In the spirit of new year resolutions and inspired by the tragedy at Sandy Hook, I am resolving to finally commit to doing more good deeds for the earth and for my community. I have been looking for ways to teach my 6 year old about helping others so that he can develop a stronger sense of responsibility and empathy. Every night, I tell myself that tomorrow will be the day that we bake cookies for some firefighters or bring coloring books to kids in the hospital. And then life gets in the way and I postpone our charitable work for another day.
When I was pregnant with my son more than six years ago, the green baby movement was just beginning. I had no idea about the dangers of plastic, so I stocked up on plastic baby bottles and plastic breast milk storage bottles. Eventually I switched most of them out for the newer BPA-free options that began to come out, but now that I’m pregnant again and much wiser, I’m using glass all the way!
My husband loves to fish. Even if he doesn’t catch anything (which he rarely does), he loves being outdoors in quiet nature. So naturally, with Father’s Day approaching, new fishing equipment came to mind as the perfect gift for him. Little did I know that purchasing this equipment would ultimately result in the pollution of our lakes and rivers and the death of waterfowl.
I was strolling through Lowe’s, checking out their gardening supplies, looking for a new spray nozzle for my garden hose. I picked one up to examine it more closely and noticed a warning with words like “birth defects” and “cancer.” Being 27 weeks pregnant, I almost threw the thing across the store. It turns out that this seemingly harmless nozzle was full of lead. And it wasn’t the only one. Every single nozzle in the entire gardening department had the same lead warning. As did the hoses and soakers and brass fittings and who knows what else. I was shocked. I have spent tons of money and time putting together the perfect organic garden and here I am watering my plants with lead, phthalates and BPA.
When we are away from home, we can’t always find a bathroom to wash our hands. So, I rely on hand sanitizing sprays and wipes to clean hands, faces, toys, steering wheels, tables and just about anything else. Sometimes those messes include caked-on dirt or other things that a spray or gel just can’t remove. That’s when wipes come in handy. I found a couple of great recipes for homemade hand sanitizing wipes.
After a long winter, it is nice to see leaves on the trees, flowers blooming and kids running through sprinklers. Not so nice is the heat, sunburn, bug bites and green hair. When I was growing up, we rarely used sunscreen or bug spray and, when we did, it was far from natural. My son is lucky because we have access to safer and healthier options for protecting him from the not-so-great parts of summer. Here are some of my favorite green store-bought and homemade summer remedies.
I have always resisted the idea of making homemade cleaning products. I barely have the time to clean let alone make the cleaning products too. But I am slowly coming around. I still have my arsenal of tried-and-true, store-bought, green cleaners. And for some things, store-bought is all I use. However, I am realizing how easy and cheap it is to make things like furniture polish and stovetop cleaner with ingredients that you already have in your kitchen. So here is what I use for cleaning, both the store-bought and the homemade versions.
If you are a new or expecting parent, you have more than likely already been confronted with the diapering dilemma. Conventional disposable diapers typically contain a ton of toxic chemicals – found in the form of dyes, plastics, fragrances, chlorine bleach and absorbent polymer gels. These ingredients have been linked to things like skin irritations, respiratory problems and even cancer. To be completely sure about what goes on your baby’s skin, you can make your own diapering products.