One Year of Non-Toxic Living Guide

Switching to a non-toxic or crunchy lifestyle can be super overwhelming. There is a lot of pressure and even more greenwashing that makes it confusing. The internet is busy listing off all of the things that you need to replace and taking it all in at once is just too much. It’s also expensive! Trying to overhaul your house is probably not the best approach and will most likely lead to burn out. I highly recommend following this one year of non-toxic living guide. 12 months and 12 ways to become more non-toxic.


All candles have some sort of fragrance involved and majority of the time it is very synthetic. It’s incredibly toxic to your environment! I could get into a ton of statistics and information here but really all you need to know is that fragrance is bad. That goes for anything that has fragrance UNLESS the manufacturer is willing to tell you exactly what that fragrance is. 

The best way to replace candles? Use a diffuser! Diffusers are so darn fun because once you get a good base of oils on hand it’s super easy to fire it up and also to mix and match some different scents. Not sure what to mix? Jump on Pinterest! There are tons of ideas on there- I even have a board about them because it’s one of my favorite ways to find new blends. The other good part is that a lot of brands, like Rocky Mountain Oils, have pre-made blends for you. Just put the oil in the diffuser with some water and you’re on your way! 

Plastic Storage Containers

This might be a harder one but it’s one of the most important. Ever wonder why your plastic containers turn red from spaghetti sauce or yellow after food has sat in them for a bit? The food is leaching into the plastic! If the food is leaching into the plastic that means that the plastic is also leaching into your food. 

The best way to ditch the plastic is to get some glass containers. Look for these at thrift stores, Costco, or even your local dollar store. They don’t have to be expensive to be effective. Yes, they still use plastic lids but our food isn’t usually touching the lid and it’s still better than all the food touching plastic. 

Laundry Soap

This is a big one! Laundry soap is also one of those things in our house that likely contains fragrance. Laundry soap is known for causing eczema flare ups and skin irritation. Why do you think that people use “special” baby laundry soap? The other ones are too harsh for baby’s skin! Although, spoiler alert, dreft also contains fragrance and is bad for babies. 

Don’t throw out your soap, that’s crazy talk. Wait until you need to buy more and then replace it with a good option. There are many different ones out there. I’ve analyzed the Azure brand, which is definitely a better option. My favorite out of all of them is definitely Attitude brand so far. I’m also giving Truly Free a try too, so I’ll update more on that when I have a good feel for if we like it or not. 

One way to save money here- make your own! It’s something I’ve been wanting to do but haven’t quite had the capacity yet. If you look at the stats, it’s definitely the cheapest way to go. 

Dusting Spray

Anyone out there still using Pledge? We grew up on it, so it’s all that I knew to use. Then I found out about all of the toxins that are in it and decided we needed to go a different direction. To be honest, I haven’t found a store bought option for dusting spray that isn’t toxic. The best replacement is this homemade dusting spray. Works great and smells good too.

Hand Soap

This is, hands down, the easiest swap there is. Again, don’t throw out the old. In an economy where everything is costly, it’s not worth it. Once you’ve used up your old soap you can save your old container to save money or buy new ones if that’s what you want. If you prefer a liquid soap there are many homemade versions out there. They are cheap and non-toxic. 

Homemade hand soap.

If you prefer foaming hand soap, you are in luck. This is the cheapest and easiest way to refill your hand soap. All you need is a dispenser and castile soap. Add 2 tablespoons of castile soap to the dispenser and fill the rest with water. DONE! If you want to take it a step further you can add some essential oils but it’s not mandatory by any means. 

Dish Soap/ Dishwasher Soap

This is one of the last things that I would change, only because it gets rinsed off. The worst part about dish soaps is if you are hand washing your dishes then your hands have to be in those chemicals for a decent amount of time. If you’re using a dishwasher, the chemicals technically get washed off. Although, there is always some sort of residue and chance that it’s not fully off. That’s why it’s still important to replace them eventually. 

I’ll, once again, recommend Azure or Attitude here. With another caveat that I’m trialing the Truly Free and have high hopes for it. Be careful with this one, as a lot of dish soaps won’t work well enough and leave your dishes kind of greasy. Do be aware that they aren’t made the same as the chemical filled versions so they won’t be nearly as foamy, it’s totally normal!

