Monday, June 29, 2015

Chemical Free?

Numerous times I've been asked to write about living a chemical-free lifestyle. I've actually tried composing something about this topic several times, but I end up getting too wordy, writing a short book. Then I realize that I was getting preachy, something I don't want to do. I only want to say how I'm doing things, not how things should be done by others.

Let it be known that I don't live a chemical-free lifestyle. Quite frankly, I believe that it's impossible to do that without living an incredibly remote and a stark existence. The world is so chemical dependent and thus chemical contaminated that I could never get away from it even if I wanted to. But I do limit my chemical exposure.

While I take some steps to limit my exposure, I have a long way to go to live a more chemical free lifestyle. Quite frankly, at my age I don't think it would make much of a difference. If I were in my 20's, then I might be more serious about avoiding unnatural chemicals.  But then again, I believe that the world I live in is already quite contaminated and there is little I can do about it...or avoid it. The air, water, soil...all being more and more contaminated daily. Depressing. 

Ok, on a happier note. What do I do about avoiding chemicals? 
...Wash all new clothing before wearing. The textile industry heavily uses chemicals on fabrics. Not all wash out, but at least I can wash away the worst of them. Fire retardant is required on certain clothing, thus I ask, why should I wear pajamas? (and put fire retardant against my skin for so many hours)
...Avoid all processed foods. Reading the ingredients list can be scary! 
...Limit the amount of store bought foods when reasonable. Even fresh fruits and veggies have been treated with various chemicals. Cans and bottles use chemical liners. 
...Be selective on what cleaning agents I use. And no air fresheners. 
...Give thought to which personal care products I use. 
...Keep air circulation in the house. A closed up home builds up chemical levels in the air. 
...Avoid using chemical pesticides and herbicides. Here in Hawaii houses are routinely tented and fumigated for termites. It's surprising that we all don't come down with lymphoma, brain cancer, or some other fatal affliction from the exposure. 
...Limit my use of propane and gasoline. Only use with good air circulation. 
...Take care when servicing our solar electric batteries. 
...Avoid breathing in obvious roadside dust. Of course we can never avoid the dust 100%. 
...Avoid allowing chemicals to set on my skin. The skin can absorb a number of chemicals. 
...Allow all our building supplies to gas off before using them in the house. I even left the windows down during the day on my new truck for weeks in order to air out that "new car" smell. Who knows what chemicals were gassing off. 
...Use medications judiciously. 
...Phase out chemically coated cookware. 
...Store food and water in non-plastic containers. I've acquired quite a collection of glass jars and bowls. 
...Burn no candles indoors. I adore the ambiance that candlelight gives. But I reserve candle use to our lanai (outdoor porch). What's not to like about eating dinner by candlelight? Candlelight dinner is one of my indulgences I'm not ready to give up. 

What else? Off hand, I can't think of another. But just let me hit the "publish" button and I'm sure to think of a half dozen more. 


  1. I'm 100% with ya! I am of the same age and it's probably too late to do me much good to be draconian. However I urge my 23 year old daughter to be really careful and she is doing great! As a side note I almost never buy new clothes. I buy all of my clothes at second hand stores. I wash them anyway just for good measure but they're pretty "broke in" and since I'm not working a day job I don't need to be all turned out and perfect. One nice thing about growing older.

    1. I'm with you on the thrift shop/rummage sale clothes.

  2. If you need any help purchasing "clean" products in the stores, check out the "think dirty" app. My 33-year old turned me on to that - it rates products wrt health, environment, etc. I have found it useful. Even labels can be deceiving. I buy from thrift stores to be, uh, thrifty (read that poor), but now I have a better reason. Haven't really thought about the chemicals in the clothes! Now I am looking at my pretty nails......