater than yours, he always has his nose to the ground and licks his paws to clean himself. So, you can just imaging all the chemicals that are getting on his skin and up his nose.
Firstly, reducing your exposure to chemicals doesn't need to be costly - some things will cost more in the short term but may be cheaper in the longer term (think vet/doctor bills, long terms use of steroid creams and other medications etc) but others will actually cost next to nothing.
The first freebie I've discussed before - fresh air! Costs nothing, open your windows, the air quality in your home will instantly improve. The second is also low cost and simple - house plants (check out NASA's list of the best air purifying plants for your home). The third will actually save you money -get rid of things with synthetic fragrance - all the plug-ins, air fresheners and cheap candles as well as fabric sprays, carpet spray n vac type stuff, spray polish etc. If you need alternatives you can -
1) put eucalyptus or lavender oil on cotton wool and vacuum it up - keeps your vacuum smelling nice and leaves a nice smell when you use it
2) use plain bi-carb as a deoderiser
3) make a surface spray using water and essential oils for cleaning general areas after dusting with microfibre
3) use pure essential oil or flower essence in an ultrasonic diffuser (just make sure you keep it clean and mould free inside)
4) swap surface wipes for microfibre cloths
5) use HOT water and eucalyptus oil instead of fragranced cleaning products to mop floors etc
I'm not here to advocate eradicating all cleaning chemicals from your home but to just be aware of where you are using them, only use them where necessary and ventilate the area well e.g. bathrooms, toilets, kitchens.
So, now that you've taken simple, cheap/free steps to reduce the chemicals in your home you can start to look at the ones going directly in you or on you. Today we'll go with what goes on you. This is where things can get more costly but you can just make as many small changes as are practical; they all make a difference and there are some amazing small businesses and producers in Perth to make it easier to shop wisely and make those changes.
The people who run these businesses care about their products, what goes into them and their environmental impact. They also care about their customers. For baby/children's products take a look at 123 Nourish Me. For skincare and laundry take a look at The Family Hub Organics, in particular their laundry powder - ideal for washing your dog's bed as it contains no artificial fragrance (you can also find their pet products in the Wholefood Hounds online shop). And now there is a new business which deals exclusively with all your pets skincare needs - Organic Pet Pharmacy.
OPP is the vision of Belle, she has formulated all her products without sls, sles, parabens, petrochemicals or synthetic fragrances. They are sustainbly packaged in glass and are all human-grade but specifically formulated for the more alkaline skin of dogs i.e pH 7 as opposed to the pH 4.5-6 for people. The products smell divine (I've tried them) but they are scented with essential oils chosen for their theraputic properties, not with chemicals. Are they more expensive than a supermarket dog shampoo - yes they are, but this is why...
The biggest ingredient in shampoos and the like is surfactant, it makes up around 50% of the product. A surfactant such as sls (found in most detergents, shampoos etc) costs $2/kg. Other surfactants cost anywhere from $11 through to $80/kg! This is why products without sls cost more. However, sls dries the skin and this, along with synthetic fragrance is probably the biggest cause of skin irritation caused by skin care products i.e. not caused by food or environmental allergens. This goes for dogs and people. So, when you go shopping turn over the bottle and read the label - if a product is expensive AND it contains sls just think of how much profit they are making!
OPP products will be in the Wholefood Hounds online shop later this week, in the meantime, if you'd like any more info or to order any you can message me.
~ Stef & (the very fluffy and sweet smelling!) Whiskey x
Use caution when using essential oils around pets. Dogs have a much better sense of smell than humans and are sensitive to certain oils so take care and alter the quantity accordingly. Oils are toxic to cats and rabbits.
Many of the plants on the NASA list are toxic to dogs so keep them out of harms way if your dog might try eating them!