Features: Durable, extra thick, leakproof milk storage bottles with a double zipper and ridged bottom to prevent spills
Green Factor: BPA-free, phthalate-free, oxo-biodegradable and recyclable!
Bonus: Honeysuckle also makes storage bags made to work with Ameda and Medela breast pumps
Find It Here: Amazon
Features: Thick paper straws coated with food-grade wax to protect them from liquid. Yes, these are single-use items but if you are in a situation where you need straws and glass or steel straws are not an option (i.e. parties, large gatherings, house guests) this is a far better option than plastic straws, which are typically non-recyclable.
Green Factor: Biodegradable, compostable and made with food-grade soy inks
Bonus: Made in the USA by Aardvark Straws
Find It Here: Amazon
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a growing problem in the northern Pacific Ocean and one that could dramatically alter life on our planet within the next 20 years.
“I remember the first time I felt it; I was paddling out on my surfboard and noticed a mushy, plastic-like substance sliding through my fingers. That’s what started my obsession with the Great Pacific Garbage Patch,” says charity fundraiser and environmentalist Veronica Grey. “The patch is located between Hawaii and California in the northern Pacific Ocean, where millions of small bits of plastic have gathered in a vortex of ocean currents known as a gyre.”
“Fifteen years ago The Patch was the size Texas, but now it’s the size of the continental United States,” says Grey, who used her iPhone to shoot the documentary, which features renowned scientists, journalists and environmentalists.
Grey paired her professional skills with her personal passion for the ocean, creating the award-winning documentary “Aqua Seafoam Shame,” (www.Pacific-TV.com), which spotlights the mess in the ocean that has garnered precious little media attention, she says.
Plastic in the ocean has far-reaching implications that, if not addressed within 20 years, could change life on this planet, she says. To date, 177 species of sea life are known to ingest plastic; other species feed on those creatures, extending the chain of damage.
“People eat the seafood that eats plastic, and the planet gets its rain from the oceans, which are being polluted at an exponential rate,” she says. “We use significantly more of our planet’s surface as a dump than for growing food; this has to change.”
To begin addressing plastics pollution, Grey encourages people to use alternatives:
These stainless steel straws are practical, durable alternatives to plastic straws. They have all the functionality of the bendy disposable straws without the waste and they also look pretty cool! Made of 18/10 stainless steel. $9.95 for set of 4.
Bonus: $4.95 flat rate shipping with code “BELLS”
Find It Here: Reuseit
Did you know the average person uses between 2,400 and 3,000 paper towels a year? Tote these reusable alternatives to paper towels instead. Made from 100% certified organic Fair Trade cotton, these extra-absorbent and lightweight hand towels are made to curb your paper towel usage at the gym, work, in the car or in public facilities. Comes with their own bag for portability. Set of 2 for $16
Bonus: Printed with non-toxic dyes
Find It Here: Uncommon Goods
A modern spin on the traditional garden fixture, these stainless steel stunners add fun and style to your landscape. Designed in Germany. 2 sizes available for $16-$20
Find It Here: Uncommon Goods
This eco-chic bag will keep a girl organized with its roomy interior featuring a zippered pocket, an elastic pocket and a key tether. Includes an easy-reach outside pocket for water bottle, inside and outside holsters for cell phone and MP3 player and bottom adjustable straps for your yoga mat (not included). 18″L x 8½”W x 13″H.
Bonus: Free shipping!
Find it Here: Gaiam
A pleasing assortment of organic and fair trade Gourmet Chocolate Goodness from California. Rich Rainforest Dark Fudge, exquisite raw chocolate hearts and brittle, lots of mouth-watering gourmet chocolate bars, tasty chocolate bites, plus amazing Lavender Truffle Hearts!
Bonus: Made in the USA
Find it Here: Kate’s Caring Gifts
Organic Cotton and Hemp Infinity Scarf
With the feel of linen, the rich color of silk and the strength of hemp, this versatile organic scarf works for all occasions and brightens any outfit with texture and pop. 42″ long and available in ten colors.
Bonus: Machine washable
Find It Here: Sprigs
Features: Is it time to clear snow in your neck of the woods? The Greenworks 12 amp electric snow thrower clears a 20-inch path at a depth of 10 inches and has a cord lock that holds an extension cord securely in place.
Green Factor: Zero carbon emissions and zero pollution because it doesn’t use gas. No smelly engine emissions, no trips to fill the gas can and no tune-ups!
Bonus: On sale for $159.99 with a fabulous 4 year warranty (twice the industry standard) plus FREE SHIPPING!
Find It Here: Amazon
Features: This charger uses solar power to re-charge up to 11 NIMH or NiCad (D, C, AA and AAA) rechargeable batteries.
Green Factor: Rechargeable batteries can be used over and over and using a solar-powered charger is a greener choice than a standard charger—no electricity is used or required!
Bonus: Living in hurricane country, my family is well-acquainted with the issues that come with being out of power for extended periods of time—being able to recharge all those batteries we depend on when the power is down (and not likely to come back on for days) is a huge bonus!
Find It Here: Amazon.com (qualifies for free shipping!)
I really love things that smell good but in the past few years I’ve become keenly aware of just how toxic they can be and thus, I was compelled to search Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep cosmetic safety database and compile a list of the worst-scoring fragrances.
This means that based on their ingredients, these fragrances rated the highest in categories relating to cancer, allergies/immunotoxicity and/or developmental & reproductive toxicity—YIKES!
This list isn’t all inclusive of every fragrance out there and it only contains some of the ones that got the highest overall “hazard” scores (9 and 10) .
There are plenty that I didn’t list and many that have only slightly lower hazard scores so yourself a favor and check Skin Deep yourself to see where your scents and cosmetics rank. FYI…my fave scent scored a 6 out of 10 :(
Make a stylish cell phone holder to stash your cell phone and cord while charging your phone — from a LOTION BOTTLE. I love this idea because it keeps those annoying cords out of your way and you’ll be upcycling a plastic container into something useful!
Get the instructions at Make It and Love It
Features: AlternaVites Kids, with 17 vitamins and minerals, are sugar-free powder crystals that melt in your mouth. They come in two kid-friendly flavors and can be poured straight into your mouth or mixed into yogurts, puddings or smoothies or sprinkled on top of fruit. AlternaVites are an excellent alternative to chalky chewables or gummies that are high in sugar, low in nutrients and can stick to their teeth. For children ages 4 and up.
Green Factor: AlternaVites Kids does not contain artificial sweeteners, colors, preservatives or flavors. Made from ingredients that are not derived from animals or animal by-products.
Bonus: Made in the USA. Free of the major food allergens (egg, fish, milk, soy, peanut, shellfish, tree nut, or wheat) and certified Kosher. They also make an adult version of AlternaVites that are excellent for people who have difficulty swallowing pills.
Discount: Enter ‘moms20′ at checkout at www.alternaVites.com to receive 20% off your order.
Find It Here: AlternaVites
Editors Note: My kids LOVE AlternaVites!