It's a "Green" Mom Monday

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This week we are celebrating Earth Day. We thought it would be fitting to feature a “green mom” on our Mom Monday interview. Today we are lucky to have the earth-friendly, eco-minded, ever-so-green mama Maggie from Dexter’s Super Savvy Mommy.

You started your blog because of the economy and the lack of jobs open to educators while Dexter was still a little guy. What would you say you have learned through this unplanned twist of events?

Unplanned is right. I have learned that I can never take anything too seriously. Before becoming a parent, I thought I knew what I wanted. My plan was to travel around Europe after graduation and then settle down to look for a job. Well, I never travelled abroad but I did look for a job. I remember the day I found out I was pregnant I thought, I can’t be a teacher because someone else would have to watch my child. Putting Dexter in day care was never an option for me. I wanted to be there for every little moment and that, to me, is the greatest gift ever. Now that I am expecting baby number 2, I am still not hunting down a teaching job. My education is something that no one can ever take away from me, but the same cannot be said for the years when my children are babies and toddlers. I wouldn’t give up what I am doing for anything, not even a trip to Venice.

Your blog is defiantly earth-friendly and you are a “green-mom.” Can you tell us what that means for you and how you became so passionate about it?

Being green, to me, means that you are aware of the impact that you make on the environment. You are conscious about the decisions you make and the products that you use. To me, being a green-mom is more about doing what is right for my family rather than what is popular.

It wasn’t until after I became a Mom that I woke up and realized that the products that I was using on Dexter may have been “trusted by Moms for over 100 years” but that those Moms were unaware of the damage that they are causing their own children. I constantly have friends and family asking me about products, ingredients, etc. because they are trying to be more aware. For instance, in my household you will never see a product that contains parabens, phthalates, SLS (sodium laurenth sulfates) or petrochemicals. Why is this? Because these toxins/chemicals have been shown to not only cause cancer and cause premature puberty, but also because they can disrupt many your body’s natural functions. Did you know that when a baby is born, there are about 200 chemicals present in their blood? Of those 200 chemicals, 180 of them are known carcinogens! That is shocking but whats more….you can do something about it. By purchasing more all natural products you are protecting not only yourself but the lives of those around you (and inside of you).

ecoSTORE USA is an amazing Michigan-based company that loves Mommy bloggers. I worked with them eons ago on a couple of reviews and they are the people responsible for teaching me about chemicals that are found in virtually all household cleaning products and health and beauty products. I thank Lyne and ecoSTORE USA for their commitment to the health of the environment and for the health of my family.

Has Dexter picked up on your earth-friendly habits?

Funny that you ask. Even for a 2 year old Dexter is very aware. The other day he picked up an empty toilet paper roll and correctly put it into our recycling bin. That was one of my proudest moments. 🙂

Some people find it difficult to be green as a parent. How have you overcome the seeming “inconveniences” of finding and using green parenting products?

I don’t think it is hard at all. Being green doesn’t mean that you have to be a freak. It just means that when you are able to recycle, you do. When you aren’t in a room, you turn the light off. It means using products that help contribute to the health of the planet. These products are certainly not hard to find when you know what you are looking for. Education is the key.

Also know that when a company claims to be green, they don’t need to prove it. BUT, when they are claim to be organic they have to hold up to the US Government’s standards. Also, full disclosure of ingredients is key to knowing exactly what is in the products that you are going to use to clean or bathe yourself or your home. You wouldn’t want to eat something before you saw the ingredient list, right?

What tip would you pass along to someone who wants to be more “green” in their parenting, but doesn’t know where to start?

Knowing what certain ingredients are in the products that you buy is, in my opinion, a great place to start.  This webpage is a wonderful resource to help you get started!

Familiarize yourself with your community and know where your local recycling center is. Having separate containers for plastics, glass and cardboard help to streamline your trip so you aren’t sorting it at the facility. Lucky for me, I live in a pretty green city. We have several recycling centers and the closest to me is only a couple of miles down the street! Dr. Greene’s books are also wonderful resources. He wrote Raising Baby Green and Feeding Baby Green.

