Family

5 Easy Changes to Protect Your Sperm from Harmful Chemicals

Keep your swimmers safe with these science-based tips

Hey, guys, yeah all you sperm producing humans out there. Hate to break it to you, but when it comes to different chemicals in our world, your little swimmers might not be as safe as you think. While it's true that you continually are creating new sperm, if you are exposed to some of these nasty things on a regular basis, chances are high that they are affecting both the quality and quantity of your sperm. Even if you aren't planning to have a kid right now, these things could make it harder for you to conceive a kid in the future and research has linked sperm health to overall health. But, hang tight. We have some super simple suggestions for ways to change up your routine that can protect your sperm for years to come.


1) Go Organic

In general, choosing organic when you can is smart because pesticides are pretty bad. But, there is a bunch of research showing that pesticides are especially harsh to sperm (1). Various types of pesticides can decrease both sperm quality and quantity. So, yeah, organic kinda matters and your sperm aren't safe from the pesticides (2). Because we get that going organic for everything is probably not feasible, some other easy ways to avoid pesticides are to take your shoes off at the door so you aren't bringing them into your house on your shoes, and to prioritize organic for fruits and veggies without thick skins or peels that you remove.

2) Clean Your House

Okay, this is just good for you in general. But, when it comes to your sperm, they are pretty sensitive. Not just to things like temperature, but also to various chemicals and metals that end up in the dust that just happens all over your house (and everyone else's too - it's not just you). Things like lead and flame retardants are really good at sticking to dust particles and hanging out around your house (4). That dust can be on everything from your couch to your laptop to your coffee table, basically anything. And, when you touch that dust then do something like, say, eat a snack, that dust can get into your body, which is how it harms your sperm. So, while it's not super fun, just clean your apartment. We suggest vacuuming and wiping down surfaces with a wet microfiber cloth at a minimum. But you know, if you are having people over, you might also want to pick up the dirty clothes and clean the bathroom.

3) Ditch plastic in your kitchen (wherever you can)

Two easy ways to lessen the amount of plastic in your life that will make a huge difference for sperm health are to find a new water bottle and get some glass food storage containers. These are items you probably use daily, so swapping them out can make a big difference. Ditching the plastic is because most plastic either contains BPA (or some other type of bisphenol chemical just like BPA) to make it hard and clear or phthalates to make it flexible. Both of these chemicals, which are added to all sorts of plastic-like things can mess with your hormones, and therefore your mess with the quality of your sperm (5, 7) . In some cases it changes the DNA in your sperm (6), in other cases it changes how many sperm you produce (5). So, if you want lots of happy sperm, it might be worth cutting plastic when you can.

4) Use Cold Water When You Cook (even if that just means making ramen)

No matter what cooking means for you, chances are something in your repertoire requires cooking food with boiling water. Right? We totally get that starting with hot water from the tap just makes sense and seems like it will speed up the time from ingredients to dinner, but you should really be using water from the cold tap whenever you cook (check out this article for tips to getting hot water just as fast without using the hot tap). Why? Because hot water makes it way easier for different chemicals and metals in the pipes to get into the water. Not having lead in your food, which for sure messes up your sperm (10, 11), is totally worth it.

5) Keep Your Phone in Your Back Pocket or Bag

Does keeping your phone in your pocket right next to your family jewels affect your sperm, you ask. Short answer, according to science, probably yeah (8, 9). Studies have found that the radiation from a phone can cause sperm to be less mobile and undergo changes to the DNA (8). So, we suggest keeping your phone in your bag when you can. If you aren't taking a backpack, it's better to keep it in your back pocket. And maybe don't sleep with it on the bed. Basically, the further away the better. That way the radiation your phone emits won't mess with your sperm's ability to swim.

