Checking labels for potentially dangerous ingredients has become a must for shoppers. A number of chemicals used in hair care and personal care products have reached a new level as companies work to grow their profits and improve production efficiency. Some of these ingredients required to accomplish that can be harmful to your health, especially phthalates. Let’s have a quick look at this chemical ingredient.
What Are Phthalates?
Phthalates are chemical compounds often used in plastic products to increase flexibility, transparency, durability and longevity. Phthalates are found in many shampoos and hair products, personal care, toys, electronics and a variety of household products including detergents, adhesives, plastic wrap, plastic containers, flooring, furniture, wallpaper, shower curtains and other things made of vinyl or PVC. Additionally, food products contain phthalates because foods such as milk, butter and meats are commonly packaged or stored in plastics containing this toxin.
Why Are Phthalates Dangerous?
Phthalates are known as endocrine disruptors because they mimic the body’s hormones and can interfere with natural hormone activity. This can cause abnormalities in the body and may lead to fertility problems and cancer. Phthalates are colorless and odorless liquids and these toxins can be absorbed into the body not only with food but through the air and skin too. Plus, higher temperatures result in higher concentrations of phthalates in the air.
How to Avoid Phthalates
You can reduce your exposure to this harmful chemical by taking a few simple steps. First, don’t microwave food in plastic containers as heat allows phthalates to leach out of products. Second, use glass and stainless steel for storage and drinking, particularly hot beverages. Lastly, phthalates are used in perfumes, eye shadow, moisturizer, deodorant, nail polish, liquid soap, shampoo, conditioner and hair spray. Shop only natural personal care products and check the labels to ensure they are phthalates-free.
Fresh, clean air is essential for a healthy lifestyle but how can you ensure that the air you breathe is actually good? That’s a difficult task but there are many ways you can reduce a number of toxins in your home which may be affecting your health.
Exposures to toxic chemicals in your everyday life can actually increase your chances of becoming sick. A good number of these indoor pollutants are not easily detected but can still affect your overall health.
For example, chemicals released from modern building furnishing materials as well as chemical fumes from paints and solvents may only be noticed in the first couple of days but these potentially dangerous gases may hang around for weeks, sometimes months. Additionally, combustion gases from fireplaces and wood burning stoves, carbon monoxide fumes from attached garage as well as chemicals from cleaning products can stick around inside your home and damage your immune system, leaving you more vulnerable to get sick. Removing these toxins from your home allows your immune system to regenerate naturally, and fight off all infectious diseases.
So, how to avoid these toxins? A few simple steps can significantly improve the quality of your home’s air.
First, increase fresh air supply (in other words, open the windows). Proper ventilation is the key to filter out some of the toxins and maintain healthy air inside your home.
Second, indoor plants can also help to purify air quality as plants can up oxygen levels by absorbing chemicals in your air.
Lastly, keep your home clean by regularly dusting and vacuuming to minimize the number of airborne particles. Choose natural cleaning products to reduce the amount of chemicals inside your home and definitely avoid disinfectants as some of these products contain immune-toxicants such as cresol, phenol, ethanol, and formaldehyde, which reduce the ability of the immune system to fight the germs they are killing.
Did you know you can save money on your electric bill, extend the life of your clothes and significantly reduce your carbon footprint just by switching up your laundry routine? Saving energy and saving water are two of the best ways to go green—and laundry draws from both of those sources! Below are some simple changes you can make to green up your laundry routine.
1. Hang clothes to air dry
Clothes dryers consume so much energy that they should only be used in extreme cases. Use an outdoor line to hang-dry your clothes if the weather is nice or a clothes’ rack for rainy days or if you prefer to air dry your clothes indoors. This simple and efficient method can significantly help you save energy and minimize carbon emissions. Plus, it saves your clothes from the high heat of dryers, which often reduce the lifespan of clothes.
2. Use cold water cycles
You don’t need to wash your clothes in hot water and you can save a ton of energy simply by washing with cold water. Around 90% of the energy a washing machine uses is spent heating the water, which isn’t necessary for the majority of your laundry. Changing the temperature can save you energy and money and your clothes will still get just as clean!