Now for a quick glance into Maggie’s life. 🙂

What is your favorite earth-friendly baby product? There are too many to choose from but I really adore ecoSTORE’s Baby Body Wash, BornFree Glass Bottles and Fuzzi Bunz Cloth Diapers.

What is the one product you will never see in your house? HFCS (High Fructose Corn Syrup)

What is your favorite vacation spot? I love Door County, Wisconsin, New York City (BlogHer 10 here I come) and Mexico (anywhere warm really). I hope someday to add Italy to this list.

What is your greatest accomplishment? Hands down, without a doubt, becoming a Mom. I went into motherhood the hard way by choosing no drugs during labor/delivery and I breastfed. I did all the feedings for the first few months, but it was all worth it. I look at the child that calls me Mommy and I know that even as lucky as he feels to have me to kiss his boo boos and tuck him in at night that it is me who truly is the lucky one!

What’s the one thing that always motivates you? Besides my family, it would definitely be me. I want a lot of things out of life and I know I can’t depend on anyone but myself. Obviously I can depend on my husband for most things, but it is the inner dreamer in me that keeps me working as hard as I do to achieve all that I can!

Thanks Maggie for your insight!

What green-tips for parents do you have? Please share them with us in the comments.

Also check out Ecostore USA. This month they have a special 2 for 1 deal!

21 Responses to “It's a "Green" Mom Monday”

  1. Dee April 19, 2010 at 9:43 am #

    I prided myself on using eco-friendly products when I was pregnant and breastfeeding, and as a new mom I still follow that rule. My family and I shop local farmer’s markets for produce, we only purchase organic dairy products, and our daughter wears organic cotton clothing. We also believe in re-using, and much of our daughter’s wardrobe consists of hand-me-downs from friends and other family members. After we are done having children, her clothing will be handed down again.

  2. Emily B April 19, 2010 at 9:43 am #

    Wow, I’m not sure if there are too many that Maggie didn’t cover. I do think cloth diapering is so important – think of all those disposable diapers in landfills! Some say they biodegrade, but tests are done in optimal conditions, not surrounded by tons of other garbage. The chemical-free life is important, too. I loved the book “Slow Death By Rubber Duck” and recommend that to parents.

  3. Elana Kahn April 19, 2010 at 9:50 am #

    This is such an insightful post about living green! As for me, I cloth diaper even though the rest of my family thinks I’m nuts. I have twins and throwing out all of their dirty diapers was just making me so sad (and the money was pouring out of my pocket). I’ve also been using only Melaleuca products in my home since 2006. They don’t use carcinogens, so I feel better about the “chemicals” that are around my kids. For anyone that uses green products, I HIGHLY recommend switching to Melaleuca.

  4. amy warren April 19, 2010 at 9:51 am #

    We are trying to only use reuseable items, such as bags and glass jars. We buy most of our food at the farmers’ market, and buy used clothes and pass them on when we outgrow them.

  5. amy pugmire April 19, 2010 at 9:55 am #

    I feel like I have gone “green” in the last year or so. I didn’t realize how important it was till lately. This is our planet and we need to do our part. I am doing all I can to teach my daughter how important it is. we recycle, turn the water off when we are not using it. we pick up trash we see. we turn the computer off when were not using it. we love eco friendly waterbottles.

  6. admin April 19, 2010 at 11:42 am #

    WOW! Thanks for all your great comments. So many good ideas on going green. Thanks for sharing with us!

  7. Tabathia B April 19, 2010 at 6:30 pm #

    In the last year, I have slowly been going green as a way to reduce expenses and to reduce my carbon footprint. We now take shorter showers, have reduced the water heater thermostat, we unplug all small appliances throughout the day and tvs at night. We now use stainless steel bottles vs using bottled water. I wash only full loads of clothes in cold water and wash dishes by hand. I mostly use eco-friendly products to clean and use cloth diapers most of the time.

