Ending The Chemical Romance: Natural Alternatives To Household Chemical Products

When people talk about getting rid of chemicals and other unnatural elements from their food and water, they tend to forget that their homes are also full of these unnatural chemicals. While synthetic materials are often useful, and to a point irreplaceable, such as the plastics and alloys that go into our technology and appliances, there are some products that can be used as alternatives for other household products. Here are some of our favorites:

Lemon Juice/Oil

If you follow our site’s articles, you’ll remember this handy disinfectant from our post about keeping your car clean. Well, Lemon juice and lemon oil can also be used to clean and disinfect your household surfaces! This is especially useful in the kitchen and bathrooms where a fresh-scented disinfectant is really needed!

Additionally, it’s great for gutting through grease on pots and pans, polishing glass and mirrors, and as lemonade when you need refreshment while cleaning your home! There are a ton of recipes online about what to mix with lemon juice and how in order to get cleansers for specific products. We’d share our favorites, but that’s for a different article down the road!

Coconut Oil

While many of you probably already have coconut oil at home as a hair or skin product, it can also find other uses in your home as a useful tool. Combined with lemon juice, for example, it can be used as wood polish. One of the best aspects of this combination as a wood polish is that rather than the harsh wax scent most polishes have, this mixture has a fresh, mellow scent.

While it doesn’t have the disinfecting properties that lemon does, coconut oil can be used to handle some tougher tasks that lemon can’t. Coconut oil can be used as a rust remover for small items such as scissors and blades. It can also be used as a stain remover for carpets and upholstery. It can even be used to polish leather furniture and leather accessories such as belts and leather watchstraps.

White Vinegar

White vinegar, with it’s milder scent compared to other vinegars, has quite a few applications in the house beyond as a cooking ingredient. For example, if you remember the show Mythbusters, they had an experiment on deodorizing feet. Compared to the other products, vinegar did the best job of eliminating food odor. The good news: it works on deodorizing other things as well!

Other than as a deodorant, white vinegar can also be used around the house as a stain remover and glass cleaner. One of its most useful applications, however, is as a mould remover, eliminating the health hazard without having to resort to chemicals or poisons.

What are your favorite natural products for cleaning the household? How effective are they and how often do you use them over their chemical counterparts? Let us know!

The Green Mile: Natural Products You Can Use To Keep Your Car Clean

With the state of pollution the way it is now, people are trying to find ways to be more and more environmentally friendly through the use of natural products and other green alternatives. Unfortunately, we can’t do it with every aspect of our lives. There are simple things made of plastic and steel that we use daily like our phones and gadgets, and more complicated things like the vehicles we use to get to and from work each day.

While there are some options for environmentally friendly vehicles, not all of them are affordable. Given that not all of us can afford a Tesla Car, there are other things we can do to help the world through the use of natural products to take care of the cars we do have. While there are certain things we can’t change, like the oil and fuel, there are some other things we can use instead of chemical based goods:

Lemon Juice

orange-slices

A natural anti-bacterial that also smells great, lemon juice can be used to disinfect and shine up solid surfaces of your vehicle, like the dashboard and steering wheel. One of the best things about natural lemon products is that they’re all essentially the same. If you don’t have lemon juice fresh lemons on hand, for example, lemon oil can also be used to fill the same purpose.

You may want to steer clear of artificial lemon juice or lemon juice mix, though. Given that those types of lemon juice have sugar mixed in, they’ll end up messing up your car and attracting pests like ants. While ants may be “all natural”, you definitely don’t want them moving into your car at all, right! There are some natural things that don’t belong in your car at all!

Castile Soap

soap

A vegetable based soap that’s practically vegan (that’s right, no animal components in this soap!), it’s also a highly versatile soap that it can be used to wash virtually anything from you to your car to your hair and body. There are quite a few brands out there as the market is slowly growing. Don’t worry about application as well as it does come primarily in liquid form.

