Blog Posts by MomsRising

  • How to Host a Green End-of-Summer BBQ

    Labor Day has come and gone, but that doesn't mean it's time to pack up the grill just yet. So put aside your back to school worries for one last night of outdoor eating.

    Traditional canned BBQ fare and potentially hazardous grilled meat can make BBQs feel like a toxic minefield. Luckily, there are plenty of easy ways to keep all of your favorite foods while protecting your health. Put off the impending seasonal whirlwind (I saw Christmas lights at the drugstore yesterday. And I thought Halloween candy displays had shown up two months too soon…) by using these tips to throw a green end-of-summer BBQ.

    Marinate Your Meat: The process of grilling meat creates compounds called HCAs, which have been linked to breast, prostate, and colon tumor growth. One of the easiest, and tastiest, ways you can reduce HCAs in your grilled meats is to soak meats in a marinade before throwing them on the grill. Choose vinegar or lemon based marinades: Their acidity prevents HCAs from sticking to

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  • Give Your Lunch Box a Healthy Makeover

    Peanut Butter and Jelly 3By Claire Moshenberg

    Picture it: Perfect stacks of crackers and sliced meats, portioned and packaged in plastic. Syrupy fruits in single serve cans. Plastic thermoses full of warm canned soup. And all of these goodies gathered into a shimmering, plastic lunch box.

    These are the bright back to school images of lunch time that show up on our TV screens and in glossy, smiling-kid filled ads in magazines. But with toxic chemicals lurking in plastic lunch boxes and food packaging, and pesky BPA popping up in canned fruits and soups, this lunch time image needs a non-toxic makeover. Keep the kids smiling, and keep them safe from toxic chemicals, with these top 5 tips to makeover your lunch box staples:

    Fruits and veggies: Make sure you always thoroughly wash your produce before packing it up for lunch. Rub fruits and veggies for 30 to 60 seconds under warm running water. Wash inedible peels; even though you discard the peel, cutting into the fruit or peeling the fruit can

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  • Top 5 Safer Back to School Shopping Tips

    The first day of school is around the corner, and back-to-school shopping season is in full swing. Kids spend most of their crucial developmental years in school buildings, interacting with their school supplies non-stop throughout the day, which makes picking the healthiest, least toxic supplies super important. Luckily, there are a few easy things you can do make this school year less toxic. This Tips Tuesday, we're giving you the top five tips for safer back to school shopping:

    Say no to PVC: PVC, also known as "The Poison Plastic," is commonly used in lunch boxes, backpacks, and binders. This pesky plastic has earned its nickname by containing toxic chemicals like phthalates, lead, cadmium, and organotins. Congress banned phthalates from kids' toys this year because of safety. So why are they still lurking in the school supplies kids use every day?

    The best way to avoid PVC is to choose non-plastic products whenever possible. If you do purchase plastic products, don't

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  • Detox Your Dorm: Top 5 Non-Toxic Tips for College Freshmen

    By Claire Moshenberg

    When it comes to college shopping, it's good to make solid, non-toxic choices at the beginning so that you don't have to invest money every year in replacing items. Toxic confession: I had the same plates all four years of school. They were plastic. Why didn't I replace them? Spare cash was rare, and when it showed up, plates were the last thing on my mind. Why would I replace something I already had when I could pay for things like food and laundry?

    Back to school shopping doesn't end with backpacks and pencil cases: If your kids are on their way to college, there are plenty of goods they'll need for their dorms and plenty of toxic chemicals they probably want to avoid. For this week's Tips Tuesday, here are the top 5 non-toxic tips for your college freshman:

    Water: Buy a water filter pitcher. Right now, college bound or not, is the best time to make this kind of purchase: Stores are anticipating the needs of the dorm-dwelling and

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  • Top 5 Toxic Habits You Should Break

    By Claire Moshenberg

    I'm trying to stop biting my nails. Why? Because it's universally viewed as a gross habit, even by me, the lifelong on-again, off-again nail biter. This reason has never worked for me when it comes to giving up this unfortunate, stress-induced and inducing habit. But one reason that is working for me right now is the toxic chemicals exposure every nail biting moment is giving me.

    We're all trying to keep toxic chemicals at bay. Luckily, there are quick, affordable changes you can start making today to lessen your chemical exposures (including putting an end to nail biting!). So in the spirit of breaking bad habits, here are the top 5 toxic habits you should break.

