Living Chemical-Free Part 3: Analyze and Prioritize

living-chemical-free-part-3

Welcome to part 3 of living chemical-free! The purpose of this series is to help you take actionable steps to live chemical-free. It is a lifestyle change that requires research and preparation. But it is achievable!

By now, you’ve conducted some background research, and a self-examination to determine if this is a lifestyle change you want to adopt. You’ve also come up with a detailed budget of what products you use, and how you use them. This is part 3, and we will now examine the budget and product usage. 

Here are the five parts to the living chemical-free series:

  1. Do your own research
  2. Track your budget and product usage
  3. Analyze and Prioritize (you are here)
  4. Research chemical-free products
  5. Make your first product, and start living chemical-free!

When I decided to start making this lifestyle change, I knew I had to take it step by step. I was convinced of the dangers of chemicals in our products. I did my own research to answer questions and satisfy my curiosity. I took a good look at how many different products I actually use, and how much I’m spending.

The exercise in part 2 helped me visualize everything, and helped me prioritize where I could start living chemical-free first. So I hope this step is helpful to you, too!

Before we start with the worksheet, grab a few colored pens/pencils. You’ll need at least three different colors (BLUE, RED, and GREEN, or whatever colors you want to use). Now, let’s take a look at your worksheet. Look at your “Price” column. Circle in BLUE, the top-three highest priced items.

Next, look at your “Usage” column. Circle in RED, the top-three most often used items.

If you circled both columns for a particular item, highlight the item’s row in GREEN. That item(s) might be a good place to start.

For me, my most expensive items were face-related: Face wash, toner, and moisturizer. My most often used items included the above-mentioned items and a few more: body wash, shampoo/conditioner, and hand soap.

At the time, I was starting to run out of hand soap. So it worked out that even though it wasn’t an expensive item, it was on my most-used list, so that was the very first item I made!

If there is no correlation, download the free app, “Think Dirty”, available on Apple and Android phones. This app rates products on a scale of 0-10 (0 being safest, 10 being the “dirtiest”). The app evaluates the listed ingredients and its documented evidence of carcinogenicity, developmental and reproductive toxicity, and/or allergenicity, & immunotoxicity. Learn more about how it rates on their website. You can also use this app to scan products while you’re at the store to get an idea of how dangerous some of these items are. The app isn’t perfect because it doesn’t have every single possible product out there. So you can actually help out by taking photos of the product and submitting it to be added to the database.

Happy analyzing and prioritizing!

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