Saturday, June 7, 2008

Raising Baby Green: 10 great tips for non-parents, too

Dr. Alan Greene's book, Raising Baby Green: The Earth-Friendly Guide to Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Baby Care, is a great resource guide, but it's definitely geared for the mom-to-be.

I did find many great green tips for non-parents, though. Here are 10 new things I learned from Greene's book:
  1. There are alternatives to plastic toss-away silverware. You can actually buy "SpudWare" - forks, spoons and knives that feel like plastic but are made from potato starch and soy oil. Not sure whether they taste potato-ey.
  2. When buying cling wrap, you should look for products made with low-density polyethylene (LDPE) which is safer than PVC (polyvinyl chloride, the #3 plastic.) According to the book, some of the brands that are LDPE-based are Glad Cling Wrap, Saran with Cling Plus, Saran Premium Wrap and Diamant Food Wrap.
  3. To control your fridge's energy use, make sure there is space around every side, including the back. Vacuum coils on the back of your fridge biannually.
  4. Insulating your water heater can reduce its energy use by up to 9 percent.
  5. If you have clothing stains, try to soak the fabrics in water mixed with borax, lemon juice, hydrogen peroxide or white vinegar.
  6. Take care of your car. Keep your tires inflated correctly and change the air filter regularly. The author estimated those two tips could save more than $1,000 a year in gas money - and that was before the recent price increases!
  7. Park your car in the shade. "It lowers the temperature of gas tanks by four to seven degrees, which curbs emissions, the author writes.
  8. Using vinegar when doing laundry helps get soap out of the cloth, minimizes possible irritants and reduces static cling. The author suggests using a quarter cup of white vinegar in the wash water.
  9. Looking at a remodel, or just a new look in your house? You can consider more earth-friendly options as salvaged or recycled materials; natural, milk-based or zero- or low-VOC paints; or wood, bamboo or natural cork flooring.
  10. Since it's summer, it's worth mentioning that soapy water or citrus essential oil and water can kill ants quickly.
Read on for tips for parents.

1 comment:

Ruth said...

These are some really great tips. The "Spudware" sounds really interesting.

Another great resource for identifying toxins in the home and finding solutions to get rid of them is Green Goes With Everything by Sloan Barnett. I had no idea until I read it just how much toxic stuff there was in my house and how it was affecting my health and my family's health.