Lori Popkewitz Alper is the founder and editor-in-chief of Groovy Green Livin, a site dedicated to sharing simple green living tips and current information on sustainable living. A contributing writer for multiple blogs and websites, Lori speaks, writes and advises on a variety of issues related to creating a greener lifestyle and improving your business reach through social media. Lori has been featured on ABC World News and in the Huffington Post, Forbes, Los Angels Times, Care2 and Blumberg News.

Lori lives in the Greater Boston area with her three sons, chocolate lab and groovy husband. In her free time she can be found practicing yoga, pitching a baseball, running, cycling, skiing, reading, cooking, or trying out a new eco friendly product. We loved learning her groovy green tips!

What led you to start Groovy Green Livin?

My passion for natural, non-toxic living began over 12 years ago after seeing firsthand how living an organic, non- toxic lifestyle can directly affect your health and well being.  My commitment and dedication towards a greener lifestyle was strengthened when two of my children were diagnosed with life threatening food allergies.  I then decided to trade in my lawyer suit and follow my passion- to educate myself and others on how to live as naturally and toxin-free as possible.

Tell us about your in-home personal consulting, it sounds like a fun event for a mom’s group!

I work with individuals, small groups, schools and businesses and we all end up learning from each other. There’s nothing like walking through someone’s home, school or business and answering questions as they arise about living a non-toxic lifestyle. It allows a unique opportunity to apply information directly to your situation.

What is the one thing you wish every parent knew before they went shopping for products that might have dangerous chemicals?

There is a fantastic website available that enables us to check most of our personal care products. The site rates each personal care product with a hazard score. I try to check all of my personal care products on the EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database before use. As your shampoo runs out think green. Replace the old with something non-toxic and safe I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve returned a product because it had a high hazard score.

Going green can be overwhelming, how can parents make the change without feeling stressed?

The best advice I received when I began this ‘green’ journey was to start slow and only replace things on an as needed basis. That’s truly green.

What are some ways parents can green a nursery?

To begin greening your nursery I would think about what goes into your baby’s body (food, toys etc), on your baby’s body (lotions, shampoos) and what’s in the air he/she breathes. Consider the toys that your baby might put in its mouth, the lotions you use, the food your baby eats and the clothing, sheets and diapers that will come in contact with your baby. Those are the items you want free of toxic chemicals. If you focus on these things when you’re buying items for the nursery you’ll be able to make good choices.

How can parents make going green a family project? How can young children get involved?

The dinner table is a great place to start involving your children. Discuss why you prepared the food that you are all eating. Have your children help with food preparation. Once you begin the conversation the discussions can take on a life of their own.

How do you integrate green choices into your own home?

We try to eat well by eating organic, local foods. We belong to a CSA, which stands for Consumer Supported Agriculture. A farm share is delivered to us weekly — we go and pick up a box filled with fruits and vegetables that are local. We don’t have to travel far for it and it’s seasonal. So that’s creating a connection between where our food came from and how it got to us. We also indulge and don’t deprive ourselves of treats like ice cream. Our belief is everything in moderation. I think that’s really a good rule to follow. You do what you can and also enjoy life.

Have you tried any eco-friendly practices and struggled with them? How did you overcome the challenge?

For a while I was having an extremely hard time remembering to bring my reusable bags to the store. I finally discovered that keeping the bags in the front seat of the car was a simple solution. They were basically staring at me as I got out of the car so it was impossible to leave them behind!

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