Rough, Tough and Green

brush.gifAround my place, we eat a lot of veggies—especially carrots and potatoes, which means a lot of scrubbing and cleaning of said vegetables. Thankfully, we found the Tampico scrub/vegetable brush by the good people at GreenBoatStuff.com. (This family-owned company has a range of green products, with particular emphasis on boating and watersports, and proudly asserts its Earth-friendly nature in its name.) What I adore most about this rough brush, though, is not that it makes vegetable-cleaning a hundred times easier and quicker than, say, a toothbrush, though it really does; not its great price (a steal at $3.25 plus shipping); and not the health factor of having well-cleaned versus inadequately cleaned veggies. I love the green denominator best: It’s plastic-free and constructed to be as biodegradable as possible, even if it were to accidentally make its way into the marine ecosystem! The bristles are made of Tampico fiber, which is a vegetable fiber from a plant indigenous to Mexico, and the handle is of finished hardwood. A few of the other great things about Tampico are its capacity to store and release water, its resistance to heat and oils, and its abrasiveness, which makes it ideal for other applications on and off the boat and around the house. Although not the sleekest, most fashion-forward brush (but who needs form when you’ve got oodles of function?), it more than gets the job done—sans chemicals!

Find It Here: GreenBoatStuff.com

Teething Baby Alert!

rin-002_lg.JPGMy son is in prime teething stage and chews on anything he get get his little gums on. In the past, that has included items such as my cell phone, his socks, my finger, and old broken toys lying around the house. I finally decided it was about time to get him something more suitable to teeth on. My criteria? It had to be soft, non-toxic and preferably not an expensive electronic device that I depend on for communication. Then I came upon The RiNGLEY Natural Teething Toy. Handmade in Canada, this teether is made of untreated Canadian Maple and organic cotton terrycloth. Ooooh, organic terrycloth. Soft, non-toxic and not my husband’s $400 blackberry? Sold!

Find It Here:  Nayla Natural Care

Win It: Click here to fill out our simple entry form. Just enter “RL66” as the giveaway name and provide the answer to this question: What are the names of the two types of RiNGLEY teething toys available? Open to US and Canadian residents only. Enter by 12/2/08. Contest closed. Congrats, Jen H!

Shower Timer Giveaway!

05.jpgHow much time do you spend in the shower? I thought I was spending about seven minutes until I actually timed it and realized that I was spending closer to FIFTEEN. Ah, the guilt! I couldn’t believe it! I now use a digital Ripple Shower Timer that beeps at me when I’m going too long and helps me wrap things up more quickly. Today we are excited to be giving away a Ripple Shower Timer to two lucky winners! These timers also serve as a digital clock. Cool!

Win It: Click here to fill out our simple entry form. Just enter “RP23” as the giveaway name and provide the answer to this question: What is your favorite timer style? Open to US residents only. Enter by 12/1/08. Contest closed. Congrats, Sarah B. and Alana!

Let it Rain!

rainbarrel2.jpgRemember that song “Rain, rain go away, come again another day?” Well, with the Arbour Rain Barrel, you may well be wishing for the next rainy day, especially if you’re in a drought-ridden locale. Water conservation is a big deal these days and a great way to conserve water for the growing season is with a good old fashioned rain barrel.  The Arbour model is made from recycled food-grade barrels and has a child-proof and mosquito-proof lid so the only thing getting in your rain barrel is, well, rain. And by using a barrel to collect rainwater, you’ll enjoy unrestricted usage and lower bills, too. Happy watering!

Find It Here: Arbour Rain Barrel

3-2-1 Blast Off!

ecotronic-no-battery.jpgHe sleeps with it, he eats with it, he wishes he could take a bath with it. “It” is my son’s new Eco-Rocket—a toy so exciting that he has been playing with it for two days straight! It’s not often that I find a toy that my three-year-old still wants to play with 20 minutes after opening the box. I love it because it lights up and speaks to you — all without batteries. Yeah, this toy may look and sound electronic, but it’s actually eco-tronic! Just crank the little side-lever a couple times and it powers itself. Made of recycled non-PVC plastic, this little Eco-Rocket is now my go-to-gift for all the little astronauts in my life. I guess it’s safe to say we think the Eco-Rocket is out of this world!

Find It Here: Green Party Goods

Deal! Receive 15% off Green Toys and Gifts from Green Party Goods. Use code “save15” at checkout. Expires 1/18/09.

Keeping it Cheap and Green: Kitchen Edition

There are LOTS of things you can do in your kitchen that are green, but also cheap (which we’re all looking for in this economy). Let’s get right to it:

1) Unplug all small appliances not in use. They are phantom energy users. I unplug my toaster and coffee maker unless I am using them.

