As the seasons change, it always makes me want to make changes in my life too. Burn a new candle scent, try a different yogurt flavor or nail polish color; you get the idea. Simple, yet intentional. But, some simple changes carry more weight.
I’ve compiled a list of four ways you can make easy changes, that will not only give you a fresh mindset as we embrace summer, but also, will hopefully make an impact on the health of your home and children.
Consider a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Program: We wrote about CSA programs, on Earth Day, as a way to help keep our community’s family farms thriving, and help your family access fresh, nutritious fruits, vegetables, and more. Subscribers to CSAs pick from multitudes of that week’s farmer-chosen items that have been brought into town, fresh from the farm. The programs allows your children to understand more about where their food comes from, all while supporting local and organic farmers and potentially getting them to eat more fruits and vegetables. A few locally established programs are Elizabeth Anna’s CSA Market, Cold Springs Farm, and R.O.C.K. Co-Op. My family began a subscription to Cold Springs Farm’s as my Mother’s Day gift. The timing couldn’t be more perfect, when produce, like my favorite Parker County peaches, is plentiful.
Screen Those Sunscreens: Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Guide to Sunscreens is well organized and is a great resource for researching this year’s new supply, or finding out where your favorite brand ranks when it comes to any health concerns for those using it, and the UVA/UVB balance contained in the protection. The guide breaks down every ingredient and what concerns may exist for it. THAT’S what I’m talking about; so happy a guide like this, and all their guides, exist. And until the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) completes its study on the potential harm caused by using spray sunscreens on children, due to the risk of them breathing it in, it may be best to steer completely away from any spray-on sunscreen. Also, click here for a great breakdown of sunscreen safety from FWMB.
Help Keep Hands Healthy: The FDA is also taking a closer look at antibacterial ingredients in soaps, specifically ones that contain triclosan and triclocarban, which may cause more harm than good, and contribute to bacterial resistance to antibiotics and may effect hormones as well. Some experts believe that washing with a simple hand soap is the most effective way to clean your hands without exposing yourself to health risks related to antibacterial or antimicrobial products. Try a brand such as Grab Green, or any others that are extremely transparent about why each ingredient is included.
Tell Chemicals to Bug Off: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that normal use of DEET does not present a health concern for most, and that includes children. But, if you’re like me, you may not want to take a risk of using this pesticide the wrong way, especially when sprayed into the air for application. Switch to a homemade essential oil version like the one I made. Or, purchase a store-bought version like those found at the health food stores in town such as all-natural brands like Herbal Armor, Badger’s Anti-Bug Balm, or Skeeter Screen, just to name a few. Or, if you do use insect repellants that contain DEET, look for the ones with the lowest percentages.
However you spend your summer, maybe if feels right for you to also incorporate as many natural ideas with mindful ingredients that will become second “nature” through many, many more seasons.
What are your favorite non-toxic products for you and your family?