Converting back to a green life, one week (and nap time) at a time

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The End is Not the End

April 2016

I know I said I wouldn’t do this, but here is one more blog post.

I was sitting here wasting time on Facebook (it’s amazing how much time I can lose just clicking on the garbage that comes up on my newsfeed) when I could be doing something more productive. Like writing. Or like not using electricity at all. Like reading.

While I’ve been on mat leave I’ve been reading a lot. I recently read the Mitch Albom book “The First Phone call from Heaven”. In the story, one of the characters mentions the phrase “The End is not the End” in reference to heaven, and is also apparently a House of Heros song.


I’ve also been trying to wean LM. I’ve decided I’m just done. He’s almost 9 months. It’s ok. I did my best. He’s going to be ok either way. Just when I think we’re done, we’re not. He asks for me (he does a little bobbing bird on my chest when he wants the boob. It’s kind of sweet. 🙂  When he’s really hungry he doesn’t care where the food comes from as long as it comes fast!). And I can’t believe I only have three months of mat leave left  😦

It’s time I put this blog to bed and move on. The amount of electricity I’ve used researching and writing this blog is not lost on me. My family needs me. I need me. And as much as I love blogging, it’s taking up more time than I can put into it to make it the way I want it. I’m too hard on myself for not posting or tweeting regularly, or making timely posts related to current events. I often feel rushed when doing a post and I make mistakes.

My plan was to go back to each post, add tags, edit grammar and spelling, add links for interesting things I’ve found out since I wrote the original post, update my progress, etc.  But lets be realistic – as they say “ain’t no one got time for that”!

And I’ve realized, just like I’m not perfect, just like we don’t parent perfectly or the way we might like too, this blog isn’t going to be perfect. So what if it’s not written like a Pulitzer Prize winning novel. Just like parenthood, it’s raw and its real. So why change it now?

I started this blog for New Year’s 2014. Today, my 35th birthday, seems like a good day to finish it off.

So as a final post, here are some things I wanted to write about. I’ve been trying to clean out my e-mail accounts, where I e-mail my blog ideas to myself, and I just seem to have so many green ideas I want to write about while incorporating them into events in my life.  I didn’t want to be one of those websites that just lists a bunch of tips without actually trying them myself. But I want to share them for my readers anyway. Who knows, maybe some day I will try them. I guess I can always go back to this list. And some of them just made me laugh.

For each of you who reads this blog, try out a green challenge from the list below. In this way, the blog has no end.

Here they are, by category/topic/tag:

Waste Reduction

How did a sea turtle get a straw up its nose?

Worms could help reduce waste

101 uses for Mason Jars! (well actually just 18, but who’s counting;-) )

The Destiny of Restaurant Crayons

The Unintended Consequences of Banning Bottled Water

Waste Reduction on Campus


Repurposing an Old Toothbrush


Food Security/Waste

Tax Break for businesses that donate food

Just Eat it Restaurant Waste Video

Use it don’t lose it!

denHaan Greenhouses – local source for tomatoes and cucumbers

Fair Trade Recipes

French Law Bans Food Waste

Ugly Food!


I was going to participate in the National Geographic Hashtag challenge, but as with a great many things I ran out of time. So here’s the photo




Sustainable Seafood – Loblaws


Infant Feeding

Breastfeeding Dairy Free

Lactose Overload

Breastfeeding & Alcohol Consumption

Formula FYI

Pump & Dump


Sustainable Diapering

The Diaper Divide

7th Generation Training Pants


Environmentally Friendly Sanitary Pads

Now that Aunt Flo is back in my life I’ve been thinking about this a little more.

The Honest Company

Goodbye Diva Cup


Environmentally Friendly Funerals/Burials/Estate Planning (not that I plan on trying these any time soon – for all the right reasons!)


Burial Pods



Our kitty has recently had some health problems, which got me thinking about this even more

Ethically Sourced Pet Food

Crystal Cat Litter

Silica Cat Litter

Ecofriendly Cat Litter

Homemade Cat Litter

Homemade Cat food

More Homemade Cat Litter



Natural Pest/Weed Control



Water Conservation/Pollution

Drugs in Drinking Water

The Surfrider Foundation

Gold in Sewage

Water used to grow favourite foods

Microbeads Banned


Eco-friendly Shopping

The True Cost of Clothing

Germs in Cloth Bags

The Green Mom Review

Toxic Items at Dollar Stores

Chemicals in Dollar Store Products

Dollar Store Product Contaminants



Advice to Fathers

The Most Expensive 2-hour Nap

A Day at Home with a Newborn

10 things kids should see their parents doing

Journey from Anti-Vaxx to Science

Please don’t visit my Newborn

10 ways to really help someone with a new baby


As I’ve said before, through this blog, I’ve learned that as with every thing in life, we have to make decisions. Just like we can’t always be that perfect parent, we can’t be the perfect environmentalist. But we try. We try and we hope it’s enough.

