Katy Farber is a teacher, author, and founder of the blog, Non-Toxic Kids. She is also the author of two books about education, Why Great Teachers Quit and How We Might Stop the Exodus and Change the World with Service Learning. Katy has written for various news, parenting, non-profit and educational publications, including Moms Clean Air Force, Educational Leadership, CNN’s School of Thought Blog, Problogger, Fox News opinion, and many others.
Katy Farber is a teacher, author, and founder of the blog, Non-Toxic Kids. She is also the author of two books about education, Why Great Teachers Quit and How We Might Stop the Exodus and Change the World with Service Learning. Katy has written for vario
Blog Post List
October 17, 2013
Found this costume at a thrift store! Halloween is almost upon us! At this time of year I am more frightened of all the junk food, plastic, toxic face paint and artificial colorings than ghosts and ghouls! Truly, Halloween can be a time of waste, massive sugar consumption, and plastic, or we can make it reflect healthy, more sustainable choices. Or, we can simply take steps each year to make it as green and healthy as we can. Here is a collection of posts to help you, busy MomsRising readers, to make this Halloween your most fun, most green and healthiest yet for you and your kids. Safer,...
October 4, 2013
Did you know that many personal use product such as cosmetics, shampoos, and body washes contain chemical fragrances that could be harmful to you and your family's health? Not many people do. It's also a secret that companies do not have to disclose which chemicals they are using as fragrance. They simply list fragrance-- which can mean any chemical is added to a product, even ones that have been linked to numerous health problems. Sometimes, fragrance is even added and not listed. And synthetic fragrance use in the marketplace has doubled since 1990. Here are some reasons why this is a...
September 18, 2013
You want proof that online and offline activism works, and that regular American parents and consumers can make a difference in multi-billion dollar corporations? Just take a look at some of the public health successes that have come across our radar in the last week. While we celebrate the good news below, we note that the federal government has failed to regulate toxic chemicals in our products, which is why we have turned to corporate leadership. With the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee now working on the Chemical Safety Improvement Act, we are hopeful that we can move...
September 10, 2013
Last month, the Senate Environmental and Public Works committee held a hearing about toxic chemicals . Business owners, health advocates, and citizens testified about the the lack of regulation of toxic chemicals in consumer products and how they are harming lives. This fall, Congress will decide how to regulate (or not) toxic chemicals for the first time in over 30 years. Here are 10 reasons we need strong reform of our chemicals laws NOW to protect children and families from harmful, toxic exposures that are causing many health and learning problems. 1. It is outdated. The Toxic Substances...
August 29, 2013
Are your kids back in school? Mine are, and boy, are they tired! So am I. Facing all the lunch packing, forms, homework, and running around, well, it has me dreaming of next summer! I've found some great resources to help with this transition. Here you'll find eco-friendly, safe and healthy lunch information, how to find safer lunch gear, resources for helping your child's school or daycare become more non-toxic and green, and more. We had a very informative and fun #EcoTipTue tweet chat this Tuesday with even more tips that I will post about soon. What about you? What are your favorite back...
August 19, 2013
Did you hear about Senate committee hearing at the end of July? It was kind of a big deal. Why? For years environmental health activists, parents, bloggers, journalists, film-makers and scientists have been sounding the alarm about the over 80,000 untested chemicals found in your home, products, schools and child care centers--- and the harmful affects they have on our bodies, especially our children. We've seen exponential increases in learning difficulties, cancer, developmental delays, reproductive system problems, obesity, early puberty, and other problems. Many of these conditions have...
July 29, 2013
One of my least favorite things about parenting is applying sunscreen to my small children. The kids despise it. They squirm. They scowl. They walk away. It takes parental persistence and fortitude to apply sunscreen-- and then, 2 hours later (or sooner if you have a fair skinned kid like I do) to dry them off, and reapply.
July 24, 2013
The bug season is here! For us up in Vermont, it is an unpleasant trifecta of mosquitoes, black flies, and deer flies. Across the East coast, wet and hot weather is creating the perfect conditions for many insects to thrive. Climate change is also causing and increase in mosquitoes and the infectious diseases they carry. What to do if you are heading into the woods, or camping with your kids? 1. Consider how buggy your location is. Do some research to figure out which insects are in season and how bothersome they are. You might find that they are only problematic at dusk and dawn. In that...
July 16, 2013
You've probably heard about BPA in the news a few years ago. The chemical BPA (or bisphenol A) in baby bottles and water bottles was all over the press and led to the FDA banning the hormone disrupting chemical from baby bottles and sippy cups in 2012. But did you know that BPA still lurks in many places in our food supply and packaging? That's the focus of this week's #EcoTipTue on Twitter. This week we have Ana, a special guest from Healthy Child, Healthy World , who provides great resources for parents about raising healthy kids. We'll be talking about toxins in food packaging--what they...