  8. Vanessa April 19, 2010 at 9:50 pm #

    What a great interview! Fun to get to know you more. We cloth diaper and never in a million years would I have thought we would do so, but it’s been not only great for my kids and the environment, but good for me too. I’ve since become more eco-friendly/organic in many aspects of my life!

  9. Marci April 20, 2010 at 7:12 pm #

    There are so many ways to be a green parent. Cloth diapers, cloth wipes, make your own baby food, if you do buy baby food reuse the containers for other things, save all the clothing to be hand me downs or give away on Free Cycle. If you need things ask about them on Free Cycle. You may be surprised at what you can give and get from them. Most all teach your children about being green and they will grow up that way.

  10. Tracy P April 22, 2010 at 7:35 am #

    I really try to buy toys from my son that are eco-friendly. He loves his wooden trains and truck made from recycled milk jugs. Not only do I know that these toys are free of chemicals they help stimulate his imagination.

  11. admin April 22, 2010 at 9:30 am #

    What a great idea Tracy! Thanks for sharing it with us. Michelle

  12. admin April 22, 2010 at 9:33 am #

    We are just thrilled with everyone’s ideas & ways to be green. Thank you for all your are doing to care for our planet & teaching your children to do the same!

  13. A. @ Monkey Tales April 25, 2010 at 9:46 pm #

    Thanks for all of the ideas on being green!! We are trying to be more green by cloth diapering, using all natural laundry detergent, and trying to use less plastic

  14. admin April 26, 2010 at 12:04 pm #

    You are so welcome. Glad our tips are helpful!

  15. SweetPanda April 26, 2010 at 9:04 pm #

    I lost a baby before and thus when I found that I was pregnant, I became very careful about what I eat and what I use. Obviously, I tried to look for things are organic/natural. However, I found that a lot of things are very expensive. Therefore, I tried to find a way that I can get natural/organic products at a lower costs. I use brown sugar and olive oil as exfoliate cleanser (which is very good). In the winter, my heels were very easily cracked and I used olive oil to apply to my heels and it worked perfectly. I use stainless water bottle all the times to avoid plastic bottle (which will help save the environment as well!) My hubby also started to grow veggies at our backyard so that we can have organic food at lower costs. We also use the blank side of the promotional material that we received to write down our grocery list/things to do list. We are trying to do our part to live a greener lives and hope that this will help to make our environment more eco-friendly!

  16. admin April 27, 2010 at 8:30 am #

    Thank you SweetPanda for sharing your story with us. You have a lot of courage & resiliency. Thanks for all the great ideas on how to care for our planet & do our part!

  17. katklaw777 April 28, 2010 at 7:47 am #

    Not sure when I first heard this but I have been doing this for over 20 years.
    REDUCE, REUSE & RECYCLE…….it just makes sense.
    In the old days, it was just aluminum cans and newspaper.
    Now we recycle so much more.
    I have always been a garage sale thrift shop kind or girl so that helps to reuse items. Reduce was a tuffy, but we are now using cloth napkins and rags instead or paper.
    Teaching your kids early is so important, mine are both thrifty recyclers.
    We try to help the planet as much as possible.

  18. admin April 29, 2010 at 8:35 am #

    That’s great that your children have followed in your green footsteps!

  19. Khrys @ Mom of 3 Dolls April 29, 2010 at 9:38 pm #

    I just got done with my post earlier about Earth Day and going green! How cool is that 😀

  20. Jennifer T. April 30, 2010 at 2:05 pm #

    A lot of the green things that I do were instilled in me by my parents. I grew up in a family that followed the 3 “R’s early on. So, for me, it’s natural. What I’ve struggled with, as a parent, are the inconveniences. Granted, there are a lot of great products out there but they aren’t always available in my area. I use my network of like-minded mommy friends to find them. I wish restaurants would catch on and stop using styrofoam for to-go containers and cups. I’ve been know to tote my own cups with me and bring home recyclables when recycle bins aren’t available. Great interview!

  21. admin May 3, 2010 at 1:03 pm #

    Thanks Jennifer. We loved doing this interview. Maggie is so inspiring!