What’s important to note here is that as a wholly natural product, unlike other soaps that have heavy chemical components, the runoff from castile soap does not have the same potentially damaging effects on the environment that regular soaps will have. Not only are you keeping your car clean, but you’re also keeping the environment clean as well. Two for one!

Your Self

car-washing

We’re not saying you should render yourself down into soap to clean your car, or to use yourself like a giant sponge to wipe your car clean, so don’t worry! What we’re referring to here is the human element of washing your car: the more work you put into the washing, the better it is for the environment. This means ditching the fancy hose attachments, the pressure washer, and the other gadgets.

When it boils down to statistics, hoses, especially high-pressure ones end up wasting far more water than is necessary to wash your car. While you may want to consider still using the really high pressure pumps to only clean out the finer areas that really need the high pressure to get the built-up dirt out, but in the long run, a bit of elbow grease and dedication are the best way to clean your car while helping the environment.

Mean And Green: Natural Products That Aren’t As Useful As Advertised

Natural is better for you. It sounds really catchy, doesn’t it? We’d like to think that a product that centers on natural ingredients will provide all sorts of benefits that can cure what ails us. While this notion isn’t harmful in itself, it is important to remember that while natural products can provide benefits, they are rarely magical cure-alls.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of brands out there that are pushing natural products as being able to do things for you even though they can’t, or wording things in a way that makes it seem like what they do is more significant or unusual that what it actually means. This is the point where we draw the line as we feel overselling can hurt natural products when those promises aren’t fulfilled. Here are some to watch out for:

The Implant-O-Rama

Pushed by actress Gwyneth Paltrow’s “health and luxury” brand, Goop, the Implant-O-Rama is a product that supposedly “supercharges your detox” through, believe it or not, a coffee enema. Keep in mind that while a coffee based colonic cleanse is not a new idea, it IS an idea that science has proven has no evidence to support its claims to aiding in detoxification of the body.

It’s products like these where you have to be very careful, as they will try to mislead you by presenting claims by “experts in the field”. More often than not, these so called experts are not scientists and don’t use proper scientific methods to reach their conclusions. Instead, they’re closer to snake oil salesmen, using pseudoscience and circumstantial evidence to support their claims.

Slimming Teas

Tea is an amazing thing. Coming in a wide variety of flavors, tea has been proven to help relax, energize, or detox you, depending on the tea that you take. With most commercial teas being made up of leaves or fruit, it’s hard to imagine that this product can be harmful to somebody, much less potentially deadly. Unfortunately, there are teas out there that can be dangerous.

Often advertised as slimming teas to help lose weight, these teas don’t help you lose weight through detoxification or natural means. More often than not, these teas have purgatives as well as illegal substances in trace amounts that cause the body to purge hard, as well as burn through calories faster. While it may indeed help you lose weight, it can also be potentially dangerous, especially over prolonged usage.

Anything That Is Marketed As “A Cure Doctors Don’t Want You To Discover”

The Internet is a wonderful place. It provides us with a treasure trove of information, helps us stay connected with our loved ones, and brings our businesses to a digital realm of experience. Unfortunately, one of the costs of this virtual playground is the army of advertisements. One ad that I’m sure you’ve seen is the “natural cures doctors don’t want you to know about”.

Always keep in mind that if it’s something your doctor didn’t tell you about as a cure to what ails you, chances are it either won’t heal you, or it is potentially harmful to you. The natural cures being talked about in those ads most definitely fall into either of those two categories. With this in mind, trust your doctors recommendations and ask for any natural alternatives they can recommend instead of trusting a random ad on the internet.

Going Green: Natural, Eco-Friendly Items You May Want To Consider Using

One of the biggest environmental new stories to hit the papers recently is how much plastic is in our oceans and how all that plastic has been killing ocean life slowly bus surely over the last few years. For those who aren’t aware, the amount of plastic in the ocean has reached the point where, if placed all together, has the same mass as a moderately sized island.

