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Eco Mama Spotlight: Making Eco-conscious Choices For Your Kids

Melissa Maker



Instagram: @melissamaker

1) Tell us about yourself and your little ones.

The first thing to know about me is that I hate cleaning. After graduating from my undergrad at the Schulich School of Business at York, I took a job working at a bank. It wasn’t the right choice for me, but it was the easy one; I wanted to be an entrepreneur but it was a scary proposition at 23. My then boyfriend (now husband!) encouraged me to start young so if I failed, I could always go out and get a job. I quit the job a year to the day I started. In 2006, went back to waiting tables and developed a business plan. Despite my disdain for cleaning, I saw the opportunity and rolled up my sleeves. Today, our business is still going strong and has spun off two other businesses - a digital media company that houses our YouTube channel also called Clean My Space which has over 1.1 million subscribers, an eponymous website, Instagram account and book. We launched a premium microfiber cloth business called Maker’s Clean. While my husband and I wanted kids, we wanted to build our businesses up first. At age 35, I delivered my beautiful daughter, Riley, at home with midwives in February of 2018. She’s an energetic, sassy sweet and intelligent little girl. She’s been in daycare since 6 months and is the absolute brightest spot of my day and what I am most proud of.


2) How do you try to find balance as a Mom?

I try to shut my laptop and ignore my phone when she’s at home so that I can focus on her. I want to be an attentive and present mom. It’s hard at times because I know I could send off a few quick emails here and there while she plays, but I don’t want to set that precedent for family time. I want her to know me without me being preoccupied. Aside from spending time with my daughter and husband, I also like to take time for myself to be with friends, my mom and sister, and to do nice things for myself that give me time to slow down and reflect (little things like getting a facial, a massage, or taking a few moments to sit at a coffee shop by myself during a busy day). My husband and I also take a weekly improv class and that’s a really fun way for us to spend time together, develop a new skill, be silly and just have fun.


3) What sort of eco-conscious choices are you making for your kids?

I’ve always been eco-conscious. My mother used to remind us to turn off the water while brushing our teeth and shut the lights when we left a room. Recycling was practically a religion in our house and deep respect for the planet was instilled from a young age. Right now, we are speaking to Riley about the planet in general terms and as she understands more and more, we’ll find ways to teach her about the environment we will find meaningful ways to show her how to care for it. In terms of what we buy, we look for scent-free where possible, bulk or concentrated products where possible, and try to reduce, reuse and recycle where we can. While it’s very hard to not use any single-use plastic as a mom to a little one, we are doing our best to make our small decisions count.


4) What are some words of wisdom from your mother or an inspirational

woman in your life?

My mom always told me to set goals. She didn’t care what they were, she just wanted me to have something to work toward. When I was really young, she'd ask me what my goals were and write them in a book for me and I’d draw pictures beside them. As I got older, I expanded that practice into setting annual personal and business goals. Whenever I take on a new project, I’ll also set goals and I owe that skill to my mom. She also didn’t mind if I failed and didn’t try too hard to rescue me when things weren’t going right. To be clear, she wouldn’t let me suffer, but she also didn’t helicopter parent or coddle me. Of course, she wanted me to succeed, but she felt that failure was a good learning experience.


5) What's you're favourite Pure + Simple treatment?

The salt microdermabrasion followed by an IPL a day later. I’ve never had better results in my life. I love how thorough the treatments are yet how relaxed I feel throughout the process, and glowing skin is always my favourite side effect!


Elle


Instagram: @ellevatehealth

1) Tell us about yourself and your little one(s).

I’m Elle! A Toronto-based Holistic Nutritionist. As a new Mom, I understand that wellbeing is a journey. I hope my expertise will inspire other parents to choose nutrient-rich foods and the right products to create a happy, healthy and sustainable home.


2) How do you try to find balance as a Mom?

I find balance by honouring my own needs and wants as much as my family’s. I truly believe that you can’t pour from an empty cup. I make time for fitness, outdoor activities and other hobbies that give me joy so I can be the best version of myself when it comes to family.


3) What sort of eco-conscious choices are you making for your kids?

I avoid any one-time use plastics when packing snacks and food for my son, and refuse to buy him plastic toys. Doing clothing exchanges with friends is a great way to share kids clothes as well!


4) What are some words of wisdom from your mother or an inspirational woman in your life?

My mother always taught me to buy less, but buy high quality. This really stuck to me, I don’t have a massive collection of clothing or purses, but the items that I do have are meaningful and kept in great condition for a long time. This also goes for my skin care, I don’t purchase quick items from the drugstore. I love high-quality products that I don’t have to use a lot of.


5) What's your favourite Pure + Simple treatment?

My absolute favourite Pure + Simple treatment is the Deluxe Salt Microdermabrasion, I did a series right before my wedding and have never had more glowing, clear skin. On the regular, I like to do the Urban  Renewal as I feel like this facial cleans out my pores and gives me a fresh face. I also appreciate the bonus relaxing massage!


Christine Irwin


Instagram: @ten_and_co

 1) Tell us about yourself and your little ones.

 I'm a mom of 2 little ones. Luke is 5 and Daragh will be 3 at the end of this month. (I can't quite believe that actually!) I have almost always been an entrepreneur, I started out with my own interior design business which has slowly shifted into an eco-conscious home good business. I'm really lucky to be able to make my own hours, but on the other hand, it can also mean I work on weekends and evenings! I was one of the first of my friends to have kids and I found that really difficult and isolating, but I joined a mom group and met some really incredible women, a few remain my best friends today.


2) How do you try to find balance as a Mom?

Balancing work, kids, my husband, myself and my friends is a constant struggle. It will always be a balancing act and every week I am better at one portion of my life than others. I think recognizing that time to yourself makes you a better, friend, mom and partner. Don't underestimate the power of self-care and independence but remember that treating yourself with grace and cutting yourself some slack once in a while is important too. Nobody is perfect and the fact that you work so hard to find balance is the definition of caring!


3) What sort of eco-conscious choices are you making for your kids?

 Eco-consciousness has been an evolution in our household and we really started to make changes when I found out I was pregnant with Luke. I started using only natural skincare and household cleaning brands, next came more reusable water bottles and mugs while we tried to eliminate single-use plastics in our house. My business is centred around our main product which is eco-friendly sponge cloths (a multiple use, biodegradable alternative to paper towel) so we virtually use no paper towel in our home anymore as well. We used biodegradable baby wipes and diapers for both kids and we just finished cleaning out the toy room with the kids, encouraging them to donate toys to be played with again by others. We are far from perfect, but we are slowly making little changes in our daily lives that will have a ripple effect as the kids get older. If everyone makes little changes and forgets about being perfect, it will have a far bigger impact than doing nothing at all for fear of failure.


4) What are some words of wisdom from your mother or an inspirational woman in your life?

I will never forget after having my first baby, my mom told me only to "focus on the sleep you get, not the sleep you don't get." It was so simple but brilliant, I never added up the hours of sleep I had missed and dwelled on it, I just thought about the time I did get to sleep. Having a new baby, toddler or adolescent are all very different seasons, all with their own challenges. Recognizing that this too shall pass is a good reminder.


5) What's you're favourite Pure + Simple treatment?

 The Urban Renewal Facial is amazing, not only cleansing and hydrating for my skin but so relaxing. It is essentially everything I need in one service! I love Pure + Simple products, they are consistent with my own views towards sustainability and holistic skin care. It's so nice knowing that I don't have to worry about the ingredients being harmful and the products actually work! Win-Win!

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