Monthly Archives: January 2010

Banning BPA

Before my BigGuy was born I remember researching to find the best baby bottle. I chose the reputable Dr. Brown’s brand, because my biggest criterion was avoiding the painful saga of colic. I got lucky with no colic, but around the time he was weaning news broke that the bottles contained the toxic chemical Bisphenol-A or BPA .

Many companies responded by creating a “green baby bottle market,” and I was able to afford to buy new “BPA-Free” bottles for my Girly. Yet, many parents can’t afford these more expensive bottles or don’t understand the risks involved.

This week the FDA finally issued a warning about BPA’s toxicity; sighting research that exposure can harm a child’s brains and reproductive systems. Though the FDA supports “industry’s actions” to eliminate the use of BPA in food related products, this warning itself does nothing to stop its widespread use. The NY Times agrees that “wise consumers will try to avoid BPA.” 

I don’t know about you, but I think we should follow Canada and Europe and get BPA off the market. It’s up to us to insist on banning Bisphenol-A. Minnesota was the first state to issue a ban, and several other local jurisdictions (California’s was defeated). Now states like Oregon are taking up the legislative torch to Ban BPA. There are pending bills in Congress too, and I truly hope consumers are successful.

Let’s take it a step further and work with Safer Chemicals: Healthy Families to reform the toxics regulations altogether.

Lastly, I hope my BigGuy will have no long term health effects, and I’m sure glad that he liked his milk cold!


Sustainable Family Finances 
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.

Baby Step Strategy

If you’ve been following my blog goals so far, you’re probably wondering “How on Earth are you going to reach all these goals?”

The simple answer: one step at a time.

Although I want to create radical change, I certainly don’t expect it all at once. I may be an idealist, but I know my daily reality includes plenty of obligations beyond my own personal wants. Yet, this doesn’t mean that I should let my needs languish (nor should you!). Quite to the contrary, we need to be tenacious in our attempts to reach our dreams.

Here are my first baby steps:

  • Post my new-and-improved family budget template
  • Review each budget line item one week at a time to consider green impacts
  • Set small attainable goals per line item
  • Help Hubby identify debit accounts to switch to our joint account
  • Start with a simple online carbon calculator
  • Take some credit and share ways we already save by living green
  • Find more ways to live abundantly on less

Together we will reach our goals; it just may take a whole lot of baby steps.

What are your personal baby steps?

Sustainable Family Finances 
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.

Money Honey – Talk #1

I’d like to say that we functioned like a symbiotic organism at our first monthly “Money Honey” meeting, instead I’ll have to admit that we both had to muster energy after a long day of household chores. Plus, Girly woke up in the middle of our session, and needed help getting back to sleep. Alas, by the time I returned to talk, Hubby was engrossed in a Coldcase drama and seemed to think that he could look at the laptop while horizontal. I pleaded for his attention with some chocolate pudding pie…then we were in action.

Despite the initial setbacks, we managed to review the new-and-improved family budget and we both agree that it is much for manageable and easier to tell if you’re over budget and where. It is even programmed to switch to red text when you spend too much! As it happened, we overspent in three areas:

  • Splurged on Hubby’s 40th b-day
  • Family Forrester needed routine maintenance that wasn’t budgeted
  • Needed our favorite handyman for house repairs…again

The good news is that we were tired of overeating during the holidays, and have been cooking more at home this month, and eating summer dishes that I froze myself, like corn crab chowder. We’ve also been a bit of homebodies lately and haven’t even used a half tank of gas this month. Instead, we’ve enjoyed some family walks around the neighborhood and have planned any car errands together in one trip.

It’s going to take me a few months of working with the new template and merging our accounts before we are likely to have any real budgetary revelations, but I already feel some simple peace knowing that we’ve discussed our budget face to face. I’ve also learned an important lesson: make something sweet before each Money Honey meeting

(I borrowed the template from my sis at DINKs Finance , and I promise to post my own family-friendly template soon).


Sustainable Family Finances 
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.

Sustainable Family

I have a very important disclaimer to share with you: my family’s life is far from being truly sustainable.
I may have typed the word “sustainable” over a hundred times in my Master’s thesis, but I know that living a sustainable life is far from easy (if even possible) in a modern urban American lifestyle. Sustainability must at least be the goal, if we want our children’s children to experience the wonder of life on Earth.

Being “green” is not a one dimensional thing, but academics analyze three aspects of life that can either create pollution and instability or create a just and viable society: social, environmental and economic decisions. Our daily economic decisions, like whether we drive or take transit impact the environment, as well as our wallet. That’s why the finance focus of this blog is so important to creating a sustainable family, and why “going green” has become an en vogue finance topic.

I am writing this blog to share about the paradoxes of living a life of abundance in a world with finite natural resources. You cannot live in an environmental bubble nor do I want to live in a way that only values dollar bills. We must each find our own path, and I believe that together we can lead the world to a better place.

I hope you will join me on this quest to create sustainable family finances.

Sustainable Family Finances
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.