Swapping out toxic products in your kitchen or bathroom is a great way to reduce health risks and live more sustainably. But it’s important not to forget the toxins that you may encounter outside of your home too. Many toxins in your outdoor life may even be more unsuspecting. Here are five outdoor toxins and easy eco-friendly swaps to help you enjoy the outdoors, protect nature, and have some good safe fun!
- Oxybenzone sunscreens - Drop the oxybenzone sunscreens for natural zinc oxide-based products.
- Pesticides - Stop using outdoor pesticides and bug sprays that contain chemicals such as atrazine, simazine, ametryn, methyl viologen, isopropylamine salt, and many others which can cause human health problems and pollute or harm groundwater, the atmosphere, and non-target creatures. There’s numerous homemade and natural pesticide formulations that are much friendlier to the environment, such as using a mixture of vegetable oil, liquid dish soap, and water to spray plants to kill aphids, mites, and other similar insects.
- Car wash soap - Switch your normal car wash soap for a biodegradable and phosphate-free brand that won’t cause harm when it enters storm drains.
- Petroleum-based sprays - Trade your petroleum-based lubricant and sprays for plant-based Gear Hugger to remove rust from your outdoor BBQ or to maintain your lawn mower. And just because you’re switching to an all-natural solution doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice quality. Gear Hugger has 3x the lubricating power than the leading petroleum brand!
- PFCs - Here’s one you probably weren’t expecting. Your rain jacket, performance fleece, and other outdoor clothing likely contains harmful perfluorochemicals (PFCs). These are a group of chemicals used to make fluoropolymer coatings and products that resist heat, oil, stains, grease, and water. Instead, choose a PFC-free brand to reduce your exposure. The good news is there are plenty of awesome options! Some of our favorite PFC-free brands include:
- Jack Wolfskin - outdoor apparel and footwear for women, men, and kids.
- Keen Footwear - shoes for adventure, work, and play.
- Deuter - leading provider of backpacks and bags for life’s great journeys.