I was very excited to read The Smart Mama’s Green Guide because it is not often I get to read a book written by one of my online friends. But I have known Jennifer Taggart for awhile now and she really is one smart mama so I knew this would be a good book… and it did not disappoint. There are two books I would recommend every single parent should read and this is one of them.
I got to read this one while I was hanging out poolside. My kids swam while I dived into the details of the toxins that surround our kids from the time they are in mama’s belly to adulthood. Jennifer and I are on the same page (forgive the pun) when it comes to all the toxic products around us. I have been called hysterical by some visitors to this blog because I worry about risk that government tells us is minuscule. But as Jennifer states in her introduction:
If I am willing to die for my children, wouldn’t that mean that I would do anything to protect from toxic chemicals if a reasonable probability exists that might do harm? Why shouldn’t I choose to be safe rather than sorry? Some politicians, bureaucrats, and scientists want to wait to regulate until we have certainty that a particular chemical in a particular product in fact causes harm. But I don’t need to have certainty when a reasonable chance exists that something could hurt my child. I’ll choose and alternate while the rest of the world debates the issue.
This sums it up perfectly for me as well. I will go on being “hysterical” and a few years down the road when that small risk turns out to be not so small anymore I won’t be worried that I played Russian roulette with my child’s health. And I am not even sure how so many chemical exposures can be considered to have minimal risk when you consider that our children are bombarded with chemicals from the moment they are born. According to an EWG study 287 out of 413 industrial chemicals have been found in the cord blood of newborn infants. From birth they are already carrying a very toxic burden and it just gets worse. It is no wonder so many children have cancer, asthma, ADHD, allergies, autism, and other struggles.
This book is a lifesaver because it evaluates all this exposure in terms parents can understand and highlights some of the bigger the issues while not down playing the smaller ones. It has practical solutions for reducing the toxic chemical exposure in your life and home. I found the chapter on lead to be very informative. I think many times we think of lead as one of those “old” issues. You only need to worry if you have an old house or you buy toys from China but this book showed us why even people in brand spanking new homes need to worry about lead too because regulatory loopholes have made it very possible that lead is in fact in your home.
Another wonderful chapter discusses the dangers of Radon. I admit to knowing very little about this issue and yet it can be VERY serious. That chapter has given me a to-do list to make sure we are not ignoring our exposure to radon. And of course the information about BPA was not new to me but it is the first time I have really seen it addressed at length in a book.
There are lots of great suggestions for making our home safer and cleaner and several of them were great reminders that there is almost no issue we can’t tackle with a little green power. For instance the discussion on pesticides was a great read because using a chemical bug killer would not even be considered in my house but yet the live and let live policy I have with bugs is not the only way… there are natural ways to repel pests.
Other topics discussed are personal care products like lotions, shampoos, and sunscreens. There are so many alternatives available that make it so we do not have to accept those small “risks”. We can choose to be safe rather than sorry. 20 years from now, will we regret the steps taken to protect our kids? Not likely.