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Quite awhile ago, I threw out every traditional, chemical filled cleaning product in my home and replaced them with natural, awesome products from Method, Mrs. Meyers and Seventh Generation.

I thought it was a good idea. Now I realize it was a seriously fantastic one.

I just heard Dr. Alan Greene (a pediatrician) speak at an event hosted by Seventh Generation.  He talked about the dramatic increase of cancer, autism, allergies and asthma in our children. At the same time, children have been exposed to more and more chemicals. Since 1974, 20,000 new chemicals have come into the marketplace.

20,000 new chemicals? Ugh.

20,000 new kinds of low fat cupcakes with fat free frosting? I’d totally be on board.

Dr. Greene says, the environment in your home is far more toxic than the environment outside and kids are much more sensitive to these chemicals.

But it’s so damn easy to fix. And for those of us who are lazy and don’t feel like climbing on our roofs to install solar panels in our free time to create a greener house, here are a few simple steps to create a safer, healthier home.

1. Get rid of all those chemical products. The natural ones work just as well, smell divine and in the event your child gets his or her hands on your window cleaner or another product, you won’t have a nervous breakdown. Look at the warning label on those traditional cleaning products. Lots of scary words like FATAL and DANGER and HAZARD.

2.Use diapers with no chemicals like cloth diapers, gdiapers or Seventh Generation diapers. Honestly, I never could quite get the hang of those cloth diapers but they are the greenest way to go if you’re hard core.

3. Buy some plants. Plants are incredible at cleaning air (according to fancy NASA research).

4. Open the windows from time to time (as long as you have child guards).

So WHAT does this all have to do with “Gossip Girl?”


Turns out, Kelly Rutherford (Lily from “Gossip Girl”) was at this Seventh Generation event too. I was really hoping the very pregnant actress was there to share dark, insider secrets from the GG set but apparently she was just there to promote the need for an eco-friendlier world. A little disappointing don’t you think?

By the way, did you know that this coming week is National Cleaning Week? Just to clarify, this blog does not endorse or recommend cleaning when you could be watching TV.

seventh_generation_logoBut if you do get the urge to clean, I’m giving away an “Under The Kitchen Sink Makeover” bag from Seventh Generation, filled with some fabulous, non-toxic products.

Just leave a comment and tell me how you’ve tried to lead a greener life. Or whether you look good in green. Or have green eyes. Or have a green thumb. Or once wore a green sweatsuit on St. Patrick’s Day. Any of those will do.

mama bird notes:

I’ll announce the winner of the SHREK tickets on Monday. It’s not too late to enter. Click here and scroll to the bottom of the post.

67 Responses to all things relate to gossip girl (even toxic chemicals)

  • Stacey says:

    Thanks for the info Kelcey! I always recycle and carry my own bags to the grocery store but I honestly never thought about my cleaning products.  If the greener products work just as well, why wouldn’t I try them!

  • francine Kasen says:

    I have dabbled with vinegar vs. windex and only white and unscented paper goods. I sometimes use wax paper and rubber bands instead of plastic wrap and wash and reuse my plastic zipper food bags. I’d love an under the sink makeover, and if I don’t win it, please let us know what it includes. Thanks

  • Heather says:

    Hello mama bird! I have been following your blog for a bit and thought I would formally introduce myself by entering the contest.  : )  My husband and I have started recycling newspaper, aluminum and plastic. (easy: we bought 3 trash cans and a storage box) We also stopped using the AC in the summer. We bought a “navy” showerhead to cut down our water consumption. It’s easier than you think and makes you feel good too! We’ve been toying with the idea of buying some Seventh Generation Products anyway, but have’t yet. Thanks for the info!

  • Lea says:

    A while ago, I switched from regular cleaning supplies, to all organic and “green” types of various cleaning supplies, including “green” garbage bags (can’t recall the name of them off hand).  I also purchased a Brita and stopped buying plastic bottles of water for the kids and I. Which have our own “bottle” that we drink out of and a few extra’s for company. This also saves me on washing glasses in the dishwasher or by hand.. since they will rinse their own bottles out and once a week I run them in the washer.  It’s a bit more expensive to buy all “green” products and on a fixed income from disability, I’ve had to make a few adjustments, but it was/is important to me to do all that I am capable of doing for the future of my children and their children and… well you get the idea.

