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)