9
Feb

Toxic Toothpaste for Children

by Tiffany in Children

Toxic Toothpaste for ChildrenToxic toothpaste????! No, I am not talking about tainted toothpaste from China. I am talking about pretty much all children’s toothpaste you find at conventional grocery stores. It is nasty. You don’t want to buy any of it.

I forgot to buy my usual kids toothpaste awhile back and I go through the stuff like water with one child who likes to squirt it on mirrors, toilets, light switches….you name it. This is a problem because they won’t use my toothpaste…they say it is too hot for them and they won’t use homemade either (too chunky). So when my kids and I were at Kroger I gave in to their request for some of that sugary, rainbow colored toothpaste that is for kids. I had a knot in my stomach but I said yes and when I got home to check the ingredients I could have slapped myself. I returned it.

The Makings of Toxic Toothpaste: 

D&C red dye #30 and FD&C blue #1 lake – There is nothing like crude oil in your kids toothpaste right? Well these dyes are derived from petroleum or coal tar. Over several decades of use, some of these synthetic dyes have come under greater scientific and government scrutiny due to their carcinogenic and mutagenic activity. Because of this, they are still referred to in the industry as coal tar dyes, according to the FDA. Remember red dye #2 or as it was called before it was banned, the dye of death? I guess red dye #30 is perfectly safe though right? NOT!

Some studies indicate that FD & C Blue Dyes 1 & 2 can trigger a wide number of behavioral, learning, and health problems. FD&C color dyes may also cause potentially severe allergic reactions, asthma attacks, headaches, nausea, lack of concentration, and cancer.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) – This is the ingredient that gives toothpaste (and TONS of other personal care products) their foaming ability. This same stuff is widely used to degrease cars too. Even more scary is that when companies have healing cremes or products they need to test on irritated skin, SLS is the irritant they choose to rub on the skin of humans and animals to see if they then “heal” it with their new product.

The journal of the American College of Toxicology reports that SLS can penetrate and be retained in the eye, brain, heart, and liver with potentially harmful long-term effects.

Flouride – This is not the beneficial additive that it is touted to be. In fact Dr. Mercola has stated that there is enough fluoride in a typical toothpaste tube to kill two small children if they consumed the whole tube at once. Since typical toothpaste for kids tastes like candy this is not hard to see happening either.

Also according to the Fluoride Action Network, no disease has ever been linked to a fluoride deficiency. Humans can have perfectly good teeth without fluoride.

Now we all tell our kids not to swallow the toothpaste but they contain very small molecules that may penetrate through the mucous membranes in the mouth, enter the blood stream, and build up in the liver, kidneys, heart, lungs, and tissues.

Carrageenan – This is used as a gelling, thickening agent. It actually comes from edible seaweed so it sounds like an awesome, natural ingredient at first. In actuality though it is highly processed in a lab, it loses it’s beneficial properties, and even becomes harmful. Thanks to research conducted by Joanne K. Tobacman, M.D., at the University of Illinois College of Medicine it has been associated with stomach problems, intestinal ulcerations, and the promotion of cancer.

Some healthier toothpaste alternatives are listed below. With all these options you are sure to find something your kids will like and use, and that you won’t feel bad about buying.

KidScents Slique Toothpaste – Available through Young Living. No fluoride, dyes, synthetic colors, artificial flavors, or preservatives. The base is coconut oil and baking soda.

Jack N’ Jill Natural Toothpaste – organic calendula to soothe gums, organic natural blueberry flavor, fluoride free, sugar free, color free, SLS free, no preservatives.

Xlear Spry Kid’s Tooth Gel – No fluoride, SLS, or glycerin for parents also trying to avoid that ingredient.

Weleda Toothpaste, Children’s Tooth Gel – Does not contain fluoride, detergents, synthetic fragrances, colors, and preservatives. Ingredients include: glycerin, water, hydrated silica, calendula officinalis flower extract, algin, foeniculum vulgare (fennel) oil, mentha viridis (spearmint) oil, esculin.

Enamel Saver it is designed for kids and has no SLS.

Natural dentist kids sparkle berry blast – A great toothpaste.