3. Invest in green washing machines
Energy Star washing machines are the way to go as they use about 40% less energy and 50% less water than non-rated models. If you don’t need to buy a new machine just now, keep this in mind when the time comes and enjoy the long-term savings of an Energy Star model.
4. Switch to eco-friendly laundry detergents
One of the most important aspects of greener laundry is using eco-friendly detergents. Conventional products use harsh chemicals that linger on your clothes and drain into your local watershed. Switch to natural laundry detergent that uses plant-based ingredients. It’s just as efficient and is healthier for your family and the environment!
5. Hand wash whenever possible
Removing stains isn’t easy. Fortunately, a good number of them can be removed by hand washing and using natural soap instead of products containing strong chemicals. This simple change has a significant impact—as most conventional, stain-removing products contain harmful ingredients for the environment.
Incorporating these simple switches will make a HUGE difference for your clothes and your utility bills. Has anyone gone green with their routine already? Let us know your tips in the comments!
Bright, airy, living spaces aren’t exclusive to Pinterest boards and lifestyle blogs. Like most of you, I found motivation to refresh my space with warmer weather on the radar. Looking around my house at every misplaced item, dusty surface, and dirty article of clothing—I couldn’t help but dread the daunting task at hand.
Deciding this wouldn’t be a successful or enjoyable experience if I attempted to clean my entire house at once, I wrote out every task and created a master checklist for spring cleaning! Print it out and check off each completed task as you go (such a satisfying feeling!). Take on one room per day and you’ll have a clean house in two weekends!
Some tips on getting started…
#1 Use natural, household products to get a thorough clean that’s free of dangerous chemicals and better for the environment! You can even make your own! Find out how here.
#2 Tackle the kitchen and bathroom first! They’ll take a lot more energy than other rooms, so check those boxes off early.
#3 When decluttering, take items out of their usual places, put them in a pile, pick up each item one-by-one and ask yourself “Do I need this? Do I use this? Does this make me happy?” I’ve found physically handling each item makes me more selective in what I keep, leading to much less clutter to manage! I learned this tip from the KonMari tidying method. It was an instant life-changer, you can learn more here!
#4 Have fun with it! When your physical space is clean and tidy, your mental space will feel a lot clearer as well! Think of it as active meditating. 🙂
The LuckyVitamin Spring Cleaning Checklist
__ Declutter! Go through all products/utensils.
__ Clean stove and surfaces
__ Clean Dishwasher and small appliances (blender, toaster etc.)
__ Wipe out and reorganize pantry
__ Scrub fridge and toss expired food
__ Clean the sink and the area underneath
__ Wipe out and reorganize cabinets
__ Wipe walls, garbage can, and mop floors
__ Tackle your wardrobe: declutter, reorganize, donate or discard!
__ Clean any mirrors, windows, blinds etc.
__ Deep clean mattress, wash pillows and bedding
__ Vacuum/mop floor, get under the furniture!
__ Clean all furniture, dust surfaces, knick-knacks & décor
__ Declutter all hygiene/beauty products!
__ Clean out medicine cabinet and other shelves/storage
__ Clean shower & tub
__ Clean blinds & walls, mop floor
__ Clean toilet, dust mirror & surfaces, empty trash!
__ Declutter odds & ends—discard, donate or sell!
__ Wash cushions, blankets & any sofa covers
__ Clean carpets/rugs, wipe surfaces
__ Clean TV and electronics
__ Vacuum, sweep & mop the floor—getting under the furniture!
__ Clean walls, dust décor
__ Clean windows, blinds & curtains
__ Clean washing machine & dryer
__ Sweep back deck/patio (time for outdoor furniture?!)
__ Wash car
__ Cleaning day of choice! Do a final sweep & tidy up loose ends
__ Empty vacuum, organize cleaning supplies & do a happy dance because YOU DID IT!
Take a deep breath and enjoy your fresh start to spring! How did you do? Share your spring cleaning tips and organization hacks below!
