Almost a year ago we switched to making our household cleaners with the help of a great book, "Clean House, Clean Planet," and it is far cheaper (thanks to CD for the book rec). Basically, everything is some mix of organic essential oils, baking soda, Borax and liquid soap (NOT detergent like most dish soaps are). I have to say...the lavendar/lemon scented baking soda we sprinkle on the carpet prior to vaccuming is far better smelling than anything you can buy. I am glad our cleaning product routine has been solidified prior to the baby, so that it will be second nature.
CNN had a cover story on soaring food prices eliciting more "eco friendly" practices by American moms. I hope that people realize that the importance of making some life style changes is more than price gouging. Some of their suggestions resonante with what we are trying to do: buy generic for some items that don't compromise quality, make as many of your meals at home as possible, buy LOCAL (perhaps on par with buying organic), buy organic (especially strawberries, peppers, peaches and celery), plant your own veggie and herb garden (deck prohibitive!), make your own cleaning products...etc. I'm a big loser and intend on getting the "magic bullet" kitchen appliance so that I can make our own baby food. Good advice from Nana Anne, freeze portions in ice cube trays.
I've briefly commented on the diaper dilemma. Still not sure how it will pan out. Again, being a full time working mom, cloth diapering is not really an option, so we'll try the gDiapers and 7th generation.
The safe cosmetics database is a GREAT resource for safe body care recommendations. http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/. California baby appears to have some safe cleaning products for babies, as does Dr Bronner's. I am actually now using Dr B's castille soap for just about everything-including cleaning my body. I have had some belly irritation and think it is related to the Dove soap, but it appears Dr B's is a good alternative. It's neat, I can use it to clean my dishes, hair, body, baby, everything! A non-baby related note: I just tried Alima cosmetics, and highly recommend their make-up. http://alimacosmetics.com/I don't wear a ton, but knew that the stuff I put on my face has tons of terrible chemicals. Alima has a wonderful jar return policy (but you must return with recyclable packaging), and is determined to provide safe and effective make-up.
I've commented a number of times our intention on reusing as many baby clothes (and some products) that we can. And will try to make conscious choices about the new products we buy. There is that whole lead insanity, too! So, we'll try to keep with natural and fair trade toys, nuks (aka pacifiers). I had a slight panic last night, realizing that we have NOTHING for the baby in terms of furniture, but after reading a helpful post from Schlotty on the Vanguard website, the recommendation is to WAIT to buy everything. You never know what the baby will need. Panic averted.
I think this amplification in my interest in greenness is my experience with "nesting." Who knows what the status of our living situation will be in the next few months, but wherever we land for the next year, be it in this same condo, or in a home, I would like to install a clothes line and convince my husband that if we are in the condo, we can still do some mini composting. Not sure that is possible...For the past few months we have been using a turkey baster to collect the water in the bottoms of our deck plants, and then rewater everything with it. It is sort of labor intensive, but gratifying. I think our neighbors think we are crazy.
I have listed some of my favorite blogs on the left, and there are a handful of green parenting ones if you are interested.
I found more "things that make you go awww!" They are called Animalz (not sure on the spelling, seen it a number of ways). Apparently they are a "safe" toy, and get really good accolades from the youngins. I read about these wooden figures in one of the blogs. Not infant friendly, but come on! They are wicked stupid cute. (Like that phrase?)
-Another easy one: THE DECK DEVIL HAS BEEN CAUGHT! Yes, I watched early yesterday morning as the Desantis squirrel trap captured the lil bugger heading straight for our bird feeder. My joy was soon deflated when I realized that I would have to hear the thing hiss and frantically try to get out of the trap all day until my husband came home after 8pm to drive him far away to release him. I threw bird seed in the cage and with a glove, and put him under the table for shade. It is strange-I kind of felt bad for him! Upon his release at a high school past the interstate (that thing better not cross 1-85 and find his way back to our home), Eric told me, "I could never be a hunter." Well, good! I was hoping that wasn't a new hobby to replace marathon training.
Nixed Names: Liam, Calvin, Robert (Sorry Dads! This was the hardest cut, yet). Sebastian, Samuel, Marcus, Carter, Elliott, Henry, Max, Charles, Oscar, Noah, Isaac, Braxton, Hicks, Evan, Owen, Abe, Josef, Dylan, Griffin, Jens, Jan, Nevin, Emil, Milo, Luke, Lucas, Simon.