Looking at what the conventional home is today, it is nearly impossible to make a non-toxic environment for yourself, let alone for your children. Many things are out of our control as consumers and as tenants of homes. But there are a handful of key elements that we can control in our children’s lives. Helping them live a non-toxic, organic and safe childhood in what is supposed to be the safest place for them—is our job as parents.
On of the first key elements into a non-toxic home for our children is to swap your cleaning products for eco-friendly versions. You can go out and research what the best sustainable cleaners are out there on the market, or you can make your own home cleaners. Mixtures that include vinegar, baking soda, grapefruit seed extract and eco-friendly soap are all great money saving and green ways of mastering the cleaning product dilemma. This is a huge element to overcome, and an even greater contribution to your child’s health. Also, try to line dry clothes and to use eco-baby-safe detergent.
Moving to the kitchen, you should look into your cupboards and drawers. Look at what you eat on, cook on, cut on and eat with. All of the items that you use in the kitchen should be examined and considered. Check into cast iron, glass, stainless steel, enamel coated cast iron, and lead-free ceramic. Avoid non-stick surfaces and anything plastic. If you’re using plastic, even something that claims to be BPA-free or microwave-safe, do not ever put it in a microwave. Plastic is a pretty regular child’s eating surface, this is very bad. Check out ceramic or stainless steel.
Another easy and simple change is to start (or continue to) drink tap water. Put on the filter that attaches to the spout if you need to. Get a water pitcher that filters out water. But plastic water bottles are so last year. But, seriously, drink the water from home.
It is incredibly important to just look at what you are bringing into the house. Things like wearing your shoes in the house can track pollutants onto the carpet that your babies are crawling around on and later sticking those fingers that picked them up into their mouths. It’s invisible, but very real. Check the dry cleaning you are bringing in—is it safe? And most importantly, when you come home, before you pick baby junior up make sure to wash your hands.
The most impactful yet complex is the food element. Bottom line—feed your children organic, sustainable, local food. Check out your local CSA or farmers market and save some cash from the big green shopping stores if that is an issue. Remember what you teach your children: you are what you eat!
When your kids get sick, the first thing you turn to is over the counter, right? Wrong! The first thing you should look at is a natural cure/remedy. Teething, fevers, and stuffy noses will no doubt have you worried and tired yourself. But don’t give up and meander to your local supermarket unless you are buying ginger, garlic and grapefruit seed extract. Great examples of home cures include steam for congestion. Honey works well on the throat. Frozen celery can be used for teething purposes in lieu of plastic frozen toys. Dried fruit or stewed prunes are good for constipation. DIY fruit juice popsicles combat dehydration. Ginger and peppermint tea work for tummy aches.
Chuck the cosmetics! Can’t say it anymore plainly. The things that companies put into the lotion, powder, etc. that is recommended to put on your baby is just plain not safe. They’re loaded with synthetic hormone disruptors and potential carcinogens that pound for pound present more of a health concern for small people than for adults. If it is dry, or if there is an issue, put some organic olive oil on it. If you prefer a cosmetic, only use ones that are made with very few organically or biodynamically grown ingredients. You should be able to read the ingredient list and generally understand what it means. If you can’t, don’t put it on your baby. Look for trustworthy third party certification labels.
When using pest pollutants use organic and/or natural pest control like integrated pest management for lawns and inside for things like ants and roaches. .
Any way you look at it—there are a million changes that we as parents can make to improve our children’s lives. The difference here is our babies don’t have a choice. So make it for them.