It’s the time of year again, and with the Spring Equinox comes a time of renewal. That also means that it’s time to clean house, literally. And we are all about products that are good for the environment while simultaneously standing strong against dirt and grime.
Here’s some multi-purpose green cleaning essentials to help you get started…
Dr. Bronners is not your average soap. How can you be average when, as its iconic label clearly states, it has “18 in one uses” and features plant-based surfactants with natural spruce and fir-needle oils. See? Not your run-of-the mill ingredients. Sal Suds All Purpose Cleaner is equally effective with hard or soft water and is 100% cruelty-free.
Baking soda can be used in a ton of DIY cleaning recipes in virtually every room of the house. It can be used as a vital ingredient in toilet bowl scrub, all-purpose clean, even air freshener. It’s deodorizing properties make it perfect for tackling tough cleaning jobs.
Here’s some other type of products you should use to give your house a green clean from top to bottom. Check out our DIY recipes for making your own, but if that’s not your thing or your don’t have the time, we shared some other options too.
¼ cup olive oil
1/3 cup white vinegar
1 tablespoon glycerin
1 teaspoon of lemon juice
10 drops lavender
Combine all the ingredients together in a spray bottle.
This wood cleaner not only cleans wood but its nutty aroma will have you happy to be cleaning (sorta). It’s formulated to clean grease and make your wood surfaces shine. It’s non-toxic biodegradable, never tested on animals.
2 cups water
½ teaspoon Dr Bronners
1 tablespoon baking soda
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
Combine all the ingredients together in a spray bottle. Do not use on wood.
This is an all-around great cleaner. Seventh Generation is known for creating authentic, safe, and environmentally-responsible products for a healthy home. They select ingredients that have minimal scent and don’t assault your sense of smell like so many conventional, chemical-based products.
Store-bought tile cleaners are loaded with dozens of contaminants, many of which have been linked to cancer as well as fertility issues and hormone disruptors. Research done in 2009 detected formaldehyde, toluene, and benzene, compounds usually found in gasoline, also in a popular cleaner (were not going to name names). Well we’ve got the perfect tile cleaner for you! It’s great for kitchen back splashes, tile floors and bathroom tiles. It’s time to start cleaning greener and we can help!
1 cup baking soda
¼ cup Dr Bronners
5 drops of tea tree oil
5 drops of lemon essential oil
In a medium-sized bowl whisk together baking soda dish soap until a creamy consistency is formed. Add essential oils and scoop onto a sponge and scrub away.
If you are looking for natural powerful cleaners with wonderful scents that are healthy for you and your family, Lucky Vitamin has great news for you. We are happy to introduce EcoKindness,
an organic and natural brand of cleaning products.
EcoKindness offers a sophisticated range of eco-products created with the powerful properties of USDA organic, therapeutic grade, essential oils. This top-quality line of products with impressive cleaning, deodorizing and freshening agents is designed to detoxify your home and workplace from harmful petro-chemical, ammonia, and chlorine based cleaners.
Each time you use one of EcoKindness 28 eco-products you will also enjoy the positive, therapeutic health and wellness benefits of natural, aromatherapy throughout your home and workplace. The company ensures all products are environmentally responsible, and safe for your family and pets and, of course, they are never tested on animals.
All EcoKindness products are plant-based and these complex formulations contain zero toxins. No fillers, emulsifiers, color scents, preservatives, synthetic fragrances, and artificial additives are ever used and all products contain only 100% organic, therapeutic grade essential oils and purified water. Some EcoKindness products contain a proprietary blend of organic liquid oil castile soap, including organic olive, jojoba, aloe vera and coconut oils. This highly effective combination delivers a remarkable boost of extra grease-cutting power.
You can save even more when you shop EcoKindness products at LuckyVitamin.com. Just enter promo code AUG16NEW16 at checkout to save an extra 15% on all items of this new brand. Here’s the scoop on a bunch of exciting new items at LuckyVitamin.com.
Aaah, college. Where studying (wink!) all night, early morning classes and microwaved meals become part of the new normal. But one thing that doesn’t have to change is your adherence to your eco conscious lifestyle. While keeping your dorm room spic and span may not rank high on your to-do list you can still use cleaning products that are safe for you and the earth.
