20 Ideas for Low-Tox Living

heart-care-1040248_1280Please keep in mind these low-tox ideas apply ONLY to avoiding synthetic chemicals.

Some people have very serious reactions or allergies to non-synthetic yet not-totally-natural substances (such as Castile soap or essential oils).

Others have allergies to natural things.

To start, here’s a list of synthetic chemicals that one can benefit by avoiding:


Other ideas for low-tox living:

  1. I’m SO excited about this idea from a friend!!!  When returning home from errands or work, close windows near outdoor outlet, go outside, and run the hairdryer very hot on your dry hair.  It will eliminate a LOT of scent from hair!!!!
  2. If one is very sensitive or very sick, shower following this use of hair dryer on dry hair. Showering should remove toxins picked up on the skin.  But even if you’re going to shower, the hair dryer will remove scents before they can be re-released in the shower (for you to breathe 😛  ) and will also cut down on the number of times hair must be washed before the scent is out!
  3. If you can’t shower, at least do the hair dryer thing, change clothing, and wash your face and glasses.
  4. Put “scented” clothing (from errands) in a new, large, metal trash can until they can be washed. But be sure to wash out the new trash can first.  They usually pick up scents from the store, and they might even have release oils on the metal.
  5. Put food items (such as dry beans or flour) into jars upon arriving home. Food packages can pick up scent from the store.trees-445712_1920
  6. Have a mudroom or garage where winter coats, grocery bags, computer printers, inky bills, etc. stay. Install an exhaust fan in this room and use if it you smell mudroom smells in the house.
  7. Use “home-only” shoes at home and “errand only” shoes out (and keep the errand shoes in the mudroom or some kind of metal tin/container).
  8. Keep not-so-good but important items (like Legos 🙂 ) in tins.
  9. Google natural ways to reduce pests.
  10. Open windows every day if your outside air is good.
  11. Wear mostly cotton clothing, but wash a number of times before use, and try to avoid red and black. These dyes can be a real problem!
  12. Turn off your router at night. Have your provider set it on the lowest setting available (unless you need wifi access outside).
  13. Try to eat organic.
  14. Try to eat natural. Artificial flavors and colors often come from petroleum.
  15. Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly with Castile soap because they can pick up scents from the store.
  16. Don’t use non-stick pans. These give off toxic gases.
  17. Use digital instead of paper when possible (unless you have EMF sensitivities).
  18. Write in pencil (not ball point pen).
  19. Don’t use fluorescent or LED lights (They contain mercury and are hard on the eyes. Eventually they gave me severe nausea, dizziness, and vomiting.  Not sure why.)
  20. For pillows, instead of foam you can stuff a pillowcase with non-flame-retardant-treated cotton sheets or cotton cloth.

My wonderful family does every single one of these things, and if they didn’t, I’d suffer more.  I’m super thankful for them and their patience.


Black Hills Picture Books     Edgemont, SD  57735


About Christa Upton

I am a wife and mother of three children ages 11, 14, and 18. I used to be a stay-at-home mom (teaching piano & dance, volunteering, etc). From 2007 to 2010, I suffered accidental Toxic Injury (also called Multiple Chemical Sensitivity or MCS). MCS has had major impact on our family, but the forced time in bed has given me time to write. So far, I have published 4 children's books (2 in e-book format on Kindle, one in Print-on-Demand at CreateSpace, and one printed by a local printer). Sometimes I miss my old life, but I love writing for children!
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