It’s almost Memorial Day, when many people will enjoy a holiday weekend packed with backyard barbecues, picnics and fun in the sun. When you're making plans for the long weekend, and for the rest of the summer, keep in mind these EWG tips for staying healthy.
If you’re hosting a gathering of family and friends, consider offering a mix of healthy food and drink choices. When shopping for food, consult EWG’s Food Scores database, which makes it easy for you to find nutritious options at the grocery store. Our Healthy Living app gives you mobile access to the same information – just scan product barcodes or search for specific products in the store.
When planning a cookout, or which dishes to bring to one, think about fruit and vegetables – a key part of any balanced diet. EWG’s 2022 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™ can help you avoid foods contaminated with harmful pesticides.
If you want to buy any of the fruits or vegetables listed on our Dirty Dozen™ list with the most pesticide residue, buy organic whenever possible. The fruit and vegetables on EWG’s Clean Fifteen™ list – those with the least pesticide residues – are okay to buy non-organic.
As the weather gets warmer, you might have more social gatherings at your place – and want to do some spring cleaning first. But many manufacturers of household cleaners do not disclose the ingredients on their product labels or online, so finding safer products can be tricky. EWG’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning rates over 2,500 cleaning products based on ingredient hazards and disclosure, helping you choose safer cleaning products.
Fewer pesky bugs
You may enjoy hiking or relaxing evenings outdoors under the summer sun, so be sure to protect yourself against bites from ticks and mosquitoes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says bug-borne diseases are on the rise. Ticks carrying pathogens can cause serious health problems, such as Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
To protect yourself from bites, avoid areas full of bugs whenever possible, and wear protective clothing when you can’t. EWG’s Guide to Bug Repellents can help identify the right products for yourself and your family to fend off pests. But remember, no bug repellent works against every pest in every region, since different places have different bug and disease concerns. Always match your bug repellent to the local risks.
Bug repellents contain chemicals, so they aren’t recommended for use on infants under 6 months old. Instead, protect babies by covering their stroller or carrier with fine netting.
By the water
If a trip to the beach or pool is a part of your holiday plans, wearing protective clothing and finding shade outdoors can help shield against excess harmful ultraviolet, or UV, radiation. Plan events around the sun, by getting out in early morning or later afternoon when the sun’s rays aren't as intense. Checking your area’s UV index before stepping outside can also inform better choices for sun protection.
Consult EWG’s Guide to Sunscreens to find the best products for you and your family. The guide includes over 1,800 products with SPF, plus information on sunscreen ingredients and lists of the best-rated SPF products – everything you need to know about sun safety.
Mattresses and other homegoods
Memorial Day is a big day for great deals on mattresses and other home goods. But these are often major investments, so it’s worth doing some research before you buy. Check out EWG’s Healthy Living Home Guide if you plan on taking advantage of any home goods sales during the holiday weekend.
Many types of mattress and other furniture contain chemicals that can be harmful – such as foam made with polyurethane, which may emit volatile organic compounds that can cause respiratory irritation and other adverse health effects. Flame retardants, which are linked to cancer and harm to the immune system, are also often found in furniture.
With EWG’s guides at your fingertips, you’re set for enjoying the weather, great food and fun with family and friends this Memorial Day weekend and through the summer.