    Great giveaway, thank you!

  • Becky says:

    Hello Mama Bird,
    After living in China for the past three years I welcome the opportunity to detox my life.  There is not much earth friendly items that you can buy in China but I did pick up these great totes to use at the grocery store now that I have moved back to the United States.  I would love a chance to try the Seventh Generation products.

  • kristen says:

    green, schmeen, what i want to know, did you meet LILY? she’s my favorite, i’ve loved her since melrose.

    all kidding aside, i have to profess big love for the method cleaning products, esp. the wood for good. that cleaning solution (that smells like cherries) is sweet on the floors and always leaves a shine, without any residue.  I really need to go green on everything else – target, here i come.

  • Another Mamabird says:

    Since my daughter was born 8 short months ago, my whole perspective has changed.  Before, I probably would have said,  “ehh, no big deal.”  But now, it’s a very big deal!   We have always recycled, switched to energy efficient appliances, tried the in-store cleaners, buy the concentrated cleaners that you control the water and the landfill containers, and many other things.  I’d love to try the products you described to add to our attempt at “green living.”  Thanks for the info!

  • Pam F. says:

    I have been switching over to natural cleaning products as I run out of the old ones.  I made the switch when I came home from work the one time that I had a cleaning person and my house smelled like chemicals not fresh and welcoming.  Right now I am researching eco-friendly paints for my living and dining room to protect the air in my home.
    I would love an under sink makeover.

  • feener says:

    we use our own bags for shopping now. but what i have to get better at is the bottled water, i get one at the gym EVERY day and i really need to use my sigg….

  • Brittany says:

    Oh I am so excited for this!
    1. I love gossi girl, so you had me at Lily. (PS How could she NOT talk about if Blair and Chuck were going to get back together this season!?)

    2.  This is something I really want to do, but just dont’ know how to jump start doing it.  Especially with another little person coming to run around soon, I know I need to do it, I just need the boost!

  • Jules says:

    I try to be greener, but on a budget.  I use cloth diapers about 50% of the time, but don’t have the money to throw out all my cleaners and buy new ones.  I would LOVE to win this package and have safer chemicals in my house to keep my little one safer!

  • Brittany says:

    Thanks for the info – we are very ‘green’ in most apsects around the house but  did not really think of getting the ‘green’ cleaning supplies but I think I will try them.

  • Kara says:

    When my first baby started chewing on everything in sight, I started freaking out about our cleaners.  I ripped up a bunch of old shirts to make reusable cleaning rags and now clean with vinegar or Simple Green.  Unfortunately, they both smell terrible and I’m too cheap to buy the essential oils to help them smell better.  I would love to win and not have my house smell like vinegar!

  • Janna says:

    I want more 7th products. And maybe you can help me convince my husband that they’re better than the chemical ones.

  • Jacki says:

    I’m glad you brought this whole ‘green’ topic up.  I have been an avid recycler for years, use my own containers for water vs. bottles, etc., etc.  The one thing I haven’t done is buy the earth-friendly cleaners for fear that they won’t kill those freaky bathroom germs and therefore my family will get some horrible illness!  I’m glad that you informed us that the regular cleaners are more harmful.  That sealed the deal for me.  Its time to switch.  I may be a bit green but I am going greener.  Its amazing the things I learn here!  : P

  • Hmmm. We recently switched to cloth napkins instead of paper ones. We reuse them a lot in between washings.

    My eight year old son offered to give up showers to save energy, but I cruelly insist he continue to bathe.

    What a great giveaway! Thank you for the opportunity!

  • Stephanie (Tyler's Mom) says:

    I am a HUGE fan of green gleaning products!  I have made it my mission to “encourage” my friends and family to switch.  We use a lot of Method and Seventh Generation.  Not only is it healthier for you, your children and the environment BUT you don’t have to worry as much about your kids getting into the products and getting sick.  I say this because my daughter has accidentally ingested the Lil Bowl Blue toilet cleaner by Method.  According to Poison Control, if it says “NON-TOXIC”, it really is! Not that I let her drink toilet bowl cleaner on a regular basis but as a first time mom, it eased my panic a little.  Needless to say, the toilet bowl brush has been removed from our bathroom so no further incidents occur!

