Monthly Archives: January 2015

Start the Climb to Stop Getting Taken for Granted at Home

If household management is management, then it involves human resources management. A healthy home includes everybody’s efforts to take care of it, so everybody feels like a member. Most importantly, the primary housekeeper needs respect and to delegate in order to prevent burnout. But if you’ve waited too long to distribute chores to your kids and spouse, how can you convince them to change? Well, it’ll be a slog, and you have to change too. Heather Solos has extensive encouragement.
It’s called home economics for a reason.

Posted by January 23, 2015 at 8:00 PM under News and Events
Bake Your Baking Soda to Make Homemade Washing Soda

sodiumbicarbonatepdSince we’re on the topic of unsafe laundry detergent, here’s yet another model of how easy household products are to make.
Check out this recipe for washing soda: spread 2 or 3 cups of baking soda in a baking sheet or pan; bake at 450°F for an hour, stirring once or twice. When it sits at 400°F long enough, your baking soda will turn into grainier washing soda. Washing soda gives your detergent extra strength against grease and stains, whether you use a conventional detergent or a homemade one.
Thanks to Mommypotamus for the recipe.

Posted by January 23, 2015 at 3:50 PM under News and Events
The Best Green Toys for Kids

Toddler or a baby child playing with puzzle in a nursery.Buying toys for your children has become something of an intimidating and even frightening prospect. In recent years, consumers have been more and more aware that children’s toys are often problematic and even dangerous. One of the most widely known examples of the problem of children safety and toys occurred when it was discovered that many children’s toys made in China were testing remarkably high for lead. It has been known for generations that lead was potentially problematic.

Avoiding Potential Toy Hazards

Now thanks to modern medical science, we know that lead and other heavy metals can be very damaging to children. Lead was widely used in house paints until approximately 1978 and also made its way into toys and other goods that children came into contact with and used. Children under 6 are particularly vulnerable to lead exposure and lead exposure can result in a lower of I.Q. and other health problems. Plastic toys, such as those containing BPA and other chemicals have likewise been linked to help and developmental problems.

In short, children’s toys represent a challenge of health conscious parents. These issues and problems are not overstated and currently there are not enough regulations in place to protect consumers. It is simply impossible for consumers to know what compounds, such as lead and other heavy metals, are found in toys. Until children’s toys are tested more heavily, parents have no choice but to redouble their efforts to provide their children with safe toys that will not expose them to potentially harmful compounds. In this article, we will look at some of the best green toys on the market.

First it is very important to point out that just because a toy is wearing a “green” label that doesn’t automatically make it a safe choice from a health perspective. Many green toys mean “earth friendly” in that they are recycled form plastics or that the company in question employs energy friendly protocols that help cut down on greenhouse gases. “Green” doesn’t always mean safe, but it usually is a good indicator.

The Joys of Wood Toys

Screen Shot 2015-01-21 at 9.17.55 AMWooden toys are hard to beat. That stated, many wood based toys might use toxic inks or dyes. These inks and dyes may not represent a massive risk for an adult but for children who are constantly putting toys in their mouths these inks and dyes can be quite problematic. When selecting wood toys, be sure that products such as soy inks are also used. FSC-certified wood means that toys are sustainable as well, so keep an eye out for FSC certification when buying your green toys!

Wood building blocks are a great toy for young children and toddlers. PlanToys has a wide range of building blocks and other wood toys that can provide parents with an almost endless array of wood toy options. PlanToys goes beyond the established industry standards when it comes to safety. They have won both the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Award and the Parents’ Choice Award.

What about Plush Toys?

Screen Shot 2015-01-21 at 9.24.27 AMKids love stuffed animals, but plush toys can be home to a surprisingly large number of chemicals. You should always approach plush toys with extreme caution. The best plush toy options are organic ones.

Organic fabric and cotton stuffed plush toys are available. You can easily find organic plush toys from artists. Etsy is full of independent producers of organic plush toys and you can even buy locally. Just be sure to read reviews and check quality carefully. If you notice strange or chemically scents, simply send the toy back.

Plastic Toys

Screen Shot 2015-01-21 at 9.19.30 AMBuying plastic toys can be a real challenge. Green Toys makes a large variety of products that are made from 100% recycled materials. They source their toys from recycled milk containers. The plastic Green Toys uses is called high-density polyethylene and is generally considered to be one of the safer plastics on the market.

