Please pass on the plastic

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Is it Me May 6, 2010

Filed under: healthy baby,healthy home,no more plastic — michelleodonoghue @ 1:55 am

or are there pregnant ladies everywhere right now? at school, at the grocery store, at the field…..pregnant ladies abound! I love it (although thrilled its no longer me :). Must have something to do with springtime!

Whenever I see new life I think chemical avoidance…In utero  is a really vulnerable time for the growing baby, who so easily absorb all that mom’s breathe in.  The best way to eliminate chemicals  in our lives is by making sure they don’t exist in our own homes and schools. At one point I hesitated to push the organic mattress, being that it is so much more expensive than the normal (chemical-laden) ones. I don’t feel that hesitant anymore as I believe this may be one of the most important things you can do while your pregnant and for your baby afterwards. Even though moms-to-be don’t sleep very well during pregnancy, they still spend a lot of time in bed. Breathing toxic fumes from regular mattresses, 8 hrs/ night/ 365/ days a year is just not good for anyone.

In California, we have organic mattress stores to shop in directly. If that isn’t an option, please do an online search and get on the phone with a rep who can  explain the best match for you. When I purchased mattresses for our family I really liked the comfort and breathability and low maintenance of the rubber ones.  They are low maintenance and last a long time. They are so so comfortable. There are also wool / organic cotton options that are great as well.

Sweet dreams, happy breathing, healthy beginnings!


A Beginning, An End, and a Beginning May 4, 2010

Filed under: healthy home,no more plastic — michelleodonoghue @ 5:25 pm

In 40 days we will move back to NY  (after 21 mos living in California). We are filled with so many emotions over this, but mostly we are happy to be moving back to our roots… put down roots. Mike knew this back in January when I was sure I wanted to stay for another year. I love when he knows something I don’t and I love even more that it is really easy to trust him on some of the “big” decisions in life. So, with misty eyes and a very emotional heart, I’ve decided to capture our last 40 days here so that they will be imprinted in our lives forever.

California has given us a fresh beginning in our lives and as our days here come to an end, we know and trust they will lead us to even brighter beginnings in NY! I’ve learned to take time to smell the roses……

Today, I woke up to these flowers in our back yard……

roses in my yard

and filled every room of my house with vases….(this is green, right? nothing store bought, plastic-free, the theme continues….)

California vases fill our house

I took the time to smell the roses! (and the camilla, and lillies, and mums, and hydrangea….) Such a happy end result!


Frozen Drinks (and it’s not even friday) March 10, 2010

Filed under: healthy baby,healthy home,no more plastic — michelleodonoghue @ 8:49 pm

We have recently discovered a major way to reduce plastic usage in our house. Instead of buying those large plastic juice containers–orange, apple, cranberry, juicy juice, etc…–we have started buying the frozen cardboard containers. We used to use this as kids and it just dawned on me how much plastic it eliminates from our life. Plus, I can stock tons of containers in the freezer and then I don’t run out in the middle of a play date. And another bonus, I can water down the juice just as I like it (so much healthier for their teeth and bodies)

Check out the different varieties at Whole Foods, our favorites so far are made by Columbia River Organics and Cascadian Farm Organics.

Even though we haven’t used single use plastics for 6 mos, I’ve been worried about the large jug plastics, both for health and environmental reasons. These cardboard frozen drinks solve many issues,

Now I really don’t have to feel guilty about my vodka cranberry’s!


All Wrapped up in Cloth Diapers

Filed under: healthy baby,healthy home,no more plastic — michelleodonoghue @ 8:40 pm
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I use cloth diapers with my 7 mos old and have since the day she was born. Despite the fact that we travel a lot and she is the youngest of 4 kids (on the road for after school sports often), we have managed to stick with our committment to use cloth diapers. In fact, we have used 3 packs only of 7th generation diapers since she was born. Not a perfect record but pretty darn close.

Here are some Questions that a very astute (7 mos pregnant) friend has asked regarding getting involved with cloth diapers, followed by my very honest answers about dealing with all that poop!
1) Do you mind the snaps on the Fuzzi Bunz diapers? I have been researching gDiapers and Bum Genuis and both of those have velcro. Is it tricky to snap the snaps on a moving child? Do they seem to hold better than velcro?

I enjoy the snaps (they hold up really well and make the sizing really flexible. I’ve used the same ones since marielle was born and they will easily fit until at least a year old or more)  it’s not too difficult to snap them ( now that she squirms i just give her a toy to hold while i change her). At night, i sometimes use 7th generation b/c they don’t leak during the 12hr night.

2) How many cloth diapers do you think are necessary to have? How often do you do laundry a week with the cloth diapers? Do the stains come out?

