Monday, March 31, 2008

MomCat Reviews: Healthy Child Healthy World

If you're read my blog recently, you'll know that I'm in a transition mode in my life that has me rethinking a lot of things. And, one of the topics I've been reading about more and more these days is adapting to a "greener" lifestyle--one that is better for the planet and better for your health. But, when you are very uneducated about just what is bad in the products you use, it is hard to even know where to start. Thankfully, the folks at MotherTalk had a book review that ended up being the answer to all of my questions.

Healthy Child Healthy World is a surprisingly quick read that will really open your eyes to just what is being sold out there to consumers and the potential it has to cause serious health problems and damage to our environment. But, with that said, it doesn't resort to scare tactics to get the message across-instead it peppers in facts along with testimonials from environmental experts and celebrities. I found that I could not put the book down, and ended up reading it in only a few sittings.

Now, I have to admit, in the past, I was one of those people who would argue back at the green fanatics out there--"my mother used Clorox and I was just fine. If this stuff is so bad for us, then why am I still standing here?" Truthfully speaking, I felt like these people were overreacting a bit.

The reality of the matter is that our children are living in a different world today than we did--plain and simple. In one day of my children waking up, getting ready, going to school, and coming back home, they have already encountered more chemical additives, preservatives, pesticides, and other things in our air, water, and food than I ever did when I was growing up. And scientist are only now able to start seeing some long-term affects of this exposure. Yes, advances in science have been our blessing in may ways, but they are also our curse as this book proves. And, after reading this book, I know now that my old argument just doesn't hold water anymore.

My son has allergy-induced asthma that has thankfully improved as he's gotten older. But, I have to admit that as I read this book I really wished I had it back when he was two and three and we were struggling to know what was going on with him and how to prevent his respiratory attacks. And, I am considering having both he and I completely allergy tested, just so we know what causes his attacks.

Healthy Child Healthy World acts as a complete and easy-to-understand map to novice readers for how to "go green," but what makes it stand out is that it does not overwhelm you with too much information. Instead, the book offers up examples and solutions for the cost-conscious reader who wants to make changes. The book even encourages readers to start slow, swapping out household cleaners and changing small things like shampoos, before diving into completely going all organic/chemical free. There are great home remedies for everything from making your own bubble bath, to homemade cleaners, to furniture polish made with olive oil.

Another thing I like is that the book hits on just about every area that you can imagine--from the obvious subjects--such as safer foods to eat and organic gardening and lawn care tips--to pet care and kid-safe toys. Some of the helpful "Copy and Carry" sections of the book, I will be referring to again and again, including:
  • Recipes for Cleaners
  • An Under-Sink Makeover
  • The Dirty Dozen/Cleanest 12 Shop Guide to Pesticide Free Produce
  • Plastics by the Numbers
I truly cannot say enough about this book. It is a quick read that keeps your attention. And, it will open your eyes and make you think differently about how you live. Of all the books and products I have reviewed over the past few years, I have to say Healthy Child Healthy World has the potential to have the biggest impact on my life. I have already started making small changes and will map out a plan for more large scale changes in our home. My son is eight and is very into recycling and saving the earth already and the book has many tips on how to teach your kids to get involved at home. This is a book I will loan to my friends, or perhaps buy as gifts for friends and family.

Now, instead of arguing that the old way of doing things never hurt me, I have changed my thinking to--what can it hurt to try to live more safely and be less dependent on chemicals in our lives? I owe this shift to reading Healthy Child Healthy World.

For the most current information and more on this book, check out the Healthy Child Healthy World website or see what other reviewers had to say at MotherTalk.

This book was sponsored by MotherTalk . I received a copy of the book and an Amazon gift card for agreeing to review the book.

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Blogger Niihaus said...

Hey Steph - love your review of this book. It sounds like it would be a great gift!

2:22 PM, March 31, 2008  
Blogger DebbieDoesLife said...

Please track your progress via your blog. I would love to hear how it goes.

10:41 AM, April 02, 2008  
Blogger Crazy MomCat said...

I sure will, Debbie! I'm eyeballing new cleaners right now and will switch to things as I run out. I might do some little mini product reviews when I do that.

10:47 AM, April 03, 2008  

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