Women to Follow – part I

Welcome to our new WTF (Women to Follow) blog series, dedicated to everyday women who are creating a better future and bringing others on the journey.

These are women we proudly follow – read on to find out why.

Our first WTF is Aida Garcia-Toledo, mother of two boys and Founder of Non-Toxic Munchkin Consulting in California. Aida is a keen researcher of the effects of environmental toxins on our health particularly on children, backed by her investigative journalism prowess. Since 2010, Aida has written many articles raising awareness of the toxicity in our daily surroundings and providing tips on how to live a non-toxic life.

We like that Aida takes her time to read through scientific studies and legislation, and shares her findings in easy-to-read bullet points for the busy parent.


Here are Aida’s 5 Essential Truths of Non-Toxic Living that we think you’d love too.
Non-toxic living does not exist – unfortunately we can’t fully avoid toxicity. Low-toxin living is what we are really trying to achieve.
The 80/20 rule – focus on your home and daily routine (what you can control) and worry less about the external environment (what you can’t control) e.g. your children eat organic at home so it’s ok to eat party food at parties. It’s all about balance.
You can’t change your past – science advances and what we thought was safe may be found to be unsafe. No point beating ourselves up over what we didn’t know, just focus on the present and future.
The cumulative effect is real – perhaps no other concept is as important. It’s not just about one chemical or harmful ingredient in one product that will make your child sick but it’s the combined exposure to a number of different toxic substances that can pose serious health risks. Also, the cumulative effect can be over time such that the combined effect of toxic substances doesn’t show up until later in life.
Sustainability & non-toxic living are the same – when we embrace low toxin living, we are taking care of ourselves as well as our planet. Whatever is toxic for human health is also toxic for our planet, so less toxicity is a win for all.
~ Written by: nontoxicmunchkin
non-toxic living

In our interview with Aida, she shared her insights:

What is non-toxic living and why should people care?

Non-toxic living, essentially, is reducing our exposure to harmful toxins in our everyday life. 
We are exposed to thousands of chemicals every single day inside our homes, in our schools, parks, offices, cars etc. The majority of these chemicals have never been tested for safety by our government and many have been banned in other countries after being found harmful to our health.  Exposure to common chemicals found in our food, personal care products, furniture, toys, etc, have been linked directly with everything from childhood cancer, asthma, neurological disorders, behavioral disorders, fertility challenges, early puberty, obesity, diabetes and so much more. 
Taking simple steps to become more educated consumers and reducing our chemical dependency can go a long way in protecting our health as well as the health of our planet.  Children, due to their smaller size and child specific behaviors (like placing things in their mouths and playing in the floor), are especially vulnerable to toxins and are the ones that can most benefit from switching to non-toxic living habits.

Where do you see nontoxicmunchkin in 12 months?

I hope to grow the Non-Toxic Munchkin community in order to be able to reach more parents and empower them in their non-toxic living journey. I have some fun projects in the works that I hope will allow me to make non-toxic living more attainable and less overwhelming to parents everywhere. 
I also hope to grow my corporate consulting work - as I find it very rewarding to work with companies, large and small, in assisting them to transition or develop truly non-toxic products for the modern family. When companies take non-toxic living seriously everyone wins:  the company, the consumer and the Planet!

Which aspect of motherhood surprised you?

Motherhood surprises me every single day!  There truly is no guidebook on how to be a perfect mother because all children are so different! At times this feels  extremely liberating and at other times extremely terrifying for me! 

What kind of world you want to see and why?

I would love to see a world where we learn to respect our Planet and everything in it. Where our Mother Earth takes priority over our convenience.  Where children are required to spend time in nature - to enjoy nature, learn from nature and naturally learn and want to live in harmony with nature. It is proven that spending time in nature increases happiness and kindness and health... it just seems so obvious that this is the kind of world we should strive for!

In what ways are you a woman to follow?

I hope that other women feel inspired to jumpstart, and then take ownership, of their own non-toxic living journey when they follow Non-Toxic Munchkin.  I hope that I help make something that can feel scary and overwhelming to many, seem more attainable.  And, above all, I hope that I can, in any way shape or form, help children live healthier lives.

Another eye-opening article: Flame retardants might pose the greatest risk to our children’s brain

Follow Aida here: Instagram @nontoxicmunchkin with 5,600 followers

Blog nontoxicmunchkin.com with 6,000 monthly page visitors (avg.)


Note: This is not sponsored content but a genuine inspired piece. We believe women and mothers should lift each other up whenever and wherever possible.

If you'd like to be featured or want us to get to know you/ your work, contact us at hello@lilyandlord.com or here.



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Evelyn Leow, Creative Director of Lily & Lord