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New Year’s Resolutions: How to Make Changes

With New Year's resolutions floating around to start off the year right, we decided to make a list of changes you can make now for a healthy and organic home. While we can all get overwhelmed and bogged down with the newest organic studies and reports, we wanted to share simple and affordable tips that will make these changes easy. It’s all about baby steps. Below is a list of things you can do today to make changes, along with links to our favorite most informative blogs on these topics.

Cleaning with organic and chemical-free cleaners! Most household products carry harmful chemicals (formaldehyde and chlorine to name a few) that are bad for both our children and our own safety. While bleach and other solvents kill bacteria, they’re also made with ingredients that disrupt hormones in our own bodies. Opt for Dapple Wipes, detergents and liquid soaps, or try a solvent that contains two products most likely already in your home: baking soda and vinegar. These two combined will not only get out tough stains out, they’ll also help with eliminating odors in the air. Read our blog article, Cleanwell Founder Dr. Larry Weiss on Household Cleaners, to learn more about healthy and safe home cleaning products. Also, stay tuned as we are SO excited for Cleanwell to launch their natural cleaning supplies!

Pick up organic and all-natural toys! After the holidays is a great time to go through your current toy inventory and throw out anything that is plastic (made before 2009) and no longer played with. With so many new great toy companies focusing on the environment and healthy living, there’s no better time than now to do your part and support these companies by replacing your old toys with new healthy options. Two of our favorite companies, Play Toys and Green Toys have made it a top priority to ensure their toys are 100% free of any BPA’s, Phthalates, lead, and harmful glues. Read our blog article, Throw Away Your Old Plastic Toys!, to learn why it is necessary to throw away plastic toys bought before 2009.

Eating Organic! One of our most talked about topics at Sprout is whether or not it is really important to eat organically and if it is worth the cost of making this switch.  Suzanne, Sprout’s founder, wrote a great article last year addressing this topic. She talks about poisonous pesticides sprayed in our farmlands and water, as well as the fact that eating organically and helping our environment go hand and hand. The pesticides used in non-organic food affects our bodies, our growing children, and the environment. I find it tricky to purchase organic food when I see the same non-organic item right next to it for half the cost.  Every trip to the grocery store, I battle with this dilemma, but I remind myself that choosing organic products is not only better for my health, it also helps the environment. Taking small steps while making the switch will help with the increased grocery bill. I often shop at Trader Joes and Whole Foods, and now even major grocery stores will have organic options that are on sale, too. For more on eating organic, read Suzanne’s blog article, Does Organic Food Really Matter for My Kids?.

Washing with organic products? A very simple and easy switch, that can be made today, is to switch to organic brands of shampoos, soaps and lotions. Baby’s skin is very absorbent, as is our own, so it’s important to make sure we are using personal care products that are natural and organic. Shampoos and lotions that are natural and organic will not carry parabens and phthalates, just to name a few of the chemicals to avoid. One way to make the switch without spending extra money is choose to one brand for the entire family, and buy in bulk. Both California Baby and Original Sprout (two of our top sellers) come in large family sizes and are free of hormone disrupters. Read our Healthy Baby Guide on Personal Care, or read about potential toxins in your baby's bath in our blog article, Baby's Tub Is Still Toxic.

Store your food safely.  It's not only what's in your food, but how it is stored that matters. BPA and other chemicals and plastics can leach into food, especially liquids, and even more so when a container is heated. Do your best to store food in glass or stainless steel, and try to avoid canned food if you don't know that the lining of the can is BPA free. One study found that the BPA level in the average family's blood dropped 70% when they avoid cans and plastic for only 3 days. Read more here.

We know it’s hard to make changes, especially when they involve an increase in spending, but by following these steps, one at a time, you will not only have made a healthy leap in the right direction for your health but also a huge step for our environment as well.

Happy New Year From Sprout!