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12 Nontoxic Replacements for the Things You Use Every Day

Jul. 8, 2020From candles to cookware, laundry pods to rugs and, yes, mattresses, we’ve got you covered with nontoxic alternatives that are better for you and the environment.



On any given day, our immune systems quietly fight off exposure to over 60,000 different bacteria.

An autoimmune response is when your body has a reaction to a toxin or pathogen and launches an immune system attack on your own body. This response is designed to eradicate whatever foreign invader has infiltrated your body, the result of which can be strange, unexplained symptoms.

Autoimmune dysfunction is common in adults and children and can be linked to a wide range of symptoms, including: skin rashes and irritation, chronic fatigue, joint pain or swelling, digestive issues, and swollen lymph nodes.

Autoimmune diseases can be difficult to diagnose because of their ambiguous nature and the commonality of the symptoms involved. More often than not, an autoimmune response to a toxin in your home environment will show up as a mild to severe form of a symptom that never seems to fully go away on its own. According to a study, as much as 70% of autoimmune disease is caused by environmental factors, diet, and infection. The remainder is up to nature. Some people are more at risk simply because of hormonal makeup or genetic predisposition.

Here’s a list of great, clean products that reduce your exposure to these environmental toxins that may help ward off those autoimmune issues.

#1 — Natural Nontoxic Mattresses from Avocado

First off, we wouldn’t be us if we didn’t say it — you spend one-third of your life in bed, and your body absorbs as much as 80 percent of what it comes into contact with.

You need sheets that aren’t processed with formaldehyde, and you need a bed that isn’t made of polyurethane.

Lucky for you, we have both.

 
 

SHOP NOW

 

#2 — Clean Plug-In Fragrance by Pura

Artificial fragrances are an easy way to make a home feel cozy, but they also overwhelm the air with scent carriers that can cause migraines and allergic reactions.

Pura makes some amazing scent plug-ins that smell great and don’t contain any chemical nasties to get the job done. Pura’s scents are pet-friendly, paraben and phthalate-free, and contain no DEA, formaldehyde, or propylene.

“One of the most important aspects for the founders was [to create a] clean fragrance with no harmful chemicals or ingredients, that would be safe around kids and pets. This is unique for the fragrance market, because a lot of scent brands use harmful ingredients, and they wanted to make sure this wouldn’t happen with Pura.”

 
 

SHOP PURA

 

#3 — Old School Cast Iron Cookware by Finex

I’m a cast iron snob, so I’ll be the first to tell you that PFOAs like Teflon can cause cancer, birth defects, and liver damage.

That being said, I get that most cast iron is not exactly user-friendly, and the new stuff is so pitted it’s almost impossible to use without some non-stick spray.

Finex makes cast iron the old-fashioned way, with a process that actually casts it, so it’s not riddled with those tiny divots that make it impossible to cook with.

 

SHOP FINEX

 

#4 — Silicone Cups & Straws by GoSili

More and more research is showing the hormone-altering chemical BPA in high concentrations in people’s bodies. The problem? Even as manufacturers swap BPA with other chemical replacements, these substitutes appear to cause the same harmful effects.

GoSili makes silicone dishes for kids and grownups that are 100% plastic-free, microwaveable, dishwasher safe, and adorable.

 
 

SHOP GOSILI

 

#5 — Zero-Waste Laundry Pods by Dropps

I’ve never been a fan of the laundry drops you buy in stores. They’re riddled with ingredients that are harmful to waterways, heavily scented, and come in big plastic containers that inevitably get put into a landfill and never decompose.

Dropps makes nontoxic laundry (and dishwasher) pods that come in recyclable cardboard packaging, and they’re fantastic. They come in both scented and unscented versions (and even one with stain-fighting ingredients for those of us with messy kids). The fragrances aren’t overpowering, and they are pretty affordable!

 
 

SHOP DROPPS

 

#6 — Eco-Friendly Furniture by Medley

Couches and living room furniture are often made with chemically treated fabrics and polyurethane foams. With Medley Home, you can get custom, sustainably-crafted furniture made without harsh chemicals and fire retardants.

All their pieces come with a 100 day trial, free returns, and you can even order fabric swatches to see the fabrics in the light of your own home.

