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Earth Day – Now 365 Days A Year!

earth.jpgAt The Green Mom Review, we try to make every day Earth Day by doing little things daily to reduce our impact on the Earth. Yet, sometimes it can be a little overwhelming knowing where to start. So to kick-off the week, we are bringing you a few easy precycling tips for putting a little more “green” into your life.

  1. Use cloth napkins. Check out Fabkins for a really fun alternative for kids!
  2. Take reusable shopping bags to the store with you. There are so many cool styles these days – like Skeeda, EcoBags, and Pretty Green.
  3. Buy in bulk and avoid individually wrapped items when possible.
  4. Stop unwanted junk mail through a free online service like ProQuo or Catalog Choice.
  5. Read magazines and newspapers online.
  6. Use a computer to pay bills, send party invitations and stay in touch with friends. Try Pingg for the classiest, most professional e-vites we’ve seen yet.
  7. Buy recyclable packaged items rather than non-recyclable, and consider using glass containers for storing leftovers instead of plastic.

Choose just one of these tips to start incorporating into your life this month and you’ll be doing the Earth a huge favor! And then, go get yourself some fair-trade, organic chocolate to pat yourself on the back for being such a good Earth-loving mama. I know I will.

Paperless Scrapbooking

Scrapbooking can be a fun and visually appealing way to display photos, but the bad news is that it can also produce a lot of paper waste. Luckily, there’s an awesome alternative — digital scrapbooking! Scrapgirls provides all the necessary online tools to help you assemble fabulous envy-worthy scrapbook pages without using one single piece of paper. All you do is browse for some templates you dig, download, and upload your pictures. No more spending money on paper, stickers, or gadgets that you may never use thanks to digital scrapbooking. Now that is what I call reducing waste!

Find It Here: Scrapgirls

Oh Baby, Babyganics

babyganics.pngDid you know that many conventional household cleaners contain chemicals that are more dangerous and toxic than the germs we are trying to avoid by using them? According to the EPA, some of these toxins have been found to cause cancer in animals and are suspected, or are known, to cause cancer in humans. But before you get too freaked out, I want you to know that you DO have options; there ARE products made by companies who actually care about you, your family and the earth, one of them being Babyganics, which makes cleaning products that are plant based, organic, VOC free, non-caustic, free of harsh chemicals, fillers or dyes and are completely safe for you, your children, pets and the environment. You need it? They got it — all purpose cleaner, glass & surface cleaner, tub & tile cleaner, floor cleaner, dish soap, laundry detergent and even an odor eliminator/air freshener, which is one of the things I miss most since quitting conventional cleaning products. But one thing I won’t ever miss are those nasty chemical odors that we’ve come to think of as “clean smelling.” Now clean smells like…clean.

Find it Here: Babyganics

Congratulations to Kathie R., winner of a Babyganics Non-Toxic Cleaning Kit, courtesy of Go Natural Baby!

Eat Your Heart Out

carrot-product.jpgThe first time I ever tasted store-bought baby food, I think my exact words were, “Ugh! Yick!” Yeah, it was pretty gross. Despite the bad first impression, I now know that not all commercial baby food tastes so yucky. In fact, I have found a brand that actually tastes so good that even I want to eat it. Certified organic by the USDA and made in the USA, Jack’s Harvest comes frozen in the cutest one-ounce heart shaped cubes, the perfect size for a baby starting out on solids. With tasty creations like “pear with a dash of cinnamon”, “more peas, please with a hint of mint”, and “lip-smacking sweet potatoes with a dash of cinnamon and vanilla,” you’ll be asking for the recipes so that you can make some for your entire family! While Jack’s Harvest is not currently available in grocery stores (yet), they will deliver in the U.S., and you can try to get your local grocer to sell it by sending in this sample letter or by asking Jack’s Harvest to contact them for you. So here’s to totally-not-yicky, absolutely yummy organic baby food – it’s about time!

Find It Here: Jack’s Harvest

Congratulations to Ruth F., winner of a $25 gift certificate to Jack’s Harvest!

SIGG-tacular! (UPDATED)

sigg.jpgPLEASE READ OUR UPDATE (8/23/09) ON SIGG BOTTLES

When I first found out that certain plastics can leach BPA at low levels into our food and drink, I decided it was time to find some safe, portable BPA-free drinking cups for my kids, and I did a lot of research to find the safest ones possible. If you’re looking for a reusable drinking cup for your child and you’d like to avoid plastic altogether, then you might like to try out the SIGG 0.3L water bottle. This is one of my favorite safe, reusable canteens for kids because of all the totally cool designs available, like this little fireman SIGG available from BuyGreen.com. For something a little more girly, check out the little kitty SIGG design. Great on the go, SIGGs are made of aluminum and come in many designs that are sure to make your little one smile. And you’ll be smiling, too, because you won’t be worried about toxins leaching into your kid’s drink.

Find It Here: buygreen.com

Congratulations to Samantha S., winner of a SIGG 0.3L “little fireman” water bottle!

