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Final Earth Week Reader Tips

Just as a reminder – I’m
giving away another copy of href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FHealthy-Child-World-Creating-Cleaner%2Fdp%2F0525950478%3Fie%3DUTF8%26s%3Dbooks%26qid%3D1209357069%26sr%3D1-1&tag=1mother2anoth-20&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325"
target="_blank">Healthy Child, Healthy World: Creating A Cleaner,
Greener, Safer World
courtesy of the Healthy Child
organization. Email me if you’re interested and I’ll
draw the winner this weekend –

And today’s our final wrap-up for Earth Week. I’ve had
reader tips filtering in for several days now; many of them
I’ve covered last week in my entries. But here are a few more
for you to chew on:

My friend Rebecca sent a link to a recipe
for an easy chemical-free cleaner: click href="http://www.marthastewart.com/portal/site/mslo/menuitem.3a0656639de62ad593598e10d373a0a0/?vgnextoid=0f15608f8532f010VgnVCM1000003d370a0aRCRD&vgnextfmt=default"
to get it. I particularly like that
the recipe uses essential oils that are natural anti-bacterial

After hearing I was having trouble finding children’s books,
my friend Nikkie asked the librarian at the school where she
teaches for some recommendations for kids’ books on taking
care of the environment, and here’s the list the librarian
put together – keep in mind she’s a high school
librarian, but several of these look great:

target="_blank">This is my Planet: the Kids Guide to Global
by Jan Thornhill

target="_blank">Recycle: A Handbook for Kids
by Gail

target="_blank">The Great Trash Bash
by Loreen Leedy

target="_blank">Where Does the Garbage Go?
by Paul

target="_blank">Down to Earth Guide to Global Warming

by Laurie David

And my friend Karina sent in several great tips (though how you
have time to do this with that new baby, Karina, I’ll never

1.In addition to cloth diapers, we also use flannel wipes. If
you're already washing cloth diapers, might as well wash the wipes
as well! Use regular water to wet the wipes. By not using
store-bought wipes, you will reduce waste as well reduce the amount
of chemicals typically found in wipes.

2. Buy natural cleaning products - we use Seventh Generation
laundry detergent, dish detergent, tissue paper, toilet paper,
cleaning solution, and paper towels. We use Mrs. Meyers handsoap.
(Jennifer’s note: I know I’ve mentioned natural
cleaning products before but it bears repeating: they’re
better for your health, and better for the environment. On every
bottle of Seventh Generation, they print statistics like “If
every household in the U.S. replaced just one bottle of 32 oz.
petroleum-based all-purpose cleaner with our renewable resource
based prduct, we could save 7,100 barrels of oil, enough to heat
and cool 400 U.S. homes for a year!”)

3. If you can't buy all organic fruits and veggies due to cost,
consider the produce that will make the most impact. For example,
potatoes are one of the most consumed vegetables in America. By
purchasing organic potatoes (not that much more expensive than
regular potatoes), you are supporting a large part of the vegetable
economy while supporting organic farmers and reducing the amount of
chemicals in our soils. (Jennifer’s note: potatoes are one of
the worst culprits for absorbing pesticides into their skins, and
potato skins are one of the most common produce skins we eat.)

4. In going along with buying locally, look up your local CSA
(community supported agriculture). In NYC, various neighborhoods
sponsor organic farms and those who buy a share get weekly
vegetables, fruits, eggs, or flowers from that farm during the
growing season. We love supporting a specific farm, and we get
delicious produce and beautiful flowers all summer and fall.

Carol from Ohio wrote in to remind people to put their outside
lights on timers, for those of us who forget to turn them off when
we go to bed. Save some energy and save some bucks at the same

Finally today, I’ve had three or four readers write in and
ask about candles and their impact on our health. My friend Rebecca
sent me a greathref="http://healthychild.org/resources/article/fragrances_in_candles_incense_and_potpourri/"
to read about typical candles and
their negative effect on our bodies if you want to read up. A
wonderful, healthier alternative for those of us who are addicted
to scented candles is to go the soy candle route; they don’t
release carbon or give off black soot residue, and most soy candles
use all-cotton wicks instead of the conventional ones with lead, so
there’s no need to worry about lead inhalation either. href="http://www.pacificacandles.com" target="_blank">Pacifica
carries their full line in soy as well as the usual
paraffin, and their natural scents are to die for.

And thus endeth Earth Week (ok, Earth fortnight!) Doing this
research has really challenged me to be more diligent in my habits,
and to practice what I preach. Baby steps make a difference!


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