Please pass on the plastic

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#12-SAFE and HEALTHY Baby Care Products February 23, 2008

Filed under: healthy baby,healthy home,Uncategorized — michelleodonoghue @ 3:46 pm

During the last few years there have been many “natural” products released on the baby care market. It’s important to know which ingredients qualify as truly organic and also, the most important ingredients to AVOID.

Our skin absorbs at least 70% of the lotions, shampoos, make-up, soaps, etc.. that we use on them, which then directly enter our bloodstream. In fact, our skin may more readily absorb ingredients than our intestines.

For babies this is a disturbing issue. Babies and children more readily absorb ingredients due to faster breathing rates and the hand-to-mouth issue. (Babies put almost everything in their mouths.) And proportionately, babies use more product per pound than adults do. Some of these ingredients are carcinogeni chemicals and endocrine disruptors that should not even be on our store shelves, let alone in our babies bloodstream.

Most important ingredients to AVOID:

  • PARABENS– (methyl-, propyl-, butyl-, ethy-) l– used as preservative, these are endocrine disruptors, which mean that they mimic endocrine in our bodies.
  • PHTALATES–plastic softeners, have been linked to birth defects
  • SODIUM LAURYL SULFATE–causes foaming, suds (makes you think clean), can cause skin irritation, hair loss, allergic reactions
  • FRAGRANCES –synthetic fragrances can contain up to 200 different ingredients, there is NO regulation by FDA, can cause headacheand skin irritation
  • PETROLATUM–mineral oil jelly supposed to help lubricate, actually interferes with your bodies own lubricating process and it can promote sun damage

Some GREAT product lines to try:

A couple things to consider here: while you are going organic with your baby and/ or children, why not go organic yourself? Sometimes it takes a little experimenting to find just the right product, but I do love the shampoos, lotions, soaps I am using for myself.

Also, in honor of the plastic situation, many of these companies are working towards a cleaner, greener environment and their products cause minimal harm to the earth b/c they are free of chemicals and they tend to use recycled plastics.

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#11–Paint the Nursery In Green (or pink, or blue, or yellow….) February 15, 2008

Filed under: healthy baby,healthy home,healthy office,no more plastic — michelleodonoghue @ 9:48 pm
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Tip #2 for the month of February:

When painting your nursery, children’s bedrooms, or any other part of your house actually, use low or no VOC (volatile organic compound) paints. In this case, the word organic is not a good thing. VOC’s emit, or off-gas, many dangerous chemicals. Since babies and children breathe at a much more rapid rate than adults it is especially important to use paints that have as little off-gassing as possible. Also, babies spend up to 18 hours a day sleeping in the beginning. Thier rooms should be chemical -free.

I have used these paints to paint my entire house several times over (I’m slightly obsessed with paint colors…………”chilled chardonnay” or “hugs and kisses” for the living room, so hard to decide!)

Using low or no VOC paints is easy, especially now, since more and more stores (Home Depot included) are carrying these options. The paint goes on the walls just as easily and comes in almost all colors and sheens (sometimes the very dark colors–blacks, navy, red are harder to get in no-VOC choices).

STEPS to take:

  1. pick your paint color (sample it in your home first)
  2. SHOP for paint:

3.) Paint your walls

4.) Sleep and Breath easy knowing you have decorated your nursery, or house, beautifully and SAFELY!!!!

 

#10- Going Green With the Baby Bottles February 6, 2008

Filed under: healthy baby,no more plastic — michelleodonoghue @ 3:32 am
Tags: ,

I’m on a mission for the month of February: find a way to share the easiest, healthiest, greenest solutions for raising babies without scaring the life out of myself or all of you for all the mistakes we’ve already made……….the more research I do, the more I discover that is nearly impossible. There’s no way to get through parenthood  without many mistakes, BUT the good news is that it’s never too late to start down the green and winding road……..so this next month is dedicated to those beginning days and months of parenthood…….Whether nursing or formula, BOTTLES apply to almost any new baby situation.  Most bottles are made out of that lousy plastic that contains BiphesonalA., or as I recently heard it called, the gender-bender material (studies show it changes male fish to females).What can be done?   