    We also use Kleen Kanteen water bottles, recycle like crazy and frequent our local farmer’s market in our effort to be green!

  • Megan says:

    Green is my color…I’m wearing it right now.  Thanks for the reminders and simple tips about keeping my girls world safe and green!

  • Elizabeth says:

    I hate to be Debbie Downer here but recycling and buying green is great but not that great.  Reducing consumption is way better! Greenwashing consumer goods doesn’t really address the issues, like that they still have to make toxic plastic to package the “green” stuff.  And cloth diapers REALLY are easy to use.  I did it for three kids!  That said, I would love the 7th Gen stuff b/c my husband insists he can’t figure out how to use vinegar.  🙂

  • Anns Rants says:

    I did cloth diapers with tw0-year old for 15 months, because I used an excellent services. Once he became a banchee on the diaper table I had to return to the cheapo-disposables. You know home cleaning solutions are so easy to make with vinegar and baking soda and essential oils…I really need to get on that.

  • Well, not only am I wearing a green sweater RIGHT NOW but my sink needs a makeover “down under” AND i watch Gossip Girl. Really, this is a perfect fit.

    I did have an experience with cloth diapers once, as a babysitter. The short version is that it ended up being sort of a poop soup in the tub in an effort to clean the things. Ick. But I’m sure there have been some innovations in that sort of thing… either way, lovely green cleaners certainly would have rescued me!

  • Cathy says:

    I’ve started using natural cleaning products and am amazed how effective they are. Now when I get coupons for regular cleaning products I just throw them in the trash.

  • Jerilyn says:

    Though my friend, Allison, has described poop soup and should probably win just for that ;), I want you to pick me!  I’ve experimented with using vinegar, baking soda, and club soda (for glass) to clean, but I would love to try these green products  from Seventh Generation.  BTW, there are some really cute cloth diapers these days, but I haven’t gone there myself and my youngest is now PTed.  Woohoo!   

  • Kim says:

    I love Seventh Generation products!  The diapers and wipes are awesome, and the cleaning products work well, and smell great!  Oh, and all of it is better for the environment…. I figure using greener products, recycling, carrying my own bags, turning off lights after leaving a room, and unplugging small appliances when not in use should help, if only a little…. Totally addicted to GG, and now after reading your blog, feeling a lot better about that too 🙂

  • Kelli says:

    I recycled when we lived in Alabama and Texas, but they don’t recycle in Alaska.  Weird.  Anyway, I switched from regular cleaning products to the Green Works products by Clorox.  I also have green eyes and my favorite color is green!  By the way, I love your blog!!

  • EW says:

    We decided to make a move to “green” after having our first child (there’s a website called something like “non-toxic home care” that we initially consulted.  Great tips on how to make your won cleaners, etc.  Although we haven’t made a complete switch we’re trying to move in that direction.  The makeover would be a welcome treat and thanks for helping someone get on the greenwagon!

  • MN Mama says:

    Great post Kelcey! I loved reading about other people’s ideas about going green. I know that I have a long way to go but I would love to share a few ideas. I try to use the library whenever possible. When I do need to buy a book for bookclub or another reason, I try to buy it used. If I am given a book, I try to lend them to friends so we can all enjoy them. We recycle (I think my hometown in NJ started recycling in the early 80s. It has been habit ever since). We try to use the more fuel efficient car whenever possible. In the warmer months, we try to bike when possible. We added insulation to our attic. We will be adding weather stripping to our doors. We bought but have not yet installed an automatic thermostat. We have houseplants. We just purchased a more energy efficient refrigerator (but we did not buy it until our old one was not working). I read Daphne’s blog http://www.greenerbiener.com. I have started cleaning more with vinegar and am starting to phase out my old cleaning products out as I use them. I would love to jump start that process. Again, I do not profess to be totally green but I am trying.

  • linda says:

    Vinegar works wonders!  I’m also a Method fan, but have never tried seventh generation..would be willing to test it out, though!

  • I love living green. I make my own shampoo (to avoid plastic bottles), I use organic cleaner and we use reusable bags for the grocery store (I make them out of old Tshirts). As a college student it is hard sometimes to leave green when you are lacking the “green” but for a lot of it is cheaper than buying all those chemicals. I totally plan on using cloth diapers (as soon as I get that baby I want). Living green would be a lot easier if I won… 🙂

  • Juley says:

    I am using the same homemade cloth diapers that my Mom used on me and my siblings plus a few new ones she made for me.  I think that counts as serious recycling.  I also use method products and vinegar but would love to try Seventh Generation.  I love that Lily is environmentally concerned.