Also check out:

dangers of synthetic vitamins for kids

4
Sep

The Many Ways You Can Use Castile Liquid Soap

by Tiffany in A Green Home

Many Ways to Use Castile Soap - naturemoms.com

I have been using castile soap around my home for about 10 years now. I loved it then and I love it now. I use it straight up for all kinds of cleaning and I also use it as a base for several of my favorite green cleaner recipes. I like that the same product I use to scrub my toilet and wipe down my walls is the same product I use to clean my carpets and wash the dishes. I also use it in the bath, on my hair, in the garden, and on my food even. How is that for simple and easy?!  The best part though is that a single bottle lasts and lasts making it a great value for the money. Here are some of my favorite ways that I have used castile soap in my home.

Uses for Castile Soap

Laundry  – Use 1/4 cup for top-loading machines or an 1/8 cup for front loaders.

Dishes  – Great for hand washing dishes and for dishwashers.

Homemade Fruit and Veggie Wash – Add a teaspoon to a spray bottle full of water and spray as needed. No need to buy veggie wash products in the store.

All Purpose Cleaner – Add water and perhaps some essential oils and you have a great all purpose cleaner to clean just about any surface in the house.

Soft Scrub – Add to baking soda and you have a great abrasive paste with which to scrub sinks, toilets, and tubs.

Carpet Cleaner – Add a tablespoon or two to the water container of your carpet cleaner and skip the conventional carpet cleaning detergents. Castile soap works just as well and it makes your whole home smell divine if you use a scented variety like peppermint. I also have a natural carpet cleaner recipe if you want to give that a try.

Washing wool – Use castile soap to wash and lanolize wool diaper covers and longies for cloth diapers.

Garden Pest Control – Mix 1 tablespoon of peppermint castile soap with a 1/2 gallon of water. Spray the solution on plants being eaten by insects.

Shampoo – Use a small amount of the liquid and let it lather in your hands. Apply to your hair as you would regular shampoo.

Body Wash – Add a small amount to a loofah or bath sponge and scrub a dub. Also great for a baby’s bath water!

Shaving Lubricant – Mix with a bit of water and rub onto your legs/arms/face and shave as usual. Makes your skin all slippery so that shaving is a cinch.

Dental Care – Okay, so I have not personally used castile soap for this as I have an aversion to any kind of soap in my mouth but I have heard others swear by it. A drop of Peppermint, tea-tree, or citrus on the toothbrush or a drop or two inside a rinse cup for a rinse is usually how I hear it recommended.

How do you use castile soap??

30
Jul

Homegrown Collective – Homestead Skills Delivered in a Box

by Tiffany in A Green Home

Homegrown Collective Box

I have made no secret of my adoration and fascination with subscription box services. I have tried many… green mom products, eco friendly products, healthy snacks, supplements, etc. The idea is that each month you get a box filled to the brim with sample products to try, all of which fit within a larger theme. An eco friendly products box for instance might be filled with organic fair trade snacks, natural toothpaste, green cleaner samples, soap samples and the like. Every month you get a different box with different treasures inside it. It is a fantastic way to try new products without paying full price for each and you get exposed to products you might not otherwise have tried.

So yeah, I love subscription boxes. My latest find tops them all though.

This box leaves all other boxes in the dust. It manages to integrate homesteading/homemaking/homegrown love and put it all in a box. You not only get to TRY new things you get to LEARN new things. Holy moly! I also have a bit of an obsession with homesteading and homemaking skills long since forgotten in this day of modern convenience and this box manages to capture all of it perfectly. A box of food and eco products pales in comparison to a box of new skills hand delivered to your door….skills that will make you more self sufficient, reduce your environmental impact, and save you money. This is an ingenious product concept and I simply ADORE it.

It’s called The Homegrown Collective. The box for month of June had the theme Vim & Vinegar and it came packed with artisnal balsamic vinegar, white vinegar, organic dried blueberries, organic dried orange peels, a mason jar, baking soda, a glass quadra bottle, a pourer, and a spray nozzle.

Vim and Vinegar Homegrown Collective Box

With all of this the idea is to make some useful products from scratch. First up is Blueberry Infused Balsamic Vinegar… a yummy vinaigrette to put bottled and processed dressings to shame. Perfect for summer!

There were also instructions for making a couple different all natural cleaners including a citrus spray using vinegar and organic orange peels. The box has recipes and instructions but also useful knowledge in the form of facts sheets. It empowers you with information and teaches you how to make the products you see in stores at home and with healthy ingredients. It encourages self-sufficiency and promotes environmental stewardship and sustainability. Rather than a box filled with stuff you will use once, you get knowledge and skills you can use from then on if so choose. Past boxes have included items such as a mushroom growing kit, heirloom seeds, water kefir supplies, DIY cheese kit, DIY herbal tinctures, DIY homemade cough syrup, kombucha bewing kit, raw honey, beeswax, gourmet treats and more.

