Baby Purity Conference

untitled.jpgCalling all Canadian mamas who love their babies and don’t want them exposed to toxins in our environment—Baby Purity is hosting an exciting conference on October 25, 2008 in Vancouver, British Columbia. Tickets are still available but they’re going fast. Don’t miss out on this fabulous opportunity to hear from experts such as Christopher Gavigan, Executive Director of Healthy Child Healthy World; Dr. Chantelle Mitchell, naturopathic physician; and Lisa Frack, parent activist with the Environmental Working Group. Learn about first foods for your baby, safe household products and good nutrition. Plus, have lunch, meet other like-minded mamas, learn about new products and get some cool (and green, of course) swag to take home. This isn’t the first time I’ve wished I lived in Canada. Heh! Joking. Kinda.

Find It Here: Baby Purity Mother’s Conference

Win It! We’re giving away two tickets to the Baby Purity Mother’s Conference! Click here to fill out our simple entry form. Just enter “BP60” as the giveaway name and tell us why you want to go! Enter by 10/22/08.

Does Your Vacuum Cleaner Suck?

vacuum_cleaner.jpgIf you’re like me, an undomestic goddess of a kingdom comprised mostly of pet hair and assorted baby stuff, any help in biting back the dust is welcome. National Geographic’s Green Guide recently published an article on vacuum cleaners, including product comparisons and buying pointers. I dug that they say vacuums are super-easy to repair but that seldom happens. It could, however, probably save you some money, not to mention please Mother Earth (and who doesn’t like to keep on HER good side?) to try having the vacuum repaired or parts replaced (or do it yourself!) before you donate it to a thrift store, charity, or even “freecycle” it.  But if it’s time for a better vacuum or your household includes an asthma-and-allergies sufferer (like mine), take heart because today’s vacuum cleaning market lends credence to the idea that there’s a sucker born every minute—but this time, it’s in a good way! Some models with HEPA filters (sometimes pricier, sometimes not) even help whisk away and imprison the brain cell-killing chemicals in flame retardants, the hormone-tampering phthalates as well as the carcinogens and pesticides that sneak in from the outside world. I take safeguarding the environment seriously but I can’t resist one final pun—peruse The Green Guide and, for a more comprehensive list of vacuums’ green ratings, Consumer Reports. With these helpers, it’s sure to be a wind-wind situation when you choose your next vacuum cleaner!

Find it Here: The Green Guide

A Greener Disney

dis_banner.gifThe Walt Disney Company recognizes the danger of cleaning chemicals for their animals living in their Animal Kingdom, but the same care is not taken in the other parks, hotels and restaurants.  Disney makes millions from their theme parks, and now it is time for them to act for the sake of our childrens health.  The Center for Health, Environment and Justice is waging a campaign to persuade Disney to adopt a Green Cleaning Purchasing Policy and phase out the use of 84 toxic cleaning products.  On October 29, 2008, the National Day of Action, join in a worthy cause by signing a postcard to send to Disney.  Other ways you can act? Host a green cleaning party and join other groups and families calling for a healthier environment for children and Disney employees.  Let’s send the message that safer, greener cleaning is not a fad, but an important issue that needs to be addressed, not just for the animals but for everyone!

Find it Here: The Day of Action

Don’t Forget:  Our awesome $140 Seventh Generation giveaway ends today (Oct 17) Enter now if you haven’t already!

Pretty Pedoodles

medium-petal-jumper1.gifThe pitter-patter of little feet just got prettier thanks to a line of children’s shoes designed to be as fun as they are earth-friendly. Made of premium leather remnants, Pedoodles eco-friendly children’s shoes are safety tested to be free of harmful toxins like lead, arsenic and mercury and the soles are made of recycled rubber. Not every style of Pedoodles are groovy green so be sure to look for the ECO-friendly symbol to be sure. And don’t worry – there are lots of different styles to choose from in both their walking line (8 months to 2 years) and their running line (2-4 years). They’re so incredibly cute that the hardest part will be deciding which ones NOT to get!

Find It Here: Pedoodles

Love. This. Composter.

cleanairgardening_2021_24716274.jpg One of my goals this year was to start a compost pile. I was feeling a wee bit guilty thinking about all my kitchen scraps ending up in an airtight plastic bag in a landfill somewhere. Something about biodegradable organic matter not being able to biodegrade is just, well, wrong. And yet, I’ve been doing it for years! *sigh* But his year, after continually hearing how easy it is to compost, I finally got off my duff and decided to do it. There are lots of ways to compost and many of them are very inexpensive. However, I’m a bit lazy and I liked the idea of getting a gadgety thing for my yard that would make composting REALLY easy. Hence, my new found affection for the Tumbleweed Composter. Assembling this composter is really easy. I did it in less than an hour, and that evening I was already composting without any prior experience. Just open the lid, stuff in your garden refuse and kitchen scraps, and then give it a “tumble” or two and your done. It is so wonderfully easy to use – and the best part is that if you tumble it every day or so, you’ll have beautiful compost in just about a month. And don’t forget the added bonus of all that good green karma coming your way!

Find It Here: Clean Air Gardening

What’s Make-Up Got to Do With Cancer?

According to the Breast Cancer Fund’s Pure Prevention Campaign, only 1 and 10 women with breast cancer have a genetic history of the disease, and science increasingly points to radiation and harmful chemicals in our everyday environment as factors for the high rates of breast cancer. Yet some people are still not aware of the environmental links to this terrible disease. During the month of October, The Breast Cancer Fund is focusing its breast cancer awareness efforts on the importance of prevention by asking a simple question: What do chemicals (like those in some of our food, make-up and cleaning products) have to do with breast cancer? Visit the Pure Prevention Campaign to find the research behind this link and why prevention is so important. Then check out their 5 Tips for Prevention and help spread the word by sending an e-card to share simple, everyday prevention steps with your loved ones.

