I have always been conscious about what I put in my body. I know that consuming packaged foods with nasty ingredients is detrimental to my health, so I avoid them.
What I didn't realise, however, is that what I put on my body can have the same effect as what I put in my body.
I remember the day. It was about three years ago and I was enjoying my morning walk listening to a podcast that stated "women, on average, use 12 products every single day that combined contain upwards of 168 chemicals." I was shocked! Surely that’s not possible?
Considering myself relatively low maintenance when it comes to lotions and potions I began counting; toothpaste, cleanser, body wash, shampoo, conditioner, face moisturiser, body lotion, perfume, mascara, foundation, bronzer, deodorant, hand wash... and just like that I was up to 12.
Yes, some of my products appeared to be "natural" - or at least the label and branding made it seem so - but what was I really putting on my body every day?
I remember wanting to run home and check all the labels and immediately throw everything out that wasn’t really natural, then rush to the health food store and replace it all with cleaner, more natural alternatives. Just one glance at my bank account at the time was enough to think that perhaps this wasn't the smartest way to go.
So what I did was this, every time one product ran out, instead of replacing it with the same ol' product that I had been buying for years, I decided to take a moment to actually look at the product, what was in it, what it was in (packing etc) and consider choosing an alternative more suited to my needs and beliefs.
After delving further into the research I came to understand that it's not just what I put on my body, but also what I use in my house that directly affects my health. The skin is the body's largest organ and whatever your skin makes contact with is absorbed into your bloodstream.
Chemicals found in home and body products can wreak havoc on your hormones by acting as endocrine disruptors. Synthetic hormones, often found in these products, can mimic our natural hormones and interfere with, or completely disrupt, the delicate endocrine dance that takes place in your body every day; affecting your sleep, digestion, mood, fertility and more.
Three years later and my slow and steady approach to change has been working a treat, my house has transformed with no panic buying or strain on my bank account.
Moving forward I would like to start sharing with you some of the home and body products I now use and love that are not only better for my health, but also for that of the planet.
I made the swap from body wash to soap bars a while back (less packaging, cleaner ingredients) but my partner wasn't as enthusiastic. The soap bars are "inconvenient" and he prefers the ease of a pump bottle. To my dismay I would return home to find supermarket home brand bottles with an ingredient list as long as the reference section of the articles I'd been reading.
So I set out to see if a product existed that could solve the non-toxic issue as well as the pump-convenience. That's when I came across Zero Co Australia.
Zero Co bottles are made of plastic waste pulled from the ocean, beaches & landfill. Every dispenser even comes with a tracking code so that users can see what part of the ocean their purchase has helped to clean up.
They operate using a circular delivery system. You order, they deliver, you return, they refill. Orders include your forever dispensers made from ocean waste plastic, a set of refill pouches made from recycled plastic and a reply-paid postage satchel to send back to them to continue the cycle.
All plant based formulas are vegan and cruelty free, made in Australia and free from Palm Oil and Grey Water Safe.
I was on to a winner.
Did you know that the average four-person household uses about 200 single use plastic bottles annually, which adds up to one billion nationwide? This is the statistic that this Aussie startup hopes to change with their innovative sustainability model.
So far I have only tried their body wash, but as my current shower cleaner, dishwashing liquid, hand wash and house cleaning spray run out I do look forward to trying theirs.
Do you have any natural body or house products that you are passionate about? I'd love to hear about them!
x Shannon Rosie