Registering for our wedding/shower was one of the most fun experiences I had while planning my wedding. It’s easy, though, to let the excitement take over from practicality, or to get overwhelmed (especially with 6,589 skillets to chose from). Remember that registering for your wedding or shower is the start to building your home together. Even if you’re already living together, it is often the first opportunity for a couple to make major choices for the home together.
Before my then fiancee and I selected the things that we wanted, we talked about our values and lifestyle. At the top of our list was our own health and the environment. Maintaining a clean, toxin-free home was something we thought about with every item we selected.
Here are some tips for building a healthy, green, and toxin-free wedding registry.
Look for items to inspire healthy, unprocessed cooking. Cooking most of our meals at home is the single most effective thing I have done to improve our diet and health. There are a ton of products on the market that can inspire healthy living and cooking, such as juicers and single serve smoothie blenders. Additionally, we picked out some cool gadgets that will remind you of healthy alternatives, such as a vegetable spiralizer (to make veggie noodles) and an olive oil mister (DIY cooking spray without the preservatives or propellants).
Skip non-stick cookware. Avoid the dangers associated with teflon and aluminum (a known neurotixin) in favor of stainless steel, glass, or cast iron, which all stand up better to high heat and won’t cause dangerous chemicals to leach into your food. Tip: You probably don’t need an entire set of pots and pans. Choose individuals pieces that will be used often.
Avoid plastic appliances that are detrimental to your health. Oven safe glassware offers a safe alternative to dangerous plastics while also functioning as prep, serving, and storage containers (hooray for less cleaning!). In addition to the Pyrex that I registered for, I ended up getting some mini stainless-steel prep and serve bowls that I absolutely adore for condiments and storage. When it comes to appliances (like blenders), make sure you find items that are BPA, PVC, and phthalate free.
Be careful when selecting fine china. Lead, a probable human carcinogen, has been used for years to make dishware durable and colorfully glazed. While most US-made dishware now conforms to legal limits, imported dishware, especially from China and Mexico, still poses a great health risk. Additionally, be careful with antique dishware and family heirlooms, as they were likely manufactured prior to the implementations of the FDA’s guidelines.
A good vacuum is worth the money. Studies have shown that households with carpets have higher levels of chemicals, like hormone disrupting phthalates and flame retardants. The best way to combat indoor air pollutants, dust, and small particles is with a good vacuum.
Opt for organic towels and sheets. Conventional cotton is one of the most environmentally destructive products because of the amount of pesticides used in production, while organic cotton benefits the environment and small scale farming. Unfortunately, there are no standards once organic cotton leaves the farm, so purchase from companies that avoid chemical bleaches and finishers, as well. Alternatively, you can opt for bamboo. Bamboo is the fastest growing plant, making it an extremely sustainable choice for everything from sheets and towels to cutting boards and cooking utensils.
Ultimately, the single most important piece of advice I would give any couple building their home together is to research and read labels. I kept track of every item we needed but didn’t have, then researched our options to ensure we selected the safest products on the market. When it came time to register, we already had our list complete!