You need to travel, but you know you can’t compromise with toxicity.
Our house may be under our control, but the the rest of the world isn’t. As much as we want the world to undo all the toxic damage it’s done to itself, it’s just not realistic to wait until then to get out there and enjoy life once in awhile. Living in a bubble is no way to live. Sometimes we’d rather risk getting hurt than not try at all.
Our family really doesn’t travel that much, but we do use our car to get around a lot. Although we work from home, the nature of our business requires some amount of travel to get inventory. Besides work travel, we have family we visit once in awhile when we can afford it during the holidays.
With a chemically and EMF sensitive individual in our home, we have to travel prepared. It’s not like we have a literal bug-out bag or anything, but we basically know what we absolutely need to survive everyday modern toxic environments we come across far too frequently.
Here are some quick tips and a list of things we do that your family might want to try:
Basic safety first
The non-toxic tips we’ve listed here are things that your average family doesn’t really think much about, so let’s start with something that everybody should think about regardless of specific principles and priorities.
At least one extensive article I’ve seen out there about non-toxic travelling revolved around the topic of car seats, but what use is having the best non-toxic car seat if you don’t install it right? Basic safety first.
You know that you need to keep your seat belts on (hopefully), yada yada, so let’s skip to safeguarding the more helpless among us—our children.
Rear-facing car seats
Most of us probably already know the recommendation regarding rear-facing and forward-facing car seats. You will want to keep kids all the way up to toddler age facing rear as long as possible until they’ve outgrown and outweighed their convertible car seat—according to specifications from the manufacturer and make of each car seat.
Recalled car seats
What use is a non-toxic car seat if it’s been recalled for basic safety issues? Flame retardants might hurt immunity but a recalled car seat in an accident can cause immediate death.
If you’re anything like us, your family likes to buy used items that aren’t washed in the previous owner’s toxic and fragrant detergent. But buying used helps us acquire aired-out items that would otherwise have a strong chemical smell when buying brand new. This means that there’s a good chance when buying from places like Craigslist you’ll be getting something unregulated by law, e.g., recalled items. Here’s a great list of car seat brands and models that are recalled.
Once you’ve gotten your non-toxic car seat, a non-recall that’s been approved as generally safe, learn how to install it right. Like I said, what use is the top-of-the-line $500 non-toxic, organic, biodegradable car seat you purchased if not installed right?
If you don’t have someone handy to just grab to install your car seat for you, you can get free help from professionals by going to your local mommy groups. Yes, mommy groups. They exist, and there is always at least one person there who has been professionally trained to install rear-facing car seats. You can find these groups by searching locally on Facebook, Craigslist, your library, or on websites like Meetup.com. Alternatively, to learn tricky installations, you can watch professionally made how-to videos like those found on Cars.com.
Here is the part of this article that will get into the nitty-gritty of non-toxic travelling. These are just the things we personally do and have heard of others doing.
Bring your non-toxic car seat during a flight
If you’re going to take the plane to travel for you non-EMF sensitive people out there, you might want to bring your child’s own car seat with you. I suggest you bring your spare and possibly cheaper non-toxic seat in case anything happens to it. Just install it in the seat as you would in the car. This prevents your child from otherwise sleeping on and burying his face in the airline’s seats. Note that this might only be allowed for infants and younger on board. Don’t even think about renting car seats.
Bring a cooler with you wherever you go
This one may sound weird, but this isn’t just for when you have kids. The cooler is not just there for snacks but also to keep our spring water and grass-fed butter nice and cool and away from the sun while in the car. It’s also a convenient way of taking your safe foods and condiments into restaurants and people’s houses when you visit.
We fill up with good, natural fats to keep us satiated, and that’s for both our homemade meals and for when eating out on occasion. Chipotle is our go-to “restaurant” for eating out when we have to because of their fairly conscious sourcing of ingredients. Thankfully, they have locations in most areas of the country.
Bring an EMF meter
Whether or not you’re EMF-sensitive, it’s a good idea to be aware of and avoid high EMF concentrations in your environment. Especially if you have young children whose brains are mostly affected by even non-ionizing radiation, you will want to do your due diligence researching the damaging effects this has on your, or anyone’s health.
If you don’t have an EMF meter or reader, you can at least be on the lookout for places very near cellphone towers and avoid staying there too long. There was once a Chipotle we stopped by to eat that was right next to a cell tower. It was in a shopping center that proudly displayed the tower right in the middle of everything. It was an eyesore. Not only did we feel a bit off, but the taste of the food seemed to have gotten affected by it, too. Whether or not that was psychosomatic, it at least reinforced us leaving early.
When you’re in a room, also look out for where the Wi-Fi router might be. If you have a headachew, being far away from it, besides turning it off if you have permission, will only help alleviate it.
Again, an EMF reader helps in our decision on whether to stay or not in a particular place. We use the Cornet ED78S EMF RF Meter ElectroMagnetic Detector). If we have to absolutely eat right now at that Chipotle after having been on the road for hours, we can take it to go.
Have Zip-loc bags and gloves handy
You can have large Zip bags stored in your car in case you need to “quarantine” something someone gives you as a gift or something you purchased that you can process for remediation later. You can’t or don’t always want to reject someone’s kindness right off the bat. Also, sometimes you know you can actually use whatever it is you got from them if you clean it right. You just have to wait til you get home to do it, so you can use these baggies to keep things like that from airing out in the car on your way home.
Additionally, you may want to carry around gloves to handle to-be remediated toxic items. We’ve had the problem of getting scented lotion from grocery clerks staying in our hands for hours even after washing it off. Maybe you can make it less conspicuous by wearing gloves that are a bit more stylish and less medical, cotton vs latex.
Bring your own sheets, towels, and other toiletries
If you are brave or healthy enough to stay at a hotel or even just a relative’s house when on vacation, you can bring part of your home’s safety with you. You might get so used to the comfort of your safe house that you forget that other people use toxic things around their home.
Sheets and towels that are going to be offered to you will be washed in their detergent, so you might want to bring your own. Though toiletries are also usually provided, just be safe and bring your own stuff, including toilet paper if you have to. For an extended stay, bring your own detergent and other cleaning supplies.
Get natural air purifiers
There are natural and portable purifiers out there that might help clean the room you’re going to be staying in. We avoid using essential oils, because even though they come from “natural” sources, they are still extracted unnaturally in high concentrations. Lots of MCS (multiple chemical sensitive) people cannot tolerate even essential oils. They can give them somewhat of the same reaction as when exposed to chemicals and synthetic fragrances.
For natural air purifiers, some people use Himalayan salt lamps, beeswax candles, charcoal bags, or even house plants. Spider plants are easy to get, safe for children, and great for purifying, but they can grow like crazy if you don’t trim it! You can get plants at Home Depot or better yet, just go to a nursery.
Have fun, but consciously.
Travelling can be a lot of fun, and fun doesn’t have to end when you’re living a non-toxic lifestyle. Just as long as you do it consciously and conscientiously, you can find ways of getting around and “hacking” a toxic environment to fit your family’s lifestyle.
What are some ways you travel non-toxically?