Take Action! Send a Breast Cancer Prevention E-Card

Unleashing Your Inner Homesteader

urban_homestead_250.jpg Who says you need ten acres in the country to create a homestead and live self-sufficiently? Okay, so a nice fertile plot of land and a hen house would come in handy, but if you don’t happen to have either, you can still work towards a self-sustaining lifestyle — and you don’t even need to leave the city to do so. In growing numbers people in urban settings across the country are realizing that they can grow and preserve food, compost,  harvest water, and even raise livestock. But how? That’s where Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen’s book, The Urban Homestead, comes in handy. This comprehensive guide will teach you how to do all of these things and more. Each chapter provides detailed instructions on how to tackle a number of different projects from the simple (like starting a container garden) to the complex (become your own utility!). Regardless of where you are in your journey towards self-sufficiency — an idea that’s gaining mass appeal in these uncertain times — this book is a must-have resource that you will turn to again and again.

Find It Here: The Urban Homestead

Win It! We’re giving away a copy of The Urban Homestead to one lucky winner! Click here to fill out our simple entry form. Just enter “UH60” as the giveaway name and provide the answer to this question: name one homesteading project that this book will teach you about. U.S. residents eligible. Enter by 10/20/08. Contest closed. Congrats, Betsy!

Good Stuff: For every copy sold through the publisher, Eco Libris will plant a tree!

Luxury Repurposed

blanket_pastel_couch_lowres.jpgWe all deserve a little luxury once in awhile, don’t we?  What if that luxury came in the form of a delicious blanket made from super soft cashmere?  Oh, and even better, what if this one-of-a-kind gem was also eco-friendly?  No need to despair, dear reader, for you are most definitely not dreaming. Kistner Supply, a Chicago-based company, creates beautiful handmade cashmere baby blankets made from lush 2-ply recycled cashmere. Made in the USA and handsewn with pure silk thread by the mother of Elizabeth Brantley, each blanket is a patchwork of a color-combinations made of repurposed cashmere goodies that have gone on to live a second life as an heirloom quality blanket that your child (or you!) will treasure for years to come. Oh, and should your Kistner Supply blanket be, literally, loved to pieces, they will happily repair it for you!

Find It Here: Kistner Supply

What’s For Dinner? Frankenmeat!

Goats that produce spider silk in their milk, pigs with mouse DNA to improve their digestion? I know, totally bizarre, right? But you should know that the aforementioned animals aren’t the results of creepy lab experiments in a sci-fi film. No, they’re man-made anomalies created by genetic engineering and they’re about to enter our food chain.

It should be noted that the jury is still out on the safety of these animals for human consumption, as the appropriate studies have NOT been conducted. Additionally, the ethics of this sort of thing have clearly not been considered.

Nonetheless, the Food and Drug Administration wants to let the meat and milk from these animals be sold to you without your knowledge. I can’t speak for anyone else but I want to KNOW what I’m eating and I’m betting you do, too.

If you think meat and dairy from genetically-engineered animals should be properly labeled as such, please take 15 seconds to sign this Consumer’s Union petition to the FDA demanding the agency require labeling of genetically engineered food. We should know what we’re buying and eating — and have the right to refuse gene-altered food.

$140 Seventh Generation Giveaway!

410o2upzr8l_sl500_aa280_.jpgYep, we’re giving away a ton of cool stuff courtesy of Seventh Generation. Squeee! It would take me about 5000 words to tell you about all of their products so I’m just going to highlight a couple of their baby items today, like the Seventh Generation wipes which are, hands down, my favorite brand. Their wipes are always really moist (especially the ones that come in the fill packs…my advice is to get those and forget buying the new box every time). Their disposable diapers aren’t bad either. (Did I just say disposable and diaper in the same sentence?) Oh yes, that’s right. I *gasp* do use disposables. I cannot tell a lie. I’ve also used cloth, as well, and go back and forth. Admittedly, I’m not perfect — so, if like me, you set out intending to use cloth diapers but you don’t quite make it happen and you’re looking for something disposable, then Seventh Generation is a pretty good option. First off, they work well. I have yet to have a leak and I have used them with my son overnight, after a marathon breastfeeding session, so I consider them well-tested! The diapers are fragrance-free, hypo-allergenic, and latex-free. Additionally, the wipes are hypo-allergenic, whitened without chlorine bleach, unscented and alcohol free. Also, because their diapers and wipes are chlorine-free, they won’t contribute to toxic dioxin pollution. In the name of full disclosure, Seventh Generation diapers, like other disposable diapers, are made with man-made materials that are petroleum-derived (not so great). So yes, cloth is definitely the greenest option, but if you’re not quite ready to do cloth yet, Seventh Generation is worth a look!

Find It Here: Seventh Generation

Win It! Win an awesomely huge prize package of Seventh Generation products worth $140, including a package of diapers and wipes; phosphate and chlorine free automatic dishwasher detergent; natural kitchen cleaner; natural all-purpose cleaner; natural glass and surface cleaner; natural shower cleaner; natural toilet bowl cleaner’ natural tub and tile cleaner; and natural laundry detergent. Click here to fill out our simple entry form. Just enter “SG55” as the giveaway name and provide the answer to this question: What is the name of your favorite Seventh Generation product? U.S. and Canadian residents eligible. Enter by 10/17/08. Giveaway closed. Congrats, Leigh!

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