written by Charlie Razook, Founder
June 2018, I became obsessed with clean living. I scoured the internet for ways to make swaps for daily products and activities that could be affecting my health. The more I dug, the more I was surprised. For example, who knew that indoor air pollution is worse for you than outdoor air pollution?
Living in the modern world comes with an unavoidable toxic burden. Progress comes with caveats. People are living longer, but chronic disease is more prevalent. Chemicals abound, and we all need to be thoughtful of these interactions. I know I’ve beaten a dead horse with my whole chemical spiel, but I like to stress how preventative we can be with disease instead of reactive—the latter a precarious situation to be in.
I am going to share my learnings so you don’t have to dig obsessively like I did like a chipmunk burying a nut.
Organic always! I hate that eating healthily comes with a price tag (disparity, anyone?), but it is one of the most worthwhile expenditures you can make. This goes for skincare. Jackfir is 70%+ organic. If you aren’t going to eat pesticides, why rub them all over your body’s biggest organ? Shop local when you can, but two good, more commercial options are Whole Foods and Thrive Market.
- Your water matters! Water is one of the most obvious interactions with chemicals we have. They say, “Your tap water is safe!” But think about it. Pesticides and fertilizers run off into our streams, medicine is dumped into the toilet or landfill, and general pollution interacts with our natural water sources. Invest in a household filtration system or glass bottle water delivery (ugh, another price tag). I like Mountain Valley Spring.
- Vacuum often! Indoor air pollution is said to be worse than outdoor air pollution. Dust is filled with chemicals such as flame retardants from furniture and phthalates. (FYI—can’t resist a plug. Jackfir is phthalate free). And in the same vein, buy an air filtration device. That dust swirls around. I like Molekule.
- Swap out your shower curtain! Many shower curtains and liners are made with toxic plastic called polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic. There are washable cotton and linen liners, but that can be a nuisance. I use a PEVA shower curtain that is safer, but long-term that need to be replaced.
No non-stick pans! How many times do you have to hear this? Non-stick pans have forever chemicals like PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances), which are shown to cause liver damage, infertility, types of cancers, thyroid disease, high cholesterol, obesity, and more. Many companies have swapped these chemicals out with new sister-chemicals that simply have not yet been studied or proven harmful but very well could be. Just avoid them. Stick with stainless steel! I like All-Clad and Cuisinart.
- Last but not certainly not least, look at ingredients in your household products! We have hopefully removed the need to look at your skincare product ingredients over here at Jackfir with all of our clean certifications, like EWG Verified. But do you know what is in your laundry and dishwasher detergent? In your floor cleaner? Ammonia, phthalates, triclosan, PERCs. Not only are these possible carcinogens and endocrine disruptors, but these leach into the environment after use. The toxicity then becomes cyclical. Try the below swaps.
- All Purpose Cleaner: Seventh Generation All Purpose Cleaner
- Floor cleaner: Aunt Fannie's Floor Cleaner Vinegar Wash Concentrate
- Dishwashing detergent: Seventh Generation Free & Clear Scent Gel Dishwasher Detergent
- Dishwashing soap: Better Life Dish Soap
- Laundry detergent: ATTITUDE Liquid Laundry Detergent, Plant- and Mineral-Based Ingredients Formula
- Laundry bleach alternative: Grab Green Bleach Alternative Pods
- Hand soap: Everyone Liquid Hand Soap
- Fruit and vegetable cleaner: FIT Organic - USDA Certified, Tasteless and Odorless Fruit and Vegetable Wash
- Toilet bowl cleaner: Rosey by Thrive Market, Toilet Bowl Cleaner
- Shower cleaner: Better Life Natural Tub and Tile Cleaner
- Glass cleaner: Better Life Natural Streak Free Glass Cleaner
- Exercise equipment cleaner: ASUTRA Natural & Organic Yoga Mat Cleaner
- Hand sanitizer: EO Organic Hand Sanitizer Spray
- Candles: The Village Common Soy & Essential Oil Candles
- Reed Diffusers: Neal's Yard Remedies Essential Oil Diffusers
- Paper Towels: Seventh Generation Unbleached Paper Towels
- Skincare: JACKFIR!
A good general rule to follow is: What is good for you is good for the planet!
Stay clean and leave no trace!