Greening the Home with Anna Getty
5.25.12

We caught up with Anna Getty, master of all thing green and lovely for the home, to learn a few of her tips and tricks to keeping the entire home healthy, fresh and toxin-free!

In honor of Pregnancy Awareness Month, an organization which Anna co-founded, we’re sharing Anna’s greening tips for nursery and child!  Pregnancy Awareness Month is honored each May, bringing awareness to the education of mothers about nutrition, wellness and “all-around nurturing”.  Because of her passion to help mothers learn and her own commitment to keep a green household, we thought our readers would enjoy Anna’s best tips and tricks for ‘greening’ as a parent.

Growing up in a famously bohemian household, Anna’s family lived a simple, near to the earth lifestyle. She spent time in their garden at the Green Gulch Zen Center with her mother and hiking with her grandmother in Germany, in touch with nature at every stage of life. While the pace of life may be much different today, that sense of nearness to the earth and the value of simple frugality have surely stuck with Anna.  As a mother of two, one of the main ways Anna’s green and natural values are expressed are in the way she cares for her children.  Here are some of her top recommendations, from encouraging healthy eating habits to keeping kid’s surroundings healthy and toxin-free.

Best Resources For Natural Toys

Ecomom.com: For their ‘melissa and day’ puzzles, as well as toy trucks made from recycled milk cartons.

eBay: Find gently used toys your child wants on eBay. We buy all our American Girl clothing for my daughter’s dolls here.

Novanaturals.com: All sorts of fantastic wooden toys.

Fabric stores: I can take my daughter to the fabric store, let her choose just a yard or two of fabric and  instantly she’s got great additions for her dress-up box.

Clementine Art: Beautiful, non-toxic doughs, paints, glues and pens. Kids have great imaginations!

Snack Time

Avoid snacks with food coloring or processed sugar.  Our children rarely eat sugar.  When you look at the many health conditions that have become common in children these days and you look at the processed foods they are often fed, you can’t help but see the correlation.

Our staple snack is apples with almond butter.  Other go-to options are Pirate’s Booty and the newly popular seaweed snacks.  Like all children, my kids go through phases where they don’t like fruits and vegetables, but I believe it’s important to continue to expose them to them. My daughter won’t eat basil on her pasta, but we have a basil plant and she loves to help pick the basil and will eat it straight from the plant at times.  Bake an apple pie with whole grain organic crust or make a green smoothie and let the kids help to make it. I find that if the children are involved, they are more likely to eat the food.  Often, we begin to crave the foods we are exposed to, whether it be candy or green smoothies, so I try to feed them more of the latter.

Green Materials for the Nursery

Using VOC-free paint is important all throughout the house, but especially in the bedrooms and nursery.  There are plenty of stylish colors and brands out there these days that make VOC-free options. Switch your child’s bedding to all organic wool and cotton sheets and blankets. These items are close to the skin and they should be all-natural.

Circling Back to Nature

Especially when the kids are spending a lot of time in the city, I find it important to keep them in touch with nature.  Circle the kids back to the subjects of nature, whether it’s through pets, trips to the ocean or awareness about where their food comes from.  We take day trips to the aquarium or science museum and at night read before bed. One of our favorite books is Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax.  We love to read and allow the kids to ask questions.

Keep A Peaceful Home Environment

Create rituals for your children that connect them to the rhythm of the morning and evening.  Television can be problematic.  We try to minimize the kids exposure to the media. My children probably watch 1-3 hours of television a week, but it’s about balance – sometimes sitting a child in front of the TV when you’re forced to take a quick call is a necessary thing.  In the evenings, I get them accustomed to a rhythm with dinner time, bath time, reading and snuggling, then bed.  We also keep the habit of a gratitude ritual everyday where we share what each of us is grateful for, as well as an intentions ritual in the morning where we share our intentions for the day.

For more on Anna visit her site PureStyle Living.


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