And then there’s this guy. Am I him? I don’t think I want to be him. If you can’t follow my blog, follow the frog.




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Calculated Risk

January 2015

Recently had my first round of blood work for maternal serum screening. While the results won`t change what we do, at least we can be prepared.

As I struggle with my own immunity problems this winter (still catching every cold going), and with all the hype and news surrounding vaccines in the media lately, I guess it’s my turn to weigh-in on the debate.

If I ever actually get around to putting thought to screen – I have a whole blog post written in my head – it’s just finding the time and energy to actually get it down. So stay tuned for that. As far as the green challenge goes, I`ve decided to start being more careful about purchasing items with micro beads. More about that another day.

Meanwhile, the blog goes on . . .


So as I said I had this beautifully  blog post constructed in my head, and didn’t actually write anything down. That’s the problem with me and writing. I write things in my head constantly, but don’t take (or have) the time to record them properly. Very frustrating for me. Sometimes it’s useful to let things ferment before publishing them – sometimes it makes the writing better, or you might change your mind about going public with the ideas.

This particular post was going to focus around how having children is a bit of a calculated risk. And the chances of having a healthy pregnancy and a healthy child has statistics associated with it. And that there are some things we can do to keep our children healthier. Like vaccinate.

I do vaccinate, but not for the reasons you might think. When it comes down to it, I would prefer that immunity be gained naturally than through a shot. Not that I believe in purposefully exposing my child to illness either (a la “chicken pox party”). I worry about the risks associated with vaccines. I worry about how well regulated they actually are, about the contents of the shot, about whether she’ll have an allergic reaction. About how their release and distribution might be influenced by “Big Pharma”. And about autism. I know, I know, the whole autism connection has been disproven. But.

As parents we always have those little voices, those little doubts. The “what ifs” and “buts” and little things that we try to control because it’s our job to protect our children but there are some things we can’t control. I have friends who are educated medical professionals, who noticed a marked change in their children’s personalities and behaviour after receiving vaccines. There has also been some research to show that it is not the vaccine itself that causes problems, but the inflammation triggered in the body in response to the vaccine.

Here’s where things get interesting. I recently read a book called Brain on Fire. The author shared her own experiences tracing the cause of some unusual and debilitating symptoms. She ended up being diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease. She also makes an interesting case to indicate that the root cause of all mental illness is actually inflammation in the body. This inflammation may be due to an autoimmune disease, and that immune response could be triggered by bacteria. Other researchers have been looking into this as well – see

Of course, there would have to be a genetic component. So maybe in a very small percentage of children, their bodies are genetically predisposed to respond to inflammation through what appears to us as autism spectrum disorder(s) – and it is really an autoimmune disease, that just happened to be triggered by a vaccine early in life, but could have just as easily been triggered by being infected by an actual virus or bacteria later in life. See I suppose we’ll never know.

So back to why I vaccinate. Some childhood illnesses can make children very, very sick, and cause permanent neurological damage. And for some, like diphtheria, there is a treatment but no cure. And no one wants their child to die.

More importantly, I vaccinate myself and my child to ramp up herd immunity. Because herd immunity only works when greater than something like 85-90% of the population is vaccinated. And herd immunity protects those who cannot be vaccinated for various reasons. Like my Mom.

My Mom has an autoimmune disease which makes her immune system attack healthy body tissues. This means that she can’t be vaccinated for certain things. And because she is on immunosuppressing drugs, if she were to get sick she could get very sick. Luckily (in some ways) she is in a demographic that has already been exposed and/or had many childhood illnesses that my daughter could bring home from daycare. (Ironically, her disease was first detected after having a cold. Her brother was also recently diagnosed with the same, supposedly rare disease, after having a flu shot. The specialist had never seen two cases in one family. Would be interesting to further study this potential genetic link).

I also vaccinate for the sake of other people’s children, those who are too young to be vaccinated or cannot medically receive vaccines due to allergies to the contents or the autoimmune diseases I mentioned above. Pregnant women, such as myself also can’t receive some vaccines, such as chicken pox (and while I’ve been exposed several times, I’ve never actually had chicken pox).

So while there may be a risk associated with vaccines, to me, the risk associated with not vaccinating is much higher. Not just to myself and my own child, but to other children. And I will not have their blood on my hands.

Not my best writing, but that’s the jest of it. Speaking of hands . . . washing your hands and other proper hygiene is still the best way to prevent getting sick. But I recently learned that many cleansing products contain microbeads. Toothpaste, body scrubs, all kinds of things I never thought of. Pretty sure my Tom’s of Maine toothpaste is microbead free (see Week 6). I can’t tell from the label on my body scrubs. So one of these days I am going to try making my own, using some of these recipes:

And for some ideas to dispose of what you already have: