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The New Math is Green

If you’re serious about changing your lifestyle for the health of the planet but don’t know where to start, check out The Environmental Impact Calculator at Low Impact Living. In just a few minutes you can find out your carbon footprint along with how much energy and water your house uses and how much trash you produce. During the process you will start to feel the impact you’re leaving, but don’t worry — this calculator will also recommend projects specific to your home that will help you reduce your impact factor and save money, too. This is not your accountant’s boring old calculator!

Find It Here: Environmental Impact Calculator

Batteries Not Included

cde_kapla40_large.jpgNot all toys have batteries in them. I had to explain this concept to my almost three-year-old recently when he kicked one of the wooden cars I bought him and said, “Mommy, it doesn’t go. It needs batteries!” Admittedly, battery-operated toys are fun for kids, but wooden toys can be just as entertaining and can stimulate the imagination in ways that battery-operated toys might not. And let’s not forget the HUGE pluses of not having to run out to buy replacement batteries all the time or the good feeling we’ll get by eliminating worries over the hazards that batteries present to our environment.

So, if you’re looking for a fun, eco-friendly wooden toy for your preschooler/budding architect, check out Kapla’s wooden construction planks. The accompanying instructions sheets will give you great building ideas – from the simple to the complex (Eiffel Tower anyone?) . Made in France of 100% pine from certified renewable French forests, Kapla’s construction planks are sure to bring out the creative genius in your child. And parents, don’t worry, you won’t have to mess with glue, nails, batteries, or toxic paints. Just bring your imagination and you’re all set. Hooray!

Find It Here: Comptoir d’Enfance

Congratulations Angela H., winner of a box of 40 Kapla construction planks!

Popsicles Sans BPA

2351362349_853522f3d0_m.jpgOne of our favorite sites to visit for the latest info on BPA-free products is SafeMama.com. A while back, Kathy posted on these great BPA-free plastic popsicle molds. We love them so much, we just had to share them with you. Available at Crate and Barrel, these star-shaped pop molds are perfect for making up refreshing treats on a hot summer day. And with summer less than two months away, you’ll be ready to whip up some popsicles sooner than you think. Let’s hear it for long summer days, warm summer nights, and popsicles without BPA! Woo-hoo!

Find It Here: Crate and Barrel

[Tipped off by: Safemama]

Unscrew America

picture-2.pngHave you been to Unscrew America yet? It’s this amazingly interactive web site for a national campaign run by Lesley Chilcott, producer of An Inconvenient Truth, to encourage the switch from incandescent light bulbs to more energy-efficient ones like CFLs and LEDs. I know, I know. Light bulbs are kind of um, not real exciting, so how could this site be soooo amazing? Just take my word for it — this web site is way super cool and it has this happy, peppy little soundtrack that totally embeds itself in your brain. In a good way. You have to see it. (Hint: Pull the lever!)

Find It Here: Unscrew America

Green Gourmet

greenpans.pngJust when you thought you’d never be able to safely enjoy non-stick cooking again, Cuisinart comes out with their Green Gourmet line of non-stick cookware. I know what you’re thinking — “Are you kidding? Green non-stick cookware is a complete oxymoron!” And normally, I’d totally agree, but these pans sport a scratch-resistant surface that is ceramic-based and petroleum-free, which is fabulous. But even better? The non-stick surface is PFOA and PTFE-free which means no more of those egregious toxic fumes coming in contact with your food OR your family. See? Green 🙂

Find It Here: Cuisinart Green Gourmet Cookware

Kickin’ It with Kicky Pants

browncoverall_97_general.jpgBaby Gap and Gymboree watch out – you’ve now officially got some serious eco-competition. Introducing…Kicky Pants, our latest and greatest find for totally unique, comfy and eco-friendly clothing for babies and toddlers. We love them for their line of bamboo basics, which are really and truly the softest baby clothing we’ve ever felt. (Yes, bamboo clothing is actually really soft! The fiber itself has been compared to silk and we’re not surprised. It’s that luxurious.). Created by designer and mom Erin Cloke, Kicky Pants was developed while she was on bedrest with her second son (wow!). With the help of her husband, environmentalist Nick Cloke, Erin has created a line of bamboo clothing that includes coveralls, dresses, onesies, PJs, and tees. My personal favorite are the coveralls – if only because I love the adorable “drop down” butts on those pants! All in all, I’d say this husband-wife duo has come up with a pretty kick ass line. No pun intended.

