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8 Ways to Make Your Home More Eco-Friendly During Pregnancy

Your baby bump is growing and so is your awareness of just about everything around you. Before you got pregnant, you sprayed down your house with candy cane-scented air freshener from a big-box store, and now you’re freaking out over every chemical that goes anywhere near your body. That’s okay. It’s more than okay. It’s normal, and it’s healthy. You’re on a quest to make your nest as safe as possible for your growing family. So, check out the ways that you can go from a totally toxic abode to a greener, cleaner home. (BTW, the fact that these eco-friendly methods to freshen up your home are all good for the environment is a total bonus).

1. Look for additive-free products. Ban anything that’s totally fake and unnatural about your cleaning, bathing, and beauty products from your daily routine, including scents, fragrances, perfumes, and dyes. Let’s face it; that apple orchard-scented laundry detergent didn’t really come from real fruit — and its neon green color certainly isn’t found in nature. Look for products that are free from additives, and throw out the rest.

2. Reuse containers. There are a gazillion things around your house to reuse, from plastic sandwich bags to glass salsa jars. No, rinsing and reusing those old shampoo bottles won’t necessarily make your pregnancy any healthier, but the little person who is growing inside of you deserves to grow up in a world that isn’t overflowing with landfills. And by reusing these containers, you’re doing your part for a healthier, happier environment.

3. Grow your own food. Now that you’re pregnant, you’re super careful what goes into your body. Your kitchen is stocked with so-called organic products, and you’re doing everything you can to cut out anything that could be considered junk. But you’re still worried. Those apples seem awfully waxy, and you really have no idea whether that arugula was grown with or near pesticides. Here’s a simple solution: Plant a garden and grow your own fruits and veggies instead! No yard? No problem. Grab some large planters or line up garden containers on a tall shelf. Now you have your own indoor crops for eating and greening your home.

4. Read labels carefully. You spent your day filling your house with eco-friendly products — at least that’s what you thought. The labels boast all kinds of natural-sounding ingredients. Before you go patting yourself on the back for a job well done, wait just a moment. How well did you read the label? Take a closer look at what’s in those eco, green, natural, organic, and generally good-for-you cleaning and body products. If you can’t pronounce the ingredients or spot unusual chemicals, take a hard pass.

5. Create a chemical-free nursery. The baby will need somewhere to sleep (and yes, she will actually sleep). So you decide to transform your junk room/sewing studio/crafting space/home office/walk-in closet into a nursery. Now is the time to get serious about being eco-friendly. Start with the walls, and apply non-VOC (volatile organic compounds) paint in your favorite shade. Next, carefully investigate your floor. Opt for a non-toxic, sustainable floor such as zero-VOC formaldehyde-free bamboo or a carpet that is free of toxins and chemicals.

6. Opt for BPA-free plastic. BPA (bisphenol A) is a chemical that can be found in some types of plastics. You’ve probably heard about it before. There’s been major concern about the way it can leech into food and drinks and cause some pretty severe health issues in unborn babies and kiddos. Switch out any type of plastic product that has the recycle code three or seven on it for one that is BPA-free. If plastics still worry you, avoid microwaving or storing your food in plastic containers, use glasses made of real glass and ceramic mugs instead of plastic, and don’t throw your plastic products in the dishwasher.

7. Switch to natural bath and body products. Not only are those chemical-filled bath and beauty products getting all over you, but they’re also filling your house. You went fragrance- and dye-free with your cleaning products. Now take the same approach with anything that goes on your body. Keep in mind, when you spray the coconut-scented body mist on your legs, it also ends up on your carpet, couch, and anything else in close proximity.

8. Crawl into cotton sheets. It’s time to crash, so you dive into bed — that is, a bed covered in chemically coated sheets. When purchasing bed linens, opt for eco-friendly products that are free of chemicals, dyes, and anything else other than plain ole cotton. The same goes for your pillows, pillow cases, and comforter.

How did you make your home green? Share your answer and tweet us @BritandCo!

(Photos via Getty)

Alright, folks. We've officially made it to fall. And if you haven't already started switching out your decor (as long as it's ready by Friendsgiving, right?) you still have time to do so. Draw inspiration from this round-up of new home products that includes harvest-inspired candles, cozy linens and textiles, and a v. practical piece of furniture. One scroll through these, and you'll have all the motivation you need to transition the seasons. Scroll on to start shopping.

Prism x LOREM Collection ($96+): Calling all Cali babes. The popular Long Beach boutique, Prism, announced a boho-fabulous collab with home decor line, LOREM, that we can't get enough of. Shop everything from plant hangers (eight options, to be exact) to artwork, all inspired by the very colorful vibes of the brands. If you were looking for a cheery way to tide you through winter, this. is. it!

Floyd Mattress (Price TBD): Fans of the cult-favorite Detroit-based brand will love their latest launch debuting on October 29. The highly-coveted Floyd Mattress will have the same made-to-last design and superior comfort as their other furnishings, tailored perfectly to fit the line's in-demand bed frame. Additional details for the mattress include a breathable foam material, highly-mobile packaging, and a low-profile design to secure your best night's sleep yet. Check back on the last week of the month to get one for yourself.

Dims 'Composed Vanity' ($595): Small space? No problem! Direct-to-consumer brand, Dims, is giving you a quick and stylish solution to your storage needs with their newest item that doubles as both a desk and vanity. The functional piece is made with non-toxic, chemical-free materials and can be assembled in seven minutes or less. Throw in four sleek shades to choose from, and this may just be your best purchase of 2019 yet!

Saatchi Art x The Citizenry Holiday Collection ($225+): Get ready to deck your walls this holiday season. Saatchi Art partnered with The Citizenry in a one-of-a-kind collection that features a curation of art across styles. Explore everything from modern to abstract creations in a selection so stunning, it's bound to spark a conversation at your next gathering.

NEST Spiced Orange & Clove Collection ($16+): If you haven't experienced the addicting aromas of the beloved NEST fragrance brand, this is the perfect time to get on board! The label recently released their latest scent — spiced orange & clove — just in time for all your gatherings. Inhale festive notes of orange pomander, spiced brandy, cinnamon, and gingered honey across their suite of candles and diffusers to bring all the good vibes to your home.

Bloomingdales x RiLEY Home ($19+): RiLEY Home gets millennials. So they teamed up with Bloomingdales to make shopping their selection more attainable than ever. Now, you can get in on long-lasting, luxurious staples like flannel sheets, bedding, printed throws, premium pet beds, and more, by shopping online and in-stores at the department store. (Trust us: These dream goods are ones you're going to be *glad* you stocked-up on.)

Italic Serene Towels ($12+): The luxury brand that prides itself on using the *same* factories namesake brands (like Calvin Klein and Lacoste) use, but without the price tag behind them, brings you a new product for fall. Treat yourself to Italic's ultra-soft towel set spun from fluffy, 100% Australian cotton, in a convenient set of six. Consider it the perfect indulgence after a long soak in the tub on a cozy FNI (Friday night in)!

Hyascent x Neiman Marcus ($169): 'Tis the season for a delightfully scented home. Warm your abode with scents like bourbon joy, cheeky rose and more in a unique diffuser that doubles more as decor than a fragrance-inducer. Fresh off the (online) shelves of Neiman Marcus, explore nine scents that last up to six months in a specialized hourglass holder. (Shhh! Your friends will never know the secret of why your place smells so darn good!)