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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!
Carseats?
CORIENA

Have you done any research on carseats? I was thoroughly discouraged when I researched carseats when I was expecting 2 years ago. Not sure if anything has changed, but basically you could get a carseat with nasty flame retardants, or a carseat with slightly less nasty flame retardants. I went with a used (but not expired) infant carseat hoping some of the nasties had been washed off/off gassed, and invested in a Clek carseat for when she was big enough b/c they used the non-bromated flame retardants. This is such a tricky tricky area for parents who are purists about everything else, because if you drive with your child, you cannot get out of using a carseat. You also cannot make your own with all natural materials because I'm sure that wouldn't be legal, and probably wouldn't be as safe (as much as I'd love a handmade wooden carseat). Any thoughts?

Maia
MAIA

Hi, yes, I've looked into this and come to the same conclusions that you did. For now, I recommend the Clek and pretty much nothing else!

MAIA ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Reverse Osmosis Water Filter
MICHELE, PARENT OF 5 YEAR OLD

Hi Maia,

I was hoping that you might be able to recommend a reverse osmosis water filter? We are currently drinking unfiltered tap water and I'd love to find a system that doesn't break the bank and can fit right under the sink, and filters out anything potentially harmful.

Thank you for your help!
Michele

Maia
MAIA

Hi there-I generally advise against RO filters because they waste more water than they filter, and for most people are overkill. If you'd like help choosing the right filter please email john@gimmethegoodstuff.org (tell him I sent you!).

MAIA ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Household cleaner
JESSE

Hi Maia, have you every heard of Puracy all purpose cleaner? I recently bought some and it works great, but I wasn't sure if it was good, bad, or sneaky. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00NIYV78O/?tag=thesweethome-20&linkCode=xm2&ascsubtag=SH48849&th=1
That's the amazon link. Thank you!

Maia
MAIA

Hi Jesse-
I think Puracy is Okay Stuff. They use some preservatives I don't love, but overall it's not terrible.

MAIA ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Vitamins
TRACEY

Hi Maia,
One more question... I've been trying to find a good organic multivitamin for my 18 month old and again it's impossible to find. Been giving her Rainbow Light multivitamin powder, but I know it's synthetic . Not sure why they don't make an organic non Gmo vitamins for toddlers. Can you recommend a good vitamin for a 1 year old? Do you know if the one I give her is good stuff?
Thanks again! Hope you have a wonderful day!
Tracey

CORIENA

I've also been curious about this as I've considered giving my almost 2 year old a multivitamin and have wondered if there is a really good, whole food, all natural one? My search on Vitacost made me feel like it might be hard (they even carry Flintstones vitamins on Vitacost which are obviously in the bad stuff category--pretty annoying b/c I expect them to carry at least okay stuff). Would love some insight.

Maia
MAIA

Vitamins are indeed a very complicated, nuanced issue. Mostly I would defer to your pediatricians (since I am not a medical expert), but I did cover this topic here: https://gimmethegoodstuff.org/best-multivitamins/

MAIA ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Diapers and Diaper rash cream
MARIA, PARENT OF 4 YEAR OLD, 3 MONTH OLD

Aside from using cloth diapers and making your own diaper balm (I don't have time for either), what are the best options out there on the market?

Maia
MAIA

Hi Maria!
You can check out our Safe Diaper Guide and Safe Diaper Cream Guide for my picks:).

https://gimmethegoodstuff.org/safe-product-guides/

MAIA ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Cookware
NORMA

Dear Mia, I use Scanpan nonstick cookware.They have a ceramic titanium coat.I think they are too good to be true,nonstick just like teflon but without PFOA and PFOE. Do you know this product?Enjoy your turmeric kombucha! Which is that coffeeshop?

Maia
MAIA

Hi Norma! I don't know the ScanPan, I'm sorry! I'm pretty suspicious and to me it also sounds too good to be true, but I will look into it for inclusion in our updated Safe Cookware Guide!

MAIA ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Skincare for my kiddos
AMARYLLIS

Hi Maia!!-
Again thank you for helping us figure out whats safe for our home and kids. I've told many of my first time momma friends about your blog and they love it just as much as I do!
My main concern/question is what I put on my kids and myself. I have a 5 year old and a 7 month old.
My 5 year old has had eczema since day one and we've tried it ALL. Unfortunately the two products that work for him are Eucerin and Aquaphor, until recently my friend told me about a brand called Tubby Todd. I ordered their body wash and cream and my son loved them both and was soooo excited because he finally smelled like something. The products worked but I'm no expert and I feel like they're not as natural as they make to be. Can you please take a look at this brand? And let us mommas know your thoughts.
Now our baby is on another level, she's ten times more sensitive than our son was! She also suffers from eczema and everything has to be fragrance free and something moisturizing because of her super dry skin. I found a local shop that sells vegan products and I am going to try their baby wash to see if that helps. I wanted to try Babo but they don't have any fragrance free products. I've also switched out my entire skin care routine because our baby is allergic to dairy, soy and eggs and I'm still breastfeeding.
Yikes sorry this was more of a story than a question haha. Ideally I would love to find something that I can use for both kids but our son wants something that smells good vs we need fragrance free for our baby.
I'd also like to say thank you on posting about household cleaning products. I've switched everything I had to the Better Life brand.
Thanks for your time!!!
Amaryllis

Maia
MAIA

Hi there! Thanks so much for your kind words:). So the Tubby Todd stuff isn't bad--most of really yucky stuff is absent. The only ingredient I'm really not into is the cocamidopropyl betaine. One other thing--they have a bunch of synthetic ingredients, so the claim 100% natural is definitely false. But again, overall, I would feel okay about using this if it's working for you.

Have you tried any tallow based products, such as Tandi's Naturals?

AMARYLLIS

Thank you for looking into the brand!! I just checked out Tandi's Naturals and sounds awesome, will check it out for sure!

MAIA ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
SPF 50
TRACEY

Hi Maia,
Is the spf 50 they spray into bathing suit material toxic for my 1 year old daughter? It's impossible to find one that doesn't have it built in. I did find a couple companies that have no spray, but it's like a head to toe surfing body suit. Not really what I'm looking for. Can you please let me know your thoughts on the spray and if it's toxic and if so, can you recommend a suit that is safe? It's so stressful this day and age with everything being toxic. Your website really helps me and it's always my go to. Thank you so much.
Tracey

Maia
MAIA

Hi Tracey-
As far as I know, bathing suits that are SPF 50 are not sprayed; they are protective simply because of the fabric.

TRACEY

A lot of websites say that they are treated with chemicals that are harmful. Crazy day and age we live in.

MAIA ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Essential oils
STEPHANIE

Hi, Maia!

I have used essential oils for the last seven years. My only experience is with doTERRA and Young Living brands. Do you recommend a certain brand?

Thank you for your dedication and commitment to consumer health and safety!

Maia
MAIA

Hi Stephanie-
People ask me about essential oils all the time, but I just haven't dedicated enough time to researching them yet to be able to give an informed opinion. I'm sorry to not be able to help with this!

STEPHANIE

No problem, Maia! Thanks, again, for all you do!

MAIA ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Safe Hand sanitizer
AMARYLLIS

Hi Maia-
Forgot to ask you about hand sanitizer, I like using the Honest brand. Is this good stuff?
Thank you!

Maia
MAIA

Yes, that's fine:). I also like CleanWell.

AMARYLLIS

Awesome, thank you!