Non stick cookware is coated in Teflon. Teflon contains a family of chemicals that pose a risk to your health because at high temperatures they release toxic fumes. Studies have shown that nonstick cookware can reach dangerous temperatures in as little as 2 minutes on a stove top.
Aluminum cookware is a long-standing kitchen staple due to its low cost and ability to effectively conduct heat. But aluminum is a known toxin to the body and can leach into food from cookware especially when cooking acidic foods such as tomatoes.
I strongly suggest you get rid of any non stick and aluminum cookware immediately and replace it with a healthier alternative such as cast iron, stainless steel, ceramics or oven safe glass.
Now I hear you saying that this is getting expensive. First I asked you to replaced your plastic utensils, and now it’s cookware. What’s next? My argument is that nonstick cookware lasts between one and five years on average while a cast-iron or stainless steel pan will last a lifetime if you take good care of it. Not only will you save money in the long-term but having quality cookware in your kitchen inspires you to cook better quality meals. Every Wednesday in my neighbourhood is recycle day and as I walk to the station I always see non stick pans left out to be collected. More on kitchenware here.
six ~ cleaning products
The ingredients found in household cleaning products mean that our homes look clean but might not be healthy. Cleaning products are ironically the most prevalent source of indoor pollution filling the air with carcinogens, hormone disrupters, neurotoxic solvents, mood altering chemicals and reproductive toxins.
Collect all your household cleaning products into one pile and your cosmetics into another. Hold each item in your hands and examine it carefully. Does it contain harmful chemicals? Do you really need it? If you feel you’d prefer to discard it right away or replace it when it runs out. It depends on your budget.
Natural products are healthy but there are a few downsides: they tend to be a little pricy, they are usually only available online or at speciality stores, and they are not as effective as commercial products. At this point you want decide which of your commercial products you like and would like to continue using, and which ones you want to replace. It’s a matter of balancing health against convenience.
If you can’t find stores that sell handmade near you you could try online. Sites such as Etsy, Shopify, Big Cartel, Bonanza, IndieMade, and even Handmade at Amazon have great products. The bonus of shopping at them is that you are supporting small businesses.
Spray bottles: Store your products in unused, clean containers and make sure to label them. Never use bottles that once held chemicals.
Baking soda is a natural deodorizer that works best on proteins, grease, and animal messes. Since it's only slightly abrasive you can scour surfaces without fear of scratching.
Distilled white vinegar is great for coffee, tea, and rust stains. Don’t use it for cooking because it has a high acidic content, and never use it on stone surfaces, cast iron, aluminum, or waxed surfaces because the acid content will etch, pit, and strip these surfaces.
Hydrogen peroxide is a more eco-friendly alternative to chlorine bleach.
Borax is an alkali that's good for cutting grease, oil, and dirt.
Essential oils such as tea tree, lavender, eucalyptus, lemon, and lemongrass enhance scent. Tea tree oil is also naturally antibacterial.
Castile soap is available in liquid or bar form and helps rinse dirt away. It's made with olive oil or a vegetable base and is available unscented or scented.
Cornstarch absorbs oil, moisture, dirt, and stains.
You can use this cleaner on virtually any surface in your home. If you use it on wood make sure to wipe the surfaces completely dry after cleaning.
Fill a bottle with 1/3 white vinegar and 2/3 water. The vinegar scent starts to evaporate after spraying your cleaner, but adding essential oils will help mask any lingering smell. Add at least three to five drops of your favorite essential oil to the bottle.
Window cleaner: Clean your windows and mirrors using the same white vinegar and water mixture as above. But sometimes, a special ingredient may be necessary to blast through the smudges on your windows. Dish soap and vinegar work wonders for that extra smudge-cutting and cleaning mixture. Mix in a spray bottle 1/4 cup of white vinegar with 2 and 1/2 cups of water, plus 1/2 teaspoon of dish soap. Rinse windows and mirrors with clean water to clear off any suds. Cleaning windows and mirrors can become a fragrant chore with this mixture. Use this mixture on your windows indoors and outdoors. Window squeegees are easiest to use. But if you prefer, use a lint-free towel, wiping windows with a Z-shaped motion.
Stain remover: Mix 8 parts hydrogen peroxide, 4 parts castle soap, and 1 part baking soda. Pour into a spray bottle. Spray on the stain and let sit for a few minutes before scrubbing with a rag, brush, or old toothbrush. Let dry, then wash the item with the regular laundry.
Kitchen and Bathroom
Disinfectant surface spray: For an extra-strength antibacterial cleaner for your kitchen and bath, use the general recipe of filling a spray bottle with 1/3 white vinegar and the rest with water, then add specific essential oils. The essential oils that tend to effectively destroy several bacterial, fungal, and viral pathogens include cinnamon, clove, thyme, rosemary, and tea tree oil.1 These particular essential oils may have a potent, earthy scent rather than a floral or citrus fragrance.
Drain cleaner: Shower, bathtub, and sink drains become quickly clogged from hair, soap, fats, and oils. (Remember, soap is made from fats and oils.) Many cleaning recipes to unclog drains call for vinegar and baking soda, which may produce lots of foaming action, but isn't always enough to dissolve or blast away the gloppy clog. Another simple ingredient that might cut through sluggish drains is dish soap. Add a few drops into the drain and follow with boiling water or scalding hot tap water. You'll likely need to repeat a few times to dissolve the greasy mess.