One of the first green blogs I started reading was Crunchy Chicken, the blog written by Deanna Duke. Her blog stands out because of her funny and very interesting style of writing. Over the last couple of years I have had the privilege of getting to know Deanna better through the group Green Mom’s Carnival, which we are both apart of. Needless to say, I was very excited when I heard she was writing a book. I was even more excited when she asked me to be apart of her book tour and agreed to do an interview. I will also be reviewing the book, The Non-Toxic Avenger: What You Don?t Know Can Hurt You on Green Oklahoma next week.
Lisa: What was the hardest thing for you to get rid of?
Deanna: The hardest thing to get rid of in terms of difficulty in replacing were a few items. The first was finding an alternative to deal with themold problems we have in our bathroom. They are legendary and all the non-toxic products and remedies I tried never quite did the job. So, because of health issues, we compromised and used a dilute bleach solution rather than the more hazardous product I was using before. The second was finding winter jackets that didn’t have some sort of waterproof coating on them. Since we live in Seattle where it’s almost a constant drizzle, having something waterproof is essential.
Lisa: Where there any major battles in your family when you wanted to get rid of items? If so which items caused the most issues?
Deanna: They were all pretty easy going about the changes I made and were only temporarily reluctant about a few things I switched out, particularly with the kids. The things I didn’t switch out were mostly in relation to my son who is very particular due to his developmental issues and it just wasn’t worth the colossal battle that would have ensued.
Lisa: What surprised you the most about your journey?
Deanna: How toxins exist is almost every consumer product and how neurotic I would get over it. When you actually sit down and analyze every fragrance you are exposed to, not just in your home but out in public and in stores, and every type of hand soap you use in public and at work, and every food packing and flavoring and coloring, it can get overwhelming. The list of exposures goes on and on.
Lisa: If you could suggest three things people should avoid, what would they be?
Deanna: 1. Bisphenol A (BPA) found in plastics, canned foods, canned beverages, store receipts and paper money
2. Triclosan found in anti-bacterial soaps, toothpaste and a huge number of consumer products (anything that claims it is bacteria resistant)
3. Parabens found as a preservative in body care products
Lisa: In the end of the book you talk about things you were still struggling with, like resorting to using petroleum based laundry soap on occasion, have you been able to resolve any of these?
Deanna: I’ve found solutions to most of the things I was struggling with at the end of the book, mostly in relation to finding decent products that work. But, we are still doing the occasional wash with petroleum-based detergent and still using diluted bleach on the mold problem.
Lisa: What is the most positive thing you feel you and/or your family have gained from this experience?
Deanna: Definitely that would be the peace of mind knowing that I’ve removed a large number of exposures to potentially toxic chemicals and awareness of what’s out there.
Lisa: Any new upcoming projects we should be watching for?
Deanna: My next book is on pioneer living skills in the modern age, loosely based on the Laura Ingalls Wilder series of Little House books. My 8-year-old daughter and I are reading through the books and re-enacting a lot of what they did in the books and she’s also working on the illustrations.
Be sure to check out Deanna’s great new book, The Non-Toxic Avenger: What You Don?t Know Can Hurt You. And of course, if you don’t already follow her on her blog Crunchy Chicken.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links for Amazon.com. If you buy from the links I earn a small percent, this doesn’t effect my views. I also received a copy of The Non-Toxic Avenger to review.