Thursday, October 21, 2010

Mayim Bialik Loves Being 'Green'

Mayim Bialik (Photo by Denise Herrick Borchert)

Being green might not be easy for Kermit, but when it comes to maintaining an eco-friendly lifestyle (aka the other green), actress and L.A. mom Mayim Bialik has it down cold.

"I think people assume when they hear 'green' or 'holistic parenting,' that it sounds like more work than they're already doing," says Bialik, "but we've found that simplifying our life has been a real key to green parenting."

I had the chance to chat with Bialik over the phone after missing her at the Alive! Expo Green Pavilion and Mix Media Lounge at West Hollywood's London Hotel in August. Tucked into the Kensington Ballroom were all sorts of environmentally friendly products, including the adorable electric Ped E cab, a stylish and California-made electric tricycle (for adults), as well as the handy organic insect repellent Bug it Off from Greenerways.

The mom of two boys (ages 5 and 2), who also happens to have her PhD in neuroscience (Awesome! That must help out during her guest appearances this season on CBS comedy "The Big Bang Theory"), is literally writing the book on green and holistic parenting. She's working on a manuscript for Simon & Schuster that will offer accessible information to parents who want to live a greener lifestyle.

She stresses, however, that it's from her own experiences as a holistic mom.

"Since I'm not a pediatrician, and I don't presume to know how anyone should raise their kids," she offers, "I've basically written a book about the things I believe children need and what that looks like in our house."

Bialik also takes a look at "what it's like to be a consumer in this society when you're a parent. That's been huge for us to scale down and see what's really, really necessary," she says.

And when it comes to cleaning products, Bialik also says that simpler is better: "Our pediatrician likes to say, 'If you wouldn't eat it, throw it out."

"I'm not saying I have to sit here making elaborate concoctions," she adds. "I'm saying baking soda mixed with a little water is enough to clean my bathtub. Also it creates a less toxic chemical environment for your whole house."

So what caught her eye at the Alive! Green Expo? Like me, it was the organic bug repellent, made with water, citronella oil, orange oil and lemongrass.

I might not eat it exactly, but I do feel safer about spraying it on my own 3-year-old. (In fact, it would have come in handy when we visited Oklahoma earlier this summer.)

Being a busy mom herself (what with acting, writing a book and serving as a celebrity spokesperson for Holistic Moms Network, in addition to just parenting), Bialik points out that cultivating a more eco-friendly household doesn't mean changing your lifestyle completely.

"It's easier than you think," she says. "I think people think that I have a staff of nannies ... I really don't. I don't have time. I don't have time or money to have someone else do it for me. I really have found the easiest, cheapest way to do things, and that seems to be what's working."

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