As you are probably aware, I am a big fan of the Honest Company‘s products. So when I heard about Jessica Alba’s book, The Honest Life, I was ridiculously excited to read about her tips for natural living. For the most part, the book did not disappoint – it’s a treasure cove of how to change up your grocery shopping, beauty routine, childcare (admittedly, I didn’t read this section closely) and home furnishings. While I was pretty familiar with her tips for eating and beautifying more cleanly, I was surprised to learn about all the toxins that fill our furniture.
Even though I shouldn’t be at all shocked, I was a little appalled by the toxins that fill our homes – and not from your typical suspects like scented candles or conventional home cleaners, but our mattresses, chairs, and couches! According to Alba, most of these items are made from polyurethane foam. Apparently, it is so flammable that it is always treated with toxic flame retardants which contain lovely sounding ingredients like PFCs and BFRs, known endocrine disruptors that can lead to reproductive and developmental disorders. Of course, it wouldn’t be as big of a deal if we didn’t spend 1/3 of our lives sleeping…but we do, so it’s probably worth it to look into some more natural options.
A minor critique – although Jessica Alba refers to herself as an everygirl from a middle-class background, some of her recommendations to green your home are a bit out of reach for someone living on a budget (me!). While I really, really appreciate the benefits of having an organic mattress and pillows, they don’t run cheap! Also, there are a few inconsistencies with some of the beauty products she recommends – some of them aren’t as clean as she purports (for example, some of the products with added sunscreen are using chemical sunscreens).
Despite these nits, I wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a great introduction to a greener, cleaner lifestyle. As she mentions throughout the book, Jessica isn’t looking for a 100% clean, non-toxic life (that’s basically impossible unless you remove yourself from society completely). But opening your eyes to the realities of our food, beauty products, and furniture will help us make more informed decisions, a noble effort that I definitely support!