• Caroline O'Hagan

5 changes you can make that are great for your body, home and the environment!

Updated: Sep 20, 2018

In 2010 I switched out all of my chemical cleaning products in favour of microfibre cloths and have not bought a chemical cleaning product since. I think it was this simple change that heightened my awareness of the toxicity we expose ourselves to on a daily basis. Bit by bit, I switched out the products we used for healthier options, and will never change back. Microfibre cloths, bicarbonate of soda and white vinegar, essential oils and water are the only cleaning products you will ever really need. I can guide you or you can do your own research. It's so worth it for many reasons.

Here are my top 5 easy switches that are better for your body, your health, your families health and the environment!

1. Switch to bar soap - you can change the hand soap, shower gel and even shampoo and conditioner out for bar soap!

If you purchase organic, locally hand made soap, not only are you cutting down the carbon footprint of the product because it is local, but you are reducing your contact with the ingredients of mass manufactured liquid soap, some of which could contain substances that may affect your health and hormones. Not to mention that it doesn't come in a plastic bottle, with a pump, that will sit in landfill for the rest of time, or wind up in the ocean! Bar soap often lasts longer, and can be cheaper! There has been a growing problem with the microbeads added to some shower gels and soaps over the last few years, which are not breaking down but instead collecting en masse in our water supply. Avoid them at all costs - a facewasher or flannel (especially a microfibre one) is an excellent cleanser for face and body.

Microbeads are becoming an enormous problem in our waters. Totally unnecessary - avoid them!

Ditch the chemical laden scrubs and body washes - you can still look, feel and smell fabulous without buying falsely perfumed mass produced products. Making a sugar or salt scrub is simple and easy - Mix 1/2 cup of organic sugar, 1/2 cup of coconut oil, several drops of your fave smelling essential oils, et voilá! You have your very own home made sugar scrub :)

2. Essential oils can make great cleaning products.

I put Tea Tree and Lemon Essential oils in the water that I mop my floors with. I use a microfibre mop (Norwex - but I am in no way affiliated with Norwex). I use lemon oil, very hot water and a microfibre cloth to clean my stove top. Clove essential oil can be used to fight mould. They may not be cheaper than a bottle of windex or easy off BAM! but they sure are infinitely better for you than chemical cleaning products, and definitely better for the environment. Burning eucalyptus essential oil is excellent to keep away germs and nasties - another great one for cleaning surfaces and floors.

A few drops of lavender on the pillow will keep the bedroom feeling calm and relaxing, and promote healthy sleep. A simple perfume made of a carrier oil like sweet almond, some distilled water and drops of your favourite essential oil smells is a cost effective and healthy way to wear perfume. Commercially produced chemical perfumes contain substances known as endocrine disruptors, which when absorbed into the skin and through the nasal passages, enter the blood stream and wreak havoc on the liver, causing issues with hormones and tolerance levels.

Diffusing essential oils around your house will keep it smelling fresh and clean, and the beautiful effects of aromatherapy will work their magic at the same time.

3. Switch to a natural Deodorant paste

(My fave is No Pong) and stop using Aerosol sprays. Apart from bring terrible for the Ozone, and contributing to environmental pollution through the air and the waste left by the large and flammable cans they come in, also consider that you are breathing in the airborne particles from the Deodorant spray, which will not be doing good things to your lungs. Harmful effects of daily use can build up over time and be responsible in some cases, for asthma, prolonged chest infections and a lowered immune system.

Aerosol deodorants contain a bunch of ingredients that we don't want or need in our bodies, and in my opinion don't even work that well! I converted to No Pong Deodorant paste about a year ago, and really wasn't that sure if it was doing a great job (maybe I'm just not smelly normally?) until I ran out last week and had to resort to the old Rexona.... Well I couldn't believe how stinky I was WITH Rexona...!! Not to mention that I couldn't breathe for ages after spraying it. I've been through a whole long and hot summer with No Pong and I will never use another Deodorant!! I am in no way affiliated with No Pong... Just a big fan!! Hubby has converted recently and loves it. I highly recommend it, or other deodorant product pastes - I haven't tried any others. I also like the Sukin Natural Deodorant spray, and some of the essential oil deodorant sprays by Eco Aroma.


There are squillions of lovely reusable water bottles on the market. If you don't like tap water, get a filter - there are dozens to choose from, that vary in price. Britta jugs are an affordable option, you can get them and their filters at the supermarket.

If you are looking for a more powerful filtration system, a bit of internet research is all it will take. I personally use Vitel Water - it is cost effective (extremely actually), removes fluoride, chlorine and harmful bacteria, restructures the water so that nasty tap water is no longer "dead", and alkalises every drop. Beautiful tasting water, amazingly good for you, and a super good price. Totally worth checking out (again, not at all affiliated with, just a happy customer!).

Whatever you do, STOP buying single use plastic bottled water! The water has been sat in plastic for an untold length of time and so contains hormone disrupting nasties from the plastics. It's expensive. It's horrible for the environment. Just stop doing it :)

And while I'm at it.....STOP USING PLASTIC STRAWS!!! If you absolutely can't do without a straw, purchase a beautiful stainless steel straw or bamboo or paper options are out there too. Take a look at Flora and Fauna for affordable, beautiful reusable products!

5. In the words of the great Tim Minchin; "Take your canvas bags to the supermarket!"

Later this year, Aussie supermarkets will no longer have single use plastic bags available, so we won't have a choice, which is fantastic! This one isn't about saving money, in fact buying reusable bags will cost you, but it's a small price to pay to do so much to help our environment and oceans!! There are so many options around for reusable shopping bags, in supermarkets and online. There are also options for reusable produce bags available - see link to Flora and Fauna above for a great selection or reusable produce bags, and reusable lunch wraps - take the kids lunch box to eco warrior status!

To be clear; I am in no way affiliated with any of the brands I have posted links to. They go straight to the brand home page and I don't and won't receive a cent from those companies for this link. My links are for information purposes only - I have found some super cool products and brands and just wanna share them with you!

If you would like to know more about clearing toxins from your home and your body (a true body detox really calls for toxins in the home to be eradicated too) , then send me an email to naturopathicaroline@gmail.com and lets get you started!!

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