5 tips for creating a low-tox life with Sheryn Gung
Sensei Sheryn Gung is a natural health practitioner, martial artist, writer and presenter. Her experience spans over two decades in the healing arts and three decades in the martial arts. She has studied with some of the world’s most renowned masters in her disciplines. Combined with her deep understanding of spiritual law, Sheryn offers excellence in the East Asian healing arts, martial teachings and oriental and spiritual wisdom.
5 tips for creating a low-tox life
As a natural health practitioner and a mum, I’m often asked for my top tips on creating a low-tox life. From feng shui and building biology to salmon tataki burgers and jeans with split-toe tabi socks, there are certainly some “East–West fusions” that work better than others. As an oriental-based natural health practitioner, I’ve seen many of these trends come and mgo. So when I’m asked how to master a low-tox lifestyle, I always come back to oriental philosophy and frameworks such as yin–yang and the Five Elements (wood, fire, earth, metal and water).
I believe the ancient Taoists summed up low-tox living as living in harmony with nature. Embracing a low-tox lifestyle not only supports our planet by reducing chemical waste and plastic consumption but also minimises our environmental footprint. Furthermore, low-tox living improves air quality, which boosts the quality of our lung qi and respiratory health, thereby enhancing our potential for long and healthy lives.
To embark on this journey, start with small steps and gradually integrate these tips into your daily routine. Before you know it, you’ll be living and loving a low-tox life. When you need to make a new purchase, remember to vote with your dollar and choose sustainable options.
I hope these insights help you on your path to a low-tox lifestyle.
1 Choose natural personal care and make-up products
In East Asian medicine, your skin is also considered your “third lung”. If the idea of ingesting your skincare makes you baulk, it’s time to detox your bathroom drawer. Moisturisers, make-up, deodorants and shampoos can introduce common toxins like parabens, sulphates and fragrances into our bodies. Fortunately, there are many natural and organic skincare and make-up brands available that don’t compromise on performance.
2 Reduce plastic use
Every bit of plastic that has ever been made still exists. Choose products with minimal new plastic in their packaging — or better yet, with biodegradable or compostable packaging. Many Australian states are phasing out single-use plastics such as plastic bags and straws. If this hasn’t yet happened in your state, be proactive! Use reusable drawstring bags for your fresh produce and invest in bamboo or glass straws. Stock up on pantry staples at a wholefoods store, where they usually offer paper bags or ask you to bring your own containers.
Apart from the environmental devastation, plastic can wreak havoc on your hormones. Many plastics contain chemicals like phthalates and BPA (bisphenol A): endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs). These hormone disruptors have been linked to fertility problems, and are dangerous to children during their developmental leaps. Store your food in glass or stainless-steel containers and choose toys made of natural materials to limit plastic exposure.
3 Transition to green cleaning products
So, you’ve detoxed your bathroom drawer; now it’s time to clear the under-sink cupboard. Swap chemical-based products for green alternatives (check your local council’s guidelines for how to safely dispose of chemicals). It’s easy to create your own cleaning products from common kitchen ingredients like vinegar, baking soda and lemon juice. For a good all-purpose disinfectant and antimicrobial cleaner, I pour equal parts of filtered water and white distilled vinegar into an amber spray bottle, then add 10 to 12 drops of eucalyptus essential oil. If you prefer the convenience of ready-made cleaning solutions, there are many products available that are non-toxic and biodegradable. Remember to add biodegradable cleaning cloths to your shopping basket too.
And if you think you need harsh, caustic chemicals to clean your drains, think again. I use Actizyme, which is non-toxic, natural, septic-safe … and actually beneficial for the environment. You simply drop Actizyme pellets down your drains once a month to prevent blockages and biotoxin build-up, keeping your drains healthy and odour-free. Psst: When you’ve finished adding Actizyme to all your drains, why not head over to your shed to detox it from chemical gardening products?
4 Improve indoor air quality
Did you know that the air indoors can be more polluted than air outside? Open your windows regularly to let in fresh air, and control dust and allergens by using a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter. Wash your (eco) bedding regularly to eliminate dust mites. Indoor plants like snake plants, philodendrons and peace lilies add a splash of green to your home, and are also natural air purifiers. Fragrance the air with pure essential oils instead of synthetic air fresheners. Such lovely ways to cultivate quality lung qi!
5 Choose natural fibres
When you next shop for clothes, furniture and bedding, select natural fibres like organic cotton, linen and wool. They’re not only better for the planet but feel great on your skin. Synthetic fibres such as polyester, acrylic and nylon are forms of plastic which leach into the ocean as microplastics when washed … and many “plastic” clothes ultimately end up in landfill.
Adopting a low-tox life takes dedication — but it’s well worth it. Low-tox living is beneficial for our health and the health of our planet, and ushers us closer to that delicate global yin–yang balance. It’s an infinitely better “fusion” choice than wearing jeans with tabi socks.
For more information visit actizyme.com.au
- The natural drain unblocker and odour eliminator
- One tub lasts over a year
- Available at major supermarkets