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Bag That Booty

lucky-crow-gift-bags.pngWhen I was a kid I remember my grandma unwrapping her gifts very carefully and admonishing us when we didn’t do the same. Why? Because, according to her, if we didn’t mangle the paper too much, then we could reuse it, which we thought was hilarious. These days, however, I totally get it and I’m so glad someone decided to read my mind and come up with a greener gift wrapping alternative. Lucky Crow gift bags are festive, stylish, fun and quite ingenious because hello? No wrapping paper, tissue paper, tape or mad searches for the bleeping scissors required. Their fabric gift bags are, according to Lucky Crow “the easiest and most simple way to wrap a gift. Just pop your gift into the bag, tie a bow and voilà, your gift is ready to be given!” I concur and I’ll take one of those gorgeous organic sets right now, please.

Find it Here: Lucky Crow Gift Bags

Healthy Shmealthy

npa-777656.jpgGetting my kids to eat right isn’t easy and the battle usually starts over breakfast. Now that they’re getting older, I realize that sending them off to school on a sugar high may not be the best of compromises so this time I bought them something healthier. Guess what? They liked it even after I showed them the box. But you see, I knew that Nature’s Path organic cereals were great because I already enjoy their Flax Plus Granola and more recently the delicious Flax Plus Red Berry Crunch. Nature’s Path also offers a certified organic line of of kids’ breakfast products and they are committed to eco-friendly packaging for their products. Monday mornings are suddenly looking a whole lot better!

Find It Here: Nature’s Path

Congratulations to Kelli, Jenna, Sarah, Mary and Fan, who have each won two boxes of this cereal!

Cast Iron’s Hot, Teflon’s Not

Cast iron skilletsSince becoming a mom, I’ve grown increasingly concerned over the foods that my family eats as well as the safety of the pots and pans used to cook them. Teflon and other non-stick surfaces are now believed to pose a potential health hazard when used at high temperatures or when the surface has been scratched. Classic cast iron, on the other hand, is a great (and totally non-toxic) option. Not only does it distribute heat better than any other cookware but cooking in cast iron is known to greatly increase one’s dietary iron, of which only 65% of Americans get enough. It’s also naturally non-stick when properly seasoned and, when it’s well cared for, cast iron cookware will last a lifetime and then some.

Find It Here: Lodge

Of Bulbs and Bucks

onebillionbulbslogoHow much money might you save by replacing regular incandescent lightbulbs with energy efficient compact fluorescent bulbs? The Energy Savings Calculator at One Billion Bulbs will help you find out. You just enter the number of bulbs in your household, their wattage, hours used and your state of residence and voila! The Energy Savings Calculator will then display just how much money you could save on your electric bill for the year by using compact fluorescent bulbs. Motivating people by telling them exactly how much cash they could save is sheer genius! And even if you eschew our consumerist culture, you have to admit having a few extra greenbacks in your pocket is always nice, no? (If you’d like to spread the word, you can get code to place a savings calculator on your blog or web page. Nifty!)

Find it Here: One Billion Bulbs

The Gentle Germ Killer

hand_wash_sampler.jpgKeeping my toddler’s hands clean just got a little easier (and safer) thanks to CleanWell’s foaming hand wash. This non-toxic, non alcohol-based hand wash is a great alternative to those other run-of-the-mill antibacterial soaps. CleanWell products kill germs without the use of toxic or artificial chemicals, and unlike most other anti-bacterial soaps, CleanWell does not contain alcohol or Triclosan, which has been linked to a number of health concerns. Additionally, they’re free of artificial colors, artificial fragrances and parabens and are readily biodegradable and certified cruelty-free. But the best part is yet to come….*drumroll please*…my toddler can use this hand soap really easily thanks to the fact that it pumps out in a nice foamy lather. His hands are now super clean and his mommy is super happy!

Find It Here: CleanWell (also available at Target stores)

Congratulations to our 10 winners (Phyllis, Dana, Heather, Andrea, Emily, Liz, Jenna, Michelle, Lucy and Juliana) who are each getting a bottle of handwash in their choice of scent! 