  • Shana says:

    I live in the Pacific Northwest, where being less than green is an offense punishable by haranguing. I love Method products, haven’t tried Seventh Generation. I have green eyes and my child missed eleventeen days of school this month with something green flowing from her nose. I am, obviously, by far the greenest of the green and am sure to win.

    Not to disqualify myself, I don’t watch Gossip Girl, but I do read Perez Hilton, and that Kelly Rutherford is all caught up in some big drama, isn’t she? I loved her on Melrose Place.

  • Terra says:

    I will have to check out 7th generation – I tried method and don’t like it at all.  It feels “sticky” when I get it on my hands and I can’t imagine what that means for my granite…

  • Francesca says:

    we’ve been doing cloth for 16 months and it is doable — encouragement from friends who are also using cloth diapers goes a long way to keeping up the commitment. under my sink could use a makeover.

  • stoneskin says:

    Does it REALLY have to be National Cleaning Week? Not International Cleaning Week though, which means I can be excused I feel.

    More seriously though, we’ve really tried to use natural cleaners since our baby arrived.

  • Elisa says:

    No way, it’s National Cleaning Week? Can I celebrate that by getting a cleaning lady for the week? ‘Cause on my own I’m not entirely sure I can make it justice.

    But I do love my green stuff. We use only natural detergents and soaps – the only place where there are still a few chemicals might be my train case, where I just cannot give up my Lemon Aid by Benefit, and my mascaras 🙂 Other than that, all green here baby 🙂

  • Kristi says:

    I try to lead a greener life by cutting down on the chemicals around us. So things like our household cleaners, soap, and beauty products. I removed all air fresheners and stopped getting our lawn fertilized. We also buy free range meat from a local farmer and just joined a CSA. I’m so excited for our first box of fresh veggies!

  • Melisa says:

    Oh how I’ve missed commenting over here! Can you do a blog on how to convince a husband that this is the way to go? I want to change over so bad, but Hubby thinks it is all a crock and that everything can kill you so, why bother? Instead he makes me look like an uber tree hugger!  Thank goodness he has taken to the recycling bins and to giving up the paper towels in favor of clothe napkins. But as far as product…he’s not buying it.

    P.S. Is it just me or is Paul Rudd suddenly everywhere?? Be still my beating heart…

  • Katie says:

    I have 5 month old identical twin boys, and frankly don’t have the time to go out and buy all new eco-friendly products. I’m lucky if I get outside for our daily walk! My husband would just buy anything with the color green. I need your help! I have some green products intermixed with I’m sure some toxic ones, so we could definitely benefit from an already stocked box to just replace the cupboard. My eyes will get even greener seeing my house get safer for my little munchkins (who are not green–well, sometimes.) 😉

  • Daphne says:

    It’s not easy being green…but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try.  Cleaning? That’s another story, but if you’ve got something to help, I’m all in.  I am done with diapers, but I hear that the cloth route is not only for hard core greeners any more.

  • Robin says:

    The cloth diapers weren’t enough for my heavy wetter.  She’s almost 6 now, but my daughter sported the Seventh Generation diapers quite well. 
    On the clean green topic, I’ve run into one small problem with the natural cleaning products in my home… my cleaning lady can read only Portugese and has no idea which product to use for what.  Got any spare Windex labels?
    Always eager to be greener, so please put me in the running. 

  • Jodie says:

    I’d love to enter for the giveaway! I DO have green eyes… but more importantly, we recycle everything we can get away with. I am also a big believer in re-using as much as possible – especially in the quilts that I make. I LOVE using vintage cottons (usually from old clothes or thrift store finds) in my quilts. It adds a little history and reduces the need for new fabrics, chemicals, shipping, etc.

  • Lanie says:

    Great, great post Kelc!!  First, I am still mad at my TIVO for recording that Chuck show instead of GG last Monday.  Second, house plants are endangered in my house due to the twins’ attraction to dirt.  Third, our house is on the road to being green but we have a long way to go. 

  • Sarah says:

    We’re avid recyclers, have a compost bin in the backyard, and are using disposable diapers for our son (although I must admit we use a service instead of cleaning them ourselves!).   I am hoping that new green cleaning products would inspire me to actually do more cleaning!

  • Diane says:

    Did Sarah with an H (above) mean cloth diapers instead of disposable? If so, that puts me out of running. That has got to be the biggest commitment being green that I can think of . Course, I have 4 kids and have been changing diapers since 1998 with one year of sabbitical between 2004 and 2005. I’ve made a career of diaper changing. So, my measly contribution is: running around turning off electronics, turning up thermostat, zero commute for BOTH my husband and I – we don’t even consume any public transport – we just never go out. How’s that for loving the earth?

  • johanna says:

    I use all natural products on my daughter, feed her all organic, and am overly cautious about what she is exposed to….BUT then there is my cleaning bucket…filled with horrendously chemicals that I’m sure cause some damage somehow! Now with baby #2 on the way, my mission is to  rid of all of that and go total natural. So, I’d love to win some starter products and get me going! Oh, and I can’t wait to use my spring purse which is a great shade of lime green 🙂 

  • MN Mama says:

    I read something in the paper yesterday about a great way to save water….. fill a plastic bottle of water and put it in the tank of your toilet.  It can save 1 to 2 gallons a flush.  Wow!  I thought I would pass it on. 

  • I’ve been trying to reduce my impact on the environment for close to two decades now. One thing we do is recycle to a fault, meaning the darn recycling gets out of control, we have more recycling than trash! I love 7th gen products, they are my favorite. 

  • Mama Bee says:

    We’ve really tried to live green by using our re-usable bags when we go to the grocery store. Unfortunately, 9 times out of 10 I forget the damned things at home, but ONE OF THESE DAYS, I’ll figure out some routine that makes me remember to bring them!

  • Suzie says:

    I love the color green, does that count?? And I do have 7th Generation cleaning supplies in my house, and sometimes I even use them. 🙂 Actually, our wonderful cleaning lady uses them more than I do. But I do use them on occasion. That counts for something, right??  And I am finally keeping my re-usable bags inside my car for those last minute trips to the grocery store. I love not having stacks of bags pile up in the garage until I finally recycle them. I AM working on being more “green”.

  • melanie says:

    we have cut waaaaaayyyyy back on using plastic bags.  i have plenty of reusable grocery bags now.  i have been wanting to be greener with cleaning products but it is hard to do.  you have given me more motivation.

  • Jean E says:

    Thanks for the green tips!  It would be great if cleaning wasn’t necessary at all! But since it is, I’d a chance to win the Seventh Generation cleaning products.

  • Julia says:

    Well, I recycle, use cloth grocery bags, and have a reusable water bottle.  But, sadly, my cleaning products are atrocious.  Oh, and I have green eyes

  • Becky says:

    I shlep my own bags to the grocery store!! but sadly I do not have any green cleaning agents…. do those cleaning products come with a cleaning lady to use them???? 🙂

  • Lanie says:

    comment con’t. . . (still a great post)
    Fourth, we could use all the help going green that we could definitely use an “Under The Kitchen Sink Makeover” .

  • Quinn Carlson says:

    So far, I own a hybrid, use cloth bags, and shame anyone who uses styrofoam.  Honestly, I think the last one is making the biggest impact.  

  • Kristin Kutscher says:

    I have always taken my bags to the grocery store, and I re-use my plastic bags for garbage, so never buy garbage bags. I am an avid recycler – and glad the city does a good job in that department – better than in the suburbs where my mom is. I have tried a few Seventh Gen products – ok, just one, but liked it. A little makeover may just be welcome in my house. Now, if we can just get the triclosan out of the handsoap to decrease the antibacterial resistance, we might be onto something.

  • Jaclyn says:

    My cupboard is filled with toxic cleaning agents….and I have a 21 month old…..and I realized after reading your post I must do something!  I need a cabinet makeover….but I never wore a green sweatsuit. In all seriousness, thanks for the post. I am on a mission to give my cabinet a makeover!

  • becky says:

    I’ve tried a couple of Seventh Generation products, but would love to try more. My son is 16 months old and I certainly don’t want him exposed to a lot of chemicals.

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kelcey kintner