More Tips on Going Green for Your Family

Selecting toys, clothing, bedding and food for your family which are non-toxic, biodegradable and naturally-derived- this protects your family and the environment

Purchase Fair Trade or Fair Labor products so that workers making the products have a better chance to support their families.

Make romance green by choosing gifts of love which are organic and non-toxic.

Loving your family includes understanding how the conditions you create to ensure a cozy, happy life impact every member. Children and pets are particularly dependant on their parents and are often the focus of the household. There is a tendency to want to keep them safe from harm, clean and well dressed or groomed. It is important to consider how children and pets have a different experience then adults do with the food they eat, the toys they play with and the clothes they wear. Materials used to make toys, clothes and food for our most vulnerable family members can contain toxins. Wood varnishes, plastics, preservatives and fillers can all pose risks. Selecting products which are designed with non-toxic, biodegradable (decompose or break down naturally when discarded) and naturally-derived (coming from the earth, not created in a laboratory) substances means that even if the toy or blanket ends up getting chewed up or snuggled with, your child or pet remains unexposed to chemicals. (See the Home and Garden section to learn about safe household cleaners.)

Additionally, by supporting manufacturers of non-toxic, biodegradable, naturally-derived toys, clothes, bedding and food, it is likely that you are choosing not to contribute to the pollution of another person's family. Materials which have all non-toxic ingredients also benefit the workers who make the products and the communities near the factories or plants that produce them. That means, less air and water pollution and likely less solid waste.

Just as children and pets deserve our love through being surrounded by safe environments, so to do our partners. We can make choices to have our romantic gestures be green, in addition to red and passionate. Simple solutions to detoxifying romance include purchasing organic flowers, chocolates and wine. Organic flowers are grown without toxic chemicals which means the community the flowers were produced in was not exposed and neither will your loved one be when she buries her nose deep in a beautiful rose. Other romantic options include purchasing lotions and lubricants which are naturally derived instead of made from petrochemicals and planning dates which include walking, riding bikes or taking mass transit, packing picnics with reusable or biodegradable utensils and preparing food from organic or pesticide-free resources. Not only will your loved one be spared exposure to chemicals, but you will be too when you lean in for a kiss.