Saturday, May 16, 2009

Growing Green Babies

A friend recommended that I check out this DVD, Growing Green Babies - I think she hadn't seen it, but figured it sounded good. I got it through Netflix and I finally made time to watch it tonight.

Overall, it's aimed at people who are new to paying attention to the environment. A hot tip from the movie: accept hand-me-downs because it will save you money and be good for the environment. No kidding! Another hot tip: choose wood and cloth toys over plastic. Wow.

In a section on greening your baby's nursery, the narrator, Sara Snow, first says the jury is out on the effect of electromagnetic fields on your health, and then goes on at length about how you must remove all optional electrical appliances from the nursery. I was ready to just ignore this, as I am not on the side of the afraid of electronics, but then she started talking about great CDs to buy to listen to in the nursery. I thought to myself ah yes, I'll be playing those nice CDs on my, um, CD player? That's electronic equipment, folks.

The narrator is very sincere, but she grates me a bit the wrong way: she's overly enthusiastic (I think she's pushing my cheerleader button), and I guess because I'm already familiar with most of the content, she comes across as condescending. But, I think if she were sharing something that was new to me, I might feel less so. Between each segment, Snow is filmed standing by a creek in front of a bamboo grove to introduce the next topic and explain why it's so important. It comes across as very corny.

The beauty segment made me feel like I'm having the easiest pregnancy ever: still no stretch marks, no varicose veins, no change in my (head) hair. I've been lucky!

The home cleaning segment is hilarious: Snow suggests using castille soap, baking soda and vinegar for various things, instead of conventional cleaning products. All things I already use. Here's something new that I like: use white vinegar in the rinse cycle when washing clothes instead of liquid fabric softener - which I knew was problematic, but now know what to replace it with.

There are a couple of segments on nutrition, prenatal and postpartum, and they're explicitly, blatantly filmed at Whole Foods! It's like a big advertisement for the store. In the first nutrition section, Snow annoyed me by talking only about the impact of pesticides on your health, as if that is the only reason to eat organic. This is a pet peeve of mine: there are two other hugely important reasons to eat organic that aren't selfish.
  • First, those chemicals are often petroleum based and both their production and use have negative impacts on our water and the rest of the ecosystem.
  • Second, it's easy to forget when you don't see it, but there was someone in a field growing your food. Their health is negatively impacted by a lot of the pesticides that are applied to your future food.
If we buy organic, we are supporting more environmentally friendly farming, and better chances at good health for farm workers around the world.

Another valuable thing from the movie: instructions on the use of the G Diapers. I knew their inserts are flushable, but now I know what needs to be done to them before flushing (not much, but there are steps to follow).

Snow dialogues with two moms, teaching them about how to green their whole pregnancy and baby experience. At the end, they talk about how scary it was: I think that's a great summary. It seems to me that this is reusing information that's already widely available, but pushing it at new parents to scare them.

If you haven't been reading about and working on reducing your environmental footprint for a long time, you might find this video to be helpful - but pick and choose what you act on, and ignore the rest. It will only give you more to worry about. Other than the two tips I mentioned about, it wasn't really a good use of my time.


Tommy & Michelle said...

Interesting - I enjoyed your review of the video.

CaroLyn said...

Thank you! More book reviews to come.