Many years ago, when my daughter was just a toddler, I was scrambling for information about how to raise her in as natural and healthy an environment as possible. Unlike today, when the blog-o-sphere is awash with information on going green, there was surprisingly little information available to parents looking for answers.
So I can still remember the day that I stumbled upon the NatureMoms website. For over eight years (which is like 80 years in internet-time,) NatureMoms has delivered the green goods on the products, people, and events that can help moms interested in leading a more natural lifestyle.
Over the past few years, I've had the good fortune to chat online with the mom behind NatureMoms: Tiffany Washko via our mutual participation in the Green Moms Carnival. But earlier this month, I actually got to hang out with Tiffany at the North American International Auto Show and I jumped at the opportunity to learn what makes this eco-mom of three so savvy. Here's what Tiffany had to say about health, food, and the importance of simplifying our lives:
JS: What first inspired you to go green?
TW: I had lots of health problems with my oldest who is now 11. When he was a baby he was born very sick. He had a vaccine reaction and epilepsy, and he was hospitalized several times. I couldn't help but think that there had to be some reason why his start was so rocky. Was it something environmental? Something in my health? Something that I had been exposed to? Something in my diet? I just wanted to cover all of the bases to make sure that if I did have another child – because I did want to have another one right away even though I ended up waiting 3 years – that this didn’t happen again.
JS: What is the environmental issue that concerns you the most?
TW: Food. Because that’s the one I struggle with daily. All the foods that my kids want are all the things that they shouldn’t have. I have a real problem with foods that are marketed to kids and foods that have become the norm. They go to school and get pop tarts. It really bothers me that we don’t have a food culture that’s healthier. I ended up with colon cancer and I think it was largely because I had a really bad diet. I don’t want my kids to grow up in an environment where stuff is loaded with dyes and chemicals, like high fructose corn syrup. I wish everyone could see that that is not real food. And the food issue is an environmental issue because so many bad foods are sourced from crops that are subsidized and that are bad for the planet. It seems to be more important to the government to maximize the profits of the bad food companies than to give us access to good, clean non-processed food. It impacts our kids' health and it impacts their environment.
JS: What is one thing that any parent can do to start leading a greener, more natural lifestyle?
JS: So, what does a 'nature mom' do for fun?
TW: My family does a lot of hiking. We do the winter and fall hiking series that our city parks put on. We like to travel to national and state parks, but that doesn’t happen much with the kids. I guess I’m just a boring person, I don’t have any grand hobbies.
Boring? I think not! Tiffany is like a super-hero to green moms everywhere! I know I owe her a world of thanks for helping me help my own family to go green. Check out her site, NatureMoms.com to connect with Tiffany and learn more about her tips for going green.