I am in love…

Try it yourself and use code GREENMOM10 for $10 off your first box!

Join Now
 

Find them also on Facebook and Pinterest.

25
Apr

Healthy Home Makeover $500 Giveaway

by Tiffany in A Green Home

healthy home makeover
 

I always like to say that to go green or to make your house a healthier place to be you don’t need to break the bank. You do usually do need to spend a little though to makeover your home. Mainstream products are made as cheaply as possible and with little regard to the safety of the consumer. Products that are made to last and that are safer usually have a higher price tag attached. That quality costs a bit more unfortunately but it is well worth our time to consider. We can of course get by where we can using old tees for rags and dishcloths or using bar soap and baking soda to make homemade laundry detergent. That frees up some money to invest in some quality home products that are safe and green.

It is a constant, gradual process too. When I started searching for greener and safer alternatives I didn’t throw all my old stuff away and replace them with better alternatives. I started with one thing at a time and took it step by step. I got rid of all Teflon coated pans and bought up stainless steel and cast iron ones. Out went the dryer sheets and in came the wool dryer balls. I replaced my plastic food storage tubs with glass ones I picked piece by piece at yard sales. I still make changes here and there. I don’t have a perfectly safe and green home, I just do what I can and make changes where I can.

I was inspired by the Healthy Home Makeover Contest being offered by Mighty Nest to make a Healthy Home Makeover board on Pinterest and highlight some of the products I think are important to a home makeover. Some I would like to have myself and some I already have but all are good places to start when you want to make some changes.

If you want a chance to win a home makeover from Mighty Nest worth $500 enter below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Disclosure: I was compensated by Mighty Nest for participating in this blog campaign.

25
Apr

3 Steps for a Home Sweet-Smelling Home

by Tiffany in A Green Home

Looking for quick and easy ways to freshen up the home? Of course you are. There is nothing that helps lighten the mood more for me than smell. I love fresh clean flowery scents in spring, coconutty fruity smells in summer, the smell of spices and apples in Fall, and various scents in winter such as pine and sugar cookies. When the house smells good I am more than likely to want to tackle my to-do list and stay productive throughout the day. With that in mind I often try to consciously make sure my house smells good. Other times I am working in emergency mode because the garbage sat just a bit too long in the kitchen or the laundry basket in the bathroom is emitting a musty smell. Either way here are some ways to make your home sweet home just a bit sweeter…

Step 1: Get Rid of the Stinky Stuff

You have to remove the source of any unsavory smells before you can bring on the fresh. Don’t try to mask odors, get rid of them. This often means doing a bit of cleaning…

  • Use vinegar, Castile soap, baking soda, and citrus oils (lemon, sweet orange, lime) to thoroughly clean surfaces, sinks, tubs, garbage cans, and any other areas where smelly stuff lurks
  • Launder bedspreads and pillows
  • Clean your carpets, upholstery, rugs, and drapes – Try this Natural Carpet Cleaner Recipe
  • Pour boiling water down drains and crush up some lemon peels in the garbage disposal
  • Clean up any pet areas thoroughly
  • Clean underneath couches, recliners, and other big pieces of furniture

Step 2: Improve Air Circulation & Ventilation

  • Open doors and windows whenever you can, even if it is for 5-10 minute increments
  • Change your furnace/AC filter
  • Bring live plants indoors
  • Run an air purifier

Step 3: Bring on The Sweet Smells

  • Bake/Cook – Put some beef stew on the crockpot or bake some Banana Zucchini Bread
  • Put cut flowers and herbs in vases
  • Add 10 drops of your favorite essential oil to two cups of baking soda, sprinkle on the floor, leave for 5- 10 minutes and vacuum up
  • Burn a beeswax or soy candle with a natural cotton wick – I am loving Caldrea candles at the moment
  • Wash laundry and sheets with essential oils (tea tree, peppermint) and then hang outside to dry
  • Simmer sweet stuff in a pot… try things like cloves, cinnamon, apple peels, orange rinds, dried lavender, bay leaves, etc.

Lastly take a deep breath and enjoy…