Editor’s Note: Earth Friendly Products is a Disney Baby licensee.
Having a baby, especially your first, is one of the most exciting times of anyone’s life — but can also be the most stressful. Besides all the wonderful things you’re about to experience, it can be super hard to ignore the fears and questions you may have around creating a safe and healthy home for Baby.
Obviously, we always do the best we can. But what they say is true — raising a little one takes a village! So it always helps to reach out to other moms who have experience in areas we don’t.
Recently, we had the pleasure of paying a visit to Earth Friendly Products, the makers of the well-known environmentally friendly line of household cleaners, Baby ECOS. We also caught up with Jenna Arkin, Product Development Director and mom to 1-year-old daughter Arrow, as well as Monika Hanks, Director of Trade & Shopper Marketing and mom to 6-month-old son Cameron.
We figured, if anyone knows the ins and outs of making your home environmentally safe for a new baby, it’s these ladies!
Here’s what they had to say about becoming eco-friendly at the most important stage of your life — new parenthood — and what to look out for when it comes to Baby’s environment.
First, have you always had a passion for the environment in general? If so, what inspired it?
Monika (shown with son Cameron, at right): I’ve always had an appreciation for the environment. I was that person that believed wholeheartedly in never littering and in preserving and appreciating our precious wildlife … Earth Friendly Products has [also] taught me in great detail the environmental impacts both of business and my personal life, which is extremely important to me as a new mom. My whole life has become about creating the safest environment for my son.
Jenna: I was a very curious and imaginative child! I always wanted to understand how things around me worked. I was drawn to science at an early age and in elementary school, my mom signed me up for “Mad Science” — an afterschool program where my curiosity and imagination could run wild. We got to make things, set off rockets, and do chemical reactions. I was hooked, and sure there was no other path for me other than to be a scientist.
What do YOU personally look for when buying household products that could come in contact with your baby?
Jenna (shown with daughter Arrow, at left): It is really the quality and accessibility of information on a label that makes me feel confident as a new mom that I am buying what is best for my baby. If a company is not disclosing what is in a product, it is usually because they believe that their ingredients are not a good “marketing tool.” On the other hand, companies that work hard to use the safest and highest quality ingredients want consumers to know what’s in their products and list all of their ingredients on the package.
Monika: I first look for transparency, and then it’s all about the actual ingredients. It’s amazing, the protective mama bear that comes out when I shop for my baby that I never knew I had in me … Ingredients in general household cleaning products that should definitely make you run the other direction are optical brighteners, chlorinated bleach, phosphates, parabens, and phthalates. These ingredients are all bad for the environment and for human health.
Which household products do you think are best to replace with an eco-friendly option, especially if you have a baby at home?
Jenna: Every parent wants to protect their baby as much as possible from hidden dangers, and with so many choices to make as a new parent, it can be daunting. My approach has always been to focus on things that come in direct contact with her skin.
Monika: Laundry, laundry, laundry. Did I say laundry? This is the best place to start. I know I do more laundry for my son than anyone in the house. (How is it that people so small create such big piles of dirty clothes so quickly?) Since this is one of the cleaning products most used, this is the area that would make the most impact if you were only going to make one change.
As a mom, I’m [also] super picky about what my baby comes in contact with. Most parents don’t know about the toxic residues left on bottles and dishes when using conventional dishwashing products that end up being ingested.
Finally, why do you think parents should consider using Earth Friendly Products?
Monika: We’ve been family-owned and operated since 1967. We have decades of experience, not only as an innovator in green science, but also as a primary manufacturer. Being at the forefront of the green cleaning products industry, we are committed to the quality and safety of our products, from innovation to creation.
Jenna: There’s so much heart that goes into each and every product we put into the market. We are mothers and fathers ourselves – and we are creating the change we want to see in the world with safer, non-toxic solutions for families.
Thank you Monika and Jenna for sharing your thoughts with us. Your enthusiasm and knowledge are truly inspiring!
For more information about non-toxic products to address your everyday cleaning needs, be sure to visit babyecos.com.