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Supercharged Sleeping

bbsheetcar.jpgWho says that organic cotton bedding has to be plain and boring? This supercharged sheet set by Pixel Organics is anything BUT boring and the retro red, white and blue print is “really cool!” as my son would say. This set is made in the U.S.A. of super soft organic sateen cotton with low-impact dyes, which we love, and they have actually enticed my son to get to bed on time which is no small feat. I think it’s safe to say these sheets totally RULE.

Find It Here: Wild Dill

Win It! We’re giving away a fitted twin sheet! Click here to fill out our simple entry form. Just enter “WD55” as the giveaway name and provide the answer to this question: What is the name of one other item for sale in Wild Dill’s sleep selection? U.S. or Canadian residents eligible. Enter by 8/26/08. Contest closed. Congrats, Denise G.!

The Must-Have Guide to Greening Your Life

sidebarimage.pngOkay, how many of you moms and dads live your life in three different gears? I know I do and it’s most evident on my slacker days when the children arrive at school with bedhead and no sweater. Ahhh, now fast-forward to one of my over-achieving mornings when they arrive with ribbons in their hair, creases in their pants, hot breakfast served before school — I’m like a well-oiled machine! But most of the time I function somewhere in the middle. This is what I loved about Lori Bongiorno’s book Green, Greener, Greenest: A Practical Guide to Making Eco-Smart Choices a Part of Your Life …she gets that life is never static and some days you’re ready to give it your all and conquer the world and some days your lucky to leave the house with two matching shoes on your feet! Finally, someone who understands that real life is complicated and doing what you can, when you can, is the most sensible way to go green.

Find It Here: Amazon.com

The Green Hour

The Green HourHave you heard the news? Americans are suffering from “nature deficit disorder.” Translation: Most of us don’t get outside or do things within nature enough. Now just so you know that I’m not finger-pointing at all you indoorsy types, I will confess that I, myself, am a woman who isn’t fond of going outside from May to October because I detest sweating. But seriously, this nature deficit thing is not good for us and it’s really not good for our kids. According to The Green Hour, there is a growing body of research that indicates that children who spend time outdoors are healthier, overall, than their indoor counterparts and children who regularly spend unstructured time outside:

    • Play more creatively
    • Have lower stress levels
    • Have more active imaginations
    • Become fitter and leaner
    • Develop stronger immune systems
    • Experience fewer symptoms of ADD and ADHD
    • Have greater respect for themselves, for others, and for the environment

Yeah, that list really got my attention, too, and thus, I am making the commitment to get myself and my kids outside for an hour (the green hour!) everyday. Well, maybe a half hour to start (it’s REALLY HOT here) and on the weekends, I’d like to get them into some seriously natural nature, like NOT in my backyard. If you want to do it, too, and need help finding the greatest of the great outdoors in your area, consult The Green Hour’s NatureFind tool. You supply your zip code and it magically produces a tidy list of nature-centric locations with web links, distance from your starting point, and the recreational opportunities available at each location. It’s easy-peasy, lemon squeezy. (And if you know where that phrase comes from, you, like me, have watched entirely too much children’s programming and need to get outside as soon as possible. MUST! DEPROGRAM! BRAIN!)

Find It Here: The Green Hour

Green Shopping an Oxymoron? No Way!

pursebook.jpgYeah, okay, shopping isn’t the greenest activity in the world. We know that. But shopping with an eye for environmentally-safe, socially responsible products and services? That’s totally green. Want to learn more about how you can use your dollar wisely when it comes to purchasing eco-friendly, fair-trade items? Diane MacEachern’s book Big Green Purse is a great resource to get you started and we’re giving away a copy FREE to one lucky winner at our Green Mom Forum. Enter here!

EcoBranders

index_01.jpgIf you’ve ever been to a trade show or convention, you know about the swag (actually an acronym for “stuff we all get”). In plain English, it’s all the promotional junk that you get and give to your kids as “souvenirs.” Imagine how much of that stuff gets produced and given out every day all over the country — that’s a lot of stuff! Now imagine that all that stuff was biodegradable, recycled, fair trade, sustainably-produces or some other flavor of green. Much better, right? Of course, we at The Green Mom Review are always in favor of less consumption across the board but if you’re going to give out branded items regardless (at your meeting, conference, family reunion etc), it would be awesome to do it in an eco-friendlier way and that’s where EcoBranders comes in. They have all the same stuff the regular promotional products companies have except it’s greener and every single item can have YOUR logo, design or name on it. Pretty cool, huh? Makes me wish I’d thought of it first!

Find It Here: EcoBranders

Earth-Fabulous Toting

gmf_minusbag.jpg Shopping with a cloth bag is eco-friendly, for sure, but shopping with super stylish cloth bags makes being green so much more interesting, not unlike like wearing a variety of great shoes instead of the same old ones every day. A perfect example of such hip, functional totes are minusbags which are made in the USA from 100% locally grown cotton and are machine washable. Handsewn and screen printed in New Hampshire, you can order your bags with a regular short handle or opt for a longer over-the-shoulder strap. We love their bright colors and modern designs and we really love that the large tote holds more than THREE plastic bags worth of groceries. Holy shopping cart, Batman! These bags put the fun in functional and the fab in fabulous!

Find It Here: minusbags

Win It! We’re giving away a miniusbag in winner’s choice of style. Click here to fill out our simple entry form. Just enter “MB86” as the giveaway name and provide the answer to this question: What is your favorite style of minusbag? U.S. residents eligible. Enter by 8/19/08. Contest closed. Congrats to Rita S.!

It’s Vegantastic!