Naturally, this has caused quote a bit of alarm, even to people who don’t usually react to environmental news. This has driven quite a few people to consider using eco-friendly alternatives to plastic, from metal straws to reusable shopping bags. Here are some alternatives that you may want to consider using:

Canvas Grocery Bags

eco-bags

While people are already going with paper bags or reusable plastic bags for their shopping and groceries, they tend to overlook the fact that these options may not always be the most eco friendly. Reusable bags are often made of plastic, and therefore part of the problem, while paper bags are made at the cost of trees being cut down fro a temporary measure.

Canvas bags, however, combine some of the best elements of the other 2: not only are they biodegradable, they’re also more eco-friendly than paper while also having the sturdiness of their plastic counterparts. The best part is, if you get a plain one, canvas is a much better medium for painting or coloring the bag as compared to paper and plastic.

Metal Straws

straw

While some may argue that metal straws don’t usually count as natural products, we think that they’re right at home on this list. Like we mentioned earlier, plastic is a serious threat to our oceans. Given that almost all straws are made of plastic, metal straws provide a reusable, eco-friendly alternative. They’re also hands down way better than paper straws!

Keep in mind, however, that metal straws have to be washed regularly to prevent buildup inside the straws. This shouldn’t be a problem as most companies that sell these straws come with cleaning kits to make sure that your straw is still useable.

Beauty

skin-care

While there are a lot of chemical and synthetic materials that are still very popular in people’s beauty regimen, there are also a lot of alternatives that people who want to look good can use that are natural products. One of the beauties of beauty products made up primarily of natural products is that these products usually carry the generally beneficial properties that their ingredients have.

Studies have also shown that beauty products made from natural ingredients are less likely to cause skin irritations with repeated use. Just don’t go to overboard, of course! Allowing your face to “rest” without any cosmetics once in a while is always a good idea, no matter what type of beauty product you’re using.

What alternatives made from natural products do you use regularly? Alternatively, are there products that you find essential that can’t be replaced by something that primarily uses natural products?

Natural Growth: How Natural Products Support Local Communities

One thing that most people will agree on or, at the very least admit to, is that natural products have benefits for the human body thanks to their natural properties. What a lot of people take for granted, however, is that natural products can do more than benefit individuals; they can benefits whole communities as well. Here are some of the reasons how:

Supporting Local Businesses

While there are some big companies out there pushing natural products, a lot of the companies that revolve around natural products aren’t actually that big. This means that rather than importing or having large amounts shipped in from the huge commercial farms, these smaller businesses tend to source locally due to better prices and availability.

While it already helps local suppliers, it can also help local farming communities by providing them with and alternative crop to focus on given that they may be struggling to match the prices and volume of produce created by the larger farms. By providing them with a steady “cash crop”, natural product manufacturers support local growth, which leads to the next point:

More Jobs

Local suppliers having to increase their supply to meet demands means expansion: possibly more land for crops, or hands to operate the harvesting and processing machinery. This means that as the industry grows, so does the need for more product and hands to work the farm, creating more jobs.

This increased interest can also lead to other members of the society eventually investing in or aiming to start their own natural product based businesses. Like growing the farms, growing the industry means that manufacturers of natural products will also need to expand their staff to meet the need of a growing company.

Education

If there’s anything an American community has in spades, it’s community pride; if a town is known for something, you can be sure that the residents take pride in what they do. A community that has a strong natural product presence, especially if the manufacturer or supplier farm is one of the larger businesses in the area is sure to embrace this communal focus.

This also means that the residents will be more open and interested in natural products and the benefits they offer. This is a very good thing as it will help overcome the mistrust and skepticism that many people have when faced with the fact that natural products can be just as good, if not better than their chemical or heavily processed counterparts.

These are just a few of the benefits that the natural products industry can provide for small communities beyond the health benefits that are now more economically available to the community the business is found in. Some farm-heavy communities try to combine tourism as a way to boost revenue as well as create a market for their products. Others focus on supplying fresh ingredients for manufacturers from nearby towns or cities.

Whatever the method used, however, it is undeniable that natural products can greatly benefit the communities where they are manufactured beyond that of the individual.