Editor’s Note: Each Wednesday My Green Side brings Simple Tips for Green Living to The Christopher Gabriel Program. We also highlight a favorite green site each week. You can stream the segment at approximately1220pm (central) every Wednesday at WDAY.com or, if you’re in North Dakota or western Minnesota, listen on your radio at AM970 WDAY.
GREEN TIP: September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Pediatric cancer is now the leading cause of death by disease among U.S. children. Preventable childhood cancers are totally unacceptable so do your part to keep our children healthy.
Check out Healthy Child Healthy World’s 5 Easy Steps to get you started:
- Avoid Pesticides: Pesticides have been linked to a range of health problems, including asthma, hyperactivity and behavior problems, cancer, learning disabilities, reproductive disorders, and compromised brain development.
- Use non-toxic or least toxic pest remedies such as soapy water to kill ants and boiling water to kill weeds.
- Prevent pests through good sanitation.
- Remove shoes before entering your home to prevent tracking in pesticides.
- Use Non-Toxic Products: Think about all the products you come in contact with every day: personal care products, cleaners, computers, carpeting, cabinetry, cushions, cosmetics and much, much more. Do you know what’s in them? Many contain known carcinogens. Protect your health from this constant assault by making sure your products and furnishings are non-toxic. There are an increasing number of safe and healthy alternatives.
- Read labels and ask questions about what chemicals are in the personal care and cleaning products, as well as furnishings, that you buy.
- Look for products made from natural, rather than synthetic, materials.
- Buy, or make your own, safer cleaning products.
- Look for personal care products with certified organic ingredients and those with the fewest ingredients, or make your own.
- Clean Up Indoor Air: We are breathing all the time so our air quality is very important. And, typically, the worst air is generally inside, where most people spend roughly 90% of their time.
- The products we use are the source for a substantial portion of indoor air pollution. Because of this fact, it’s essential to know what’s in the products you buy and opt for the most natural and non-toxic choices.
- Utilize plants to filter indoor air.
- Open windows for a few minutes a day to ventilate rooms.
- Wipe your feet on a doormat or remove your shoes at the door.
- Check your homes vents, ducts, and heating and cooling filters.
- Vacuum at least twice a week using a HEPA filter, and/or mop floors.
- Change your vacuum bag, and be sure it has a clean filter to prevent the spreading of dust, which can be redistributed into the air.
- Eat Healthy: Pound for pound, children eat and drink more than adults. Therefore, healthy eating is essential in order to safely nourish their growing bodies.
- Choose to eat and prepare organic, whole foods rather than packaged foods whenever possible. The easiest way to eat healthier is to start making your food instead of buying prepared food and warming it.
- Avoid genetically modified organisms (aka GMOs or genetically engineered foods).
- Choose safer seafood. Visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch website to learn more and print a pocket guide.
- Read labels. Look for foods with few and identifiable ingredients. Avoid the top five risky additives: Artifical Colors (anything that begins with FD&C ), Chemical Preservatives (Butylated Hydroxyanisole [BHA], Sodium Nitrate, Sodium Benzoate), Artificial Sweeteners (Aspartame, Acesulfame-K, Saccharin), Added Sugar (High Fructose Corn Syrup [HFCS], Corn Syrup, Dextrose, etc), Added Salt (Look at the sodium content and choose foods with the lowest amounts.)
- Be Wise With Plastics: Plastics are everywhere and in most cases are very affordable and convenient. But, increasingly scientists are finding that a hidden cost may be our health. Some common plastics release harmful chemicals into our air, foods, and drinks.
- Reduce the use of plastics, especially with foods and beverages. For example, opt for filtered water in a stainless steel reusable water bottle rather than single-use, plastic bottled water and reusable glass storage containers over plastic.
- If you do buy plastic, chose safer plastics #2, 4 or 5.
Download Healthy Child Healthy World’s 5 Easy Steps brochure at healthychild.org.
My Green Side’s web pick of the week:
Healthy Child’s mission is to help parents create healthier environments for our children. “With a growing body of evidence linking everyday environmental contaminants to asthma, learning disabilities, obesity, cancer and more, Healthy Child translates the science and inspires parents and caregivers to create healthy environments where families can flourish.” Their site in full of great information, tips and an awesome blog.