3 Simple Steps to Staying Green

Get My Free Guide!

Hidden Toxins: How to Find Cancer-Causing Chemicals in Your Personal Care Products

Get the Guide>>
June 12, 2022

Detoxifying your home and lifestyle sounds overwhelming, and it definitely can be at times! 

But if you just take it a couple of steps at a time and remember these 3 simple tips, you’ll be surprised at how easy & automatic it can be!

Here are 3 ways to stay slightly greener without getting completely overwhelmed:

1. The 80/20 rule
2. Find your dealbreakers
3. Choose your top 2 

The 80/20 Rule

The 80/20 rule works for so many things, including toxins! The way it works here is that if you can buy safer products 80% of the time, you don’t have to worry so much about the other 20% of the time where either you don’t have control, or if you are out at an event, or even if you just want to treat yourself.

It could also be if you’re trying to stick to a budget, or you’re traveling and you forget something and the store doesn’t carry your favorite safer version of that product — no matter the reason, the 80/20 rule comes in handy.

And if you can’t do 80/20? That’s fine, too. Start with 50/50 or 60/40, whatever works for you and your budget and lifestyle. 

Just tart with what works best for you and your family and work your way up from there.

 Choose Your Top 2

This means choosing your top two most-used/consumed toxic products and replacing just those first. 

I recommend starting in the kitchen, then moving onto your personal care products and cosmetics, then on your cleaning products.

If you can choose your top two (or even if you just choose 1), most-used, most-toxic products, you’ll make a big difference! This way you’re not replacing everything all at once, but doing it slowly over a period of time.

For example, my daughter loved hot dogs when she was little, but i am not a big fan. So as a treat, I would buy her a safer brand of hot dog, like Applegate farms, and it would be an occasional treat. This way she still got the occasional hot dog and didn’t feel deprived, and I felt better about the ingredients.

The same goes for the items in your bathroom. Switch out products like toothpaste and face wash that you use every day, with a safer brand. 

Or buy a safer mascara that you’ll use everyday and then keep your favorite, most-likely toxic mascara for special occasions (like I do!).

Find Your Dealbreaker Ingredients

This is my favorite rule, because this is really where shopping safer becomes easy and automatic.

A dealbreaker is just what it sounds like, and in terms of toxic ingredients, it means as soon as you see this ingredient name on a label, you know this product is not for you.

In my book, The Slightly Greener Method, I used the example of dating, which is how we typically think of dealbreakers. Like if you find out you’re dating the guy who claps when the plane lands (sorry if you’re the one who claps when the plane lands – it’s just an example!). But that’s an example of a dealbreaker.

The same goes for buying safer products and reading product labels. If you can decide what your deal-breaking ingredients are, you’ll know right away whether or not to buy a product.

How I Found My Dealbreakers

For example, we have ADHD in my family, so our deal-breaking ingredients are artificial colors and sodium benzoate. This means that when I’m shopping and checking food and drink labels, if I see either one of those terms on the label, I’m not buying that product.

Instead of trying to memorize several ingredients at a time that I wanted to avoid, I started out with just one or two.

The way I got to this point was back in 2006 when I was trying to help my son, who was showing signs of attention issues, and after a lot of research, I began changing our diets.

But I was driving my family (and myself!) crazy by trying to replace everything all at once. So I thought, what  if I just started out memorizing a couple of ingredient names that have to do with ADHD first, instead of trying to avoid everything? And then just build on from there. So that’s what we did.

I began with memorizing just 2 ingredient names rather than dozens.

How can you find your dealbreakers? One of the best ways is to think about any health concerns you or your children have. Or maybe a concern of something that runs in your family, like our example of artificial colors — those are known to be linked to hyperactivity, so I chose that one first.

Or if you have eczema, maybe sodium lauryl sulfate would be an ingredient you could start out avoiding.

Research ingredients in the products that you eat, drink, or use on a daily basis that could be affecting those conditions, or that are linked to them. Or if you get my book, you get a dedicated book website that has a protocol of ingredients to avoid that have to do with health concerns like ADHD, weight gain, brain health, allergies, and even what to avoid during pregnancy.

Or maybe you don’t have any current health concerns (which is awesome!), but you just want to be healthier. Just start out with one or two ingredients you know you want to avoid, and once those are memorized and become automatic, move onto more.

We’re all individual and our needs are just as unique as we are, so I created Slightly Greener and wrote my book to help you decide which toxins to prioritize avoiding for your own unique needs.

When you use your dealbreaker ingredients, pretty soon it becomes automatic, and you’ll know which products to buy, and which to skip.

There are so many ways to customize this detoxified lifestyle. This is not about avoiding everything – we can’t! 

But we can make these smaller changes that will add up over time, and that fit into *our* lifestyle, rather than us feeling like we’re depriving ourselves by changing our lifestyle to fit these changes.


So that’s it for the 3 ways to stay slightly greener without getting completely overwhelmed!

Again, they are:

1. The 80/20 rule
2. Find your dealbreakers
3. Choose your top 2 

I’d love to know which one of these you find most helpful, so let me know in the comments or on social media!

Get My Free Guide!

Hidden Toxins: How to Find Cancer-Causing Chemicals in Your Personal Care Products

Get the Guide>>