Jessica Alba has continued to impress us with her dedication and entrepreneurial spirit when it comes to her business, The Honest Company, which produces nontoxic household essentials that are also adorable. Writing a book focusing around this sustainable lifestyle, she credits the inspiration to the fact that she was, “sick of being told that ‘healthy,’ ‘safe,’ and ‘eco,’ means ‘boring,’ ‘beige,’ and ‘blah.’” It seems others agree with her: the book has become a New York Times bestseller. In honor of Earth Day – and every day – we’ve picked out our favorite advice and tips from The Honest Life: Living Naturally and True to You.
Tried-And True Doesn’t Mean Good For You
Alba lists this as one of the biggest misconceptions you can have. “The fact is, all of those so-called ‘tried and true’ products you’ve trusted and used for years aren’t necessarily the same as when we were kids.” More chemicals can be found in things that others used back in the day – including detergent – which is how Alba came to write this book. (She followed her mom’s advice, used a detergent and broke out in welts.)
It’s Best Not to Kill Yourself Trying to Eat Local
“You’d go bananas if you tried to make sure every food you purchased was local. Also, you’d be the saddest person, living on nothing but root vegetables and good intentions all winter. So don’t try to turn your entire grocery list local right away – get to know your neighborhood farmers’ market, start picking up a couple favorite foods there, and gradually incorporate more local foods into your life in a fun and stress-free way.”
Remember The Mantra for Plastic
Plastic can contain toxic chemicals that can get into your food and effect your health. Alba recommends looking for glass food storage containers, and to check for anything “sketchy” in the grocery store by looking at the number stamped on the bottom of a container in a little triangle. The mantra to remember? “4, 5, 1 and 2 – all the rest are bad for you!”
Lead Check is Easy
Lead is poisonous and a definite danger if you have a baby. If your home was built before 1978, there’s a possibility your paint has lead. Lead can harm a child’s developing brain. DIY lead-testing kits are available at your local hardware store – “but by far the best thing to do is have a lead-certified contractor give your home a proper assessment – and then handle the remediation, if necessary.” The National Lead Center can be reached at (800-424-LEAD).
Being Perfect is Not the Goal
“’Perfect’ is the enemy of good, and it’s also the enemy of honest, because there’s no such thing as the perfect wife, friend, mom or sustainable and nontoxic environment. So let’s reject those labels and standards and recognize that some weeks we’re patching it together the best we can – but we don’t judge ourselves.”
Jessica Alba’s book The Honest Life is available on Amazon.com.