9781600940729.jpgWhen it comes to me and meat, the truth is that I love a good steak. I think steak is yummy. I admit it. However, as I’ve learned more about the abhorrent practices occurring in factory farms across the U.S., I have been much, much more reluctant to eat meat. Add to that the fact that reducing one’s consumption of meat is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint, and I think you can call me a vegetarian or, quite possibly, a vegan in the making. If there are other aspiring vegans out there, you’ve gotta check out the new book Vegan Lunch Box by Jennifer McCann. Author of the blog by the same name, Jennifer is a stay-at-home mom who has perfected the art of packing waste-free, vegan lunches for her kids and hubby, as evidenced here at her blog. But now, she’s put 130 of her yummy vegan recipes into one book. From appetizers to desserts, from the simple to the adventurous, her recipes and menu plans are sure to appeal to anyone. The gourmet will appreciate learning how to fix up sushi, Greek phyllo triangles, Ethiopian flatbread and other tasty foods from around the world, while the busy mom will love her simple, easy lunch plans. And for those with allergies in the family, she includes a great allergen-free indexes identifying wheat-free, gluten-free, soy-free and nut-free recipes. In the end, you might just find that adding some vegan meals to your week might bring more spice and variety into your diet than you ever thought possible. And now you have a great resource to get started!

Find It Here: Vegan Lunch Box
Win It! We’re giving away a copy of Vegan Lunch Box. Click here to fill out our simple entry form. Just enter “VG21” as the giveaway name and provide the answer to this question: What would going vegan mean to you? U.S. residents eligible. Enter by 8/18/08. Contest closed. Congrats, Stefanie S.!

Eco Fact: According to a new study published last year in New Scientist magazine, eating a 2.2lb piece of beef creates more CO2 emissions than driving for three hours after leaving all the lights on at home. -Treehugger

School Shopping: Green School Supplies

greenapple2.pngAs part of our “school shopping” series, we would be remiss not to cover school supplies themselves. If you think about how many kids attend school and how many school supply items they all need, it would probably make a mountain of stuff and another mountain just from packaging waste. And yet, there aren’t a lot of options on the shelf of your local WalMart. So what’s a green mom or dad to do? Well, as it happens, we DO have options — many, many options, including these cool green back-to-school kits in which you just order the whole kit and forgo the school supply hunt at your local discount store. Some schools actually distribute lists of what kids need to bring so you may need to order a few other things to supplement the kit but 1) you’re not driving around from store to store which is fabulous for obvious reasons and 2) the items you’re purchasing are green or at the very least, less bad than their conventional counterparts and sometimes? That’s all we can do. Happy headache-free green school shopping!

Find It Here: The Green Office

Other Green Office and School Supply Suppliers:

School Shopping: Lunchboxing It

lunchboxshop_2012_790122.gifIt’s the most wonderful time of the year! Yes, it’s time for school shopping and for me, it might as well be Christmas thanks to a lifelong love of school and office supplies. Of course, these days the school shopping is actually for my kids rather than myself but that’s okay — it’s still exciting. And at the top of the FUN list is picking out a lunchbox! The thing about lunchboxes is that they can contain lead and PVC — neither of which you want your child handling or coming in contact with their food. So…finding a good, safe lunchbox should be a top priority and lucky for everyone, there are lots of safe options (see list below). In addition to a non-toxic lunchbox, don’t forget about what goes IN to the lunchbox like reusable bottles for beverages, cloth napkins (pick up an assortment for next to nothing at thrift stores), non-disposable utensils (grab some from a a yard sale or thrift store if you’re afraid of using your regular silverware) and reusable containers.
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Find it Here:

Lunchbox.com’s Assorted Lead-Free Metal Lunchboxes (some are not for kids)
Cool Lunch Bag’s Lunch Sacks and Character Lunch Bags
BUILT’s Tortuga Lunch Tote
Fleurville’s Lunch Pak and Lunch Buddy
Basura Bag’s Small Insulated Lunch Bag and Mini Messenger Bag
Mimi the Sardine’s Modern Cloth Lunch Backpack and Lunch Bag
Camelbak’s Reusable Better Bottle (BPA free)
Thermos’ Foogo Stainless Steel Reusable Bottle (BPA & PVC free)
Thermos’ Foogo Stainless Steel Food Container (BPA & PVC free)

Bubblicious

bb1602-2t.jpgAccording to my son, bathtime is waaaay more fun when bubbles are involved. Unfortunately, I banned the bubbles for a long time because I was having a hard time finding a bubble bath that didn’t contain toxic ingredients. Then I stumbled upon Little Twig. Little Twig is this really fun line of children’s bath products that includes a bubble bath line without synthetic fragrances and artificial colors, which by the way, is totally hard to believe when you smell their Tangerine Bubble Bath. The scent is so yummy and fruity that is just doesn’t seem possible that it could not contain phthalates. But no! As confirmed with the company, none of their bubble bath products contain phthalates, parabens or sulfates. And for those with allergies, the Little Twig Extra Mild Unscented formula is also wheat, soy and nut free. And before you worry too much about the plastic bottle it comes in, Little Twig bottles are totally recyclable. They also donate a portion of their proceeds to the Everychild Foundation. But the best news for my kids is that bathtime is fun again thanks to Little Twig!

Find It Here: Cocotier Kids

Win It! We’re giving away a Little Twig Gentle Care Gift Pack worth $40! The pack includes unscented bubble bath, body milk, body wash and a ladybug washcloth. Click here to fill out our simple entry form. Just enter “CK21” as the giveaway name and provide the answer to this question: What is your favorite Little Twig product available from Cocotier Kids? U.S. and Canadian residents eligible. Enter by 8/14/08. Contest closed. Congrats, Lily K!

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