Editor’s Note: After our initial post, we received a reader question about the potential for SIGGs to leach BPA or aluminum from the inner lining of the canteen. With regards to aluminum, SIGG states that their canteens are safety tested to ensure 0.0% leaching. With regards to BPA, we found out that while the canteens are made of aluminum, the make-up of the inner lining is proprietary and SIGG will not tell us what it’s made of. That said, SIGG has released a statement indicating that laboratory testing “has consistently shown SIGG bottles to have no presence of lead, phthalates, Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA), Bysphenol A (BPA), Bysphenol B (BPB) or any other chemicals which scientists have deemed as potentially harmful.” Go to this Treehugger article for more discussion on this topic or here for the official SIGG statement on the safety of their canteens. For the record, I still like SIGGs for their cool designs and reusability and I am fairly reassured by their safety testing, but I sure wish we could find out what those liners are made of. I guess I’m just curious like that.


One for the Boys

040607_spa_bcol3_10astandard.jpgAdmittedly, I don’t know much about face shaving because, obviously, I don’t have manly facial hair. (Yes, I know about those two weird, wiry chin hairs that I sprouted after having kids and they totally don’t count, k?) But my husband does have manly facial hair and it’s crossed my mind on numerous occasions that putting a chemical-filled foam on his face and then shaving, which opens up pores, cannot possibly be good for him. Luckily, I found All Natural Shaving Oilâ„¢ by Pacific Shaving Company and it’s a fabulous alternative to shaving cream. Made of essential oils, All Natural Shaving Oilâ„¢ provides a consistently smooth shave, practically eliminating razor burn and nicks, plus it allows you to actually see where you’re shaving, all with no foamy mess to clean up. The 1/2 oz bottle provides up to 100 shaves and environmentally speaking, it’s totally superior because it can be recycled, unlike those big old aerosol cans. And if all that weren’t enough to send the menfolk into a I-must-have-this-right-now frenzy, Pacific Shaving Company plants a tree for every bottle purchased!

Find it Here: Pacific Shaving Company

Whole Foods: They Do a Body Good

wbpodcastlogo.jpgIf I had limitless free time, I think I would spend at least a third of it in my favorite natural foods store – Whole Foods. I could easily spend hours perusing their aisles. So when I heard that Whole Foods has started a free podcast series that’s all about natural body care, I thought “Cool! Sign me up!” The Be Good to Your Whole Body podcast features experts who discuss topics like healing herbs, natural personal care, and homeopathic remedies for colds and flus. Their latest podcast focuses on natural approaches to dealing with allergies, a very timely topic now that Spring has sprung. Each podcast is under 10 minutes long, which is the perfect amount of information for busy parents looking for some quick and helpful tips from experts in natural health. So do your body a favor and check it out!

Find It Here: Be Good To Your Whole Body Podcast

The Doggie Dooley

Doggie Dooley Pet Waste Digester SystemAs a green mom I’ve got food and yard waste composting down pat, but what about all of the waste that dear old Fido produces? Yep, I’m talking dog doo. It’s a rather unsavory topic but if you have a dog, the doo is part of the deal and since a “Va-poo-rizer” has yet to be invented, the Doggie Dooley Pet Waste Digester System might be the next best thing. Made of heavy-duty plastic, the Doggie Dooley is installed underground and opened using a foot operated lid opener. Like a miniature septic-tank, it’s odorless and reduces pet wastes to a ground absorbing liquid. The Doggie Dooley keeps pet waste out of landfills and best of all — out of your yard — because there’s almost nothing worse than stepping on a canine landmine (except stepping on a canine landmine and tracking it into your house. Ewww!)

Find it Here: Doggie Dooley Pet Waste Digester System

Baby Burritos Made Easy

whatis-1.jpgSwaddling is one mom skill that I never truly mastered. I would swaddle the baby and two seconds later she’d have limbs poking out all over the place. Frustrated, I would make my husband, who has a black belt in swaddling, wrap her up like a little burrito while I watched in awe. Please teach me your ways, most honorable baby swaddler. So when I set eyes upon the organic cotton Cozy Cocoon, I was all “Why didn’t I think of this?” It’s like a big stretchy sock and your baby is like the foot. Wait. No. Let me re-phrase that… Your baby wears the Cozy Cocoon like a body sock which, once on, holds their limbs close to their bodies, making them feel snug, secure and comforted with none of the jerking, twitching or startling movements that repeatedly wake them up. Plus? No snaps, buttons or yucky, scratchy Velcro like on those other weird swaddling blankets. It’s almost cool enough to make me give in to the baby fever one gets when all their friends are pregnant. I said almost.

(Note: Does contain some Lycra for stretchiness)

Find it Here: Cozy Cocoon

King Corn

king-corn.jpgYou know that old saying, “You are what you eat”? Well, you might be surprised to find out that if we are what we eat, then many of us are made out of corn! Not so surprising when you consider how many food items contain high fructose corn syrup or that most cattle are fed corn rather than grass. In fact, according to the Corn Growers Association, it’s hard to find anything in the grocery store that doesn’t contain corn. Just check out their loooong list of corn-containing grocery items to see what I mean. Maybe it’s just me, but this factoid kinda freaks me out. If you want to know how corn became so ubiquitous or how its widespread cultivation is negatively affecting rainforests, biodiversity, family farming, and your health, then check out the new documentary, King Corn, which premieres on PBS beginning April 15, 2008. Grab yourself a bag of popcorn (or not), sit back, and watch this entertaining film featuring recent Yale graduates Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis as they trek to Iowa, purchase a plot of land, grow their own corn, and uncover the ugly truth about how this seemingly innocuous crop is profoundly affecting our health and our environment.

Find It Here: King Corn

Congratulations to Erika, Louise, Melonie, Tara and Stephanie, who have each won a copy of the King Corn DVD!

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