I gave up watching t.v. for the most part when Jack was born because really, when you have only 2 hours of free time each day and it’s right before bed, you start to really narrow down what’s important to you and do that instead. So I find my time being spent cooking a meal, catching up on emails and internet news, downloading photos I took during the day, trying and failing to learn fluent French, stuff like that. Then it’s usually me in bed watching whatever Netflix streaming tells me to watch. Recently, Netflix told me to watch a documentary about chemicals we use in the home and how harmful they are. I know this already. We all on some level know this. But I have kept this thought in the very back of my mind and continue to use products like Bleach, Clorox, Lysol, Windex, you name it. Of course I kept them all in the garage and safely out of the house and out of reach from Jack. And I would only clean when he was napping or out with Chris and I would make sure to open all the windows to air the house out after I used all of my glorious products.
In my mind since I can remember, if I don’t smell the clean, to me it isn’t clean. It’s so dumb. But it’s so true that I even use the hyper-colored Downy Unstoppable scent boosters in my laundry, which is basically a chemical cocktail meant to blow your nose right off, it’s that fresh. It makes them smell SO much like fresh laundry that the first night I used it I couldn’t sleep, it was that potent. But my mind was at ease, all smelled fresh and clean and that’s that.
Back to Netflix. So it tells me to watch “Chemerical: Redefining Clean for a New Generation.” And the premise is that they take a woman just like me and have her re-evaluate why she would ever want to use chemicals to clean when you can use natural products made from the earth and be so much healthier and cleaner. Not only that, she and her family can feel better too.
I love these documentaries because even if in the back of your mind you already knew it to be true, it just helps motivate you to be better. So I thought to myself, why not try to go back to caveman times and go completely natural in this family. I took all of my disgusting products including personal care products like perfumes and deodorants and dry shampoo, all full of chemicals, and sent them to a box in the garage. (In case you didn’t know, you can’t even throw the products in the garbage because they are that toxic. You have to take them to a Toxic Waste Disposal Depot.) I went to Wholefoods and got a bunch of healthy cleaners that are plant based and chemical free as well as new non toxic sunscreen and bar soaps and natural deodorant. I went back to perfuming myself with vanilla extract (which is amazing by the way) and had the house cleaned yesterday with all the new products. It’s crazy, not only did the house feel and smell great, I felt like because I had accepted that chemicals are toxic and bad for me that not smelling them after the house was cleaned made it seem cleaner than before.
I don’t know how I personally will be smelling after a few weeks of natural shampoos and deodorants but I must say the new kick I’m on feels great. I can clean while Jack is in the room playing and have no concerns at all. I even took a home recipe for carpet cleaning I found online (1 tbsp White Vinegar, 1 tbsp Soap, Warm Water) and got 3 stains off the carpet that have been there forever. And Jack helped, which he could have never done with the toxic carpet cleaner which is linked to Kawasaki Disease. It’s already a happier home, and I love that I was reminded once again to stay on track with my values and stop being lazy and try to be a better person once again. The next documentary Netflix is telling me to watch in “No Impact Man” in which he turns off his power and stops using toilet paper. I will say to you that I won’t be doing that anytime soon, but I’m sure it will have me changing my habits in some ways, guaranteed.
*Update: Check this site for homemade cleaners. I have moved on from store bought to homemade and it was wonderful.