The Truth About Kids & Germs


Babies & kids are exposed to germs every day. What’s the truth about what will make them sick?

What’s worse than getting a cold, getting a cold in the summertime. Colds in the summertime are miserable and if your house anything like mine the germs just seem to spread. Every time my kids are sick I get sick, it seems to be unavoidable. Our kids are exposed to germs every day and I’ve always wondered what’s actually making them sick. I remember when I was growing up a little dirt never hurt, at least that’s what my parents always said, but is that really true? I decided to do a little digging and here’s what I found.

The common cold, pink eye, hand, foot, mouth disease and many more are caused by viruses. Most of these bugs are easily spread though direct and indirect contact between kids who are near one another and likely coughing, sneezing, wiping a runny nose with their hands all while playing and sharing food. So it’s not the dirt that’s making our little ones sick it’s actually us. With this type of environment it makes sense that germs are spread so easily.

Here are some things you can do to keep your whole family healthy this summer:

  • Wash your hands and your kids hands regularly, especially if they are in daycare or school
  • Take a good multivitamin
  • Eat healthy nutritious foods like fruits and vegetables
  • Get plenty of rest
  • Stay active, find fun activities for the whole family like yoga

Being sick helps to build your child’s immune system for the future so it’s not totally a bad thing. It is unrealistic to think our kids will never get sick but there several ways to minimize that from happening. It is reassuring to know all the work we’re doing now will pay off later!

Seven Tips to Go Green this Summer

clothesline - natural drying
Make your own sunscreen.

It might sound weird, but it’s actually really easy to make your own sunscreen. There are tons of options online, and the ingredients are pretty common – coconut oil, essential oils, etc. Not only will it help the environment, and keep your kids healthy, but you also only need to make as much as you need – so much less waste!

Frequent the famers market

Buying local is always in. The farmers that sell at your local market are usually within driving distance of your house which means you’re helping the local economy, giving your family healthy options, and supporting your businesses in your own neighborhood.

Swap regular charcoal for Cowboy Charcoal (cowboy

Traditional charcoal and briquettes might make your food tasty, but the particulates emanating off the grill are pretty harmful to the environment. But, trying a brand that’s made from all natural resources, and has a track record of environmentally friendly business decision is a sure fire way to grill up some great BBQ.

Try citrus plants to ward off mosquitos

You’ve seen the “mosquito control” planters all over Pinterest for good reason. They work! Filling up your deck, patio, porch and backyard with mosquito hating greens just might make your summer plans that much sweeter. Try bunches of Citronella plants, Lemon Thyme, and Lemongrass placed around your outdoor areas for some much needed relief. We can’t guarantee that you won’t get bit, but we’re pretty sure your yard will be the nicest smelling place on the block, with the least amount of pesky critters.

For small yards, use a reel mower instead of an electric or gas version.

This is simple – if you can, swamp out a simple push mower for your electric or gas mower. You can mow the grass and get a work out!

Forget the dryer and hang your clothes outside to dry

Another easy change – just hang a clothesline between two pillars, and voila! Instant outdoor dryer. Your clothes will smell like the great outdoors, and your wallet will thank you.

Use a rainbarrel to collect water with which to water your plants

Rain barrels collect the runoff from your gutters allowing you to use all that water to keep your plants and grass hydrated without running up your water bill. Thus saving water and money.

Cloth Diapering

Cloth diapers

We’ll be honest, here at Greenplicity we’ve been remiss in cloth diapering our kids. For various reasons it just didn’t work out for us. But, we are huge supporters and fans on cloth diapers. They’re great for the environment, they’re soft and cozy, easy to clean (once you get the hang of it!), they’re adorable looking, and with so many choices (way more than disposables) anyone can find the right set for her babies.

So it shouldn’t be a total surprise that we’ve partnered with Maria from Change Diapers – a cloth diapering expert – to host some events, partner on projects, and direct our friends to her blog when they’re looking for help.

Because of Maria’s expertise, we won’t even try to give you tips on cloth diapering. But what we will do, is repost her Cloth Diapering 101 article, that lists out types, sizes, closures, accessories and more. Because why reiterate what the expert said, when she does it best!

Repost of Maria’s Article

Go Natural with DIY and Homemade Cleaning Products

Cleaning tools and supplies

Here at Greenplicity we’re all about reducing our carbon footprint and living a healthy life. A few years ago we started making our own cleaning products that not only smell great, they leave our house sparkling without leaving behind chemicals and harmful odors. In honor of this awesome weather, and some decluttering we did over the weekend, we thought we’d share some of our favorite recipes for polishing your wood, scrubbing your floors, and even creating your own dishwasher soap.

DIY Furniture Polish

  • 1/2 cup sweet almond oil
  • 1/8 cup of grated beeswax
  • 10-15 drops lemon essential oil

In a double boiler, heat almond oil and beeswax until beeswax is completely melted. Wax varies in hardness, so test it before adding the lavender oil. The mixture should be firm enough to dip a cloth into and rub across the top but soft enough to melt a bill on contact. Pour into a glass jar, allow to cool and harden a bit before using.

Homemade Multi-Purpose Spray

  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp washing soda
  • 1 tsp liquid Castile soap
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 20 drops essential oil as preferred

Mix all ingredients together in a spray bottle

Homemade Dishwasher Soap

  • 1 cup borax
  • 1 cup washing soda
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 5 packets unsweetened lemonade mix

Mix all ingredients and store in a tightly sealed jar. Use 1 tablespoon per load or 2 tablespoons for extra-dirty dishes (makes 42 loads).

3 Quick Tips for Caring for Baby’s Sensitive Skin

baby feet and skin

“Baby Skin Sensitivities: What You Should Know.” How do you know if your baby has sensitive skin? What can you do to ensure that her skin doesn’t become irritated?

Our babies are such sweet, delicate creatures, aren’t they? They seem so defenseless when they first arrive in this world, and we fret about anything they come in contact with, fearful of what could happen as a result.

Babies’ skin is especially delicate, much like their immune system, and can flare up for seemingly no reason at all. It can be hard to find the culprit for the sensitivity, but it’s important so that your child is comfortable. Below, we’ve listed some ways to protect your little one’s skin, safely.

  1. Wash baby’s clothes and bedding separately, with a mild detergent. Because their immune systems have not fully developed, the harsh chemicals in regular detergents can irritate your child’s skin, causing rashes and discomfort. Avoid the situation by using a detergent that’s dye-free and chemical-free. You may also want to cut out any itchy tags on baby’s clothes.
  2. Avoid bathing too often. While it may seem you’re doing your little one a favor and keeping him clean, too many baths can dry out his skin and remove the natural oils which protect it. Pediatricians recommend 1-2 baths a week to avoid conditions like eczema.
  3. Know what’s in your baby products. Many hair and skin care ingredients contain additives that can result in irritation, or even an allergic reaction. Limit your child’s exposure to harmful chemicals by reading labels, and garner knowledge about what’s in the products.

Products from Greenplicity are ideal for babies with sensitive skin, because they’re made with food-grade ingredients which feature essentials oils and all-natural ingredients. Gentle and nourishing, they’re products that you can feel good about using on your baby—and yourself!