The List: 11 Eco Ways to Live Well
Conspicuous consumption is a part of parenthood that is hard to avoid, from diapers to bath toys to designer wardrobes (if you're so inclined).
But there are real ways to keep an eye on Mother Earth while you lovingly mother your own offspring. Here are some earth-friendly choices for everyday living with little ones—and one or two just for you.
Eat Well: What to Eat: An Aisle-by-Aisle Guide to Savvy Food Choices and Good Eating
We think we know most of the answers (fresh fish versus farmed, natural versus organic), but for an excellent resource on what to buy at the supermarket, and which foods might be less healthy for you (and the earth) than you thought, Marion Nestle's book is a brilliant guide next time you grab groceries.
Tip: Eating locally (even herbs or tomatoes from your own backyard) and buying in-season fruits and vegetables is a great way to add green living to your daily routine.
Clean Well: AspenClean Grapefruit & Lavender All Purpose Natural Spray Cleaner & Eco Cloth Set
Vancouver-based AspenClean's 100% vegan cleaning spray won't leave toxic residues on countertops but will leave your house—and the air you all breathe in—smelling beautiful with the scents of lavender and grapefruit. Given the esteemed Ecocert certification from Europe, this cleaner is an example of tough, biodegradable all-natural cleaners at their best.
Tip: Want to make your own in-house cleaners? The safest cleaning solutions are those made entirely from natural ingredients like vinegar, lemon juice, baking soda and hot water.
Cure Well: TheraWise For Baby Bio-Active Diaper Rash Ointment
A petroleum-, beeswax- and zinc oxide-free formula that's great for your babe's little bottom and also for the environment? We'll take two, please. TheraWise has built their success on plant-based strategies for healing irritations and soothing inflammations.
Tip: You can grow your own aloe plant for diaper rashes, slight burns or other rashes. To extract aloe, cut a small wedge off a mature leaf then squeeze the aloe vera juice from the cut edge onto the irritated area.
Drink Well: Santevia Alkaline Water Systems
Break the bottled water habit and belly up to one of the options Santevia serves up. The BC-based company takes your tap water and transforms it into clean, mineralized and alkaline drinking water. Better for you, better for the environment.
Tip: Out of the 28,000,000,000 plastic bottles used each year, 86% end up as garbage.
Create Well: Faber-Castell Jumbo Triangular Animal EcoPencils
It's hard to keep kids away from plastic, particularly when it comes to playtime. But in the craft department you can clean things right up. Consider these recycled pencils that are made thick so they're easier for smaller hands to grab a hold of.
Tip: When buying pencils or pencil crayons, look for the FSC-certified wood symbol which means the product has come from sustainably managed forests and that neither wildlife, soil or waterways were harmed during the harvesting process.
Comfort Well: North Wood Blanket Co. Baby Blanket
Soft, luxurious and made from recycled thrift shop sweaters, wrap your babe—and/or yourself—in cozy blankets you'll keep forever.
Tip: By choosing sustainable clothing alternatives you conserve energy, reduce landfills and keep warm at the same time. Smart.
Play Well: Natural Rubber Duck
Besides the problems with phthalates and BPA, there are the overseas plastic production lines that add significantly to air pollution. No need to duck your head in shame when you select an eco-friendly version that'll rub you—and your bathing babe—the right way.
Tip: Natural rubber is sustainably harvested by tapping the milk of Hevea brasiliensis, the common rubber tree.
Beautify Well: The Green Cream by Marni Wasserman
We all know a plant-based diet is supposed to be best for our bodies, and for Mother Earth, so why would a skin cream made with the same principle be any different for our epidermis? The matter-of-factly named Salad For Your Skin is a green cream we're pretty keen on.
Tip: Most store-bought beauty masks contain synthetic ingredients and chemicals. Try a simple avocado mask to purify your skin without punishing the environment.
Dress Well: je suis un bebe vert Organic & Fair Trade Urban Kimono
It's what's inside that counts but what's on the label shouldn't be ignored either, especially if you want to consider the impact of clothing production on planet Earth. Look for organic, fair trade cotton clothes. Good for humans—and the rich soil beneath our feet.
Tip: Organic cotton is cotton that has been grown for at least three years without chemical pesticides, defoliants or fertilizers. (Natural fertilizers and fertilizing techniques are used instead.)
Age Well: Ecojot Houses Growth Chart
We don't know the secret to looking young forever (though eating right, sleeping enough and exercising often are probably key), but as it applies to our kids and their fleeting youth, we've found a great option for a cute and contemporary eco-friendly growth chart to track their unstoppable progress.
Tip: Start a tradition that gives to the Earth as the kids get bigger. Plant eco-seeds and/or small saplings in your yard or garden and watch as those babies—and yours—grow.
Soothe Well: Live Clean Baby Moisturizing Baby Lotion
Living clean could be the general description for your habits during the nine months of pregnancy and beyond, but now that the babe is here, smooth on a lotion that lives by the same principal. A 98% plant-based lotion made with chamomile, lavender and aloe, this non-greasy formula is quickly absorbed by their delicate skin.
Tip: Avoid moisturizers—or any beauty products—that list the seemingly natural ingredient 'mineral oil' which is actually derived from petroleum and works as a sealant on the skin versus an actual nourishing agent.