Find It Here: Kicky Pants


Congratulations to Frances F., winner of a set of bamboo coveralls by Kicky Pants!

Body Care Almost Good Enough to Eat

organic body careIt seems as if every time I read the news, there is some new report about BPA in our plastics, oxybenzone in sunscreens and a whole bucketful of various chemicals in our mattresses, not to mention the beauty industry’s slack guidelines concerning what they put in personal care products and cosmetics. I’m fed up with all of it but I’m not ready to give up taking care of myself just yet, especially when I can make my own personal care products. Organic Body Care Recipes by Stephanie Tourles contains over 175 different homemade herbal formulas for glowing skin and a vibrant self. In fact, there’s a recipe for just about everything you could ever need: natural bug repellent, facial steams (yes, you need facial steams), makeup remover, body butters (great for stretchmark prevention!) In addition to the recipes, the book gives primers on essential oils and how to use them; harvesting herbs; basic information on hair and skin and nail care as well as a basic ingredient dictionary. In fact, it’s very likely you’ll already have most of the ingredients right in your cupboard. And no, you don’t have to use your chocolate stash unless you really, really want to — we know some things are sacred.

Find It Here: Organic Body Care Recipes

I Love Me Some Good Deals

ccbanner125x125greenbthumbnail.jpgI’m really trying to buy more used items these days because not only is it better for the environment to not buy new stuff all the time, it’s also better for my pocketbook. But when I’m looking for natural and fair-trade toys and clothing, I’ve had trouble finding them used. So I was totally psyched (do people still use that word?) to find The Conscious Child. While The Conscious Child mainly carries brand new items, it is their small selection of gently used environmentally friendly baby and toddler products that made us fall in love with this unique online store. Browse their shop to buy, or sell some of your own items for cash upfront. While their inventory is sometimes a little low, you can find some good deals if you check back often – like this organic cotton Under the Nile baby gown priced at only $15.99 and available elsewhere for $22.00. Shop owner, Sarah, personally and fully inspects all used items for first-quality condition prior to selling them so you can feel confident in what you’re buying. So if you’re the type who loves to shop consignment stores, flea markets, garage sales, or if you’re just a closet Craigslist addict with a bent towards green living, then take a peek at the selection of gently loved items at The Conscious Child. But hands off the ecological wool booties, kay? Those are mine 🙂

Find It Here: The Conscious Child

Congratulations to Lily K., winner of a set of (3) handcrafted beeswax body balms from The Conscious Child!

Earth Day 2008 ~ Get Your Green On!

21386.jpgHappy Earth Day! We’re so glad you decided to stop by because we’ve got lots of earthy Earth Day things for your consideration — like you don’t already have enough to do, right? But seriously, here at Green Mom Finds, we really do try to make every day a good day for the earth so rather than doing something really over the top, we decided the greenest thing we could do is give you even more ways to help our planet and even take some action if you’re feeling extra feisty!

ecocho.pngOne of the coolest things we’ve recently come across is Ecocho, a search engine portal that allows you to use Yahoo to conduct your internet searches and in return for using their portal, they plant trees! More specifically, for every 1000 searches users make on Ecocho they’ll “offset” up to a ton of greenhouse gases by sponsoring two trees via the advertising on the site. They even have a cool search toolbar that you can install right in your Firefox or IE browser so using Ecocho is extra easy peasy. You can read more details about this fabulous and free service here.

(Google was participating in this undertaking but after a week, they decided to disallow Ecocho to use their search technology. *making my grumpy face at Google* Whatevs… You can still use Yahoo, also a very fine search engine, and do mucho goodo at the same time.)

