Can you tell us a bit about the EcoParent story?
Hmmm…there’s so much to tell, it’s hard to know where to start! We’re a family run magazine, and the idea really started brewing when we had our son. We had always tried to be basically responsible in terms of lifestyle, but had never been obsessive about it…until the pregnancy. I spent A LOT of time online, (obsessively) trying to figure out how to ‘do better’ as a parent, and discovered that the resources available for parents were very scattered, and it was difficult to know who to trust, as so much of the information out there on the internet doesn’t really cite its sources (I have a PhD, so I’m essentially trained as a professional researcher, and I don’t trust anything if I don’t know where it’s coming from, or what it’s based on!). AND then there’s the fact that things change so rapidly (new scientific studies, brands reformulating their ingredient lists, etc.) that even a great resource from a year ago may not be up to snuff today. So, out of all that work, an idea was born: an ongoing information hub for parents that want to be informed, and want a source they can trust.
What are some exciting new developments for EcoParent?
Well, we’re planning a website relaunch soon, so that we can start building an online resource that will complement our print magazine. We’re also currently working with the Green Living Show, Canada’s largest consumer focused green event, to create an attraction called “EcoParent Village,” which will have vendors, a workshop stage, a breastfeeding area, a baby change station, etc. We’re very excited about both of these developments, as they’ll allow us to reach out more effectively to Canadian parents, and help them to make better, greener, safer choices for their families.
What (or who) inspires you when it comes to juggling a busy company and career with fatherhood?
My son is my biggest inspiration. His endless joy is what gets me up in the morning (and keeps me working after he goes to bed!!!). And the feedback we’ve been getting. Based on what’s coming back at us, it’s clear that people are obviously craving the information that we’re providing, so that’s a big inspiration too. It’s nice to feel like you’re doing some real good in the world!
We’re not perfect. Can you believe it?!? Sometimes we take shortcuts when we’re out of time (or patience, or organizational brainpower, or whatever). For instance, we use a disposable diaper here and there (though we try to ensure that we have a ‘green’ brand around) instead of ALWAYS using our cloth diapers (often because we’ve run out, because this dad didn’t have a chance to launder them, because he was too busy playing at being a magazine publisher!).
Favorite mom, dad or baby product? (other than EcoParent magazine, of course)
That is SOOOO hard. We have a favourite in every category of product! But I guess my personal favourites would have to be our baby carriers. We just recently retired our Little Ds stretchy wrap (which I LOVED), and I’m still very much in love with our Onya Soft-Structured Carrier (SSC). I LOVE WEARING MY SON LIKE A BACKPACK! As a dad, it gives me a bond with him that would be tough to achieve in any other way. And he loves it. We get out for nature walks every chance we get (giving mom a chance to get some work done), and we both love it!
The 2 biggest pieces of wisdom you would share with moms:
#1: Don’t get sucked into the mindset that there’s no time to change things up. The beauty of changing for the better is that it can be accomplished in a thousand tiny acts, over the course of years. In fact, that’s almost always the way it happens. There’s only so much time in a day, after all!
#2 Give up on perfection. When you discover that you’ve been squirting butylparaben into your infant’s mouth for months (check out the ingredient list on that vial of infant Tylenol!), know that it can only get better, and that there’s always a better option…you just have to find it (there are brands of paraben free infant acetaminophen out there)! Children are incredibly resilient, and they’ll bounce back from pretty much anything. So out with the guilt and dismay at every shocking discovery, and in with the desire to make things better!
When they are older, I want my kid(s) to most remember me as someone who bothered to listen to them, and to others.
When parents find out what I do, they often say: “Wow!”
In my free time, I love to SLEEP!
I’m dreaming of growing the magazine enough to hire a staff!
Thank you, Sam! MommiesFirst is honored to have a company like EcoParent Magazine as a brand partner. Your mission and values inspire us! You are truly making a difference!
With love and care,
PS We love sleep too!!!