I do the laundry every other day. I bought 18 diapers (in the beginning i used 9/ day, now I use 6/ day).  They acquire a strong smell pretty quickly so it is helpful to be able to run a load that often.  i use a gentle detergent and a heaping tablespoon of baking soda and the stains mostly come out.  at first that bothered me that i could see slight staining but i’ve gotten over it. it is only the insert pad that stains for some reason, not the cute diaper cover.  and again, it is light staining

3) How do you get the poop oft the diapers? Do you use a sprayer? Do you find that the diaper washes clean? Do you have to bleach them?

during the first 6 mos, i just wash the diapers with the poop in it (watery and comes out so easily). now that marielle is eating food, i shake off what i can in the toilet bowl. a sprayer in a mudroom style sink would be really helpful but i don’t have that.  the washing machines really do a great job getting rid of the waste and getting the diapers clean. again, baking soda is really helpful, so are a few drops of tea tree oil.  i am not a bleach fan as i think the fumes are harmful and bad for the earth.  i’m almost sure fuzzi bunz recommends not using bleach.  i’ve heard good things about g diapers but haven’t used yet.

Cloth diapers aren’t perfect but I do enjoy the softness and cuteness and sustainability factors.


Mere au Foyer

Filed under: no more plastic — michelleodonoghue @ 8:27 pm

There are a lot of ways to sum up the world of a stay- at -home mom (expert sock pick-er-upper, grocery store aficiondo, scheduling lunatic, etc..) but no one says it better than the french: mere au foyer = mother of the hearth= stay at home mom. Deep down, in my expert, lunatic, aficiando determination to eliminate chemicals from my children’s world, I have needed this expression more than I need the glass (or two) of wine at the end of my day.  Mother of the hearth. For all of us mothers who are taking steps to eliminate chemicals, toxins, and poisons on a daily basis,it is an uphill battle. And this phrase makes it all make sense. It provides the meaning we need and deserve to continue firing away at the chemical-makers who don’t care for a second about our children’s lungs or cells. For of all of us deciding for ourselves that going chemical free is more important than almost anything else we do in the day, mere au foyer inspires the fire we need to win the chemical-free battle and acknowledges that when mothers everywhere clean up their “hearth” we will save the earth.

Les meres du monde UNITE!


We’re All In This Together February 7, 2010

A friend recently said to me, as I was rattling on and on about the importance of eliminating chemicals from our lives, that we are each entitled to our own opinion. I wasn’t quite sure how to take that so I took it as a subtle way of disagreeing with me…

In regards to politics, sushi, or a favorite form of exercise,  a different opinion than me would be ok. But, this topic—–eliminating chemicals from our lives—it’s not OK. We are all in this together. It does matter first and foremost to rid your own  home and school of toxins. But, unless all of us take / make great efforts to denounce  the 80,000 chemicals that contaminate our lives, we are all going to suffer the lousy consequences of toxins polluting our bodies.  If I stop using pesticides on my lawn but none of my neighbors do,  the water supply will stay contaminated. If I demand that diesel buses stop idling, but no other parents do, than all of our children will inhale the carcinogenic fumes. If I insist that only organic cleaning supplies enter my house but none of my relatives and neighbors join in, then toxic agents will still pervade. If I stop using plastic shower curtains but our friends don’t, then 38 poisonous chemical fumes will enter my bloodstream every time I hang out for a cup of coffee.

On that note—the one where we ALL do something– please take 3 minutes to watch this incredible video. There is a way to rid our homes/ schools/ workplaces of chemicals. It’s not complicated and the benefits are astounding for our health.  The ripple effect is truly amazing…..

Here’s to each of us having our own opinion, except for when it comes to chemicals 🙂


Front Page of the NY Times January 21, 2010

Filed under: healthy home,no more plastic — michelleodonoghue @ 5:36 pm
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“U.S. concerned about the risks from a plastic”

The FDA is expressing concerns about possible health risks from BPA.  It’s probably a waste of time to be angry that it took them this long to do something about such a harmful chemical but wow, this disturbs me. BPA has been in question for years. How could they have been ignoring sound scientific studies for so long? We’ve see male rats “turn” female  b/c of this chemical.

Since this FDA study will probably take longer than we like so in the meantime, continue to trust your gut on this one. (and if not your gut, than those of us who have been screaming that this is terrible for you for years) Avoid BPA at all costs–canned goods (sodas, beans, sauces, formula)  and  plastics with #7 (water coolers, older baby bottles, many food storage plastics) on it are the main places it is found.

BPA—Be Pro–Active b/c BPA is really bad for you!