  • BPA-free baby bottles, my favorite from a company called born-free.
  • Glass Bottles–more difficult to break than you might think, try Nurture Pure.
  • Silicone Nipples –the clear nipples (not the brown ones). these are also latex-free which are better in case of an allergy, these are also more resistant to bacteria.
  • skip plastic liners–although these break down in the landfills a little easier than the hard plastic, these tend to leach toxic chemicals, especially if they are heated in the microwave.
  • use filtered tap water–it helps alleviate high flouride levels, which may be too much for young babies and cause flourosis
  • use powdered formula–metal cans are lined with BPA which leaches into liquids more easily.

I nursed our kids for the first year but I cringe when I think of all the pumped bottles they drank throughout that time. They are super healthy kids now so I’m counting on the fact that all is OK. This is one of those issues that happens to have some good alternatives so make the switch ASAP.

     

    #9–The triangles and what they mean

    Filed under: Uncategorized — michelleodonoghue @ 2:34 am

    On the bottom of just about every plastic bottle / container there is a triangle that has a # inside of it (b/w 1-7). These #’s indicate with type of plastic the container is and what can be done with it.

    As a quick reference, #’s 1,2,4, and 5 tend to be safer. #’s 3,6,7 are the worst (often found in sippy cups and baby bottles.)

    Triple Pundit, a website that serves people, planet, and profit, has the best breakdown that I’ve come across to explain the differences. Please make sure to read Pablo’s (the authors) final statement. This plastic situation really is awful and it is going to take ALL OF US if we want to make a difference and lighten the plastic load……….

    The vast majority of plastics are not recycled, they are “down-cycled” at best. Rather than using returned soda bottles to make new soda bottles, “down-cycling” refers to their use in making lower-grade plastic products such as park benches, milk crates, and plastic speed bumps. The reason for this is that there are thousands of types of plastic and a huge selection of additives that contaminate the quality of the recycled plastic. Additionally, contaminants such as food residue and non-plastic materials further degrade the quality.Among the most common and most recyclable plastics are PET (#1) and HDPE (#2). The remaining recycling numbers (Resin Identification Codes) are either less common, more difficult to recycle, or not really recyclable.

    #1 – Polyethylene terephthalate (PET)Made into soda bottles and polyester fibers.

    #2 – High density polyethylene (HDPE)Made into milk bottles, grocery bags, and bins.

    #3 – Polyvinyl chloride (PVC)Made into pipes, carpet backing, vinyl siding, and those annoying blister packs that everything comes packaged in these days. Target and others have announced that they are fazing out the use of PVC because of its toxicity in production, use, and disposal. Making PVC releases dioxins, furans, and other persistent organic pollutants. In house fires the toxic smoke from PVC and other plastics is more likely to kill than the fire itself.

    #4 – Low density polyethylene (LDPE)Made into dispensing containers like shampoo bottles and shopping bags.

    #5 – Polypropylene (PP)Made into fibers and molded plastic parts. Patagonia currently accepts their old Capelene undergarments for recycling into new garments but recycling of synthetic clothing is not yet widespread.

    #6 – Polystyrene (PS)Used in clear cups, insulating materials, and in expanded polystyrene, also known as Styrofoam. Due to the low weight to volume ratio it is more economical to make Styrofoam from virgin petroleum than to transport it to a recycling facility.

    #7 – Other Includes acrylic, PLA, polycarbonate, nylon, fiberglass, and others. This category is a catch-all for anything that doesn’t meet the first six categories. While most recyclable plastics are known as thermoplastics, meaning that they can be melted down, this category contains many thermosets which cannot be melted down once they have been cured.

    It is important to remember that “recycle” is the third of the 3 R’s for a reason. Your biggest impact comes from first “Reducing” by avoiding excessive packaging and consumption of disposable products, by “Reusing” by using packaging (such as water bottles and food containers) more than once, and lastly by “Recycling” what you haven’t been able to reduce and reuse. Also keep in mind that a working recycling system depends not only on a supply of plastic waste but also on a demand for recycled plastics. So make sure that you look for products and packaging for recycled plastic content.

    This is a great site–Triple Pundit— it’s all about the bottom line and consumers–ALL OF US–are so responsible for what is happening.