This piece was cross-posted at Spanglish Baby
I wished I could say I live a totally green and eco life. I can, however, say I try and try and am conscious about waste and recycling. Anyone who knows me can tell you I did try cloth diapers, but failed, and that I am the plastic bottle and paper plates, cups, etc police. It´s so easy to carry around your own water and refill it. Why the need to buy cases of plastic bottles that fill up the landfills and contaminate our lakes and oceans? Drives me insane.
However, I haven´t worked hard enough at eliminating from my home the toxic chemicals that invade the air we breathe everyday. These are found in the paint on the walls, on the materials used to make our couches and mattresses, in the plastic from which our kids’ toys are made of, in cleaning products, air fresheners, even on the pads we use to change babies´diapers. We´re talking nasty chemicals, lead, BPA, flame retardants and much more.
Are you as overwhelmed as I am just thinking about it? You´re not alone.
Many of us stay inactive because we just don´t know where to start. We can´t all afford to own couches made of pure natural and organic products. We can´t all go out and buy hybrids to leave a smaller footprint. And that´s OK. However, there are small, conscious things we can all do at home that little by little add up to a healthier lifestyle and a diminished exposure to the chemicals we breathe.
The air in most major cities is nasty enough. Let´s together explore ways to counteract it with cleaning up the air in our homes. As a starter, I´ve found these books that I want to explore because they are full of practical, useful, and, sometimes, shocking information to get us to act.
by Annie Berthold-Bond
Amazon.com review: “These days, more and more people are saying no to “better living through chemistry” and yes to a lifestyle that is less toxic and more environmentally friendly. This trend toward a more natural lifestyle has become something of a crusade for Annie Berthold-Bond, author of Better Basics for the Home….This book represents the culmination of her search for a more sustainable lifestyle. Taking her cue from an earlier time, Berthold-Bond, former editor in chief of Green Alternatives for Health and Environment, offers more than 800 simple and practical alternatives to common household toxins, covering everything from skin care to gardening. And the good news is that adopting her suggestions and formulas isn’t hard at all.”
by Dr. B.C. Wolverton
Amazon.com: ”Plants are the lungs of the earth. This revolutionary guide, based on 25 years of research by NASA, shows how common houseplants can combat sick building syndrome and cleanse the home or office of common pollutants.”
by Andre Bridges
Amazon.com: “Learn how to live green in this series from noted astronaut and environmentalist, Sally Ride that is dedicated to 3 of the Earth’s main resources–air, energy, and water. Each volume describes how people use the Earth’s resources and what can be done to protect them. Packed with full-color photographs and illustrations.This volume examines how burning fossil fuels, clearing forests, and other human activities affect the Earth’s climate by contributing large amounts of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.”
by Sandra Steingraber
From Amazon.com: ”Nothing could be more important than the health of our children, and no one is better suited to examine the threats against it than Sandra Steingraber. Once called “a poet with a knife,” she blends precise science with lyrical memoir… Now she speaks as the scientist mother of two young children, enjoying and celebrating their lives while searching for ways to protect them–and all children–from the toxic, climate-threatened world they inhabit… Through these everyday moments, Steingraber demonstrates how closely the private, intimate world of parenting connects to the public world of policy-making and how the ongoing environmental crisis is, fundamentally, a crisis of family life.”
by Rick Smith and Bruce Laurie
From O: The Oprah Magazine: “Slow Death by Rubber Duck. . . isn’t just alarmist environmental shock and awe. It’s a thoughtful look at how pollution has shifted over the years from something tangible and transparent (industrial pollutants as the cause of acid rain) to something abstract and nuanced (BPA’s links to breast cancer). The challenges this change presents, as many of the world’s top scientists explain in these pages, should be of serious concern to us all.”
I thought this is an excellent book for those kids that are suffering some of the consequences of our dirty and toxic air.
From Amazon.com: “The child in this story suffers from asthma, a chronic condition that sometimes produces frightening attacks. But kids learn that with proper medical supervision and treatment, asthma can be kept under control, and kids who are affected by it can live happy, active, and normal lives. As preschool and early-grades children read these illustrated What Do You Know About? Books , or have them read to them, they will be encouraged to explore their own feelings about problems that might be bothering them, or to find answers to a wide array of questions that puzzle them. The books have appealing color illustrations on every page, and each title features a short section of advice to parents. What Do You Know About? Books are available in both English and Spanish language editions.”
Join us in educating ourselves and advocating for our kid’s right to clean air and a healthy life. Let your voice be heard amongst those in the Moms Clean Air Force.