MG in OC Family to “Grow Green Kids”

ocfamily-mgOC Family, January 2014

Air Fresheners Don’t Make Scents!

air freshener advertisement with flowers and butterflies coming out of the potFrom plug-ins to sprays, synthetic air fresheners are bad news. Chock-full of toxic ingredients, they typically contain phthalates linked to obesity and other problems, as well as potent allergens that lead to fragrance allergies—a condition that affects 34 million people in the U.S.

That’s why when I heard about this new campaign from Women’s Voices for the Earth, I knew I had to share. The campaign targets Glade air fresheners and employs some of the cutest babies I’ve ever seen as messengers. If SC Johnson can use cute babies to sell products, why can’t we use them to let people know about the air-polluting fragrances that are in their products? [Read more…]

5 Rules to a Healthy Eating Habit

african american family enjoying salad and other healthy meal itemsMy kids are sick of healthy eating. They don’t want organic soybean butter and Farmer’s Market fig jam sandwiches, they want Lunchables: crackers, processed cheese, salty disks that pass for lunch meat and a whole lot of chemicals wrapped up in a plastic box.

My younger daughter confessed she dumps the organic carrot sticks the trash (and I thought the ranch dip was decadent). My oldest has been trading her edamame for candy.

Forget the veggie chips I carefully stowed in wax paper bags—heaven for these children would be to open up their lunch boxes and spy a bright-orange bag of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. [Read more…]

3 Steps to Avoid Flame Retardants

beautiful baby boy sleeping on a mattressThis could be the end of the line for flame retardants. As the EPA launched an investigation into the chemicals, Washington state banned flame retardants from kids’ products, and California announced a move to update the state’s flammability standards, pressured by those concerned about a policy that had exposed millions of people to toxic flame retardants—also known as PBDEs—in our homes.

What’s the big deal about California? Because the state represents such a large market, California’s flammability standards—governed by TB117, which was adopted by the state 40 years ago—have become a national standard, essentially forcing furniture and baby product manufacturers throughout North America to add chemical flame retardants to their products.

The problem is, these flame retardants—which focus on the flammability of foam, not fabric—don’t protect us from fires. [Read more…]

Toxic Gold + Blood Diamonds = Commitment…?

close up of diamond solitaire ringI used to have a thing for diamonds. Maybe it was too many afternoons eating popcorn and watching old VHS movies — Marilyn in the pink dress; Audrey in the oversized sunglasses — or maybe it was just the fairy-tale scenario that little girls seem to be steeped in since birth.

In any case, I brandished my great-grandmother’s single solitaire diamond with pride through high school and college, until the day my husband and I decided — on a whim, after two weeks of knowing each other, at the ripe old age of twenty-five — to get married, and it became my official engagement ring.

I’m still pining for the diamonds that got away, an eternity strand set in yellow gold that would replace the boring old band that has sat primly on my finger for the past 17 years. [Read more…]

Mommy Bloggers for Pushing Motherhood

Mommy BloggersHere’s what I learned at Diane Mizota’s LAdyInfluencers Lunch this weekend: Mommy bloggers are masters of the selfie. Yes, you could depend on someone else to take your picture, but there’s nothing more immediately gratifying than capturing that goofy grin yourself.

Here’s what else I learned: Despite the ridiculous amount of press despairing how catty and backstabby women can be, there is no place on earth where you’ll feel more supported and encouraged and generally loved than in a room full of mommy bloggers.

We’re all about tweeting and sharing and complimenting each other. And handing each other tissues. Especially when the occasion hits a nerve, like this one did.

The lunch was to celebrate “Pushing Motherhood,” a new documentary about the trend of delaying conception, which is Kickstarting now through May 24th. [Read more…]

What is Teflon: The Infertility Connection

what is teflon coated frying panWe all do it. The minute we decide to move out to a home of our own, we’re  imagining creating the perfect meal in the perfect kitchen outfitted with the perfect pots and pans.

For most of us—myself included—that means a 10-piece set that includes everything from a giant roasting pan to a teeny-tiny frying pan, which goes from the box to the cupboard and never sees the light of day after that.

Typically, these inexpensive cooking sets are coated with a nonstick surface like Teflon. And we love them because we can make an egg and it’ll slide right off the pan onto the plate. But there’s something else that might come with those eggs: Infertility.

[Read more…]

What is Fracking? 4 Facts You Should Know

woman with fire coming out of her kitchen tapWhat is fracking? Here’s the short answer: Hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, is a drilling practice that calls for injecting millions of gallons of a toxic mixture of chemicals, water and sand into the earth in order to create enough pressure to cracks open rocks and release oil or natural gas.

And here’s what you need to know:

1. The nearly 600 chemicals used in fracking include known carcinogens such as benzene, toluene, ethyl benzene and xylene, among others, which can leach into drinking water. [Read more…]