Air Fresheners – Don’t get a rep for having a stinky dorm room or apartment! Before you grab that aerosol can, did you know that conventional air fresheners can be endocrine disruptors and cause major health problems? Ditch them for one of our favorites, made with natural essential oils and fragrance to quickly freshen that mile-high pile of dirty laundry. The non-aerosol bottle is earth-friendly and its lavender fragrance will be sure to relax, soothe and relieve fatigue for even the most stressed out scholar.
Multi-Surface –Between studying and classes, who has time to think about cleaning solutions for all of the different surfaces in your room? Keep things simple with an easy spray-and-wipe multi-surface cleaner. This brand eradicates over 99.99% of household germs from hard, nonporous surface, including Influenza A, Salmonella and E. coli. You can use it on everything from bathroom sinks, desks, garbage cans and mini fridges.
Wipes – Don’t fall victim to the classic “we’re in the area so we’re just going to drop in for a few minutes” surprise visit from mom and dad. Use these natural wipes to give your room a polished look in mere minutes. No water, suds or rinsing required! Effortlessly wipe away dirt from your books, desk, floors and window sills with these biodegradable, durable and disposable wipes. And, because they are biodegradable, you can safely toss them without harming the environment.
Lucky Vitamin is introducing a sustainable brand that brings new eco-friendly products to our customers: NooTrees
NooTrees offers world class bamboo-based, 100% sustainable, 100% biodegradable products that are also supremely hypoallergenic. Made with 100% virgin bamboo pulp, this revolutionary tissue paper is soft, strong, highly absorbent, and BPA-free. It’s the perfect combination: the highest quality of feel and performance with little to none impact on the environment.
Did you know that more than 27,000 trees are cut down just to make toilet paper each day? NooTrees believes this needs to stop. Not only because of the environmental impact it has caused but for the long term sustainability of the earth for the future. The company aims to have every single customer join this battle to save the planet.
NooTrees offers not only bathroom tissue products but also top-quality baby wipes, anti-age wipes, spa skin cleanser wipes and much more. All products are made with 100% bamboo, a naturally hypoallergenic that is better than other materials for use in contact with your skin.
You can save even more when you shop NooTrees products at Lucky Vitamin.com. Just enter the promo code JULY16NEW16 at checkout to get an extra 15% OFF on all items of this new brand. But hurry, this offer expires 7/31/2016. Plus, take advantage of the Stay Lucky Autoship Bonus Brand and get 10% off future deliveries when choosing autoship to purchase NooTrees products.
Spring is coming and so is the famous “spring cleaning”
. It’s that time of the year to clean up your house, apartment, workplace, car, and anything else that may need a good clean up before the warmer season begins.
Home spring cleaning is by far the most popular activity as everyone takes this opportunity to clean up their houses, open the windows, let some fresh air in, and throw out some old stuff. The result: people enjoy living in a much cleaner and healthier home with less dust, allergens, odors and dirt.
Most spring cleaning checklists consists of a complete house clean up, designed to go through an entire home, room by room, with several tasks that may need to be done such as dusting, washing, vacuuming, cleaning, wiping down furniture, removing stains, cleaning up air vents, etc. Ideally, people like to have a different checklist for each area of the house: bathroom, kitchen, bedrooms, living rooms, garage, as well as another checklist for the outdoor areas.
There are hundreds of different spring cleaning checklists available online and many of them are very similar. The best one? Well, the best one should be the one that fits you the best. Consider the size of your home, whether you live in a house or an apartment, have kids or not, pets, and remember to consider how old your home is as older houses and apartments may need additional tasks.
One last tip: spring cleaning is also a great time to test smoke alarms, change air filters and check flashlight batteries and fire extinguishers. All can be done with the help of your family or friends and don’t forget: try to make this spring cleaning efficient and fun.