Pencil These In

One of my New Year’s resolutions was to clean and organize my home office. After sorting through piles of files, shredding old documents and recycling manila folders, I was ready to replenish some office supplies, including pencils. Now, pencils may not seem like a big deal but since gazillions of them are produced every year, well, they kind of are a big deal. This is why Tree Lover Graphite Pencils by ForestChoice are so cool. These eco-friendly #2 graphite pencils are made from FSC certified California-incense cedar which means that the wood casings for these pencils come from forests that are audited for environmental impact, plantation management, and preservation of indigenous people’s rights. Write on!

Find it Here: See Jane Work

Hello Eco-Kitty

pet-ecology-perfect-litter.gifLiving in a multi-cat household, I was happy to learn that pet lovers like myself can now choose a biodegradable alternative in cat litter. Awarded “Best of the Best 2008” by the SPCA, Pet Ecology Perfect Litter is up to 70% lighter than regular litter and has a unique enzyme-based system of destroying odors instead of using irritating chemical-based fragrances. Perfect Litter’s key ingredients (vermiculite and perlite) are used in hydroponic gardening and safe enough for use in flower beds. Unlike clay litter, it’s also totally flushable, sewer-friendly and dissolves without impact to plumbing. Additionally, Perfect Litter helps monitor your cat’s urinary tract health and offers an early warning system for FLUTD (a common and potentially fatal disease) by turning different shades of pink as a sign of possible infection. You can join their mail order program or start practicing perfect pet ecology in March, when the company starts selling Perfect Litter in major pet stores.

Find It Here: Perfectlitter.com

A Hot Sling for A Hot Mama

large.jpgThe Hotsling is the first and only pouch sling that I have ever purchased, and I love it. Not only does it do a great job of hiding my post-pregnancy belly, but it’s also super easy to use. Just slip it over your head, drop your baby inside, and off you go! Because it’s sized to fit, you don’t have to learn how to wrap it or adjust it so it’s a great beginner sling. Hotslings come in a lot of great prints, but I have to give it up for the undyed, unbleached hemp/organic cotton Hotsling. It’s machine washable, sweatshop-free, made in the U.S.A., fits easily in your diaper bag and hides your belly flab! If that’s not hot, I don’t know what is.

Find It Here: fawnandforest.com

Congratulations Kari, winner of a Hotsling in natural organic cotton!

Deal: fawnandforest.com is offering 15% off all slings + carriers through the end of February!

Kid-Safe Seafood

logo_kss.pngFor the life of me, I can never remember how much tuna is safe for my kids to eat. Nor can I ever remember whether it’s cod or tilapia that contains less toxins. Well, now, thanks to KidSafe Seafood, I can stop wondering. KidSafe Seafood’s Best Choices list, developed in consultation with scientific experts and in partnership with organizations like the Children’s Health Environmental Coalition and the Monterey Bay Aquarium, contains the six safest fish selections for kids, plus an extensive safety analysis of almost every species of fish you can think of. For each type of fish, find out what the health concerns are (i.e., mercury, PCBs, dioxins or pesticides), find out whether there are any environmental concerns, and most importantly, find out the maximum number of times per month that a child should consume that particular fish.

Find it Here: KidSafe Seafood

The Green Team Rulez

greenerator-white.jpgIn a recent Scholastic News online poll, kids ranked the environment as one of their top issues in the upcoming presidential elections. Wow! In response to this, Scholastic has launched ACT GREEN, a fun and educational website designed to motivate and empower kids to take action at home, in school and in their communities to help care for the environment. ACT GREEN provides kids, parents and teachers with customized green plans, expert tips, downloadable tools, inspiring green short films provided by Live Earth, and a “Greenroom” to share ideas with other kids. What’s really cool is that as kids meet the goals of their “green plans” they can track and add their points to the “Greenerator” and see immediately how their efforts have impacted the environment. I can hardly think of a better cause than getting kids engaged in caring about the environment. After all, it is their world. — we’re merely borrowing it from them.

Find it Here: Scholastic ACT GREEN

Win it: If you’ll take a gander at our left sidebar, you’ll see that by subscribing to our very cool and totally not spammy or annoying newsletter, you will be entered to win some really awesome goodies including TWO great books by Scholastic ACT GREEN — You Can Save the Planet: 50 Ways You Can Make a Difference and The Down-to-Earth Guide to Global Warming. Plus? Subscribers are privy to giveaways and other perks not available on this site. It’s like a VIP club that everyone can join!

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