With Mother’s Day only a week away, I thought I would post a list of gift ideas for moms who love nature and the outdoors. This post is in no way a hint for my husband and children (did that sound believable?). If you know an amateur naturalist or someone who loves hiking, gardening, nature art and photography, reading about the outdoors, or just being outside, then read on. I made sure to include ideas that are no-cost and low-cost. I also tried to include gifts that are eco-friendly and don’t involve purchasing more stuff.
My closet is not a comforting place. When I enter it, I am overcome with anxiety. The sheer volume of clothes is enough to put me into a state of panic. I am also overwhelmed by the piles of clothes that are one or two sizes too small for me; the bargain purchases that I wore once; and the poorly made and misshapen clothes that make me feel like staying at home when I wear them. I have read a plethora of literature about decluttering and why it is so important. So now is the time to clear the clutter from my closet and to replace those items with quality, sustainable clothing.
If you are anything like me, you need a little boost in the morning, especially after a sleepless night with a cranky toddler. And the last thing you want to do is worry about scary stuff in your coffee. Conventional coffee makers and Keurig machines have a great deal of plastic in them. When you expose plastic to boiling hot water, the plastic degrades and releases toxins such as BPA and phthalates.
After more than six years, I am still using my homemade deodorant, and I am still loving it! It is not an anti-perspirant, but it keeps the smell in check and it lasts all day. It even works to neutralize smells if you forgot to put it on in the morning. My husband, however, is not in love with my deodorant. So, I am on a mission to find a nice, “manly,” natural deodorant for my husband. One that is free of nasty ingredients such aluminum and parabens. I’ve done some research and found the following options.
For a woman, underwear is arguably the most important piece of clothing. The wrong pair of panties can contribute to yeast infections, UTIs (urinary tract infections), bacterial infections, bad odor, and even pain during intercourse. To avoid all of these unpleasantries, you need to be choosy about the type of underwear that you buy.
I have learned many important lessons during my eleven years as a parent. When you have to be somewhere, plan to leave at least 30 minutes early in order to get there on time. Embrace your kids’ individual personalities instead of trying to fit them into a preconceived idea of the perfect child. Laugh at their nonsense knock-knock jokes. Put together that ocean puzzle with them for the thousandth time because you will regret not spending the time with them later. And give your children a tribe instead of more toys.
So you bought the organic mattress and the organic sheets. You found a beautiful wooden crib and painted the nursery with VOC-free paints. You are confident that your sleeping baby will be resting on materials free from harmful chemicals. But what about those fabrics that separate baby from the bed? Pajamas and other clothing come closer to baby’s skin than just about anything else, so it is important to choose jammies that are made with the safest materials.
At home, I used cloth baby wipes when changing diapers. But when I was out and about, I found disposable baby wipes so much more convenient. I really tried to use nothing but cloth wipes and diapers but it was causing more stress than I was willing to handle. Plus, disposable wipes are great for wiping hands, faces and car seats too. I still use them now even though both of my kids are well out of diapers.
Only the safest and most natural products should be applied to your baby’s skin. This includes diaper rash creams and balms. Some people swear by creams, others by ointments and others by balms. I have included a selection of each. These products are in no particular order and none have an EWG rating of more than 1 (meaning they are super safe and natural). I always used California Baby Diaper Rash Cream and Motherlove Diaper Rash & Thrush Relief with my kids and found both really effective (although I would not recommend California Baby for open cuts because it can burn). I used The Honest Company Healing Balm in lieu of petroleum jelly for things like lubricating thermometers.
For me, New Years Day is a time to think about how my life has changed and what my priorities and goals have become. Then I try to work toward changing how I do things so that I meet my goals. In other words, I try to live life as simply as possible and not waste time on things that really don’t matter to me. This list of ways to be a green parent looks somewhat different than it would have when I first started all of this ten years ago. I think it is more manageable, less product focused, and more affordable.