This week a reader asked about finding non toxic balls:
I was hoping to find some help. My very young boy (14 months) is stealing balls from other kids in the playground. Time to get him one I guess. Not in my wildest dreams did I imagine that this might be an impossible task. He still likes to chew on everything. A ball for a child, you'd have thought someone would be making a big bouncy ball intended for young children that actually wasn't full of chemicals that could harm them.
So I thought I had found one at least five times only to discover that either the product was no longer available, or "green" by heresay only -- but nasty when tested, or even better ... good for the environment, but not for the baby. Sigh.
Please do you have any recommendations for me. Not interested in Crocodile Creek, or the Fair Trade Sports Ball.
I would have thought a big inflatable bouncy rubber ball, or even a leather one using leather cured in less toxic way would be
Blog Posts by Ask an Organic Mom, The Daily Green
This week a reader asked about finding non toxic balls:Read More »from 10 Alternatives to Toxic Toy Balls
Some green-leaning parents who are concerned about effects of vaccines, but convinced enough of their safety by current science that they do not want to forgo them altogether, take other, much less drastic measures. They stretch the timeline of when the shots are given, so their children are a bit older for the brunt of them. And they split up the MMR (measles mumps and rubella) vaccine into three single-dose shots instead of giving all three at once.Read More »from The Trouble with Single-Dose Vaccines
But on parenting boards across the internet, there has been a bit of a panic lately as families who have gone the split-them-up route are finding themselves two/thirds done with no sign of the third dose available anytime soon. In the New York area, I'm hearing, the rubella component is on backorder at many pediatricians' offices and in neighboring pharmacies known previously to carry it. This comes at a time when schools are asking for forms proving students are up to date with their vaccinations. This creates quite a conundrum.
- Ask an Organic Mom, The Daily Green | Work + Money – Mon, Sep 29, 2008 5:02 PM EDT
light switchWhen I was growing up, my mother was always after family members to turn off lights in rooms they weren't using. It's a common-sense policy I'm pleased she nagged into me; now it's second nature. Last week I was having (IrvingFarm) coffee with a green-leaning architect, Julie Torres Moskowitz , who contributed an essay about building a nontoxic nursery to The Complete Organic Pregnancy at one of my favorite green leaning local spots, The City Bakery. As we caught each other up on our latest projects, and chatted about the overabundance of greenwashing, especially in the building supply arena, a bakery worker with a tray full of votive candles walked around the space, placing one on every table. It was seriously odd -- not only have I never seen candles at The City Bakery, it was 10:30 in the morning. We half-joked about the economy being so bad that they had to resort to flames instead of electricity. Our conversation shifted for a while, and I forgot about the candles untilRead More »from The power of an hour: What we gain when we turn out the lights
- Ask an Organic Mom, The Daily Green | Parenting – Sat, Sep 27, 2008 1:02 AM EDT
The cool weather is coming and my mother asked me the other day if she could buy my girls some winter pajamas. This was obviously a great offer, but the pajama question is complicated, and as I started in on my spiel I could practically see the wind coming out of her sails. Okay, so maybe it's not that complicated, but there are a couple of things to consider when dressing little ones for bed.Read More »from The Right, and Wrong, Fabrics to Look for In Pajamas
In 1971 the Consumer Product Safety Commission(CPSC) standardized children's sleepwear specifying that garments exposed to an open flame for 3 seconds must self extinguish. You might remember a stifling pair of polyester pajamas from your youth; polyester was a popular bedtime fabric because of its inherent flame resistance -- most polyesters anyway, including modacrylic (Verel, SEF, Kanecaron); matrix (Cordelan); and vinyon (Leavil). Flame retardants are woven into the fabric during manufacture and become part of the fabric's molecular composition. The resulting polymers are very stable,
My biggest fear in the weeks leading up to the birth of my first child wasn't missing movies, or fifty hours of labor, or tearing horribly (that was my second biggest). All I kept thinking about, with the kind of dread I used to feel for math finals, was the loss of daily sleep to come. I figured if so many hard things about a new baby never even get mentioned, the amount of talk sleeplessness gets must mean it applies to 99% of parents. And I guess this is because sleep issues are never one-sided. If your baby isn't eating you still manage to get some dinner, and if she's crying her eyes out you're probably mostly just watching her, but if she's not sleeping peacefully, there's no way around it, neither are you. I wasn't into a lot of pre-baby parenting advice and didn't read a lot of books, but my ears definitely pricked up any time conversations veered towards sleep and sleep tricks. Instead of taking a wait-and-see approach, we adopted the philosophy of Gina Ford, who wrote aRead More »from Organic Mom: 5 Baby Sleep Secrets