July 8, 2013
(First posted at Non-Toxic Kids . Join Katy from Non-Toxic Kids, author Beth Terry, and MomsRising this Tuesday for #EcoTipTue. We'll discuss how plastic is bad for our health and the planet-- and how we all can take simple steps to reduce our usage. Beth is super funny and full of great advice!) I've written about Beth Terry here before . You might remember her blog, Fake Plastic Fish (now My Plastic Free Life) , where she started gathering and weighing her weekly plastic use. Inspired by a dramatic photo of a dead sea bird whose insides were riddled with plastic, Beth was spurred into...
July 1, 2013
Where were you on Tuesday night, and what are you sitting on right now? If you were able to come to #EcoTipTue this past week, you might have heard more about flame retardant chemical in our homes-- especially in our couches. Flame retardant chemicals have been getting a LOT of bad press lately. What's the problem, you ask? It's only a cushy place to rest after you have fed the kids, read to them, put them down for the night, and done all the dishes, emails, and phone calls? Yeah, that place. It has a dark side. Veena, a staff scientist from The Green Science Policy Institute, joined us for...
June 28, 2013
I am breathing a little deeper tonight. Why? Because we finally have someone who is standing up for public health in our country-- in the face of big polluter dollars, power, and lobbyists. And he just happens to be the President of the United States. There has been silence about climate change from our nation's leaders for far. Too. Long. World scientists have been sounding the alarm about climate change for years. There is more and more research linking climate change to extreme weather, increasing air pollution, increasing rates of asthma and preventable deaths , more heavy metal pollution...
June 24, 2013
This past Tuesday we had the Eco Tip Tuesday (#EcoTipTue) Tweet Chat at its new time, 9pm EST. Lots of parents turned out to share their best tips with MomsRising and yours truly of Non-Toxic Kids . Here's a recap of the best tips for hitting the road this summer with children and staying as safe, healthy, green and as toxin-free as possible. 1. Pack your useable water-bottles! This tip came from our friend Lori of Groovy Green Livin . When she is packing for her kids to go to camp, she always makes sure to include their useable water bottles and skips the bottled water. Why? Bottled water...
June 17, 2013
I'm thrilled to announce that I recently started working with MomsRising on the issue of reducing toxic chemicals in our world. I've been a member of MomsRising since it began, and since I took my first action with a tiny infant asleep on my lap. That activism spurred another birth--my blog, Non-Toxic Kids , where I have been writing extensively about how to keep kids safe from toxins in our food, products, air and water since 2008. I've always been a big fan of the platform of issues MomsRising represents-- maternity and paternity leave, open flexible work, toxin free families, health care...
March 15, 2013
Research shows that 40 percent of students buy and eat snack foods at school in a typical day. I can see this daily in my classroom. Many parents are too busy to pack snacks, especially healthy ones. Some of my students are on their own to pack lunches and snacks, and the result can be unhealthy, processed and packaged foods. When schools sell unhealthy snacks and drinks outside of meals, it can cause kids to eat less of their lunch, consume more fat, take in fewer nutrients, and gain weight. How can we improve what kids snack on at school, and what is available? A team of organized parents,...
December 6, 2012
This article originally appeared in my blog, Non-Toxic Kids . You can find more tips for safer, greener, and healthier eating in my ebook, Eat Non-Toxic: a manual for busy parents . Is there nothing kids love more than macaroni and cheese? Such lovely melted goodness, especially the homemade kind. And kids should really only eat the homemade kind. Conventional Kraft and other mainstream brands are packed with artificial food coloring, questionable cheese sources from factory farms, and other ingredients I can't pronounce, but I know can't be good. Even the FDA was considering putting warning...
September 6, 2012
Today one of my students came back from lunch and said, "They are doing Michelle Obama's thing!" I said, what do you mean? "They are giving seconds only on vegetables and fruit, but not on the pizza!" she said, smiling. She did not seem fazed by this in the slightest bit, but I wondered if some of my students were. Hmmm, I thought, an 11 year old's perspective on Michelle Obama and the USDA's new school nutrition guidelines. A word on the street, of sorts. The Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act, championed by first lady Michelle Obama, made major improvements in school nutrition. The new school...
March 16, 2012
1. Our kids are hurt by dirty air. We need to protect them, like we do by buckling them up in car seats. The numbers are staggering. Each day in America : *40,000 people miss school or work due to asthma. *30,000 people have an asthma attack. *5,000 people visit the emergency room due to asthma. *1,000 people are admitted to the hospital due to asthma. *11 people die from asthma. These are our neighbors, friends, families, and fellow Americans. Millions of children each day are exposed to mercury and other toxins in air pollution everyday. Mercury emissions have never been regulated, and...
November 22, 2011
The holiday season is almost upon us. And oh, how things seem to speed up, and expectations fall like rain. Family meals, holiday parties, school events and fundraisers, gifts for friends and family.... it can get overwhelming even for the most zen like among us. It is even easier to grab processed foods for eating on the go during this season, and to do a speed shop at the grocery store without much rhyme or reason. But with a deep breath and some of these tips in mind, you can cut your family's exposure to harmful chemicals this holiday. While doing that (the multi-taskers that we are) we...
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