Project Mom Casting is looking for a few good women bloggers. And I’m going to toss my blog in the ring.
If you haven’t met me, I’m Jennifer Taggart. I blog as TheSmartMama. I’m a mom of 2, an attorney specializing in environmental and consumer product law, author of Smart Mama’s Green Guide: Simple Steps to Reduce Your Child’s Toxic Chemical Exposure, former environmental engineer, co-founder of 3 Green Angels, XRF wielding fierce non toxic green mama.
My blog grew out of my story that begin when my mom handed me Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring more than 25 years ago. The chapter that started with the silenced frogs because of DDT moved me to take action to be green. I took small steps – annoying my parents with reminders to turn off the lights and conserve water. I went to college and studied to become an environmental engineer. I worked as an environmental engineer - first as an intern at East Bay Municipal Utility District working on the toxic air emission program and then for Rocketdyne. I went to law school at night while working full time to practice environmental law.
I wanted to save the polar bears and the whales. But my efforts weren’t focused on me personally – it was all for a greater good.
I got married.
I tried to have kids. I had two miscarriages. Unexplained miscarriages.
I started questioning what I was eating, what I was slathering on my skin, what I was using to store my food. Were any of these things contributing to the miscarriages?
And then I got pregnant and stayed pregnant. The very global idea of being green became extremely personal. I did not want to expose my baby-to-be to mercury (in contaminated seafood), bisphenol a (in certain plastics and canned food linings), phthalates (in virtually all synthetic scents, including cleaning products and beauty products), and more. I started using my experience and education to read labels and to question the products I was using and to figure out how I could reduce my toxic chemical exposure and our children’s toxic chemical exposure.
When I was in a car accident with my son to be at 29 weeks, and I faced the risk of having him prematurely, I realized I would do just about anything to protect him.
And when he was born, I realized I would do anything to protect him.
And if I was willing to do that, then why would I expose him to toxic chemicals when alternatives exist? Why would I expose him to the 1,4 dioxane in Johnson & Johnson’s Head to Toe Baby Wash when I could use a product without 1,4 dioxane? Why would I use plastics that leach bisphenol A when I could use alternatives without BPA?
I’m not a helicopter mom by any stretch of the imagination. Anybody who knows me knows I’m not. But when it comes to toxic chemicals in our products when they are ready available alternates, why would I choose to expose my children?
At my new mom breastfeeding class at The Pump Station, I found out that the information I had gathered was of interest to other moms. So I started talking about, and then teaching classes on reducing toxic chemical exposures, and then I wrote the book and started the blog to share what I knew. And how you can reduce or eliminate toxic chemical exposures with simple steps. You don’t have to spend lots of money. Something as simple as taking off your shoes can reduce your toxic chemical exposure.
I’ve also launched a business related to my blog, and I use a Niton XRF analyzer to test consumer products for lead, cadmium and more. My XRF testing was part of the CPSC’s consideration to initiate a recall of 12 million McDonald’s Shrek glasses.
I use my blog and twitter (@thesmartmama) to promote my brand and my book as well as to inform and educate about toxic chemical exposures and the very easy simple steps anybody can do to reduce or eliminate those exposures.
I’m trying to change the world we live in. To reduce or eliminate toxic chemical exposures. To have parents have enough information to make informed choices. My goal is to eliminate lead as the top preventable environmental childhood poison – there is no reason our children should continue to suffer the effects of lead exposure – and to reduce or elimate childhood toxic chemical exposure from household cleaners, pesticides, beauty products and more.
So, that’s me. I think my journey would be amazing as part of Project Mom Casting. I’ve definitely got opinions, which of course, makes for exciting reality tv. So, pick me!