Exercise Your Green Purchasing Power
As a consumer, there are many ways that you can support a healthier lifestyle by being mindful of product ingredients and the unintended results of your spending habits. Here are a few things to consider the next time you are strolling through the grocery or hardware store or perusing the cosmetics aisle.
- Ditch the canned foods when possible and opt for fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables instead.
- Look for products packaged in glass or lined cardboard instead of cans.
- Don’t take paper receipts at ATMS, grocery stores, etc. unless you really need them.
THE FACTS: Bisphenol-A (BPA) is commonly found in can liners and plastic products and coated on paper receipts. BPA exposure is linked to a host of hormone-related health impacts such as increased risk of cancer, infertility, obesity and diabetes. And unfortunately, recent studies find BPS — BPA’s replacement chemical — isn’t any safer than BPA.
Leave Triclosan on the Shelf
- Avoid anti-bacterial hand soap with triclosan listed on the label.
- Reduce your use of disinfectant products in general.
FACTS: Triclosan is a hormone disruptor that builds up in our bodies, and it’s been found in blood and breast milk. Studies show that it’s actually no more effective at removing germs or preventing illness than plain soap and water.
- Read the label to avoid chemicals like parabens, sodium laureth sulfate, and oxybenzone.
- Check the Skin Deep database at cosmeticsdatabase.com to find safer products.
- Use fewer products, and use them less frequently to reduce exposures.
FACTS: Personal care products contain a wide variety of chemicals, including some known to be of concern, and many that lack research to prove safety for women’s health. These products are applied directly to our skin where they are easily absorbed into our bodies.
Eco-Friendly Kids Toys Only
- Buy less, shop used and choose natural materials like wood.
- Avoid fabrics that may contain flame retardants and metal jewelry that may contain lead.
- Consider a cardboard box with little treasures from around the house and let the imagination take flight!
FACTS: Made from petroleum, most plastic toys contain toxic phthalates, BPA, fire retardants, and other chemicals that are neither safe for your child nor eco-friendly.
- Buy organic whenever possible and download a copy Environmental Working Group’s Shopper’s Guide to know which produce has the least pesticides.
- Phase out excess packaging and harmful plastics, and save money with bulk purchases.
FACTS: As acknowledged by U.S. and international government agencies, different pesticides have been linked to a variety of health problems, including brain and nervous system toxicity, cancer, hormone disruption, skin, eye and lung irritation.
- Switch to organic cotton feminine products or try a cotton free alternative, for more info visit wellnessmama.com
FACTS: Most pads and tampons contain dioxin residues from bleaching the cotton and are heavily sprayed with pesticides like organophosphates which can lead to neurological disorders.
- Keep the stove at or below medium heat when using Teflon or non-stick cookware.
- Opt for cast iron or stainless steel pans for cooking when possible.
FACTS: Teflon releases perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) when heated to 450 degrees. PFOA is linked to developmental harm and cancer.
- Wear natural fibers and organic cotton or check out greenamerica.org for sweat-shop free and other non-toxic clothing options.
- Avoid “nanotechnology”, wrinkle-free, spot -resistant and odor-resistant as these have been treated with chemicals.
- Think ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – visit thrift stores, organize clothing swaps or make your own with natural garden based dyes.
FACTS: Consistent research has shown that cancer, hormonal dysfunction as well as immunity harm and behavior problems have been linked with wearing toxic fabrics and fibers.
Ditch the Dollar Stores
- Avoid purchasing from these locations as they do not test their products especially hand sanitizers, cookware, and toys.
FACTS: 81% of products at Dollar Stores contain more than one hazardous chemical associated with cancer, obesity, diabetes, asthma, learning problems, lower IQ, birth defects and early puberty.