What do you do when your parents, in-laws, siblings or even your spouse doesn’t agree with your green parenting choices? I know I’m not the only one dealing with this issue. Whether it’s a grandparent who sneaks your kids to McDonald’s or a sister who insists on buying your children plastic toys from the dollar bin, it’s hard to say no.
We are fortunate to live in the country in an area teeming with wildlife. It is not unusual for us to find an injured animal – a chipmunk attacked by a cat, a squirrel hit by a car or a baby bird abandoned by its mother. Rather than help the animal ourselves (which is both dangerous and ineffective), we do a good deed and call our local wildlife center.
Trick-or-treating. Halloween parties. Zombie runs. No respectable zombie is complete without fake blood and face paint. Of course, dressing up like a zombie is no fun if your costume is actually making you sick. Conventional face paints and fake blood usually contain heavy metals such as lead, chromium, nickel and cobalt. They also have fragrance, dyes, parabens and petroleum products. These hidden toxins have been linked to everything from lifelong skin sensitization to cancer and birth defects.
My daughter is getting ready to turn one year old! For the past six months, she has been fed a diet free of sugar, salt and preservatives. I made all of her baby food from scratch and the breastfeeding is still going strong! After all of that hard work, the idea of feeding her a first birthday cake full of sugar and processed junk isn’t very appealing. Instead, I plan to serve my baby girl a healthy, natural, organic birthday cake that will still delight her.
In my county, public school is starting in two days! As I mentioned before, we are homeschooling my son. But that doesn’t mean we don’t have to worry about school supplies. In fact, I would argue that I end up buying many more school supplies than I would if my son went to a typical school. I am responsible for both the teacher supplies and the parent supplies. So it is even more important that I choose products that are safe and eco-friendly.
The first thing I think about when summer approaches is whether I am stocked up on sunscreen. I use plenty of sunscreen on my kids, and I apply it often. Despite my best efforts, sunburns happen. Rather than running out to the store to buy a bottle of conventional sunburn treatment full of toxic additives, I make my own sunburn relief using natural ingredients from the kitchen.
As someone who eats out a lot (probably too much), I am no stranger to styrofoam take-out containers. For my tenth good deed, I committed to using reusable containers to bring my leftovers home. Of course, there are times when I forget to bring my containers. That’s why for my next good deed I am joining Better World Betty’s mission to get restaurants to stop using styrofoam take-out containers.
I asked my son what our next good deed should be. His reply was, “Since monsters are more important than people, we should donate money to monsters so they can buy people to eat.” You can’t argue with that logic. Instead of donating money to monsters, we decided to give back on our recent mini vacation and help clean up the beach.