Let’s start in one of the most used rooms in our home: the kitchen. There is a constant shift happening in the kitchen—food comes in, trash goes out, and we are always cleaning. It’s a great place to look at products we are using on a daily basis and really gain perspective on how much we use, what types of products we use, how much waste we are creating, etc. We can then use this info to figure out what changes we can make to create a healthier kitchen environment for our family.

The kitchen is the land of single use plastics. We don’t need them—not to the extent we are told. They are part of the “convenience” sales pitch we are constantly fed in motherhood. With very minimal effort, we can eliminate a significant amount of our single use plastic in the kitchen.

For example, I stopped buying plastic baggies almost two years ago and instead rely on reusable containers, wax based covers, and glass jars to store and seal food. I also use bento boxes for lunches that need packed if on-the-go if foods need to be separated. What happened when I stopped buying plastic baggies? Nothing negative—I started getting creative and realized that I truly did not need them. One family making even this small shift made an impact. Many of us making this small shift can create an even bigger positive shift.

The kitchen is also an important place to look at your cleaning products and really understand the chemicals you are using and exposing your family to…our skin is our largest organ and absorbs what we come into contact with. Everything has an effect on our bodies.

(The kitchen can be a great place for a food detox, but that is coming in week three. Today is all about cleaning supplies and plastics).

Write about your own kitchen. What is your family’s plastic use like in the kitchen? How much trash do you create on a daily basis? What types of cleaners do you use? Are they non-toxic? If they are advertised as “green,” does the ingredient label show that they are truly natural or is it simply advertised as “clean?” Spend some time today researching a few of the ideas listed below. Write down what you learn, what you feel applies to you, and changes you’d like to strive for now and in the long term.

Choose something from the following list that you can implement as part of your kitchen detox:

  • Switch to non-toxic cleaning products—including dish, dishwasher, & hand soaps, counter and floor cleaners
  • Learn how to make your own cleaners and soaps
  • Ditch non-stick pans
  • Consider replacing plastic scrubbers with sustainable ones
  • Stop buying and using single use plastic baggies
  • Try beeswax food wraps
  • Switch plastic for silicone, metal, or other materials that don’t leach chemicals
  • Replace paper napkins with beautiful cloth ones (it’s just laundry & can easily be washed with towels)
  • Don’t rely on plastic wrap and aluminum foil
  • Commit to not buying plastic cutlery for parties or take out (I love Sharkpit Designs)
  • Filter your drinking water (I’m a fan of Berkey)
  • Understand what your current water filter does filter out and how to maintain it
  • Avoid heavily packaged products; buy in bulk when applicable
  • Compost leftovers and food scraps
  • Or come up with your own!

Keep in mind that detox month isn’t about changing everything all at once. Awareness is often the first step. This month might look like you making big shifts, little shifts, both, or simply gathering information to figure out what you need/want to change for your family. This month is very different than the other guided journal topics… “detox” can mean a lot of different things to different people. Our goal is to take inventory of our homes and individual lifestyles, raise our awareness, figure out what we want to change, and then take action from there.

If you get overwhelmed, remember these things: Awareness encourages authenticity. Slow growth sustains long-term change. You’ve got this.