Friday, March 5, 2010

Sexy new car, stinky new car smell

For about a year now, we've been on a quest to reduce chemicals in our lives.

We've thrown away huge amounts of cleaning chemicals and replaced them with plant based alternatives and natural products (vinegar, bicarb and essential oils mostly).

We've changed our food (as much as we can afford) to organic - especially meat and edible skin vegetables.

We've stopped using pesticides at all, choosing to deter pests from invading our space with essential oils and other natural products, than to just kill 'em for the sake of our comfort.

It's made a huge difference to our mental state, and I think, our health. The most noticeable change was in Billy's feet and hands. Twelve months ago, his extremities were swollen and puffy. They were spongy to the touch, with taut skin... unusually taut skin. After three months or so of our chemical reduction, his hands and feet started to look normal. More than that, his fine motor skills improved out of sight, and his general sensory defensiveness level dropped completely. Odd behaviours like spitting disappeared altogether.

The other positive impact is on our budget. All that toxic crap costs a lot of money. I can honestly say our house is just as clean, and we save a lot. An initial investment in essential oils and spray bottles, and a consumables list that includes only bicarbonate soda and white vinegar, plant based washing powder, dishwasher powder and washing up liquid... and that's it.

Beats buying oven cleaner, toilet cleaner, bathroom cleaner, shower cleaner, floor cleaner, stainless steel appliance cleaner, anti-bacterial sprays and wipes, multi-purpose cleaner, fly spray, plant pesticides etc etc etc etc.

Plus, I can't help thinking about the creeks and rivers and oceans now... what were we doing washing buckets of toxic stuff down our drains? Where does that go? Down the drain, out into the waterways, into the surviving wildlife, and back into our bodies potentially. Ugh.

I still struggle with perfume. I love it. And even though it makes me feel sick, it makes me smell nice. Hair dye (one day I'll talk about the grey hair issue) is also a problem, but I've changed to the herbal, hippy version and even though is smells like rotting mushrooms, the colour is fine.

I've got to thank Shannon Lush ( for giving us the brains behind the de-tox. She came and de-toxed our house while shooting her show Lush House last year. And while she was telling us stuff (mostly) that we felt already, we sure as hell didn't understand it. If you ever get the chance to spend some time with Shannon, do it. Really. Do it. She calls herself human-google... and she's not boasting. Seriously, she's amazing. Here's the link to her show, and our part in it:

So... hippy stuff aside, flash forward to today, when we pick up our beautiful new car. A brand new, no Ks on the clock Subaru Outback.

Very exciting. Seriously wonderful car. But it STINKS to high heaven.

New car smell isn't lovely. It's foul. Really. It's plastic and chemical and stinky un-natural rubber type smells. Really. What the hell have we evolved into that we would covet a smell like that?

I swear Billy will be high after a drive to school.

Oh, did I mention that your sense of smell comes back when you reduce your chemical load...?


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