Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Splendor in the Grass: Greener and Safer Backyards

While we can’t control the chemicals used in our daycare, restaurants, etc (ie bleach!), we make sure that our backyard is a safe haven for our little ones, starting with our cleaners. If you aren’t sure what chemicals are in your cleaners, detergents, etc, please visit www.householdproducts.nlm.nih.gov/products.htm and check out the effects of some of those dangerous chemicals. Many common, commercial brands are actually classified by the Environmental Protection Agency as hazardous waste. You don’t want to use “hazardous waste” around your kids, do you?! Look for green alternatives and keep your kids safe.

My family found a great, multi-purpose natural product that we use for almost everything. I spray it on my rose bushes to get rid of spider mites. Our 2-year-old twins are always curious and wanting to pitch in and now I don’t have to worry about spraying around them. We also use this product, in a different concentration, to green up our lawn. And it’s completely safe for the kids to run around on. We keep our patio furniture and windows clean with it too! And it’s ok for the kids to help out with the cleaning (and they love to get big washcloths and go to town!).

West Nile Virus, borne by mosquitoes, is in just about every place in the US now. Believe it or not, but this same product, again at a different concentration, can safely be applied to the skin to protect against mosquitoes and other insect bites. We don’t have to worry about which is worse, the insect repellent or WNV.

That just leaves us with finding a safe sunscreen. Over 75% of sunscreens at SPF15 or higher either provide inadequate protection or contain harmful chemicals. Go to this link to find an effective and safe sunscreen http://www.ewg.org/2010sunscreen/.

Our kids are so precious to us and it is up to us to keep them safe and healthy. Kids should be playing outside, especially in the summer time. But being outside shouldn’t mean extra exposure to dangerous chemicals. Keep your kids safe and do your homework. Find green alternatives.

This is part of the Healthy Child Blog Carnival (link to http://healthychild.org/blog/comments/splendor_in_the_grass_blog_carnival/) – an effort by Healthy Child Healthy World to help inspire a movement to protect children from harmful chemicals.

Check out these other articles from the Carnival:
Sunshine and Bugs: A Natural Defense at http://www.euphoriababy.com/blog/healthy-living/sunshine-bugs-a-natural-defence/
Green Thursdays: a Green Lawn at http://www.adventureswiththreegirls.com/archives/577
Our Grass is Greener at http://farmersdaughterct.wordpress.com/2010/07/12/our-grass-is-greener/
Making Changes to Protect my Children Outdoors: The Grass IS Greener on my side
Splendor in the Non-Toxic Grass at http://thegreenmomreview.com/2010/07/15/splendor-in-the-non-toxic-grass/
I Am Not the Master of My Backyard at  http://eco-novice.blogspot.com/2010/07/i-am-not-master-of-my-backyard.html

Friday, July 9, 2010

Baking Soda - a bunch of uses

Check out this article!  Great ideas, natural, safe.  http://bit.ly/d11EVy

Monday, July 5, 2010

Going Green Tips

I think a lot of people want to go green but aren't sure what they can easily do. We are all so busy. Start out with baby steps. Work your way into it. Commit to changing something every month. Every little bit helps.

Here are a few simple ideas.
1. Stop buying bottled water. You are putting tons of plastics into the landfills and that stuff isn't biodegradable.
2. For fresh water buy a filter for your faucet or a water pitcher/filter system.  Those aren't expensive.
3. Conserve electricity. Turn off lights and fans when you are not in that room. Turn off your computer at night. Turn the thermostat a little higher in the summer and a little lower in the winter. You'll save money with this one too.
4. When it's time, replace appliances with energy efficient ones, including low-flow toilets and shower heads.
5. Read how one woman saved $10,000 by going green - tons of ideas in there.  http://yhoo.it/9osGDx
6. Buy organic cotton bedding and clothes.
7. Buy organic food. Support your local farmers markets, if you have them.
8. Recycle.
9. Install floors made of recycled and renewable resources.
10. Get educated on the chemicals in your common household cleaners at http://www.householdproducts.nlm.nih.gov/products.htm

Please add your ideas!

About Me

This blog is a way for those of us trying to better our lives through our own actions and thoughts to share inspiration and receive support.