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Green Living at Home

Maia J.
MAIA J.
Green Living Expert
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Join Maia James, mom and green living expert, to learn about how to make your home safer for your family. Maia is here to answer questions about safe products from skincare to house cleaning and give tips to make homes of all kinds cleaner and safer.

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MAIA ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Safe daily facial sunscreen and titanium ceramic pan
M, PARENT OF 5 YEAR OLD, 3 YEAR OLD

Hi,
Thanks for sharing your expertise! Suggestions for best daily facial sunscreen for myself and best sunscreen brands for kiddos? Thirdly, I recently was given a Gotham brand titanium ceramic copper pan. It is truly non stick and impressive. Is this material safe?

Thanks!

Maia
MAIA

Hi there! For a daily sunscreen for the face, I like Beautycounter's tinted moisturizers. For kids, I love the Babo spray: https://gimmethegoodstuff.org/store/babo-botanicals-sheer-zinc-continuous-spray-spf-30/

Maia
MAIA

I just checked out the Gotham pan and it claims to be free of all chemical coatings...I can't imagine how it's truly nonstick in that case!

M

Thanks!

MAIA ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Top Ten Lists
BRETT, PARENT OF 4 YEAR OLD

Hi Maia,
Thank you for answering questions today! I feel like there are an infinite number of products and chemicals out there these days and it is so hard to keep track of it all... what would you say are the top 10 most harmful chemicals or products to avoid? And on the other hand, what would be your top 10 favorite products to recommend, in any and all categories?

Maia
MAIA

Hi Brett-
Let's see. Top ten to avoid: 1) vinyl shower curtains 2)skincare products with "fragrance" or "parfum" on the label 3) "rubber" duckies made of PVC 4)scented plastic toys 5)"Dirty Dozen" list of conventional produce 4) conventional carpeting 5)Nonstick (Teflon) pans 6)Conventional air fresheners 7) anything with parabens in the ingredients 8) Scotchguarded furniture 9) mattresses with flame retardants in them 10)coffee pods

And ten of my favorite products: 1) Austin air filter 2)Babo bubble baths 3)CleanWell antibacterial products 3)Pong case for phone 4)BeesWrap for food storage 5)Xtrema pans 6) Pura Kiki bottle/sippy 7)Real rubber toys by Hevea 8)Tandi's Naturals laundry soap 9) Green Goo skin care 10) Soaring Heart mattresses

TELINA

Hi Maia, what product would you recommend to replace conventional carpeting that doesn't cost a fortune? We're in a rental right now so will be stuck with carpet for a couple years, but we eventually hope to buy a house and would love to find healthier, affordable options for flooring, etc.

MAIA ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Dishwasher soap & rinse aid
TELINA

Sorry, thought of one more! I've tried a lot of natural dishwasher soaps and none seem to work. Our dishwasher sprays black particles all over the dishes with them. I had an appliance guy even come out to make sure it was working properly, and he said I need to switch to regular soap. I did, but don't like the idea of it, and I'm also hesitant to use a regular Rinse Aid which he says is necessary. Any natural dishwasher soap and rinse aids you'd recommend that really work? Or do I really need to worry that much about using regular ones since it's being rinsed off the dishes anyway? Thanks for all you do, I really love your site!

Maia
MAIA

You're right that it all gets washed off, so it's not a huge product of concern. That said, you could try MamaSuds to see if you like it more (it's not detergent but soap): https://gimmethegoodstuff.org/store/mamasuds-auto-dishwasher-powder/

TELINA

Ok, thank you. Maybe that's an area I just won't worry about so much right now and focus on other things more concerning. :)

MAIA ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Wipes for potty training kids
TELINA

We are about to try and potty train our 2 1/2 yr old. Are there any "safe" toilet wipes on the market to use? I assume regular baby wipes would clog the toilet, and it doesn't seem like it'd be very easy to clean up a toddler with toilet paper. Thanks!

