Growing up Green! Volume 2 – Baby and Child Care
By Deidre Imus
This is a great book with a lot of resources in it. It takes the parents from before pregnancy through the teen years and gives important things to think about and be aware of at each stage. It tells us what the risks are associated with different toxins and different ages. The book also lists many resources for parents and others interested in getting toxins out of our children’s lives.
I found the book non-judgemental as well as not too overwhelming. Often when you read something about going green, you become so overwhelmed with all the changes you need to make, that you end up doing nothing. I do not feel this way with this book, in fact, Deidre Imus actually says “I’ve always believed that the most significant transformations are the ones that occur slowly, sometimes without our even noticing.”
At the end of the book there are many helpful resources: there is a Food section with healthy recipes; a Recommended Reading Section; a guide to buying green on the internet so that everyone can buy green, no matter where you live; and sections on studies on children’s health and important legislation.
I like the vaccine section as well – it gives ideas for spreading out the vaccines if you want to vaccine but do not want to give all the shots at the same time.
I think this book is definitely worth having in your library!
You can buy the book here:
By Michelle Winters
SleepWell Sleep Solutions
Adventures in Chicken Raising
My husband and I have discussed getting some sort of farm animals for years now – we talked about goats first to eat all the leaves, poison ivy and any other weeds around our yard and we also talked about getting chickens. The problem came when we discussed what we would do with the chickens once they stopped laying eggs (chickens only lay consistently for 2 – 5 years). I wanted to keep them as pets, my husband didn’t want to and thought we would maybe eat them, although he didn’t want to slaughter them. We finally found a compromise: A local farm that let you buy baby chicks and return them to the farm at any time. It is meant to be for families who want to have the experience of raising baby chicks, but maybe not keep them once they are full grown, however they will take back the chickens anytime, even if they are several years old.
So we signed up and last April went to pick up our new baby chicks. They were so tiny, but that did not last long!
As they grew, my husband built a chicken coop for them. He build one that could be moved, that way the chickens could work the dirt in one part of the yard, and then we could move them to another part of the yard.
There are 4 of us in the family, so we each got to name a chicken. Since my husband was still saying they were not pets, he named his “Chicken” I named mine “Pepe” because when she was little she looked like a skunk, my daughter named her’s “Lorax” because in the newspaper we had in their box there was an ad for the movie “The Lorax” and my son named his “Tabatha” – Tabatha was the one who would peck the other’s out of the way and seemed to be a little bossy – I love the show Tabatha Takes Over with Tabatha Coffey, and so I suggested the name to my son and he liked it! (For more on Tabatha Takes Over, check out Tabatha Takes Over
If you notice from these pictures, not one of these chickens look alike. There are a lot of different breeds of chickens (something I knew nothing about until I started researching)! And they can all lay different color eggs. Interesting fact: You can tell what color egg the chicken will lay by the color of it’s ear!! IF their ear is white, they will lay white eggs, brown and they will lay brown eggs, another color and they may just lay blueish or greenish eggs.
It was so exciting finding our first egg in the coop – it was so small, but shortly we started getting bigger and bigger eggs. And soon we were getting 3 – 4 eggs a day. If chickens have enough light they will lay an egg approximately every 26 hours.
It does not take too much work to have chickens, we feed them scraps of our food and chicken feed we buy, which turns out to be really cheap, so we will probably continue to keep the chickens even after they stop laying eggs.
And just last week a neighbor came by with an offer of 12 baby chicks that he bought but his wife doesn’t want – we took 4 of them, so now we have 4 more in a dog crate in a room in our house until we can build them a coop and put them outside. Stay tuned . . . we may have eggs for sale in a few months!!
by Michelle Winters
I want to help you limit the amount of toxins you are exposed to on a daily basis! For this week only, I will give discounts on my Greenproofing services.
Send me up to 15 of your favorite products – cleaning supplies, makeup, shampoos, conditioners, etc and I will research the products, the companies that make the products and report back to you about possible toxins in those products, as well as the general practices of the company that makes them. I will also give you suggestions of similar products with less toxicity if applicable. This service is normally priced at $75.00, but for this week only, until April 26th, it will be at a discounted rate of $50.00.
If you would prefer an individual, in home Greenproofing consultation, for this week only, you can get one for only $120.00 (regularly priced at $150.00). Each Greenproofing consultation consists of one in-home visit and one phone call or Skype follow-up call. In the home visit, a walk through of your home will be conducted. A follow up call will be conducted for personalized recommendations on removing toxins to make your family healthier and happier.
I’m looking forward to helping you go greener this week!
You try to use non-toxic cleaning supplies, give your children (mostly) healthy food, and only use soaps and other personal care products with natural ingredients. That is, you do this in your home . . . but what happens when your child goes out? Now, I wouldn’t worry about the time your child needs to use the restroom at a restaurant and uses soap with (gasp!) antibacterial products in it, but what about somewhere your child goes EVERY day? Do you think about what products your child’s day care or school uses? This is especially important in very young children who are crawling around on the floor and putting things in their mouths.
Cleaning products can affect the indoor air quality of the day care your child goes to. If possible, the day care will use non toxic cleaners. Check out this website to research what products your day care is using: http://www.ewg.org/guides/cleaners. Remember there are no laws regarding companies putting “natural” or “green” on labels so make sure you do your homework to determine if a product is really non toxic. If your day care insists on using toxic cleaning products, ask them to at least use them when the children are not in the area.
Air fresheners only mask existing odors and do nothing to remove them. According the Environmental Working Group (EWG): “They also contaminate the air, exposing people to a host of undisclosed, untested and potentially toxic substances, including phthalates, synthetic musks and allergens.” Make sure your day care is not using air freshners, especially around children. The EWG suggests identifying and removing or cleaning up the odor source, as well as opening windows and putting out an open container of baking soda.
If your children take naps at school, find out what kind of mats or cribs the school uses. Dangerous chemicals have been found in nap mats, so ask what the day care is using: http://ceh.org/making-news/press-releases/29-eliminating-toxics/630-naptime-nightmares-toxic-flame-retardants-found-in-day-care-nap-mats
If the school washes the sheets and blankets, find out what laundry detergent the school is using. If the detergent has fragrance in it, see if you can wash your own blankets and sheets.
You should take a look at what toys the day care has for your child to play with. Toys manufactured before 2009 could contain dangerous phthalates, which have been shown to cause many health problems. If a toy has a very plasticy smell, do you really want your child putting that in their mouth? Look for a day care with a lot of wooden toys and not too many plastic toys.
Bring your own diapers and fragrance free wipes. Do not be afraid to ask your day care center if they will use your cloth diapers if you are using them at home. Many centers do not realize how easy cloth diapers are these days. You can show the providers how to use them and you can bring your own wet bags where they can place the diapers.
Talk to the School
If you find that your school is using hazerdous chemicals, do your research and have information to bring to them and show them. Explain to them why you are concerned and how important this is to you. Have options that they can use instead and if you can, offer to buy them a product so they can try it and see that it works the same as something they already had.
Here is a helpful link to the Center for Health, Environment, & Justice (CHEJ) about helping to create healthy schools: http://chej.org/campaigns/pvc/projects/pvc-free-schools/
I will probably be adding to this in the future as there is just so much information out there!!
By Michelle Winters