Lucky Vitamin is happy to introduce another top-quality brand of natural cleaning products to our customers: Vaska Home
Vaska Home offers a new standard in laundry with safe, simple and proven products. The company creates formulas so pure, you can actually drink it. Naturally powerful, Vaska Home does not contain pollutants, irritants, toxins, dyes, or binding agents which allows it to wash clean out of fabric, much like a shampoo for clothes. Clothes are left looking, feeling, and smelling their best while leaving nothing harmful behind, on you, your clothes, or the environment. The Vaska formulation has been certified “natural” by the EPA, who awarded Scent-free Laundry Detergent, as well as the Design for the Environment (DfE) certification.
A pioneer company in green chemistry, Vaska was originally founded in Berkeley, California in 1999, to create a new formula of an efficacious laundry detergent suitable for delicate fabrics, sensitive skin, and the planet. Today, Vaska Home creates products which are environmentally safe, contain no chemical residue, and provides stain removal effectiveness. Vaska’s revolutionary formula has been perfected by a team of scientists over the past decade. The formula’s natural ingredients are derived from herbs and include the essential cleaning agents you need in order to effectively remove visible dirt, grime, stains, and odor from fabrics. Vaska was selected as a Clean Choice Award Winner in Clean Eating Magazine in 2014 and 2015. The brand was also featured in the Household Goods section for earth friendliness.
Additionally, you can save even more when you shop Vaska Home products at LuckyVitamin.com. Just enter the promotional code OCT15NEW15 at checkout to save 15% on all items of this new brand but hurry, offer expires October 31st, 2015.
Castile soaps have been one of the most popular personal care items for many years. This natural, all-vegetable oil based soap is known for its benefits and is available in liquid form as well as bars. Originally from Castile, Spain, today castile soap is made with vegetable oils including olive, coconut, and hemp. In order to provide another top-quality brand of this incredible product, Lucky Vitamin is proud to present a premium brand of castile soaps to our customers: Dr. Jacobs Naturals
Dr. Jacobs Naturals offers 100% natural products, free of synthetic fragrances and preservatives. This unique soap is made with pure Castile and gentle enough for even the most sensitive skin. As an all-natural soap, made from olive oil, Dr. Jacobs Naturals will leave skin smooth and silky by forming a protective barrier, helping the skin hold in moisture. Olive oil soap is the perfect addition to a regular skin care routine. Dr. Jacobs Naturals soap is environmentally friendly, completely biodegradable, and free of harsh chemicals. Plus, the company also uses recyclable containers. Dr. Jacobs Naturals Castile liquid soap does not have any artificial ingredients, colors, parabens, phthalate, propylene glycol, lauryl/laureth sulfates, and triclosan.
Dr. Jacobs Naturals is very versatile as it can be used as an alternative to shampoo, body wash, and facial cleanser. The pure olive oil Castile soap is non-greasy, will not clog pores and it can also be used as a great household cleaner, laundry detergent, and dish soap.
Additionally, you can save even more when you shop Dr. Jacobs Naturals products at LuckyVitamin.com. Just enter the promotional code SEPT15NEW15 at checkout to save 15% on all items of this new brand but hurry, offer ends September 30th, 2015.
Did you know that a good number of household cleaners contain toxic ingredients that can be harmful to you and your family? Many conventional products use powerful toxic ingredients which are carcinogens and endocrine disrupters. Natural cleaning products can clean as effectively as their petrochemical counterparts without polluting your home as well as the environment. So, next time you shop cleaning products
, check all ingredients on the labels and make sure they do not include any of these 5 cleaning agents to keep away from your home.
1. Ammonia: found in bathroom cleaners, polish products for sinks and jewelry, as well as in glass cleaners, ammonia is a powerful irritant that can develop serious health issues such as chronic bronchitis and asthma. Ammonia is also known to cause irritation to eyes and mucous membranes, breathing difficulty, wheezing, chest pains, pulmonary edema, and skin burns. High exposure can lead to blindness, lung damage, heart attack or death.
2. Phthalates: air fresheners, dish soap, toilet paper, and other fragranced cleaners may contain this dangerous ingredient. If you see the word “fragrance” on a label, there’s a good chance phthalates are present because, by law, companies do not have to disclose what’s in their scents. Phthalates are known endocrine disruptors. Although exposure to phthalates mainly occurs through inhalation, it can also happen through skin contact with scented soaps or other personal care products.
