All-natural products are increasing in popularity. Perhaps you’d like to use less harmful chemicals in your daily life but would like to know how to switch to natural products. I’ve also been making the switch lately to all-natural products, including more environmentally friendly products.
At first it can seem overwhelming. Or even super expensive. Where do you start? And what are some affordable natural products? I’ve got 8 tips for you on how to switch to natural products easily!
Questions on Switching to Natural Products
Before I get into the tips on how to switch to natural products, I’d like to address a few questions you may have regarding this process.
Where do I start in creating a chemical-free home?
I’d recommend slowly switching products in your home one-by-one for ones that contain less or no harmful chemicals. Start with one cleaning product that you want to replace with something more natural. See if it works as you’d like it to and if you want to use more products from that particular brand. It will take some time but it’s certainly worth it!
How do I know if a product is truly natural?
Reading the ingredient list is the only way to know if something is truly all-natural and free from harsh chemicals. Look for ingredients that are nontoxic, derived from plants, and biodegradable.
You can also keep your eyes peeled for specific labels or seals of approval. Look for:
- The Green Seal, which ensures that a product meets certain performance, health, and environmental standards.
- The EPA’s Safer Choice logo, which tests products for toxicity levels.
- The USDA Certified Biobased Product logo, for products made wholly or mostly from biological (biobased) ingredients.
What exactly is greenwashing?
Greenwashing is when a company claims that its products are “all-natural,” “safe,” or “green,” when in fact they are made with many harmful chemicals. Companies will try to trick you into thinking their product is all-natural, when in fact, it is not.
Unfortunately, this happens often. For example, they may use packaging that looks natural with plants or animals on it. Or they may use buzz words in their marketing to make their product seem all-natural. In reality, their product may be made with chemicals that can be harmful for all living things. Additionally, the production, packaging, and distribution of these products could have a large carbon footprint that is harmful to the environment.
There actually isn’t any governmental regulation in force for the use of words like “non-toxic,” “green,” “recyclable,” or “cruelty-free” in marketing and labeling products.
For more information regarding greenwashing, you may be interested in this YouTube video, Greenwashing: A Fiji Water Story.
8 Tips on How to Switch to Natural Products
Here is how to make the switch to natural products easier. These tips will help you not get overwhelmed and know exactly where to start!
1 | Start Slow
In the beginning, it will take a long time to figure out exactly what products are safe and what companies you can trust. Don’t pressure yourself to switch as quickly as possible. Otherwise, you’ll become overwhelmed and may give up on your endeavors. Take your time to avoid burnout or overwhelm.
2 | Research First
Start by researching which product you want to replace with an all-natural one. Research the ingredients to see which ones are harmful or what their effects are and make a list of the top contenders. You could even keep this list on your phone and use it as a reference when you go to the store. Don’t forget to ensure that you’re reading trusted and verifiable sources. Environmental Working Group (EWG) Guide to Healthy Cleaning is a good place to search for truly natural products.
3 | Tackle it by Section
Switch products by section of your home. Switch to natural products in the kitchen first and then in the bathroom.
Here are some areas where you can switch to natural products:
- Hair products
- Cleaning products
- Body products
- Baby products
- Candles and scented products
- Bedroom items
- Insect killers
- Flooring products
- Outdoor lawn and garden products
4 | List the Products You Plan to Switch
Take stock of all the products you have in the aforementioned sections of your home. List all the products you’d like to switch, organized by section.
Got your list? Great. Now make a plan to switch one product at a time once a week or once a month. Be sure to choose a time frame that works within your budget. When you switch to natural products you want to make sure it’s sustainable.
READ ALSO: Reduce the Laundry Load with these 7 Quick Tips
5 | Natural Products that are Affordable
Besides making the switch sustainable, it also needs to be affordable! Once common misconception is that making the move to natural products is expensive. As if it’s only for people who can afford to buy all their groceries at Whole Foods…or something.
But there are plenty of affordable natural products out there. The most basic example is using vinegar and water! Even adding in a little dish soap to a vinegar and water mixture in a spray bottle is a great place to start when making the switch to natural products.
Here are some natural cleaning product brands that I’ve enjoyed using in the kitchen and bathroom:
- Bon Ami powder cleanser (instead of Comet)
- Ecos (these are extremely affordable!)
- Seventh Generation
- Mrs. Meyer’s
- Grove Collaborative
- Dapple, Babyganics, & The Honest Company (for baby-safe products)
READ ALSO: Top 10 Spring Cleaning Tips for Busy Moms
6 | Make Your Own Products
There are actually plenty of recipes online that will show you how to make your own natural products! Whether it’s beauty, skincare, or cleaning products, many recipes are fairly simple and straightforward. Look for articles on Google, pins on Pinterest, or tutorials on YouTube that can teach you how to make your own natural products. You may already have the ingredients in your home!
7 | Finish What You Have
As with anything in life, it’s easy to fall into the trap of the “all or nothing” approach. Instead of immediately throwing out every product you have that contains harmful ingredients, finish using the products you already have. Once you’ve used up what you have, it will be time to purchase something new anyways. Use that opportunity to switch to natural products.
READ ALSO: 31 Ingenious Caddy Storage Ideas
8 | All or Nothing Mentality
Again, when you learn how many chemicals are known to cause cancer or disrupt hormones, it may seem easier to adopt an “all or nothing” mentality.
However, sometimes it’s just not feasible. You can do your best, but there may still be times when you will need to rely on certain products you know are not the best.
Instead of the all or nothing mentality, try to view this as a journey. All journeys have ups and downs. If you are doing your best, that is all that matters. Don’t beat yourself up when you fall short of what you set out to accomplish.
It’s all worth it.
In the end, making the switch to all-natural products is worth the effort. It will take some intentionality, but you can do it!
READ ALSO: How to Get Poop Smell Out of a Stroller with a Non-Toxic Cleaner
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