We are lucky to be joined this week by Ken Cook, the co-founder of Environmental Working Group (EWG). EWG is a Washington DC based non profit that has earned renown for its innovative, headline-making investigations of environmental problems. Ken’s wife, Deborah, is head of the League of Conversation Voters. Together they make quite a team and I knew they would have some helpful thoughts on creating their own green nursery for their son Cal.
Jesse: In creating the nursery in your home, where did the goal of creating a healthier / greener nursery rank for you?
Ken: It was one of the very highest goals. Our son’s (Cal) wellbeing is our top priority, naturally. So making his living environment safe for him (and the planet) was one of the highest goals.
Jesse: Assuming it was a consideration, what were your main reasons for this (e.g. IAQ concerns, local materials, wanting to key specific materials out, etc)?
Ken: It was important for all of these reasons and more. Deb (my wife) and I knew that each part of Cal’s room – his bedding, flooring, furniture, clothes, diapers, creams, etc. would have an impact on his small and vulnerable body. Since we cannot control his outdoor environment, we wanted to make his home environment one that would foster the sensitive and vital growth he goes through as an infant and young child.
Jesse: What were the easiest & hardest aspects of creating a healthier / greener nursery?
Ken: We were very fortunate to be two parents very involved in environmental- and children’s health. But even having that experience, we found ourselves looking to friends, colleagues and research/resources we ourselves had worked with in the past to make the best decisions.
There is a lot of “green washing” out there, and it can be difficult to navigate through all of the product claims. We found it worth it (even though it wasn’t easy) to do research before buying anything.
Now I would say we’re experiencing the easiest part- enjoying the room with him!
….part 2 of our interview with Ken will be up in a few days….