Chemical-free living

June 13, 2015

Health corner & home

In a world oozing with synthetic chemicals and artificial additives, many of us are on the hunt for natural products. Luckily, in Australia, there’s a range of chemical-free, environmentally-safe, all-organic products available for the home. Here’s what to look for!

As countless scientific studies have proven, harmful chemical additives are present in many (if not most!) of the products we use in the home, such as bathroom cleaning sprays, floor cleaners, washing detergent, shampoo and conditioner, toothpaste, deodorant and cosmetics.

It has been medically recognised that products coming into contact with our skin and hair— whether they be products for cleaning or self-care— are largely absorbed. This means that added chemicals—such as parabens, petrochemicals, ammonia and heavy metals— seep into the body. This can cause health problems such as asthma and other respiratory complaints, headaches, allergic reactions, skin conditions and hormonal imbalances.

The good news? This can be avoided! Here are three top tips:

1. Choose wisely

Purchasing a natural product? Check the certification! Even products labelled “green”, “organic” or “100% natural” can be misleading. For a product to actually be certified organic, a minimum of 95% of the ingredients need to be certified organic (the other 5% still needs to meet the relevant organic standard). All organic products in Australia must display a certification number and symbol.

2. Check labels
When browsing for a product, take a few minutes to read the label on the back. By law, all ingredients must be listed on the label.

Ask yourself:

• Does the product contain parabens, petrochemicals, ammonia, heavy metals such as aluminium, SLS, ALS and so on?
• Is it flammable, corrosive and potentially carcinogenic?
• Is there a warning label specifying that contact with the product is harmful?
• Does the product specify the need for significant ventilation when used?
• Is the ‘Not tested on animals’ accreditation missing?
• Is the environmentally-friendly/recyclable label missing?

If the answer to any or all of these questions is yes…avoid the product!

3. Go for green

It’s important to be environmentally-conscious when selecting your purchases. After all, everything we purchase is eventually discarded as waste, polluting our environment.

So ask yourself— is this product recyclable? Will it break down easily? When I’ve used this product in my home, how can I reuse, recycle or dispose of it responsibly?

In today’s society, many manufacturers rely upon petrochemicals and animal-derived ingredients for mass production. Sadly, even plant-derived ingredients can be astronomically harmful to the environment— such as the use of palm oil, which is placing enormous stress upon tropical rainforests and the rights of local people around the world.

Luckily, by selecting recyclable products manufactured with minimal chemical waste and pollution, you are helping to shape an environmentally-focused society!

Additionally, by selecting products not tested on animals, you are supporting companies who do not abuse the rights of animals or sacrifice their health, happiness and lives for the sake of domestic and cosmetic product testing.

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