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The Green Mama Blog

  • How do I live with lead paint & a young child?

    Dear Julia You may stop worrying about the lead paint in your old home. I know: this is easier said then done, but I promise you that your situation is manageable! I have almost always chosen (with having way too much knowledge about heavy metals, neurotoxins, and old houses) to live in old houses. Why?…
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  • How to safely off-gas the chemicals in a new oven (getting rid of that gross new oven smell)

    Well, this is a worm hole of craziness! I am deep into deadline on my second book and I told myself I would just spend a minute or two looking into this question right now. I thought it would be a simple: just crank up the temperature and open the windows. And while this advice…
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  • Green Cleaning for the Home: Three Steps to a Safe & Healthy Clean

    Time for Spring Cleaning? Here’s The Green Mama’s Tips for a safe, healthy, “green” clean

  • Four household polluters & how to fix indoor air pollution problems

    Four household polluters that you can do something about   Our indoor air is significantly more polluted than outdoor air and this is even true in most big cities. The bad news is that since we spend by far most of our days (about 90%) indoors, where the pollution is 5 to 7 times worse…
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  • I know PVC (vinyl) is bad: How bad are vinyl windows?

    Dear Vanessa While PVC is one of the worst plastics for the environment and thus the pollution from this industry can hurt us all, for your specific child I would focus on keeping him away from plastics that could get near food or that are in skincare products. The PVC in a home is an…
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  • DIY Green Cleaning Recipes & Tips

    Everything you need to get a great, green, healthy clean with simple ingredients & recipes You can tackle nearly every cleaning need in the house with four basic ingredients: baking soda, white vinegar, salt, and either borax or your favourite oxygen-based (non chlorine) cleaner for the really tough stuff.  I also recommend a gentle soap…
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  • Your home is polluted. Why is indoor air quality so bad?

    Why Is Our Indoor Air So Polluted? In most of our homes, the answer to this question is, “because we have made it that way.” The pollution most often comes from things we bring into the house that release their chemical ingredients into the air of our home. Furniture, stinky cleaning supplies, paints, or any…
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  • How to find a safe mattress?

    Thank you Chris for being such a thoughtful green papa. I can relate to the difficult leap from going from a crib (or co-sleeper) sized mattress to a child (i.e. adult) size one and the corresponding price jump. In my experience, it is possible to find a truly natural (READ: nontoxic) crib mattress for around…
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  • How & Why to Get a Truly Natural Mattress: When organic isn’t enough

    A truly healthy, green mattress might be the most important investment you make in your home. Certainly, it is in your child’s bedroom. Why get a truly natural mattress? Because conventional mattresses are toxic and the toxins they release (and continue to release throughout their entire life) have been found in the blood of newborn…
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  • Sixteen Green Faux Pas for 2016

    We are all afraid of the green police. You know, those people who go around being more righteous than thou and shaming us lesser mortals for our shortcomings. At The Green Mama, we implore people to judge less (especially themselves): just start somewhere, just do something, and, gosh, have a little fun along the way….
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  • Fiften Green Faux Pas for 2015

    We are all afraid of the green police. You know, those people who go around being more righteous than thou and shaming us lesser mortals for our shortcomings. At The Green Mama, we implore people to judge less (especially themselves): just start somewhere, just do something, and, gosh, have a little fun along the way….
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  • Toxins and your child’s brain: do little things matter?

    Watch this amazing video to feel as smart as the best scientist in less than 5 minutes. Do little things matter when it comes to your child’s brain? When I say little–I mean so tiny we couldn’t see with a human eye, on drop in a swimming pool type exposures? The unfortunate answer is YES…
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  • How to find healthier paints

    Why does finding healthy paint matter? Paint and finish don’t just add colour to a room or a new baby crib, they can also release smelly, irritating, and toxic substances into the air. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says that paints and finishes are one of the top culprits in polluting our indoor air and…
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  • Stinky air fresheners. They are making my kid sick, how do I get his school to change?

    Dear P.U. in FL: What a tough, but not unique situation. Many children are experiencing asthma and allergy flare-ups due to indoor air pollution in schools. I can read in your email that this is now impacting you and your son directly. It sounds like you are working to have open communication with your school…
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  • The Real Threat of Indoor Air Pollution & How to Keep Your Family Safe

    Background on the Issue The quality of air inside our homes can be many times worse (on average, 2 to 5 times worse, according to the EPA) than outside air. And because on average we spend 90% of our time indoors, most of that time in our homes, we are quite susceptible to the air…
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  • A truly greener printer?

    Dear Mr. Green: Funny you should ask, I just went through a very similar process.  I finally decided to invest in postcards and new business cards and I decided that recycled paper and soy ink wasn’t enough. I must admit, however, I didn’t know much about what enough would be.  Many printers now offer recycled…
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  • Alternatives to bleach and anti-bacterial hand soap in schools?

    Dear Admin I am so glad to hear you have read the Green Your Classroom article. For administrators and school officials of all sorts, I also highly recommend you read The Green Mama’s Guide to Green Cleaning in Schools. This guide includes some healthier, green alternatives to bleach. There are many commonly available options now…
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  • The stink on air purifiers: what works & what doesn’t

    I’ll start with the bad news: At best, air filters are just not that effective.  If, however, you decide you must have an air filter, then you should know that 1) some air filters actually do more harm than good and 2) even the good ones won’t really clean the air or relieve asthma symptoms,…
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  • The Green Mama’s 4 Ingredients (& Recipes) to Green Cleaning

    4 Ingredients to Clean Green
    Have you ever read the ingredients on the back of your store bought kitchen cleaner or bathroom spray?  It’s kind of scary to see all the chemicals you are releasing in to your home each time you clean your house.  It doesn’t have to be that way, though!  Truth to be told, making your own natural cleaners is SUPER easy and very inexpensive.  All you really need are 4 main ingredients:

    White vinegar

    Baking soda

    Salt

  • Using toxic chemicals in your home

    Our indoor air quality is consistently more polluted than our outdoor air. One of the main culprits are the cleaning supplies we use.  We don’t want to drink chemicals, but we have no problem pouring them down the drain to be filtered out of our drinking water (we hope). We don’t want them in our food, but we clean our countertops with them. We don’t want our children exposed to poisons, but they play on floors cleaned with chemicals often known to be toxic, allow them to mouth toys disinfected with bleach, and  play on grass treated with pesticides.