There is no melancholy quite like the ache of when summer turns to fall. So. Depressing. Thankfully, this is exactly when my CSAfarmer hosts a yearly farm visit. I have been a member of Stoneledge Farmin South Cairo, New York for eight years now, but (no) thanks to work, countless weddings, births, and infants (in that order), I haven't been able to make an autumn pilgrimage in seven or eight years (parenthood makes memory foggy). My daughter has had so much fun picking up our weekly veggie and fruit deliveries at the local Y this year that I was determined to show her where, exactly, her food comes from. So I cleared the calendar. And we went. My fingers are still stained with dirt and raspberry juice as I type. I didn't want to miss the opportunity to write happy -- for the first time in a long time I'm feeling elated.Read More »from Organic Mom: Getting to the Roots of Our Food
It's not an easy time to be an organic mom (or anyone else for that matter). In this pre-election frenzy, I find myself worrying about the fate of the earth my
- Ask an Organic Mom, The Daily Green | Parenting – Mon, Sep 8, 2008 9:03 PM EDT
We recently returned from a longer than usual summer vacation. We spent a few weeks away from our New York City apartment, alternating between sets of grandparents. It was great for all of us to be outside most of the time, visiting relatives, being able to do things like pick and eat cherry tomatoes off the vine. The babe played and played, and I (thanks to ample family babysitting) got a lot of writing done. But at some point during the second week my daughter started saying she missed her home, her "little" bed, her toys. This shocked me. First, she's only two and a half so the idea that she would be homesick was surprising. Second, she was nestled so firmly in the bosom(s) of her family, with all sorts of new grandparent-gifted toys, not to mention cousins to play with, how could home even compare? But she insisted she missed New York. So I asked her what she missed the most. Her answer? Play dough.Read More »from Organic Mom: DIY Non-Toxic Toys: Packaging-Free Fun
At home, she has Mary's Softdough, which is quite non-toxic
These fruits and veggies have the highest levels of pesticides: apples, bell peppers, celery, nectarines, peaches, pears, potatoes, spinach, cherries, and strawberries.
These fruits and veggies that have the lowest levels and are therefore safe to buy conventional if you're trying to save money or can't find organic versions: asparagus, avocados, bananas, broccoli, cauliflower, corn (sweet), kiwi, mangos, onions, papaya, pineapple, peas (sweet).
Avoid high mercury fish, and avoid high fat meats; toxins that have been linked to prenatal nervous system and hormonal damage are stored in fatty tissue.Read More »from Top 10 Steps for People Who Want to Go Organic
Use a PUR or Brita filter for all of your water. Drink out of glass, not plastic whenever possible. If you need to use plastic water bottles, recycle after one use. Most plastic water bottles are made out of a plastic
For the first time in a long time, this summer-to-fall shift is a back to school moment for real in my household -- my two and a half year old begins a (very minimal) preschool program (in October). We're going with her, as it's a cooperative school, and generally anticipating a tremendous amount of cuteness and hilarity. We're also anticipating an onslaught of stuff.
I am by nature and by profession anti-stuff -- how much junk does one kid need? I wasn't brought up this way and I used to be a big consumer. But the greener I get, the less stuff I can tolerate. Every person who asks me advice on how to stock a nursery pre-baby, for example, gets the same answer: all a baby actually needs is a boob, a diaper, and a swaddling blanket. How much does any of us really need? But there are certain times of the year, just as there are certain times in life (like the arrival of a newborn), that come with an avalanche of "stuff."
For the beginning of the school year, I'm talking newRead More »from Organic Mom: Back to school? Don't go shopping
I tasted a yogurt in Vermont last week that was so good I'm pretty sure my eyes snapped shut while eating it. It was Organic Maple Yogurt (made with Jersey cow whole milk and maple syrup) from Butterworks Farm, a 25 year-old Vermont dairy up near the Canadian border. I've never cared much for yogurt, but I got back to New York and couldn't stop thinking about it, or stop my mouth from watering every time I did. I still have to struggle to eat better so that my daughters will one day do it reflexively, but yogurt's always been an off-putting food to me, I think partly because of it's virtuous reputation. I'm always thrilled when I come across a food where the organic version crushes the conventional version I grew up eating, so I started hunting around for it. I've been feeding my daughters yogurt since they were born, but I was looking forward to feed something I actually like.Read More »from Organic Mom: It's Getting Easier Being Green