Find It Here: Ecocho

callforclimate-copy.png

Want to really make a statement? Pick up your phone and make an Earth Day Call for Climate. It will take just few minutes but if everyone does it, the impact will be staggering. And then? Take a moment to sign this Earth Day Network Sky Petition and let Congress know that we cannot wait any longer for stronger and bolder action against climate change; that they must act NOW. Your great grandchildren will thank you 🙂

Find It Here: Earth Day Network
pesticidefreezone_medium.JPGIf you have decided to forgo putting pesticides on your lawn (much safer for kids, pets, water supply and wildlife!) let the world know by planting this cool Pesticide-Free Zone sign in your yard. With the sign you will receive a Pesticide-Free Zone Owners Manual that gives you tips on what it means to be pesticide-free and how to talk to your neighbors and others about pesticides. Imagine the thrill of being a trailblazer! An influencer! A trendsetter! Or even better — that warm fuzzy feeling you’ll get from doing something good.

Find It Here: National Coalition for Pesticide Free Lawns

And finally, a fun Earth Day photo contest put on by our friends over at BlogHers ACT Canada. Take a photo of your child gardening or doing something gardenish, submit it and you’ll be entered to win one of two copies of Whole World. Printed on forest-friendly paper, this beautifully illustrated, full-color hard cover children’s book includes a sing-along CD featuring the music of Fred Penner and eco-tips for preserving the planet. And if it matters, Whole World was recently featured on Oprah’s O List (eco fabulous prizes provided by Green Mom Finds!)

Find It Here: BlogHers ACT Canada

Forget the Ice Cream – I Want a Yogurt!

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream Stonyfield YoBaby Yogurt. Why? Because Stonyfield YoBaby Yogurt is totally yummy and lovable (even for the finickiest of children) and it’s also all natural, USDA certified organic and comes without the preservatives and artificial ingredients so commonly found in yogurts these days. The Stonyfield Company also makes extraordinary efforts to minimize their impact on the environment – whether it be through their choice of packaging, their use of solar panels, or their efforts to reduce Co2 emissions. They’ve even won several national environmental awards. So, yeah, they’re getting a big thumbs up from this green mama. And as if they read my mind, they’ve now come out with YoMommy Yogurt, the organic, low-fat variety just for moms that’s chock full of the good stuff expectant and new mothers need. Something tells me the dads are about to get jealous…

Find It Here: Click here to find a store near you.

Congratulations to Beth S. and Janet, who will each be receiving $25 in coupons for free YoBaby and YoMommy Yogurt Packs.

Editor’s Note: Prior to writing this post and arranging the giveaway, we consulted Stonyfield Farms’ website to make sure the plastic containers they were using for their yogurt cups were safe. Their site indicates that they exclusively use plastic #5. However, some of our readers have informed us that while the large containers of yogurt are packaged in #5, the small YoBaby yogurt cups are still packaged in #6 plastic. We contacted Stonyfield to question this and we received the following response:

 Thanks for your inquiry about our packaging and specifically our use of polystyrene #6 for our YoBaby products. First, none of our packaging contains BPA, the chemical currently in the news and which is used to make polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resins. As for our use of polystyrene #6, you’ll be reassured to learn that #6 containers are considered safe for food use by the both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the European Union (EU). The FDA requires the styrene content of the packaging be less than 5,000 parts per million (ppm). The styrene content in Stonyfield Farm’s polystyrene packaging does not exceed 400 ppm.We appreciate hearing from you. Because the use of any plastic can have an adverse effect on the environment, we continuously search for packaging materials with lower environmental impacts. For now, we believe the best option for our small cups is polystyrene since it allows us to reduce the overall amount of packaging material we use – less packaging means less consumption of resources, less pollution and less solid waste.

We are disappointed that Stonyfield has chosen to use plastic #6 containers. We have requested that they update their website to indicate that they use a range of plastics for their containers, including plastic #6 for their yogurt cups. We have further urged them to find a safer packaging for their yogurt cups. Despite the FDA assurances about the safety of the styrene content of their current packaging, we do not feel comfortable giving our children any amount of styrene, which is considered a possible human carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer and which may also disrupt hormones or affect reproduction. Healthy Child Healthy World recommends avoiding foods packaged in polystyrene plastic, denoted by a #6. So, as much as we love Stonyfield’s YoBaby Yogurt cups, we are no longer comfortable recommending them. For now, purchasing the larger plastic #5 Stonyfield Yogurt containers seems to be a better option.

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