This summer I was struggling with tightness and burning in my chest. After weeks of doctors appointments and tests, I learned I was having allergic asthma. I started to learn more about my new found allergies and asthma and triggers. That's when my boyfriend, Zack, and I decided to make our home a healthier and less toxic space.
We went through what we could be using and breathing in and researched better products for our health. A website we used frequently was EWG.org by the Environmental Working Group. Additionally, we looked for products that had zero VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) or Formaldehyde.
One of the first products we thought to make the change was our laundry detergent. We live in a one-bedroom apartment and our dryer vents into the apartment. We realized that was something we constantly breathed in and should be more conscious about.
Molly’s Suds Laundry Pods in Peppermint
Blueland Cleaning Products and Hand Soap
I use Blueland’s Foaming Hand Soap, Toilet Bowl Cleaner, Multi-Surface, Bathroom, and Glass + Mirror Cleaners. I love that you can buy their spray bottles once and then their refills for less waste.
Blueland products are both effective and non-toxic. Their formula has No VOCs, parabens, ammonia, phthalates, or chlorine.
Before I switched to Blueland, I used all the strongest products and would have to open the bathroom window while I cleaned it or I’d get sick and nauseous. Now, I live in an apartment without bathroom windows, so having products that don’t give me a headache in return for a clean toilet is a miracle.
Side note: I’ve been able to find some of their refills at The Container Store allowing me not to have to order online all the time.
Seventh Generation Dishwasher Detergent Packs and Toilet Bowl Cleaner
Jupiter Shampoo, Conditioner, and Mask
I’ve been using Jupiter Shampoo, Conditioner, and Mask since September 2020 after years of struggling with dandruff. Brands such as Head and Shoulders contain animal-derived ingredients and brands that were tea tree oil-derived only work for short periods of time for me. I took a chance on Jupiter after it only launched for a few months and I am extremely satisfied with my hair and scalp results.
Jupiter’s Balancing Shampoo is scientifically formulated to treat dandruff and the flaking and itching that comes with it. The shampoo is Zinc Pyrithione based which decreases dandruff on the scalp. Zinc Pyrithione is a powerful treatment for the underlying cause of dandruff. It is safe and effective at combating Malassezia, a scalp fungus that feeds on oils produced by the scalp. In some people, this causes irritation that leads to dandruff. All Jupiter products are paraben-free, sulfate-free, and phthalate-free.
Since its launch, Jupiter made some amazing improvements to its environmental impact. Their boxes and packing material are made from recycled paper, their plastic bottles are made from post-consumer recycled material, and they have a number of other initiatives in the works to eliminate our footprint altogether.
All Jupiter products are cruelty-free and vegan.
Dr. Bronner's Peppermint Pure-Castile Liquid Soap
Sabai The Essential Sectional
I have lived in 6 different places in the past 8 years and 3 of those places came furnished. All the places I had lived in were only temporary so I never saw a reason to invest in nice furniture.
After borrowing an uncomfortable futon for a few months, owning an uncomfortable futon because it was inexpensive, and then owning a slightly nicer but still uncomfortable couch that broke after a couple of months, it was time to find something durable and non-toxic.
All of the inexpensive couches were made from materials such as particle board wood and coated with toxic chemicals such as formaldehyde. Additionally, the couches had to be off-gassed and we didn’t have an outdoor area or garage for them to do so, therefore we just were breathing it all in.
After a lot of research, I found Sabai looked like the best option for a sustainable and non-toxic couch. Made in a family-owned factory in High Point, North Carolina committed to quality, safety, and a living wage. All their products have no toxic off-gassing, no toxic flame retardants or added formaldehyde, they use FSC Certified Wood, and recycled and upcycled fibers.
Sabai, unfortunately, doesn’t have a showroom but they will send you free fabric swatches. The Seafoam Recycled Velvet ended up being the top contender. It’s made from 100% Recycled Water Bottles, is very soft, and is machine washable.
We chose Sabai’s The Essential Sectional because it is the perfect size for our apartment and is super cozy. We also chose the Natural Wood Legs made from domestically-sourced maple. The pillows are 100% recycled fiber fill and they use CertiPUR-US certified high-resiliency foam.
We’ve only had the couch for a couple of weeks now but so far we are really enjoying it.