3. Phenols: found in toilet bowl cleaners, disinfectants, and other household products, phenols are toxic to respiratory and circulatory systems. This chemical is still used in the United States but because of the threat posed to the environment by nonyl phenols, the European Union has banned this harmful ingredient from all cleaning products manufactured or used in the EU.
4. 2-Butoxyethanol: commonly found in window, kitchen, carpet, and multipurpose cleaners, 2-butoxyethanol/ ethylene glycol butyl ether can be inhaled or absorbed through the skin and may cause blood disorders, as well as liver and kidney damage. May also cause reproductive damage with long-term exposure.
5. Chlorine: widely used in toilet bowl cleaners, mildew removers, laundry whiteners, and even in tap water, the health risks from chlorine can be serious. Chlorine is a respiratory irritant at an acute level and is listed as a possible human carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.
Making your own cleaning products is a fun and easy way to go green while saving some green along the way. When making your own cleaning supplies make sure to use new, clean plastic bottles. Also, add some labels so you know what’s what. Here are some of our favorites:
All Purpose Spray
2 tsp. of baking soda
½ tsp. of Dr. Bronners Citrus Orange Castile Soap
4 Tbsps. white vinegar
1 ¾ cups of filtered water
Stir and shake well. Add to a squirt bottle for added convenience.
Liquid Gel Dishwasher Detergent
3 Tbsps. of Dr. Bronners Baby Mild Castile Soap
3 cups of warm filtered water
1 cup washing soda
Add all the ingredients to a jar and shake very well until the washing soda dissolves. You may need to keep the jar upside down overnight. Store in a mason jar with an air tight lid. Use 1-2 TBSP per load in the main wash. For added sparkle, add one tablespoon in the pre-wash or you can use vinegar!
1 cup of distilled water
¼ cup of witch hazel
15 drops of lavender essential oil
10 drop of tea tree oil
Store in a spray bottle preferably glass since some essential oils can degrade plastic over time. This spray is perfect for a sweat drenched yoga mat.
Spring is just around the corner but before you start shopping for your annual spring cleaning, check out some news about household cleaners containing toxic ingredients. Learning about these potentially toxic chemicals is extremely important as these ingredients can be harmful to you and your family; instead, let nature do the dirty work for you
Phthalates are known endocrine disruptors but are often found in air fresheners, dish soap, toilet paper, and other cleaners. If you see the word “fragrance” on a label, there’s a good chance phthalates are present because, by law, companies do not have to disclose what’s in their scents. Although exposure to phthalates mainly occurs through inhalation, it can also happen through skin contact with scented soaps or other personal care products.
Often found in window, kitchen, carpet, and multipurpose cleaners, 2-butoxyethanol/ethylene glycol butyl may cause blood disorders as well as liver and kidney damage. Additionally, it causes sore throats when inhaled and long-term exposure may contribute to necrosis, pulmonary edema, and may cause reproductive damage.
Widely used in toilet bowl cleaners, laundry whiteners, mildew removers, scouring powders and even in tap water, the health risks from chlorine can be acute, and chronic. Chlorine is a respiratory irritant at an acute level and is listed as a possible human carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.
4. Glycol Ethers
Found in cleaning products, liquid soaps, and a variety of household products glycol ethers are used as solvents. Acute exposure to these chemicals can result in necrosis, pulmonary edema and serious kidney and liver damage. Long-term exposure can cause fatigue, nausea, anemia, tremors and anorexia.
Often used in bathroom cleaners, polish products for sinks and jewelry, as well as in glass cleaners, ammonia is a powerful irritant that can develop serious health issues such as chronic bronchitis and asthma. Ammonia evaporates, doesn’t leave streaks and is known to cause irritation to eyes and mucous membranes, breathing difficulty, wheezing, chest pains, pulmonary edema, and skin burns. High exposure can lead to blindness, lung damage, heart attack or death. Ammonia can also create a poisonous gas when mixed with bleach.