(Ok, so technically this is a “fragrance-less” Challenge, since “fragrance-free” is next to impossible. Still, every little bit helps, so I hope you’ll take the Challenge!)
The new year is here! Time when people make resolutions, set goals, etc. In that spirit of examination and change, I’m daring ALL of you out there to consider my “Fragrance-Free” Challenge.
Fragrances (a.k.a. chemicals/toxins) are everywhere in our environment now. We’ve become desensitized to the point where we can’t even smell natural scents anymore. (Some products even contain chemicals which harm the nerves in the nose, thus damaging your sense of smell.) No doubt about it, it’s time to De-Fragrance!
Some benefits of participating in this Challenge are:
1) You’ll gain a better understanding of what life is like for people with E.I. and hopefully increase in empathy and compassion for them.
2) You’ll become more aware of just how “fragrantly complicated” your life is and possibly find ways to simply – as well as to SAVE money! (who doesn’t want to do that these days?)
3) You’ll help reduce the amount of toxins in our environment by using less of them personally.
So now that you see the wonderful benefits, get ready! There are 3 different levels of this Challenge: Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced. Pick the one that best works for you, but be BRAVE! =) Trying something different isn’t easy, but can be very rewarding.
Beginner – Set aside 3 days in a row when you will not use ANY of the following products:
2) fabric softener (liquid or dryer sheets)
3) scented candles, plug-ins, sprays, or air fresheners
If you add up how much money you spend on these products alone, you’ll find you could save a LOT by simply not using them anymore. You’ll also be kind to any people around you who may have sensitivies or allergies to these ‘fragrant’ chemicals.
Intermediate – Set aside 4 days in a row when you will not use ANY of the following products:
1) the three things listed above – perfume/cologne, fabric softener, scented candles, etc.
2) hairspray, body spray, and scented lotions
3) hand sanitizer or clorox wipes
4) lysol or pledge type sprays, windex, or other strong chemical cleaners
(in place of these cleaning supplies you can use baking soda or Heinz vinegar–NOTE: other brands of vinegar may be made with petroleum products, thus making them toxic. Heinz is recognized as natural and safe.)
You’ll be surprised not only at how many products in your hosue are “fragrant” but also loaded with chemicals and thus toxic to the body. Changing your household products to natural and safe alternatives will save money and help protect your family’s health.
Advanced – Set aside 5 days in a row when you will make the following changes:
1) Do not use ANY of the things listed above – #1-4 of the Intermediate Challenge
2) Use baking soda to wash hands, dishes, and laundry instead of liquid or scented soaps (yes, baking soda is safe for washing machines and dishwashers)
3) Use baking soda or a natural kind of deoderant (you can find them at any health food store) instead of your normal brand, and use baking soda or a natural substitue (such as Magic Botanicals) instead of your normal shampoo and conditioner.
If you’re brave enough to take this Challenge, then you’ll be close to experiencing what my life is like on a daily basis. Once you start to pay attention you’ll be shocked by just how many everyday products are filled with chemical fragrances and toxic substances.
I hope you’ll be brave enough to take this Challenge!
For all those who do – please let me know how it goes and what you learn from the experience. And thank you for being willing to step into my world in this way.
May 2010 be a year of greater health, less toxins, and more joy in Jesus!