I summoned the help of my good bud and guest blogger, Dana, to shed some light on how to live a greener life. I’m not the best at it – but I do try! Dana is on top of the latest trends in organic living and I feel like I learn something new from her every day. So I thought you all would enjoy a blurb on living green once in a while.
“Hey ladies, I am sure you all have been hearing all the hype of becoming more eco-friendly or should we say “eco smarty pants”! (I’m loving this, Dana:-) Well, I’m here to give a few tips and encourage you to jump on board! It is NOT that difficult to go GREEN and I will give you some ideas that will not take time from your enormously busy schedules. It’s easy. I am going to try to keep this in line with our kiddos. Lord knows, I could go on forever about these issues. Just ask Jen! One slogan these days, for instance, is REDUCE, REUSE AND RECYCLE. Well, most of us recycle or we should. That’s a given. Reduce and reuse are pretty easy as well. One example is CONSIGNMENT STORES (perfect segway after Jen’s post last week, Smarty Sponsor: Divine Consign). There are several great children’s consignment sales and stores in Charlotte. You can find boutique clothing at most of these and some plain duds just for playing. Crickette’s in Cotswold has great children’s and maternity clothing. The Charlotte Mothers of Multiples has a consignment sale twice a year. The next one is on Saturday, March 8 at the Metrolina Expo. Awesome Sale! Your local YMCA branches and churches also have great sales usually twice a year so start looking for these. Or how about just exchanging clothing between your friends?
Okay, now for those of you who just have to buy new, try to make informed decisions. Let’s start with the nursery or kid’s room. You have so many options now to buy low VOC paints with a range of colors or buy some really cool milk paint from some online stores, for example www.bioshieldpaint.com. Lowe’s and Sherman Williams carry low VOC paints, as well as AFM Safecoat. Oh yeah, and these are really no more than a few dollars more per gallon than the traditional off-gasing paints that we shouldn’t use. Nothing but the best for our babes, right?
If there is one item I would definitely invest in that would be a natural organic mattress. One for myself and crib mattresses for the babies. FYI- From chemical flame-retardants, pesticides and dyes to polyurethane foam and steel coils, the composition of the standard mattress is enough to give you nightmares. If your old bed is nearing the end of its lifecycle, consider replacing it with one made from healthy and sustainable materials. Benefits: Sleep fire-safe and toxin-free. A typical mattress is loaded with chemical flame-retardants that are reaching high levels in the environment and people’s bodies, and thought to cause problems with brain development and reproduction. Opt for naturally fire-resistant wool or get a doctor’s prescription for an untreated cotton mattress. Organic cotton and wool keep pesticides out of your bed. Cotton crops account for as much as 25% of the world’s insecticide use, and 7 of the top 15 pesticides used on cotton are classified as possible or probable human carcinogens. Mattresses made of wool and latex are naturally resistant to dust mites—great news for those with allergies. Natural beds often last longer than standard mattresses, so you’ll have many years of sweet dreams. I found one online for as low as $219, but most are around $300. SavvyRest and Lifekind are good choices. We paid $100 for our chemical laden mattress at Babies R US. Which we obviously bought before I knew all the details regarding these mattresses! Now, I know a lot of you will say that this all adds up and costs too much dinero. Well, again, I am giving you the information and do what you can. If you can afford it, then go for it! If it’s not in the budget then make priorities. Just try to take small steps, just in the right direction! If you are interested I would check out these sites:
Furniture- You want your baby to have non-toxic furniture from renewable resources that has low VOC paint so there will be no off gasing! No toxic chemicals. There is a site www.celeryfurniture.com that has great pieces. No toxic finishes or adhesives. They specifically have a rocker that I am checking out for my boys. So cute!
Okay, now to bedding and clothing. Organic cotton is the way to go, OR bamboo or soy fibers. We want to use renewable resources and not conventional cotton which uses 25 % of the world’s total pesticide use which pollutes our water and soil. Again, check out the sites above for awesome organic baby clothes and products. You can also find organic cotton products at Pottery Barn Kids and Gap now.
Diapers, diapers, diapers! – If you use disposables, try Seventh Generation. They do not contain chlorine which releases harmful dioxins into the air, aka, MAJOR air pollution. If every household in the U.S. replaced just one 40-count package of size 3 conventional diapers with our chlorine-free diapers, we could avoid 133,000 pounds of pollution from entering the environment. They work great and cost only a few dollars more if you do the math for a box of diapers. $10.99 for 34 diapers. You can go online to www.seventhgeneration.com and print coupons for $2.00 off a pack of diapers, so that makes it $8.99! Earth Fare was sold out last week so hopefully that’s a good sign, people are catching on. Cloth Diapers- I can tell you more about this later but I LOVE my cloth diapers. I have twins and I am able to do it. It sounds very overwhelming but it’s really easy. There are so many fun cute diapers out there now. I have some Merino wool covers that a friend of mine said she wanted some for herself! They are so soft and paired with the organic cotton diapers, you can’t go wrong.”
Thanks, Dana for your super-cool eco-smarty tips! I will definitely add more tips on upcoming blogs because like I said, Dana is the eco-diva! Share your green tips – we can all benefit from them!