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You Cheeky Little Monkey Tree

10975-monkey-tree1-1.JPGAt this point in my parenting career, I’ve assembled what feels like hundreds thousands of puzzles with my kids and my toddler, in particular, is a big fan of that childhood staple, the wooden puzzle. We have trucks and farm animals and letters and numbers and while they’re fun and all, they really can’t touch the Monkey Tree puzzle from Little Star Creative Parties because lookie! It stands up! Our cows and sheep and dumps trucks and police cars certainly can’t do that. But even better than the cool standing-upness of it, this nifty puzzle is hand made of sustainable, plantation-grown rubberwood and hand painted with child-safe paints which means your little ones can gnaw and gum to their hearts content with absolutely no tongue-wiping involved. What? Am I the only one that does that?

Find It Here: Little Star Creative Parties

Congratulations Jennifer K., winner of a Monkey Tree puzzle, courtesy of Little Star Creative Parties! 

Healthy Child, Healthy World: The Book

healthy-child.jpgI’m always looking for ways to green my life and home, especially when it comes to cleaning. I’ve known about the impressive cleaning properties of vinegar for awhile now but was curious about alternatives to detergents, fabric softeners, furniture polish (not that I actually do much furniture polishing), Drano and Comet; the last two being the more deadly of the bunch. And what do you know — I found it all in Healthy Child, Healthy World: Creating A Cleaner, Greener, Safer Home by Christopher Gavigan. Each chapter offers tips to make each area of life a little greener: preparing for baby; safer cleaning throughout the house; choosing, cooking and storing healthier foods; natural body care; safer toys, gear and clothing and so much more, all without breaking the bank. It’s kind of like having a whole neighborhood of green moms right at your fingertips and available 24-7!

Find It Here: Healthy Child, Healthy World

Flip a Switch, Save the World

earth-hour.jpgCheck your watch! Today, March 29, 2008 at 8 p.m. (your local time), turn off your lights for one hour and join millions of people around the world for Earth Hour! Created by the World Wildlife Fund, Earth Hour is a global movement that allows us to show symbolically that we care about our environment and that we are conscious of how the amount of energy we use has an impact. Earth Hour also presents a great opportunity to talk to kids about why it is important to respect the Earth and about little ways we can each make a difference. Showing the world you care has never been easier!

Find It Here: Earth Hour

They’re Smooshalicious

fruitabulogoforweb.jpgIs it really possible to find a fruit snack made without the use of artificial coloring, corn syrup or added sugar? Look no further than FruitaBü Organic Smoooshed Fruit Flats. Unlike other fruit snacks on the market, you won’t find any artificial coloring or preservatives in these yummy, all-natural, USDA certified organic fruit leathers, and each flat counts as a 1/2 serving of fruit (instead of a 1/2 serving of corn syrup and chemicals.) Your kids will love them and you can feel good about giving them a snack that’s tasty and healthy. What’s that old saying again? A FruitaBü a day keeps the doctor away? Yeah, something like that!

Find It Here: FruitaBü

Congratulations to Jacklyn H., Megret, Ruby P., Wanda P., and Leisa W., who have each won a box of FruitaBü Organic Smoooshed Fruit Twirls and a box of Fruit Sploooshers!

Do Good: FruitaBü is partnering with the Fruit Tree Planting Foundation to start a program called “Fruit Tree 101.” The program will be going to schools across the country to donate orchards of fruit trees in order to educate students about both the nutritional value of fruit, and the role fruit trees can play in creating a more sustainable world. Contact the Fruit Tree Planting Foundation to find out whether the “Fruit Tree 101” program can be brought to your child’s school!

Paper or Plastic? How ‘Bout Neither!

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I have a confession to make. I have a shopping addiction, and it’s not what you might think. I’m not addicted to buying fancy purses or shoes or anything of that sort. No, I’m currently addicted to buying reusable shopping totes. One of my latest and greatest finds is ECOBAGS Classic String Market Bags. Available in both natural cotton and certified organic cotton, these versatile bags are fair-trade and great for bagging produce at the grocery store, bringing goodies home from the farmer’s market, or even toting toys to the beach. Best of all, they are saving me from amassing the heaps of disposable shopping bags that have threatened to overtake my home in the past. I am particularly fond of their long-handle and Milano style totes. Both hold up to 40lbs and compact easily to stash away in your purse when not in use. Or if you like a little color, check out the fiesta bags, which look absolutely perfect for summer. Truth be told, I want them all. That’s what happens when you’re a reusable shopping bag addict. *sigh* Anyone know a good 12-step program?

Find It Here: ECOBAGS

Congratulations Jamie, Betty, Rebecca and Emma, winners of a set of FIVE ECOBAGS® Classic String Bags™ in organic cotton fiesta colors! 

Deal: Get 15% off all orders (not including tax, S&H) with code “greenmom.” Expires 4/30/08.

Retrotastic Without the Plastic

143702.jpgWhen it comes to plastic storage containers, it seems like I always end up with a mish-mash of warped lids and stained containers that don’t even match. I inevitably end up tossing a lot of it and even though I recycle, that’s gotta be some seriously bad eco-karma! Seeing as plastic is actually not the best choice for food storage anyway, I’m now on a mission to eliminate it from my kitchen altogether. I know — a kitchen without plastic containers is practically unthinkable, especially for those of us that grew up in the era of Tupperware parties but luckily, we do have options! These super-retro glass refrigerator dishes from Cooking.com hearken back to a simpler time when plastic didn’t even exist. Safe for use in the the oven, the microwave and the freezer, these stackable storage containers are chemical-free, won’t warp, won’t retain odors and will never stain. Plus? The chances of your losing one of the glass lids is slim to none. Yes, they may be breakable but so are champagne flutes and martini glasses and you wouldn’t trade those in for plastic ones, now would you?

Find It Here: Cooking.com (Some sizes also available at your local Crate and Barrel)

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