Please pass on the plastic

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All Wrapped up in Cloth Diapers March 10, 2010

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!



SIGG’s contact form January 7, 2010

Filed under: healthy water,no more plastic — michelleodonoghue @ 12:09 am

I complained, so should you….

SIGG contact info

It sounds like SIGG had a replacement program going but it ended in october. Their new bottles are lined with a BPA-free liner, which they spent a lot of money researching. SIGG denies any wrongdoing stating that there were never any studies that showed leeching. Although that may be true it is still dishonest and disheartening that SIGG messed with their loyal customers and cared more about their bottom line than customer concerns.

The least they could do is give replacement bottles, although at this point, they’ve lost my business for good. (Patagonia has also severed ties with SIGG)


BPA in cans….never, never, never consume (children especially) January 5, 2010

Filed under: healthy baby,no more plastic — michelleodonoghue @ 9:23 pm
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Almost all canned goods have a liner that contains BPA ( a plastic- based material that is known to interfere with hormone production and cause a scary list of disease. ) There are a couple companies, (EDEN bean cans are BPA-free, but their tomato sauces are not, sold at whole foods)  who have figured out ways to preserve their food without the BPA but those are few and far between.  I’ve tried in the past to give up canned goods (beans, sauces) but I never fully succeed b/c it is always so much easier and quicker to make a meal using canned goods. Read article for further info.

As of yesterday, though, I’ve officially given up canned goods. (new years resolution #1). I made my first batch ever of chickpeas, right out of a bag (simmered on the stove for 4 hours then added to the pasta e fagioli soup–yum!)

If any of you have seen Tapped, there is a scientist in the film who claims that BPA will be the issue that dismantles the FDA. His research has shown conclusively that BPA is seriously detrimental to our health, as it only takes very small doses to completely disrupt our hormones. This is not something to take lightly. BPA is dangerous. It has been banned in Canada and most european countries ( i think). Don’t wait until this issue is proven further……eliminate BPA now

This is not simple  but there are major steps you can take to eliminate BPA:

  • buy as much fresh as possible, otherwise choose GLASS
  • make your own sauces and beans (not complicated, just time consuming.) make in large batches, let cool, then freeze in sturdy glass containers.
  • buy frozen vegetables / fruits instead
  • eliminate soda (the new soda makers out there are getting rave reviews. William sonoma has one ($200), as does bloomingdales ($100).
  • no  baby formula from cans, infants and children are so vulnerable to this chemical.
  • NEVER microwave plastic
  • Get in touch with producers of canned goods. Pick one or two of your favorites and let them know BPA is not OK. There is an alternative, about 13% more expensive, to line the can using natural / plant-based ingredients.

Sucks to be lied to about BPA. once again ,this is a demand side story, if customers demand and stop purchasing in the meantime) these companies will have to change their practices.


BPA in liner in SIGG bottles

Filed under: healthy water,no more plastic — michelleodonoghue @ 9:01 pm
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Please read the following article, just released, about BPA existing in the liners of SIGG bottles. Study says BPA was never found to leech in their bottles BUT that is a huge problem just the same.  SIGG should be embarassed by their behavior and figure out some way to make up for their dishonesty. BPA in plastic  is one of the main reasons people were switching to stainless steel containers and it is horrific that an eco-company would lie to us just to improve their bottom line.

(in the past year SIGG has completely changed the BPA liner and now states there is an eco liner w/o any BPA.)  Even if this is true they’ve completely lost my business.

I plan to be in touch with SIGG. You should too. I will share contact info as soon as I have it.

In the meantime, I continue to recommend glass bottles (AQUASANA, please see previous post) and the kleen kanteen (light weight, food grade stainless steel) bottles. Atlas (Tapped) sells the kleen kanteens (not promoting, just disclosing) and although they are made in China, we feel confident they are healthy water bottles.