Monday, June 27, 2011

How to make healthy changes that even your husband can live with

This weekend I sat down with a friend from high school and helped her pick some chemical-free products she could use for cleaning her house.  We discussed how much more damage chemicals cause to our bodies than most people even realize.  We talked about alternatives for the chemical-laden products she was currently using.  And we both lamented how crazy our husbands thought we were for essentially throwing out every household product they were familiar with and replacing them with cleaning solutions with labels like plant-based, chemical-free, toxic-free, made with essential oils that covered the outside of these unfamiliar containers.  So if you are like me and are interested in changing to a healthier life-style that is free of chemicals, here's my 10 step program for getting your significant other to think you're not so crazy and get on board:

1.  Discuss why you are wanting to make these changes, it's only fair you let him know what's about to take place, but tell him you won't get rid of any of "his" stuff.
2. Instead of throwing all of your chemical-laden products in the trash, put them in a box and take them out to the garage where they can be accessed in the case of a cleaning emergency "that only Windex can fix".
3. In the event of said emergency, hand him your bottle of chemical-free, plant-based cleaner [Branch Basics].
4. When your husband repeats the request for Windex, again nicely hand him your bottle of chemical-free, plant-based cleaner [Branch Basics].
5. When your husband asks for the Windex in a panicked voice, kindly suggest that he at least give your bottle a try [Branch Basics] (in extreme cases offer to go out to the garage and get the Windex even though it is pouring down rain and 11:00 at night).
6. Take a deep breath and remind yourself "small steps, small steps" when he takes a swig of Listerine after every use of the healthy mouth-wash you just bought [Spry Oral Rinse] and says, "I'm trying your stuff, but the blue Listerine is really the only thing that protects my teeth."
7. Buy a soap bottle with a pump that is just for him (full of your favorite Sodium Lauryl Sulfate-Free soap) to keep at the sink.  Unless you're really good, it's probably a good idea at this point to abandon the idea that your multi-purpose Branch Basics cleaner can double as his hand soap.
8.  Buy natural and chemical-free deodorant [Tom's of Maine] and shaving cream and leave it next to the sink where his Old Spice deodorant and Gillette shaving cream always sit.  Make his old staples a little harder to find.  When he asks for help finding them, suggest that he just try the new stuff while you look around and try to figure out what happened to his "good stuff".
9.  Fill his Pantene Pro-V Shampoo bottle with Sodium Lauryl Sulfate-free shampoo [California Baby fragrance-free Shampoo].  Ok, so I haven't actually done this, but it's a good idea, isn't it?
10. Be thankful for the small changes he is making and be patient.  When he realizes how important all this is to you, he'll start accepting the change.  Before you know it, he will be making your coconut-oil deodorant for you!

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