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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Local sources for growing up green

 (Megan Cooley / The Spokesman-Review)
(Megan Cooley / The Spokesman-Review)

The Spokesman-Review ran a wire story in the Today section today about earth-friendly measures some parents have made to make their homes safer for children.

As the article states, the green baby industry has grown over the last several years to cater to adults worried about the toxins present in everything from toys to sippy cups. The article quotes Dr. Philip Landrigan, a pediatrician  and director of the Children's Environmental Health Center at Manhattan's Mount Sinai School of Medicine, who advises pregnant women and parents to avoid products that contain phthalates and bisphenenol A (BPA). I wrote an article for the S-R about the concerns surrounding BPA last summer. 

Some of the most basic steps parents can take to make their children's lives greener is to use low-VOC paints in their rooms (and all over the house, for that matter), feed them organic food and drinks whenever possible and to use cloth diapers. The latter is a step I wish I could say I've taken, but I'm not there yet.

Today's article in the S-R features an eco-friendly children's shop called Our Green House, based in Monroe, Conn. Some of my favorite sites for green children's toys are Mahar Dry Goods, Nico & Zoe (based in Seattle), and A Child's Dream Come True (based in Sandpoint).

Another shop that offers some products made from organic or recycled materials is Mockingbird in the Garland District, at 903 1/2 W. Garland Ave. The picture above shows some adorable bunnies made for Mockingbird by Spokane crafter (and S-R graphic designer!) Klay Arsenault. Klay blogs here.

Another way for parents to go green is to use secondhand highchairs, cribs, clothes ... everything. This move doesn't necessarily protect your kids from the toxins found in some toys and gear, but it reduces your family's carbon footprint on the earth.

Besides the usual suspects (Goodwill, Value Village, the Disccovery Shop, etc.), Other Mothers at 12609 E. Sprague Ave. in Spokane Valley is a great source for secondhand children's items.

Perhaps the best way for parents to go green, though, is to simply buy less ... stuff! ... for their kids. If for no other reason, the children might grow up without an urge to overconsume.

What's your favorite tip for green parenting? What earth-friendly product could you not live without? Where do you shop in the Spokane area for green goods for kids?


Artist and crafter Maggie Wolcott writes about craft events in and around Spokane, as well as her own adventures in creating and repurposing. Her DwellWellNW posts include project and decorating ideas, recipes, reviews of events, and interviews with local artists. Maggie spends her days as an English professor, and when she’s not grading papers, she can generally be found with a paintbrush or scissors in hand. She can be reached at