Truth be known, I’m messy. Not filthy, mind you, but I leave stacks of books, papers, pens, and stickies in my wake. Underneath those piles of supplies, my biggest secret is lurking. Want to know? Are you sure? It's not that exciting? Okay, here goes:
I LOVE ANTIBACTERIAL CLEANERS.
Their harsh smells, that fake lemon essence, the cleaning power of 42 chemicals that could choke an ox, the knowledge that I can smite germs with a single spray. Ahhhhhh. The problem is, out of those 42 chemicals, 40 of them could, quite literally, kill my child in a large enough dose. What is a sani-freak, worry-wart of a mother to do? First off, chill out! Unless you’re hiding pork chops under your clutter, you probably have very little to worry about. But kids do track germs into the house, on their hands, all over their toys, on their shoes. You going to clean that? Of course you are. Simple fixes:
- Wash those hands every time you come in the house. Every. Time. Not just eliminating germs, but also protecting you and yours from harmful chemicals that can be found in the yards and playgrounds your kids frequent (pesticides, arsenic, fertilizers.)
- Try a more bio-friendly list of products: Method, I love these guys. Check out their 10 Detox Tips. Clorox Greenworks (endorsed by the Sierra Club!) Perf's GoGreen Garbage Bags. . Seventh Generation Cleaners. Shaklee.
- If you just can’t fight the urge to disinfect, try this: Do your clean-up routine after the kids go to bed or when they’re not around so they’re not enticed by the interesting smells and pretty bottles. After cleaning your surfaces, wipe them down with water and a washcloth to remove any residual chemicals. Be sure to keep them under wraps, with either child safety mechanisms or in an area of the house that is inaccessible to small hands.
Also, because you deserve it, and I love anyone reading my blog, here are a few recipes for home cleaners that you can make yourself! (All recipes come from Where's Mom Now that I need her)
1 gallon water
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon liquid dish detergent
1 cup household ammonia
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup baking soda
1 gallon warm water
And finally, here are a few resources for you and your fight to Go Green with your kids.
- Raising Baby Green, by Alan Greene, MD
- Green, Greener, Greenest, by Lori Bongiorno
- Environmental Working Group: for a list of PBDE Free manufacturers (think furniture, bedding, carpet, and electronics.
- Ecolibris, encouraging sustainable reading.
On Friday, you'll see my final of the 3 part series entitled, Reuse/Reduce/Recycle.
Thanks for reading!