This month has been an Earth-happy one here at yoyomama, so we were thrilled to chat with Toronto’s Lisa Borden, owner of Borden Communications, author, and mum to three, who gave us some ideas for how to keep the Earth Day love going well beyond April 22nd.
YM: It seems the focus on eco-everything accelerates as Earth Day approaches…but what can we do the other 364 days?
LB: Raising awareness for Earth Day is wonderful, but we don’t want to fall back into “un-eco” activities the next day. Every day should be Earth Day! When my daughter was born with severe allergies, I realized quickly that every purchase mattered. With every dollar we spend, we are voting for more of that purchase –every bottle of shampoo, gumball, pair or shoes, or even mutual fund. Each purchase may be a “little” thing, but they add up quickly.
YM: So if we think of each day as Earth Day, what are things we can do daily to improve and support a healthy environment?
LB: The list is so long…in fact it never ends. Although people are sick of being told how awful bottled water is for the environment (and our bodies), so many still drink it and don’t even recycle the bottles properly. So please…ditch the bottled water! Other easy ideas are: unplugging chargers when not in use, only using toxic-free cleaners, learning to read product labels, shopping at Farmers’ markets, using reusable containers (see takeout/without for tips on reducing restaurant waste) and leaving your shoes at the door (which will keep your home free of things like pesticides). But if turning off the tap while you brush your teeth is all you feel you can do, that’s a great start.
YM: Many parents are concerned with what their kids eat, wear, and play with. How can parents create a more natural home for their kiddos?
LB: The simple answer is to do the very best you can. I’m an educated mum and yet I made choices in my kids’ early days I’d change now if I could, like using BPA-laden bottles (even though I breastfed and made my own organic baby food), purchasing the “best” mattress chock full of flame retardants, and slathering on Triclosan to keep my family “healthy.” Until the day my eldest asked, “Mummy, how can the store sell it if it’s so bad for us?” and I realized I needed to take action. One of the best things we’ve done as a family is to grow our own organic veggies at home. The kids love it, and we have fresh, accessible, and (very) local produce on our table daily.
YM: What’s your favourite eco play to eat, shop and play in T.O.?
LB: Honestly, my home! I would also encourage families to visit a Farmers’ market together, like the one at Evergreen Brick Works, and the greatest eco store in Toronto, in my opinion, is EcoExistence. For food (outside of markets and growing your own) I would suggest joining a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture – Lisa belongs to The Cutting Veg), and checking out Qi Natural Living, The Healthy Butcher, The Big Carrot, Nature’s Emporium, and delivery with Mama Earth Organics. (For more of Lisa’s suggestions, visit The Big List)
Want to learn more? Check out Lisa’s book, The Alphabet of Avoidance, which offers tips for leading a healthier lifestyle, and can be read cover-to-cover in under an hour!
Yo mama! Here’s more earth-friendly stuff in Toronto: