New Year Resolutions: 5 household changes to consider for the New Year

Healthy is a big word; and it comes with a lot of changes. No wonder people call it overwhelming! Honestly, it’s taken me 5+ years to find my rhythm and be in a place of comfort; but that didn’t stop me from taking baby steps whenever I could. One thing you’ve always got to remember is: nothing happens overnight; just keep giving your best at every stage.

Today, I’m sharing 5 household changes that I believe are worth the investment- and also ARE more budget friendly than you imagined.

If you forget everything, always remember this: prioritization is key. Choose investment over spending IF there is a choice to be made. There’s nothing wrong with wanting and having all the nice things. But for me, if I could start somewhere, I would put my money first into health and wellness over clothes/shoes/bags. And it’s different for everyone. So, here goes:

Water filter

In 2017, I purchased a berkey water filter. My niece and nephew’s pediatrician recommended it after we talked about what water we were buying then. I have to say in all honesty, I haven’t regretted a cent of that purchase! My only regret is that I didn’t get a bigger one. I love Berkey! In my Husband’s words, – and I didn’t put a gun to his head to say it- ‘this filter makes the water so sweet! I can’t stop drinking it!’ To that, I say DITTO! If you can’t seem to love water, or get yourself to drink a lot of water (less than 2L a day), there’s a really high possibility that it’s the water you’re drinking and not you! The difference is literally night and day when you compare ‘regular’ bottled water to water filtered in a berkey. Take my word for it because we’ve been using it for 2+ years, and I have no regrets! Berkey usually has one sale or another. We currently have the 2.25 (i think?), but I’m praying we go bigger soon! In the mean time, however, this has held our small family up just fine. We don’t have much of a choice when we go out, but when we’re home, it’s DEFINITELY berkey filtered water.

Reusable vs single use plastic

plastic is such a big topic! Single use plastic is the worst offender. It’s cheap, and hence can be termed ‘budget friendly’. But really, investment-wise, is it? I think what puts me off- outside of health- is the fact that it stains. And so you have to keep tossing it out and purchasing new ones. They don’t last. Here’s my take on most things I spend money on- if it can’t hold up for a year (at the very least), it’s not worth my money. 🤷🏾‍♀️. Now let’s get technical and talk about PVC, BPA, BPS, Phthalates- which are all endocrine disrupting chemicals. A lot of ‘out of nowhere’ illnesses stem from lifestyle. And we don’t even realize it. The constant storage of food in cheap plastic, the heating of food in plastic, etc, continually exposes you to chemicals that are extremely harmful to your health.Compare that to reusables like glass/stainless steel/silicone containers, which DO NOT retain odor, and are certainly free from all harmful chemicals, AND can be used for years and years. Talk about a good investment!

Castille soap (base):

Marketing efforts are wild lately, and if you aren’t reading beyond the front-facing label, you are very likely going to be an easy target. We are buying hand washing and dish washing soaps because they “kill 99.9% bacteria”. BUT, did you know that an estimated 75 percent of liquid “antibacterial” soaps and 30 percent of bars use a chemical called triclosan as an active ingredient. Tricoslan is known to be an endocrine disruptor- meaning,it is a chemical that may interfere with the body’s endocrine system and produce adverse developmental, reproductive, neurological, and immune effects in both humans and wildlife. In fact, the benefits of using antibacterial hand soap haven’t been proven to date.

Our generation generally seems to be too concerned with germs and sanitation. The truth is, our immune systems need to interact with a wide variety of bacteria in order to get tougher and stronger. The more we prevent this from happening, the more harm we are doing to ourselves than good. Let your kids walk barefooted at home. Let them play with sand- maybe even eat a little 🙂 Let them have fun with organic dirt! But if you still want antibacterial soaps in your home, why don’t you do it the right way then?

I’ve found that the best and least expensive way is to make your own. Since studies show that regular soap and water are just as effective, simply build the culture of proper hand washing and hygiene in your home.

How do you make your own? Simply dilute (with water) and infuse a trusted brand of castille soap base (I love Dr. Bronner) with any of the following essential oils, which are naturally antimicrobial:

  • cinnamon (#1 antibacterial essential oil)
  • tea tree
  • oregano
  • thyme
  • eucalyptus
  • bergamot
  • lavender
  • clove
  • rosemary
  • basil

Non-toxic air refeshening:

My mother and I visited a hair salon the other day. The cleaning guy finished sweeping, and then, without hesitation, proceeded to “perfume” the entire -air-conditoned- hall with an air freshener. My mother and i, both alarmed at his ignorance, and even that of the sales persons, screamed- because that was the fastest way to get him to stop what he was about to do.

“Air fresheners have become a staple in many homes and offices, marketed with the promise of creating a clean, healthy, and sweet-smelling indoor atmosphere. But many of these products contain phthalates (pronounced thal-ates)—hazardous chemicals known to cause hormonal abnormalities, birth defects, and reproductive problems.” – The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).

I say this again, a lot of health problems people are facing today, are subject to lifestyle; and false marketing is grossly to be blamed!

I cannot type out even one reason why you should purchase an air freshener. Not one! According to the EPA, air freshener contains four basic ingredients: formaldehyde, petroleum distillates, aerosol propellants, and p-dichlorobenzene. How does any of this make you healthy? Trust me, you are so so much better of just opening the windows to improve air circulation. BUT, if by all means, you need the smell of something fragrant in your home, here are a few natural ways of doing so:

  • Now would you even be reading my blog if I didn’t make mention of essential oils? duh! Diffusing essential oils not only makes a room smell amazing, they actually clean the air of harmful molds, viruses and bacteria. My favorite brand is Plant Therapy. I love their mission, and what they stand for, and they are amazingly affordable! Remember, not all essential oils are created equal! Take to from someone who has studied aromatherapy! 🙂
  • You can simmer spices such as whole cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg on the stovetop or in a simmering pot.
  • Use a neutral odor absorbent such as a box of baking soda in a stinky area.
  • A DIY spray recipe using good old vinegar and some citrus zest can remove odors from surfaces when you spray a little on and wipe it up.

Simple, and very budget friendly too!

More napkins, less paper towel

Last, but definitely not the least, try using more reusable napkins, and less disposable ones. You would be amazed how much money you end up saving doing simply that. I remember my Husband questioning my reasoning, when I suggested we use more reusable napkins and less disposables. But i count coins! Those little ‘here and there’ monies end up amounting to a lot, when you do the math at the end of the year. And are they even non-toxic, and eco-friendly? Who knows what chemicals and bleaching agents are going into these things ESPECIALLY the ‘so called cheap ones’ by the road side. Don’t get me wrong; sometimes paper towels are just convenient. Especially with kids. But also, consciously consider the waste, AND the toxins! We may not be able to eliminate them from our lives completely, but we can definitely decrease the use of them. See what I mean? Baby steps 🙂

And that’s all folk! As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, prioritization is key. If your health matters to you, start somewhere, and make your way to your comfort zone! You’ll find it worth your while; I promise you that!

In Love and Health,

Nana

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