7 Simple Ways to Change the Future

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When it comes to ridding ourselves of toxins, whether in our food, the clothes we wear, or the products we use in our home, it can seem overwhelming. But as Shane Koyczan shares in his Poem for a Toxin-Free Generation, “Let’s start small…the beauty is we can begin anew anytime we choose too.”

Maybe it’s his voice, his energy, his words, or all of these things combined, but Shane Koyczan’s spoken word poetry has the power to move me. It makes me stop and reflect and feel the need to take action. That action is possible from everyone. That’s the way I felt when watching his anti-bully piece To This Day, a piece I shared with my kids. A Poem for a Toxin Free Generation has the same impact.

I agree, change doesn’t have to be a daunting task, something for someone else to handle. Seventh Generation and Koyczan introduce Seven Simple Tips to Live Life More Toxin Free:

  1. Once a week, open all the windows in your house for five minutes. Like you, your house needs to breathe. No matter the season, open all the windows in your house for at least five minutes once a week to release the vapors and bring in the fresh air.
  2. Avoid recycling receipts. They may look like paper and feel like paper, but they shouldn’t be recycled like paper. They could contain BPA (Bisphenol A) that will contaminate the other recyclables in the mix. Either throw receipts into the trash or go paperless to avoid them all together.
  3. Use glass containers for lunches and food storage.There is no situation where the phrase “could leach into your food” is desirable. Even beets leaching into our mashed potatoes become a meal-breaker for some so why tolerate potentially harmful chemicals leaching into our foods from plastic containers?
  4. Choose a good, old-fashioned mug for your morning coffee. Grinding trees into pulp, compressing them into paper and then chucking them into landfills after just one use seems, to put it mildly, inhumane. Consider switching to a reusable cup or mug.
  5. Your nose knows; trust it. If something gives off a scent that makes you cringe, it’s probably a good sign to step away. More likely than not, you’re smelling a Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) and the less of those you inhale, the better.
  6. Get a plant and improve your indoor air quality. Plants like what you exhale, you like what they exhale. Symbiosis. It’s a win-win.
  7. Beware: “unscented” is not the same as “fragrance-free.”No healthy relationship is ever based on secrets and some synthetic fragrances, including the nefarious “unscented” fragrance, can contain hundreds of secret chemicals, none of which are shared with you. Improve your label literacy and be aware of what’s really inside the products you buy.


Simple enough. Switching to plant-based products is a small and easy change to make a difference now. Small steps toward change are better than no steps at all.

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