Water Filter

The good thing about this one is that you don’t have to get rid of anything! There are no swaps here unless you’re using some sort of filter already. In which case, that’s great! You’ll just want to make sure that the filter is actually doing what you need it to do. Something like a Brita water filter is okay but it’s not going to get everything that you need out of the water. 

To be honest, we use a reverse osmosis system that came with our house. It’s an under the sink system that I absolutely love. Prior to that we had a water pitcher and that was just an okay method. A lot of people prefer the Berkey or the Aquatrue for their filters. Both are countertop options and they’re both pretty pricey. This is definitely going to be one of the bigger expense items, but it’s super important (especially if you live in the city where your water has fluoride in it). 

Toothpaste / Mouthwash

Speaking of fluoride…It’s not good for you. Fluoride builds up on your pituitary gland and can impact your ability to think! I have some conspiracy theories about this but basically you just need to know that it is impacting your brain and it’s time to ditch it. 

This is another one where you can wait until you need more and opt for a fluoride free option. We prefer Spry because it has xylitol in it which is supposed to help remineralize your teeth. There have been reports of people with cavities that have healed them with xylitol. 

One word of caution- xylitol is toxic to dogs so keep it away from your furry friends. 

Multi-Purpose Cleaner

Back in the day I used to love me some 409 cleaner. It worked well and it smelled good. However, it was one of the first things to go when I started to move towards a non-toxic life. 

This is another one that has may options for switching and you can find one that is in your price range. From a DIY version to the expensive ones that are fragranced with essential oils, you can choose what you want to do as a replacement.  

Comet / Soft Scrub / Bar Keeper’s Friend

This is the simplest replacement and I might even advise that you throw out the old ones when it comes to this one. Switch to Bon-Ami! Bon-Ami is super cheap and has worked some miracles for me. When I scorched food onto my stainless steel pans and when we forgot to fill the water softener that left big yellow stains in our tub. Bon Ami was there to fix it! It’s such a cheap and easy switch. Squeeze this one in between more expensive months to make it a little easier on your wallet. 


I love this swap because it’s not only more non-toxic but it’s also more sustainable. That makes it a super affordable option too. Ditch the windex and paper towels. Switch to e-cloths. I bought these when they were on sale at Azure and I haven’t looked back. They honestly work so much better than Windex anyways! No streaks and getting all of the dog drool off the windows is a breeze. 

Air Filter

Last but not least, I recommend you get an air filter (or two or three if you can afford them). I honestly thought this wouldn’t make much of a difference. Boy was I surprised! I love our Air Doctor! I’ve shared many pictures when I change the filters because you can definitely see it is doing it’s job. I swear it has helped my allergies too and I breathe better than I have in years. 

Part of my long term goals is to get more of them because I think they make that much of a difference in our home. I wish I could recommend a cheaper option but I did a lot of research before buying the air doctor. None of them could quite compare to the capabilities that is has (the smallness of the particles that it is able to filter). 

An Air Doctor is the most expensive part of your year of non-toxic living.

BONUS: Period Products

This is a bonus because not everyone needs them. Did you know that most commercial period products have bleach in them? Bleach is not something that I want in or near my nether region! People have claimed that switching to organic products even helps with their PMS and period symptoms. Who doesn’t want an easier period?
Personally, I love my period panties and think that they made the switch way easier. Obviously, it’s going to be very personal here. The best choices are organic tampons and pads, but be careful to watch the ingredients because they like to slip things in. Another choice is a silicone period cup which is also a good option. Whatever you choose, it’s got to be better than bleach. Yuck! 

In Summary: One Year of Non-Toxic Living Guide

The best part about taking it month by month is that it doesn’t hurt the pocketbook as much. You can totally shift these around to take advantage of holiday sales to get things cheaper. Plus, you can also shift so that you don’t throw things out and there is less waste. Let’s face it, if you’re already using it you’ve been exposed. Getting rid of ¼ of the bottle isn’t going to do that much for you. Of course, if you’re in the position to throw it all out then go for it! I just know we wanted to switch but I didn’t want to make it so we had to stretch our money each month for it either. 

What was the first non-toxic switch in your home? For us, it was definitely the laundry detergent. I, of course, had to go through some greenwashed brands first too! 

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