Clean Living for Busy Families: Five Tips for a Fresh New Year

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After a long holiday season, by the time the clock strikes midnight on the New Years Eve, we are ready to make a change. If you’re anything like me, that means purging the house, eating only salad, and holding a commitment to do better. Sometimes we need a little inspiration though, so here are five tips for starting fresh in the new year:

Five Easy Changes

  1. Ditch the disposable plastics. That’s right, I said it. But it’s all the rage for a reason. Cutting down on disposable plastics not only cuts back on landfill waste but also helps lessen our carbon footprint.
    • Swap plastic straws for mental or silicone ones. There are many options available on Amazon or your grocery store.
    • Pack or store snacks, sandwiches, and other goods in reusable zipper bags. They’re easy to clean, cut down on plastic waste, and save you money!
    • Stash reusable tote bags and plastic bags in your car. This way they will be there to grab when you run into any store!
    • Swap single-serve plastic water bottles for a reusable bottle. Purchase one or two for everyone in the family and refill throughout the day.
  2. Meal plan. I’ve said a million times, and I’ll say it a million more: meal planning sets your family up for a week of healthy meals, cuts down on food waste, and saves you money since you know exactly to buy for the week.
  3. Swap out the harmful cleaning and personal care items. Maybe you’ve heard, maybe you haven’t, but most common cleaners and personal care items are full of chemicals and ingredients that are linked to cancers, hormone imbalances, and more. Thankfully, many great alternatives and new products are on the market that use only naturally-derived ingredients.
    • A few great cleaning options include Mrs. Meyers, Norwex, Method, and Seventh Generation.
    • Personal care is broken into skincare/makeup and body products. For the family, try Alaffia (a new personal fave), California Baby, or Uniquely J. For personal care items like makeup and skincare, some good options are Mineral Fusion, Beautycounter, or Rejuva.
  4. Focus on the dirty dozen. The dirty dozen is the list that the Environmental Working Group (or EWG) releases each year, highlighting the foods with the most pesticides. The organization recommends sticking to organic and pesticide free for these produce items above all others:
    • Strawberries
    • Spinach
    • Kale
    • Nectarines
    • Apples
    • Grapes
    • Peaches
    • Cherries
    • Pears
    • Tomatoes
    • Celery
    • Potatoes
    • Hot Peppers
  5. Make a decision to swap out one or two highly-processed products for nutrient-rich and healthy counterparts. White bread and rice are a perfect option. These foods are stripped of all nutritional content and do not provide anything good for our bodies. Try out a great multigrain bread and reach for the brown rice or grain blends instead of white. You can even find some good options in the freezer section for an easy healthful side with dinners. Another very healthful swap is soda for flavored sparkling or seltzer water. I believe there’s enough in the media world today for you to know soda is simply not good for you. I encourage you to try out a few of the options available and find one you like! If you drink a few cans of soda a day, start with one swap and work your way up!

Produce

I always love trying something new and reaching for a new goal when the clock strikes midnight.
What are some ways you’re changing things up in the New Year?

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