While these tips are probably more important if you and your SO are thinking about or trying to get pregnant, they all help you live a healthier life in other ways, too. Many of these toxics, like lead, pesticides, and chemicals in plastics also affect your health in other ways like reducing your cognitive function, messing with hormone levels, causing cancer, and increasing your risk of cardiovascular disease, to name a few. So, yes, do these things if you want to have a kid, but also do them just because they will make your life a little healthier.


Resources:

(1) https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/joh/51/6/51_L9019/_article/-char/ja/

(2) https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/jat.1321

(3) https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00128-008-9370-4

(4) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2854757/

(5) https://www.fertstert.org/article/S0015-0282(10)02587-2/abstract

(6) https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0890623810002509

(7) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4123031/

(8) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4074720/

(9) https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160412014001354

(10) https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0890623803000364

(11) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1637869/

Tired of changing and throwing away tampons or pads every month? Want a zero-waste alternative for your period? Heard of menstrual cups and period underwear, but not sure which one to pick? Well, look no further! We rounded up the 10 best-reviewed non-toxic menstrual cups and organic period underwear options for you to try out. All of the menstrual cups are made of a flexible medical-grade silicone that collect fluid instead of absorbing it. The period underwear options we found are made with organic cotton, and can be washed.

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Family

Environmental Factors May Have a Bigger Impact on Fertility than You Think

Breaking Down the Science and Ways to Limit Harmful Exposures

Trying to get pregnant should be an exciting time of planning for the next stage of your life, not one full of doctors visits, constant testing, and worrying about body temperatures. But, if you and your partner are struggling with infertility, you are not alone. According to the CDC about 12% of women have impaired fecundity, which is another way of saying that they are having difficulty getting or staying pregnant (1) [there are no statistics on infertility in men, but there is science showing that overall sperm count is decreasing(14)]. And, the science is clear, environmental factors definitely impact reproductive health - for both men and women. Some of the biggest impacts come from air pollution, pesticides, and endocrine disrupting chemicals (2), which are in all sorts of products and affect the way hormones interact with your body.

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Roundups

9 Stainless Steel & Glass Tumblers

For iced coffee, iced tea, and smoothies on the go

Getting iced coffee in a plastic cup with a plastic straw is a lot harder to do after watching that video of a plastic straw being removed from a turtle's nose. Plus there is also that pesky condensation that creates a pool of water at the bottle of your cupholder or on your desk. So we found the 9 best reviewed stainless steel and glass tumblers, so that you can have your iced beverages in style this summer. Many of the brands have different sizes ranging from 20oz to 30oz and variety of colors. We prefer stainless steel or glass because many of the acrylic or plastic tumblers may have chemicals similar to BPA. We also link to some stainless steel straws because not all of these tumblers come with straws. And if you're like us, drinking iced coffee through a straw is just synonymous with summer.

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Life

Easy Ways To Keep Your Car Smelling Fresh Without the Synthetic Scents

Cause Traditional Car Air Fresheners Are No Good For Your Health

Those little tree-shaped air fresheners dangling from a rear-view mirror or air vent clip-ons may feel festive, but most car air fresheners can be bad for your health. They seem so innocent, so how is that possible you might ask?

One of the biggest issues with these products is the mystery behind what goes into them. Believe it or not, It's actually hard to be 100% certain about what chemicals are in air fresheners. There's a ton of secrecy into what actually goes into a fragrance product because companies can claim their ingredients are trade secrets. We definitely can't say a product is safe if we don't even know what is used to make it.

However, we do know that most air fresheners are made up of a ton of synthetic fragrances. There are literally thousands of chemicals manufacturers can choose from when making a product with synthetic fragrance. And a lot of these chemicals are known to have negative impacts on our health. (1)

On top of that, fragrance in air fresheners usually contain both phthalates and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) (2). Although these chemicals can make scents powerful, they can also be allergens that cause coughing, headaches, and runny noses (2). Phthalates are also hormone disruptors and VOCs can be carcinogens. We definitely don't want to be constantly breathing in those chemicals, no matter how good they might smell!

