Green Living – Especially When Living with Children

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Green Living – Especially When Living with Children

January 17, 2012

Hi, my name is Lise van der Vaart and I am the owner of www.naturebratz.ca – an online store specialized in organic baby and toddler clothing. I am the mother of a beautiful energetic 2-year old girl, Emma, and soon to have a 2nd child (due at the end of Feb). I am very excited to be part of this week’s featured blog post about green living. I consider myself to be extremely enthusiastic when it comes to green living – I still have lots to learn, but would like to share with you why I think it is important to “go green”.  As mentioned in last week’s Mommy Connection Newsletter babies and children are particularly vulnerable to chemicals as their immune systems are still developing. A build-up of chemicals in their system can lead to health problems. Jenaya also wrote a great article on green cleaning last week, which I totally agree with, and I will therefore not touch too much on that, but instead focus on the following areas:

Clothing:

There are many chemicals used in the processes of conventional cotton – from the beginning stage of planting and growing to the last stage of clothing manufacturing. “Farmers in the United States apply nearly one-third of a pound of chemical fertilizers and pesticides for every pound of cotton harvested. When all nineteen cotton-growing states are tallied, cotton crops account for twenty-five percent of all the pesticides used in the U.S. Some of these chemicals are among the most toxic classified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency”

In some of the developing countries where the regulations are less strict it is even worse. I read somewhere that it takes 10 washes to wash “all” the chemicals out of new clothing. I don’t know about you, but some of the clothes that Emma was wearing when she was a newborn did not get to be washed 10 times before she had outgrown it – and to me that is really scary.

Tip: buy organic clothing to avoid chemicals all together, or buy second-hand clothing, accept hand me downs from friends and family or host a clothing swap. By reusing clothing that has already been manufactured we are not only diminishing the chemicals that come in contact with us and our children, but we also help out the environment.

Personal Care Products:

Many bath and personal care products contain harmful toxins that can cause skin rashes and allergies as well as harm our eco system. One of the most commonly known baby shampoos here in Canada contains a formaldehyde releasing preservative that has recently been added to the U.S. government’s list of known human carcinogens by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Do not trust a brand just because it is commonly known or do not automatically assume that because a personal care product states it is organic, that it actually is. The regulations on organic personal care products are slim to none here in Canada, so just because a product says it is organic might just mean that it contains an organic ingredient, but all the other ingredients are not. Always check the label and ingredients list.

Laundry:

I wanted to quickly touch on laundry as this has a huge impact on our health as well. Why buy organic clothing, if you are going to use dryer sheets, fabric softeners and laundry detergents filled with chemicals?

Tip: Use dryer balls instead of dryer sheets – not only do they not contain chemicals, but they can also shorten the dryer time, which saves energy, which again helps the environment.

Use vinegar instead of fabric softener and use a natural laundry detergent free of chemicals. For the hardcore or curious of you, try using Soap Nuts as your laundry detergent (They are fruits taken from the soapberry tree). I have also used these in a liquid as my dishwasher detergent with great success and they can be used as a natural cleaner in most areas of your household.

I hope this has been informative. Please feel free to email me at info@naturebratz.ca if you have any comments or check-out my Facebook page www.facebook.com/naturebratz where I talk about my organic products, but also post links to interesting organic and green living articles.

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