Safeguarding Your Child’s Health

These toys are most definitely more expensive, but there is little doubt that your child’s health is a priority. You can look at it this way, finding fewer toys that are safer preferable over buying more toys that are potentially heal damaging. Mixing different types of healthy toys is also another way to reduce risk. In other words, don’t give your child an overwhelmingly large number of toys from just one kind of company. Be sure to offer variety.

The greatest toy in the world is you, your time and your attention. A child who has ample parental and caregiver interaction is a child who can maximize the number of toys that he or she may have.

Your Child’s Health is an Investment

Screen Shot 2015-01-21 at 9.24.49 AMBy investing the time to research, discover and select healthy and safe toys, you are making a major investment in your child’s future. The unpleasant fact is that many toys are, in fact, harmful and do present a risk. In time, the doctors and the medical establishment may take a more vocal and proactive role in protecting the health of children and informing parents and caregivers as the risks.

Sadly, most toy manufacturers use materials that are not fit for toys and this is clearly a massive issue. Parents and caregivers have a profound responsibility to safeguard their children from low quality and potentially harmful toys.

Toys that are largely comprised of chemicals should be avoided. If a toy smells strangely, that probably means that it is degassing harmful chemicals, such as formaldehyde. Such toys should be avoided. If you accidently purchase such a toy, don’t keep it. Simply exercise your right as a consumer and return the toy.

Posted by January 23, 2015 at 2:15 PM under Environment Home Living Tips
What and Why Are Chemicals in Our Laundry Detergents?

With all the recipes for homemade laundry detergent on the web, one begins to wonder how we adopted all these synthetic laundry products in the first place. Branch Basics has an overview that includes natural ingredient shortages during the World Wars. They also have an extensive warning of what are the hundreds of petrochemicals in unsafe detergent and how to spot them.
Click because it’s gone too far.

Posted by January 23, 2015 at 12:00 PM under News and Events
Practical Homemade Apple Cider in a Slow Cooker

Aliceapplecc3byZozzaMost ways to make apple cider involve canning skills and equipment. Plus, you have to plan ahead to make gallons of the stuff. Our Wellness Mama, Katie, has come up with a more practical technique. Using a slow cooker, you can put this apple cider together in a day and use it up in the coming week.
Happy winter!
Apples are CC 3.0 by Wikipedia user Zozza

Posted by January 22, 2015 at 5:00 PM under News and Events
3 Ways to Keep Your Front Load Washing Machine Smelling Fresh

Here are three tips on how to stop or prevent your front load washer from smelling.
Let it dry
Keep the door open between uses to air your washer out. The door seals moisture in; it’s great when you’re washing clothes in there, but moisture can linger easily when you don’t need it to. Don’t forget to keep small children and pets out of the laundry room when you’re leaving your front loader open.
Use detergent formulated for high efficiency washers
Because front-load washing machines need less water, they also need less foaming detergent. Regular detergent can foam up so much that it eventually builds up on the hardware. If you must use regular detergent, at least use less.
Clean your washer cheaply
If you suspect a soap buildup, run your washer on hot with 2 cups of vinegar. Vinegar is a cheap, safe acid that reacts with and cleans soap. Repeat if necessary.
Source at About Laundry

Posted by January 22, 2015 at 10:50 AM under News and Events
How to Use Ground Ginger Everywhere

If you like the taste of ginger, you may be wondering if you can use it to improve your health, too. Visit Premeditated Leftovers for ten answers from Katie Femia. From home remedies to self-love, these ginger ideas are easy to use and are pleasant to the senses.
Spice it up.

Posted by January 21, 2015 at 8:00 PM under News and Events
Do: Clean Your Bathroom Exhaust Fan

Why do we procrastinate to clean our bathroom exhaust fan? Well, it’s just one part of the house, you can’t see how dirty it is under there, and how do you get in there anyways? Let’s just ignore that it controls moisture in the bathroom and delays or prevents mold and mildew problems that can affect both the value of your home and your health, since the consequences are slow and invisible.
Or let’s visit Jillee’s detailed photo tutorial and build our confidence.
Time to learn something new.

Posted by January 21, 2015 at 5:00 PM under News and Events
Global Collapse Books and Articles

Whether you believe in imminent global collapse or not, read the following article. The article overviews how the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute of the University of Melbourne has tracked our world resource consumption to see whether Donella and Dennis Meadows’ 1972 projection has been correct so far. The Meadows wrote “Limits to Growth,” predicting collapse that we should start to notice in 2015. Maybe the alarm just the Guardian baiting clicks, but it’s still neat information.
Grab a summary at Inhabitat.

Posted by January 21, 2015 at 12:00 PM under News and Events