Diary of LagosMums | Journey to Greener Living
A few of my friends think I have gone a bit loopy because I am trying to live a bit “greener”. You see I am not eccentric I am just a bit worried about the increase in diseases and conditions that were not soo prevalent in earlier generations. The toughest one we seem to deal with is increase in the incidences of cancer, while there is no known way to definitely avoid it, there are certain things that perhaps we can consider reducing the use of or delaying altogether.
A lot of our children are exposed to products and emissions that we the parents did not start using till we were much older. Think about the average number of products you might use on your childs hair from baby shampoo to conditioner to “kiddie relaxer” though it is called a kiddie relaxer – it is still a mix of chemicals and is harsh. Johnson & Johnson recently agreed to remove “chemicals of concern” aka some cancer causing materials from its baby products in the coming years.
Hardly anyone I know has a landline anymore and kids are increasingly using cellphones to say hello to grandma or to call their parents and we all know about the dangers of cellphone radiation.
What about feeding? There are so many packaged foods now that have “imagined” benefits, mostly because of the ease of use and todays technology which leads to longer shelf life. Many mums work now and welcome these easy to heat up lunches or dinner or packaged fruit on the go. You need to warm up food or babys bottle in a hurry? Most of us use the microwave, please who remembers to warm up water to gradually heat up the bottle? Or to warm the jollof rice for lunch?
What about the Internet? Children are using computers earlier and earlier these days. Children are learning ICT (Information and Communications technology) in schools as early as nursery. They are exposed to their parents’ ipads, iphones, laptops. There have been articles that recommend children use computers at a certain distance to reduce emissions into their little bodies, except the distance recommended is not humanly possible because your child is a child = short. What about deodorants? Our kids are using deodorants earlier than ever before, perhaps partly because they are hitting puberty and developing earlier.
So why am I saying all this or what am I doing about it all? I am trying to increase my “green-er living” mostly for the sake of the children.
- No Microwave – First off I got rid of my microwave! My friend actually asked some doctors if the radiation from the use of the microwave is dangerous and they answered that the effects or dangers were minimal. See they said minimal so that means it is not ZERO effect! As difficult as it was initially now we don’t even miss not having a microwave. We have simply adjusted, we bring out food earlier so that it thaws prior to a meal. We use the kettle to boil water and to warm milk for a night cap!
- No Tin Food – I limit the use of tinned food, I use fresh vegetables instead of tinned corn, instead of corned beef I use fresh minced meat, instead of tinned fruit I cut up my own fruit at home, I buy real tuna fish instead of using tin tuna chunks. I made my own home rice cereal for babies by blending home cooked rice with chicken or apples instead of baby jar food. Even for coconut rice, I buy actual coconuts and have said goodbye to tin conconut milk. I am literally down to using only Heinz baked beans and it is just a matter of time before I find a recipe out there to (sort of) replicate the taste. Click here for dangers of BPA found in tin food.
- No more putting cellphones to my ear – Next thing I got are phone handsets! The use of the Bluetooth earpiece feels funny to me and the earpiece irritates my ear so I got handsets that you can plug into your phone and I look like I popped back out of the 90’s!
- Replacement of Products – I have refused to relax my kids hair and I use shea butter for everything! Ever since I heard of parabens and so may other dangerous substances I have moved natural for most products I put on my kids and myself. Every now and then for the fun of it I go to toxic databases to check the toxicity level of products that you wouldn’t even think might be dangerous. I recently decided to check my favourite brand of nail polish and as a result I have replaced all my nail polish with Acquarella, a water based non toxic nail polish. See here for the EWG toxicity database.
- No more anti-perspirants – Most recently is my move from anti-perspirants to natural deodorants. The number of things in the deodorants have made me nervous! I have shifted slowly but now am a full natural deodorant user. By the way you are supposed to sweat! So maybe it is not safe to stop sweating by using anti-perspirants? I know I hit a home run when my DL showed me his brand of deodorant and said “my deodorant has 27 ingredients! What do I need to be putting 27 ingredients on my underarm for?? Please quickly find us one of those your natural products”!! I guess I am rubbing off on him finally. (I found a DIY Natural deodorants to make some natural body deodorants)
Here is to Green Living! It is actually fun once you get into it, though I warn you people around you might wonder if you are from the dark ages.
Share some of your going green steps!!