The amount of space inside your car is also a reason we don't like traditional car air fresheners. A smaller space = more concentrated exposure, and since you probably have your windows closed 90% of the time, a car is one of the worst places to keep a strongly-scented product.

Luckily, there are easy, nontoxic ways to make your car smell fresh! You can keep a container filled with baking soda or a baking soda freezer pack hidden somewhere. Baking soda is a completely natural way to eliminate odors and a box is only a couple of dollars! Using scents from natural sources are also a great way to add a little freshness to your car. You can put a few drops of an essential oil onto a clothespin or another wooden item and leave it somewhere in your car (3). When the smell goes away, just replenish with a few more drops of oil! If you prefer something a little more contained, we also love putting satchels of lavender or rose petals around our car.

But perhaps the easiest way to get rid of a bad smell is to simply roll your windows down! Maybe rolling down the windows will help make your commute a little more relaxing too.

References:

  1. https://www.nrdc.org/media/2007/070919
  2. https://kellybroganmd.com/is-your-uber-air-freshener-making-you-sick/
  3. https://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/how-to-make-3-naturally-scented-air-fresheners-for-cars/
Roundups

12 Best Non-Toxic Diaper Creams

Our top recommendations for your baby's bottom that parents love

Updated for 2019!

We get it- you're busy but you also want the best for your baby. But who has the time to sit down and do hours of research on the best diaper creams for your baby's bottom? That's why we're here! We have nothing butt (get it?) amazing products for our non-toxic diaper cream roundup. These 12 products are free from irritants like fragrances and use soothing ingredients to keep diaper rash at bay. Some options have non-nano zinc oxide to protect the skin, and some work more as an ointment to prevent redness. Looking for an organic diaper balm? We've got those too. As always, we thoroughly researched consumer reviews to ensure you're getting a stellar product that actually works and that parents love.

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Home

10 Places to Buy PVC-free Wall Decals

Why it's worth considering before your next redecorating project

Wall decals are the perfect decorating solution for nurseries, kids rooms, renters, dorm dwellers, or basically anyone who is a commitment-phobe. There are endless designs that can add just the pop you need, and they are easy to remove for when you want to change it up. But most wall decals are made from PVC (polyvinyl chloride), otherwise known as vinyl. These vinyl stickers have added phthalates which make the plastic stickers super thin and flexible, yet durable enough so they don't rip easily. Phthalates have endocrine disrupting properties that can wreak havoc on your hormones and have been linked to a variety of health issues like cancers, infertility, preterm birth, impaired brain development, and asthma and allergies. Basically, not good stuff. Plus, the manufacturing process of PVC is really bad for the environment and communities where it's manufactured (1) and there's no way to recycle it. Eek. Not good all around.

So next time you're shopping for a wall decal, check the 'details' section on the product page. A decal that says vinyl or doesn't specify anything is probably one you want to avoid. Thankfully, there are plenty of sites that make PVC-free options that still get high marks from designers. We pulled together our top 10 favorites sites down below.

  1. Chocovenyl
  2. Eco Wall Decals
  3. Koko Kids
  4. Love Mae
  5. Oopsy Daisy
  6. Petit Collage
  7. Pop and Lolli
  8. Sunny Decals
  9. Tiny Me
  10. Wall Dressed Up


References:

  1. https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-09/documents/vinyl-chloride.pdf
Family

5 Tips for Healthy Kid-Friendly Meals (cause the struggle is real!)

Dreading dinner time every night? We're here to help.

Let's face it, getting a child to eat, no less a picky eater, might actually be the most daunting task in the world. Whether you've been on the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches only train for the past week or past month and just want your child to add something green or leafy to their palate, we've got you covered. We've put together some overall suggestions to incorporate into meal-prep that are not only more kid-friendly, but will also help you avoid processed foods that might be less healthy or have added toxic chemicals.

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