“In 2005 we launched our own furniture collection out of our apartment with the mindset of providing the highest quality at a lower price, and customizable options online. Then as we learned more about the materials we decided to produce using sustainable and non-toxic materials, viewing our pieces as part of the larger ecosystem with the end goal of a healthier planet and a healthier home.” 

 
 

SHOP MEDLEY HOME

 

#7 — Gorgeous Scented Candles by Lite+Cycle

Lite+Cycle makes candles using only essential oils and soy and vegetable-based waxes. They’re gorgeous, thoughtfully made, and a portion of their profits go to charities that provide solar lighting systems to people in need.

“I wanted to create a candle that not only mimicked nature, but was 100 percent made from nature, to bring the outside inside,” says founder Kristi Head. “It was important for me to always be honest and transparent in our ingredients, and to offer the very best product in the most natural form.”

 
 

SHOP LITE+CYCLE

 

#8 — Rugs Made from Recycled Clothes by Hook and Loom

I love me an area rug. Hook and Loom is one of the only companies out there making eco-friendly rugs, and their method is amazing. Using recycled clothes, Hook and Loom makes flame retardant and dye free rugs that warm up a home — without off gassing into it.

“Starting with the premise that we would use no chemicals, latex, or dyes,” says owner Whit Selke, “we pioneered the process of making new cotton rugs with fibers recovered from donated clothing that would have otherwise gone into landfills.”

 

SHOP HOOK AND LOOM

 

#9 — Plastic-Free Coffee Brewing By Chemex

I’ve obsessed about Chemex’s amazing pour-over coffee makers for years. After finally getting around to trying one, I’m convinced — these things are amazing.

What’s really incredible is that when paired with a stainless steel tea kettle, Chemex offers a way to brew a cup of coffee with zero plastic involved. Since plastic leaches chemicals a lot easier when it’s heated, this is a big deal — and why I never brew my coffee through a plastic filter basket anymore.

 

SHOP CHEMEX

 

#10 — Nontoxic Dish Soap by Cleancult

This stuff is amazing. Made with clean, natural ingredients, and packaged in ways that blew even my mind, cleancult makes cleaning products designed to eliminate plastic waste and toxic chemicals from your cleaning routine.

“I was inspired to create a cleaning company when I looked at the back of my bottle of laundry detergent and couldn’t find any ingredients,” says CEO and co-founder Ryan Lupberger. “Turns out there’s very little regulation in the U.S. for what actually goes in our cleaning products and essentially no disclosure about these ingredients.”

 
 

TRY CLEANCULT

 

#11 — Nontoxic Perfume by Skylar

Skylar has been my main fragrance love for a while now. Their scents are made to last, but are mild enough that they don’t give me migraines or make me nauseous on a hot day.

“I started Skylar when I learned that my daughter was allergic to my favorite perfume when she was really young,” says founder Cat Chen. “As I began to research, I learned that 15 percent of women are allergic to fragrance and many perfumes are made with a lot of toxic chemicals and ingredients. I sought to change that and create a line of fine fragrances and personal care products that not only smelled beautiful, but also didn’t compromise on safety.”

Skylar uses a balance of synthetic and natural ingredients to create fragrances that are nontoxic, but with a fragrance that lasts through my entire workday.

 
 

SHOP SKYLAR PERFUME

 

#12 — Organic Bamboo Towels by Ettitude

I didn’t know luxury towels were a thing until I tried a set from Ettitude. Made with 100 percent organic bamboo lyocell, their waffle weave towels are ridiculously soft and silky.

The towels are soft and stretchy and have to be line-dried to preserve their delicate, luxe texture. I especially love their towels for wrapping my delicate, curly hair after a shower — it’s a major upgrade from the old t-shirt method.

 
 

SHOP ETTITUDE

 

What changes are you making to reduce toxins in your home? Show us what you love on Facebook or Instagram, and tag us in the post! @AvocadoMattress

Destiny Hagest

By Destiny Hagest

 —  Destiny is a freelance writer with a background in sustainability and natural health. She lives in the mountains of central Montana with her husband and young son. When she's not writing or chasing her toddler, you can find her wandering the quiet wilderness in search of wild herbs and antler sheds.

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