Sunday, June 14, 2009

How I became Green?

All my friends know that my son, JR, suffers from eczema. When he was under a year old we rushed him to the doctor because he had this nasty rash. We were told that he had eczema and that most children that suffer from eczema will become asthmatics. Okay, as a new mother this was a lot to handle. No one wants their children to suffer.
We did as the doctor suggested and found what food product made Jr sensitive. Plus the doctor gave us this steroid cream to help him through breakouts. It did not treat his eczema but it helped with symptoms. We did what we could..but his eczema was still there.
After we moved up here to PA our new doctor would not give us the steroid cream. I was pissed. How was my baby supposed to feel better without the medication? And thus my education began.
A few months later both my boys came down with a nasty diaper rash. Hubby had been asking me for two years to change to cloth b/c he had heard it was a healthy decision but I wouldn't listen to him. Well..after battling a nasty case after a nasty case I did some research. Did you know that those sweet cheerful easy to use disposable diapers stay in the landmine for a life time?? I didn't. Plus the chemicals inside that diaper cause the wretched diaper rashes that I had fought and fought. We now use cloth diapers. They are not hard to maintain and they certainly reduce what we put into the landmine. The best part...diaper rash is not an ongoing battle in my home.
Through research and my favorite soap opera that did a series on "Going Green', I have learned many things. Such as the chemicals in processed food can cause many unhealthy reactions, eczema included. I learned that chemicals in our cleaning products can also emit yucky VOC and lead to many serious aliments...cancer, asthma, ect. I used to be addicted to air fresheners, but how can I in good conscience spray a bottle of VOC laden fragrance into my home knowing that both VOCs and Fragrance can bring on asthma attacks and can lead to other childhood sicknesses.
We began cleaning our home with out harsh chemicals. We use good ole baking soda, seventh generation products, and vinegar. We fragrant our home with essential oils and candles. I act just learned that there our candles made of soy. These particular candles are better for the environment and ultimately that is better for my children. And then my genius mother in law introduced me to the No Nos of BPA. I am grateful to her for it. No more water bottles for us. I just recently purchased a cute pink bpa free water bottle and replaced my plastic tupperware with glass. And as a kicker to make me feel like I am not doing this just to be helping my family...we started using canvas bags at the grocery store. Plastic really is the devil. I want my children to grow up in a healthy environment and that means a healthy world. All these changes have made JR a healthier lil boy and I am grateful for my new found knowledge.
So as eco-conscience as we have become...We are not perfect. Organic food is expensive and with our lil E-5 paycheck we can not live off a completely organic diet. We do buy a few things here and there that our Organic. I am patiently awaiting the day that it becomes more affordable. We also drive a gas guzzler from hell. Another fact due to money issues. It takes Green to be completely Green.
Here is what you can do..even if you are short on green. You can reduce, reuse, and recycle. Buy at least one canvas bag and use it for shopping. That is one less plastic bag that could have ended up as a plastic tumble weed or in a landmine or around some poor animals neck. When more money comes your way you can buy more. Or if the objects really don't need a bag then just carry it out of the store in your hands. Buy some cloth rags, preferably made of organic materials. This will replace the use of paper towels. Before you buy an item really think if you need it..or maybe you have something in your home already that you could modify and use it for that purpose. For instance..I use an old white trash bin for recyclables. No use buying new. And read the back of the products you buy. If you can't pronounce it then you don't want it in your home. I saved money and the Earth by switching to green cleaners. (and everyone that knows me well knows I am a neat freak)
Going Green is a learning experiance. It is something we can all do with lil to minimal work and it is well worth it. It doesn't have to be a hippie crazed event. If you want to read up on it I suggest Healthy Child Healthy World by Gavigan. Just don't be overwhelmed by it. One change can make a difference.