    Biting your nails: Just like keeping your hands clean is an excellent way to lessen your chemical load, keeping your hands out of your mouth is equally important. Don't beat yourself up if quitting takes time; I'm a lifelong on-again, off-again nail biter, and I know how hard it is to break

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  • How to avoid flame retardants: Sing at the sink, listen to bears, and more

    By Claire Moshenberg

    When I think about fire safety, I think about cartoons. Stick with me here. Every Saturday morning, half awake over bowls of cereal, my sister and I watched hours of Saturday morning cartoons. These blocks of animated programming were laced with PSAs preaching the importance of fire safety: Stop drop and roll. Be cool about fire safety. Hey kids, listen to this bear. You get the idea.

    From day one, we're taught to avoid fire at all costs. Which is the twisted logic that sells flame retardants: If we all want to avoid fires, wouldn't we want our furniture to ward off flames? And even if those chemicals are toxic, it's not like we're gnawing on our couch cushions. If it keeps us safe, isn't it worth it?

    Not quite. Lets break it down.

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  • How to Create a Green Wedding Registry

    By Claire Moshenberg

    Wedding are whirlwinds. Even if you're the world's calmest couple, the amount of pre-wedding to-do's can be staggering. So when you do come out on the other side, when the cake has been cut and the dancing shoes have been discarded, it's time to cut back the stress. And you know what's added stress you don't need? An unwrapped pile of kitchen and home ware that is chock full of toxic chemicals.

    This week, we want to make it easy for you, and your guests, to make nontoxic and less toxic choices when it comes to gift giving. Like last week's green baby registry guide, we're not pitching products. Instead, we're helping you create a nontoxic wedding registry strategy that makes sense for your life and your budget.

    Choosing a china pattern: There's more to picking out a china pattern than just color and design. Use these tips from EDF and Katy Farber at Non Toxic Kids on what to avoid in china dishes:

    • Home-made or handcrafted china, either from the U.S.
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  • How to Make a Green Baby Registry

    By Claire Moshenberg

    I love gift guides. I love the holiday season when bloggers decide that they're gift mavens and publish lengthy lists of possible gifts for husbands, kids, pets, bank tellers, baristas, etc. Like window shopping in my pajamas, I like taking a long look at beautiful things that I will probably never buy.

    Creating a registry is like doing the gift guide dance backwards. You're providing your friends and family with a handy list of what they should buy: basically, a you-themed-gift-guide. And as you set that up, you may start to feel like those top baby product lists, with their decadently priced nontoxic kid gear, don't quite make sense for your gift buying public.

    Green baby gear doesn't have to be expensive. We're skipping the product-pitching gift guide and helping you develop a nontoxic baby registry strategy that makes sense for your life and your budget.

    Baby Bedding: Conventional bedding can be home to pesticides, chemicals, allergens, and

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  • Top 5 Nontoxic, One-Ingredient-Swaps

    By Claire Moshenberg

    Hey…DIY projects are fun. I love the thought of making all of my own cosmetics and cleaning supplies. I also love the thought of having perfect hair every day and a super organized schedule and a unicorn. We all know the feeling of there just not being enough hours in the day; meanwhile, we all want healthy, non-toxic homes and products for our families.

    This week, we're focusing on one ingredient fixes. These ingredients can be used on their own, and sometimes combined with water, to replace multiple cosmetics and cleaning products. These simple swaps are affordable, nontoxic, and best of all, most of the ingredients are probably already in your pantry.

    Coconut Oil: Coconut oil is a heart healthy cooking oil that's a delicious alternative to the standard olive and canola options. It's also a fantastic cosmetics replacement. Use coconut oil as a replacement for body lotion, massage oil, diaper rash treatment, and face cream. You can also work a small

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  • Top Six Safer Summer Beauty Tips

    by Claire Moshenberg

    Tis the season for summer beauty. Warmer days mean more sunscreen applications, different makeup routines, and more showers to make up for chlorine soaked hair or sweaty days outdoors. Unfortunately, many of the products about to enter your summer beauty routines are more than trendy: They might also be toxic.

    Women use an average of 12 products containing more than 125 unique chemicals daily. Only 11% of chemicals in personal care products in the US have been assessed for safety by the industry's self-policing panel. "Companies say, 'We do a lot of testing.' But they're looking for short-term effects like a rash," said Stacy Malkan, co-founder of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. "They're not looking at long-term health effects like cancer risk."

    Make your summer a little safer! Use these six safer summer beauty tips as you update your beauty routines for the season.

    Soft skin in seconds: Incorporate exfoliation into your summer beauty routine

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