• Back to School and a Bit Perplexed!

    As some of you may know I recently sealed the carpets at my son’s school so that we could avoid the emissions of VOCs all year long. The school was nice enough to call me when they installed the carpet so that I could have this process completed.  Schools are on tighter budgets these days and 100% wool carpet was definitely out of reach.  We have a wonderful school and they are making efforts to “be green”.  We have a master organic gardener on staff, the children bring in compost materials, and they teach about and practice recycling.  This year the school has even asked parents to purchase reusables for their children’s lunches to include snack bags, stainless water bottles, and cloth napkins.  They are doing away with plastic bags and bottles!

    Imagine my surprise when I showed up today (the week before school starts) to drop off supplies and smelled heavy fumes.  They were painting the classrooms and front office with paint that was clearly not “no VOC” paint.  The staff was working in this environment with closed doors and windows because it was so hot outside.  It was surprising to me that they were unphased by the fumes because I had a head rush right away.  I was perplexed by the whole thing because we just discussed the VOCs in the carpet weeks ago.  Needless to say, this upset me very much.  I am still waiting for the director to call me with the information on which paint was used in the class.  I know they see me coming from a mile away.  Am I the only one that speaks up about these things at school?  I would have gladly paid the difference in the cost between the two paints(it is not much).

    I called my fabulous friend Julie on the way home and she shared this with me, “Nickie, you have to understand that this is crystal clear for you.  It is not clear to everyone.  One day they will get it.”  As the day went on I realized that we all still have a lot of work to do. We must continue to spread the knowledge that we have in a loving way to protect our health and our planet.  It is not that people don’t care, it is that they just don’t get it!

    Please advocate for and speak up about these things at your school, church, and office so that we are all surrounded by a healthy environment.  Do not be afraid to ask what they are spraying in your child’s classroom or painting on the walls.  This should concern all of us and the more we speak up the more change will come.

    no VOCs in paints and carpet
    no chemical cleaners
    minimal plastics and styrofoam use

    Thanks for reading Hip Moms Go Green and supporting these values!


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    3 Comments On This Post

    1. No! You are not the only one who gets it. But before your article, I felt as if I were the only mum who did! I’m so exhasperated by hearing my own voice speaking-up on these issues, only to be rewarded with blank stares at best, patronising comments at worst! My school constantly boasts about it’s green status…but this is laughable! We are expected to take our children to school every day, is it too much to expect the schools to respect their health while in their care and not expose them to toxins which are detrimental or dangerous?! For me the most perplexing question of all is “WHY?” Why are more parents not concerned or questioning? Why don’t they get-it?!!!

    2. *Heavy sigh. Isn’t frustrating that keeping kids healthy is such a constant battle? My son is still a baby, so I’m not quite where you’re at yet with needing to deal with schools, but someday, this will be me. I get self conscious about being “that mom” that is always causing a ruckus, so it’s so nice to know that I’m not alone, even if I sometimes feel like it! :)

    3. Major Kudos to you, Nickie. Loved your post. So well put. I, too, have in the past paid to seal carpet and really made myself heard when it came to pesticides and toxic paint being used at my church and in my children’s school. I would not take no for an answer. I have a zero tolerance for a substance used around my children that is undeniably going to be toxic to their brain, nervous system, and organs. I hope that parents will realize the extreme need to make themselves heard when it comes to toxic chemicals being used around themselves and their kids. Who cares what the other people think. The family is the one who will have to live with the fall out of being exposed to dangerous chemicals. Thank you, Nickie, for being a woman who doesnt just talk the talk, but actually lives it and puts it into practice in her daily life. Lets all of the Hip Mom Go Green readers go out there and make a stand for the health of our families. :)

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