wellness

Sustainability expert Alexx Stuart on the 4 easy steps to low-tox your life.

Benefit Pocket
Thanks to our brand partner, Benefit Pocket

Alexx Stuart is a breath of fresh air in the sustainability space.   

Seriously. Never have I finished an interview and felt so empowered to do better for my environment without any of that inner self-talk and guilt: ‘Yeah, but you still forgot your reusable cup last Tuesday morning so you’re not doing that great at it, are you?'

You know the feeling I’m talking about right? The pressure that anything below absolute perfection when it comes to living greener, and lowering toxins for your health, home and the planet is a waste of time? 

It’s enough to turn anyone off doing better if you ask me. 

Watch 7 eco-friendly habits that aren't so green... Post continues after video. 


Video via Mamamia.

Twelve years ago Alexx founded the low-tox life movement with a goal to help people make better choices for their homes, bodies and the environment. She offers practical alternatives and realistic solutions to eliminating the toxic products we use in our daily lives, while recognising that we’re all just out here doing our best and that every small change counts. 

Now Alexx's Low-Tox Life message has a podcast with over 2 million downloads, two best-selling books, a blog, a social media community – and still not a pass or fail mark in sight!

If you’re like me and forever overwhelmed by the noise and differing opinions in the ‘sustainable living’ space, Alexx has waded through the toxicity (get it) and put together an easy to follow course to give you everything you need for your own low-tox journey. 

It’s called Be Low Tox and it’s available as part of the Benefit Pocket app’s new series of online courses and learning experiences, Benefit Curated. Essentially, Alexx walks us through every room of the house with her step-by-step guide to reducing toxins where you can, and how to make small and easy swaps that can create big impacts for a more sustainable life.

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While the full Be Low Tox course is created and led by Alexx herself, she's kindly shared with Mamamia 4 simple steps to low-tox your life, so we can get started and start implementing today. 

(Trust me, these are so clever and easy – I’ve already started myself!)

1. In the kitchen.

You know how your grandparents seem to have had the same cookware for as long as you can remember yet for some reason yours never... well, lasts? Turns out there’s a reason for that. 

“We buy something like seven million fry pans a year in this country and there’s only 27 million of us and to me that is just absolutely crazy,” Alexx told Mamamia.

“We were all born into that infinite choice generation. Everything was new and shiny and it was all about making sure that everything you owned was new and shiny and as soon as something wasn’t new and shiny you just got a new one... and that's tough on the planet!”

Alexx encourages us to adopt a ‘buy better, buy less’ mentality and look for cookware that can last for years, or even generations. 

Alexx says it's about reconnecting to materials that work and last, and quietening down that part of our brain that feels like if something’s not quite perfect, we need to replace it. Easier on the planet, easier on our wallets.

2. In the bathroom and laundry.

When it comes to the wet areas in your home, one of the most toxic products to look out for is synthetic fragrance.

Specifically, products that use phthalate, a substance that helps make fragrances sticky and long lasting.

“There is a tonne of research that phthalate can mimic or block our natural hormone signalling, specifically sex hormones," Alexx says.

This research shows it’s especially detrimental to males' diminished sperm count and deteriorated sperm quality. The more you know!

“I’m pretty sure most guys would get on board with ditching those synthetic fragrances if more were aware of this!” 

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Alexx suggests ditching what synthetics you can, like fabric softener, and instead try swapping in a teaspoon of eucalyptus or lemon essential oil into half a cup of bi-carb soda.

3. In the bedroom.

What a segue, huh?

Despite what it sounds like (!), this section in the Benefit Curated Be Low Tox course is all about learning how to identify and eradicate common bedroom pollutants, choose the best bedding and ditch fast fashion for good.

When it comes to fabrics and fashion, Alexx definitely isn’t an ‘all or nothing’ type of person and encourages us all to look at the big picture. 

“We have to look at the grey area of, if we all stop buying clothes today, that can also cause a huge amount of poverty and suffering in a whole bunch of countries that rely on the West buying so many clothes.”

She says the first step is to try moving to more natural materials. 

“Cotton is one of the largest users of pesticides in the world, so by opting for more organic or GOTS Certified textiles that means less pesticides, less dye run off to poison waterways and less synthetic materials that rely on the petroleum industry.”

The good news is that some of the biggest brands in bedding and textiles are increasing their consciousness around this by releasing GOTS certified ranges, so make sure you keep an eye out!

While you're here, listen to You Beauty, Mamamia's beauty podcast. Post continues after audio. 


4. Beyond the home.

When you’re at home, things tend to be more within your control, right?

Unfortunately, the outside world doesn’t exactly march to the beat of our low-tox tune.

(Devastating stuff.)

For Alexx, making the Be Low Tox course adaptable to real, imperfect people (read: all of us, including Alexx herself) is a really important mental health piece in making positive change. 

She says, “by doing this course, it’s not about becoming some perfect person that has to do everything right all the time. We all live in a modern world, we’re all going to walk past exhaust fumes from a car. There’s just no way you can be no-tox!” 

Refreshing, right? 

And if you don’t want to stop at just learning about being low-tox, Benefit Curated also has courses on rest, skin care, aromatherapy, menopause and plenty more. 

Benefit Pocket is the free health app that offers cashback on health and wellbeing brands and services, as well as a range of Benefit Curated courses to help support members on their health and wellbeing journey.

Explore the Be Low Tox course with Alexx Stuart, and find other Benefit Curated courses here.

Feature Image: Mamamia/Instagram/@lowtoxlife.

Benefit Pocket
Explore the Be Low Tox course with Alexx Stuart, and find other Benefit Curated courses here.