Maia
MAIA

I don't think that baby wipes are any thicker than a toilet wipe, and my plumbing tolerates them just fine. If yours doesn't, you could dispose of the wipes however you disposed of diapers, rather than tossing them in the toilet.

TELINA

Ok, good to know. I'm just going to do a better job at buying safer baby wipes then. Thank you!

MAIA ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Berkey water filter
TELINA

After researching forever, we purchased a Berkey water filter system about 6 months ago. We're in a rental so didn't want to go through the effort of installing an under counter one. We love it so far, but have read controversial things (like the fluoride filters might not actually filter?) What is your opinion on the Berkey? We also got a Culligan shower head filter, but I'm not convinced on it as my skin is still very dry. Any thoughts on that one? Thank you!!

Maia
MAIA

In my opinion, both of those are totally fine.

TELINA

Whew! Glad to hear it! I feel like often I think I'm doing the right thing or making the right purchase, and then other research comes out that says otherwise. So I'm glad these two things I can keep and feel good about!

MAIA ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Training Potty Sanitizing Spray
FAITH, PARENT OF 6 YEAR OLD, 3 YEAR OLD

Hi Maia,
I have struggled with finding a good product or a recipe for a spray that can be used between "go's" in the little training potty. After rinsing with water, do you recommend anything we can spray the little potty with to keep in safe and clean?

Maia
MAIA

You could try Clean Well's line of antibacterial products:).

FAITH

Thank you

MAIA ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Safer materials for feeding toddlers?
SARAH, PARENT OF 4 YEAR OLD, 5 MONTH OLD

Hi there! I'm looking for ideas about bowls, utensils, cups, and containers to use with a toddler who is in the everything-gets-dropped (or thrown!) part of her life. I usually try to avoid plastic in favor of glass or steel, but glass seems like a non-starter right now (and is too heavy to pack in her lunch) and metal doesn't work with hot food. We did find the To Go Ware bamboo spoons and the Pura stainless steel bottle/sippy, plus we use some of the Lunchbots steel containers with the threaded lids for snacks, but I'm definitely still using way more plastic than I wish I were. Thanks for any ideas!

Maia
MAIA

Hi there-Have you looked into silicone? Here's one that I love: https://gimmethegoodstuff.org/store/eco-vessel-smashbox-snacker-food-container-8-ounces/

MAIA ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Cream
MICHELE, PARENT OF 4 YEAR OLD

What do you recommend for cream for dry skin. My daughter doesn't have eczema that has been diagnosed although I have it. We were using cerave and aveeno eczema and then cetaphil cream but I just saw your other posting that cetaphil is not good. Thanks.

Maia
MAIA

I love Green Goo for all sorts of skin issues: https://gimmethegoodstuff.org/store/sierra-sage-dry-skin-care-with-calendula-flowers/

MAIA ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Vitamin C vs Chlorgon shower filter
GRACE

Hi Maia!

Thanks for answering my last post. If you had to choose between a vitamin C shower filter (such as UBS Vita Fresh) or one that uses Chlorgon ("a proprietary blend of Copper, Zinc and Calcium Sulfide") such as Sprite shower filter, which one would you choose?

Thanks so much!

Grace

Maia
MAIA

Honestly, I think as far as showers are concerned, either of these would be effective.

MAIA ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Don't know where to begin.
VICTORIA

Big fan here. Big thank you. Your website has helped me so many times! I have so many questions, but right now we are looking for safe and affordable lighting options, like floor lamps. Any ideas? Please consider a safe furniture guide as I will be moving into a home in a year or so. I see some low VOC options on etsy and reclaimed sites, but never sure where to begin. Thank you!

Maia
MAIA

Hi Victoria-
Floor lamps would be low concern, compared with things like upholstered pieces or furniture made of composite wood. I will be blogging soon about the furniture we chose for our nontoxic renovation project!