2) Install sink faucet aerators on your sink to save on water usage.

3) Run your dishes on the “light” setting (as opposed to heavy duty) and let them air dry instead of heat dry.

4) Cook using your microwave or a crockpot. Both use much less energy than your stove…and the bonus is the crockpot adds some heat to the house in the winter. Read the rest of this entry »

Teething Bling!

babybling0044.jpgQuite possibly the fastest way to attract the attention of an infant is to wear jewelry.  I mean how many times have you had to gently pry your little one’s bionic-baby grip from your favorite necklace?  I’m here to tell you the fight is over. Teething Bling by SmartMom is made for moms to wear and infants to tug and chew.  Personal testimony here—the necklace occupied my little one for almost 30 minutes straight.  Amazing. The jewelry is made from non-toxic, phthalate, BPA and PVC free materials.  Beautiful, practical and eco-friendly!  Plus, they’re dishwasher-safe. The necklace also features a breakaway clasp and is available in a variety of stylish colors and two shapes: donut and heart. SmartMom also features matching bangles and keychains made from the same non-toxic materials—because it never hurts to be both prepared and stylin’.

Find It Here: Heavenly Hold

Deal: 10% off from Heavenly Hold with coupon code WEARME! Expires 12/31/08.

When I Grow Up I Will….

tree_shirt01.jpgAaahh, it’s not often you get to ask yourself this question as a grown-up… and that’s exactly what makes these yummy, soft t-shirts so utterly inspiring to us of the older set, ahem. The natural-colored Value Statementâ„¢ tees from When I Grow Up are soft, comfortable and a great fit in 100% certified organic cotton and printed with water-based ink in the U.S.A. The “When I Grow up” clothing line is designed for 2T -8 year olds…but I’m secretly hoping that they expand to adult sizes because who wouldn’t want a “wear it, teach it, live it”…value statement tee shirt such as these: I will… plant a tree, I will… walk in someone elses shoes, I will… eat my vegetables, I will…give. They’re just the thing that Santa would bring <stocking stuffer alert!> since he has never really grown up himself!

Find It Here: When I Grow Up

Fabulous Book Pack Giveaway!

9780446581370_154x233.jpgThe books we are giving away today are definite must-reads for me, and I actually own a couple of these titles, including The Vaccine Book, which has been a helpful decision-making tool for our family and The Hippy Gourmet, a great whole foods cookbook. All four titles in this set are fantastic and we are giving away FIVE sets! That’s five chances to win a complete set of the following four books:

• The Vaccine Book: Making the Right Decision for Your Child by Robert Sears
• Hannah Keeley’s Total Mom Makeover: The Six-Week Plan to Completely Transform Your Home, Health, Family, and Life by Hannah Keeley
• Juicing, Fasting, and Detoxing for Life: Unleash the Healing Power of Fresh Juices and Cleansing Diets by John Calbom MA , Cherie Calbom
• The Hippy Gourmet’s Quick and Simple Cookbook for Healthy Eating by Bruce Brennan, James Ehrlich

Win It: Click here to fill out our simple entry form. Just enter “BG54” as the giveaway name and provide the answer to this question: Which book looks the most interesting to you? Open to US residents only. Enter by 11/24/08. Contest closed. Congrats to Diane W., William S., Marion B., Diane K., and Laura R.!

Gorgeously Green Greetings

flurry_card2.pngThe Christmas season is almost here again and out of all the holidays we celebrate, I’d say that’s the one most in need of some greening. One good place to start is with greeting cards because with millions upon millions of cards being sent every holiday season, well, that’s a LOT of trees. Additionally, the photo paper used for photo cards is not made from recycled fibers, nor is it recyclable. Lucky for all of us, there are alternatives such as the cards from ElanInk. ElanInk’s stylish custom holiday cards are printed professionally on a digital press (no toxins released) on FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified paper from responsibly managed forests. Envelopes are also FSC-certified and at least partially recycled. ElanInk also donates $1 of every purchase the World Wildlife Fund for the support and protection of forestry and eco-systems around the world. Who says the ideal white Christmas can’t be green and earth-friendly, too?

Find It Here: ElanInk

Win It: We’re giving away 25 custom holiday cards (like the one featured above) from ElanInk. Click here to fill out our simple entry form. Just enter “EL25” as the giveaway name and provide the answer to this question: what is the name of your favorite ElanInk card design? Open to US residents only. Enter by 11/23/08  Congratulations to Erinn, the winner of the ElanInk card giveaway!

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