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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

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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!

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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!

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Electronics Recycling Made Super Simple

recycle_electron.jpgThe holidays are upon us and you know what that means…tons of new electronics for the masses. But what about all the old, unwanted electronics that have been stuffed away in America’s closets, junk drawers, garages, attics and basements? Forgive me while I switch into annoying, lecture-y Green Mom mode for a moment—I strongly recommend you don’t just throw that stuff in the trash because, believe it or not, electronics are loaded with heavy metals and toxins that will eventually end up being incinerated and polluting our air or leaching into our groundwater. And? It’s illegal is some locales. But you DO have options—if your city has an electronics recycling program, use it because it’s probably the easiest option of all. But if you’re not that lucky don’t despair because there are several companies that have finally decided to step up  help consumers responsibly recycle their e-waste.

Behold…

THE GMF LIST OF RECYCLING AWESOMETASTICNESS:

Costco – Costco will accept all computers, LCD monitors, digital cameras, camcorders, game systems & MP3 players and recycle them for FREE—plus, your item(s) may have potential trade-in value, remitted to you in the form of a Costco Cash card. Sounds like a win-win to us! Check here for more info.

Staples -  Staples accepts used computers, monitors, laptops, and desktop printers, faxes and all–in–ones to any U.S. Staples store. All brands are accepted with a nominal recycling fee of $10 per piece of large equipment used to cover handling, transport, product disassembly and recycling. Smaller computer peripherals such as keyboards, mice, and speakers are accepted at no charge. Staples also offers $3 in Staples Rewards toward a future purchase of ink or toner when HP, Lexmark™ or Dell cartridges are returned to our retail stores for recycling. Get all the details here.

DellDell will recycle your unwanted Dell-branded Product for free plus, if you buy a new Dell desktop or notebook and select the free recycling option at the time of purchase, they will recycle your old PC and monitor at no cost to you. Get all the details here.

Sony – Sony will take back any Sony product for recycling. Just find your local drop-off location and hand it over. Sony also offers a trade in program for Sony laptops and camcorders that will net you a credit towards the purchase of a new Sony laptop or camcorder (some restrictions apply). See Sony’s recycling page for details on these and other programs.

Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation – This company works with tons of stores to accept cell phones and rechargeable batteries (Ni-Cd, NiMH, lithium-ion, lithium-ion-polymer batteries and lead-acid batteries up to 2 lbs. per battery). They do not recycle primary batteries, rechargeable alkalines or lead-acid batteries weighing more than 2 lbs. each. To find more info on battery and cell phone recycling or to find a conveniently located recycling center near you, just go here.

(If you think this info would be useful to others, please use the Share This link below to add it to your favorite social bookmarking sites. Thanks :)

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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

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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.

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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 »

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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.

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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 Statement™ 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

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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.!

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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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WeeGo Wow!

bottlesintro.jpgThere’s a good chance that by now you’ve heard of the dangers associated with certain plastics that contain BPA (bisphenol-A). Unfortunately, there are still many name-brand companies out there that manufacture baby bottles containing BPA and really, the safest and greenest (because plastics are made from petroleum) solution for avoiding it altogether is to simply use glass bottles. I know, I know. Glass and babies don’t sound like they’d go together very well, right? But when it’s a WeeGo bottle, with it’s clever, attractive, dishwasher-safe and 100% non-toxic silicone sleeve that helps prevent breakage, you can stop fretting about using glass. The WeeGo also sports a silicone nipple that is latex-free and non-toxic and the plastic ring, plug and cap contain no polycarbonates and are food grade, FDA approved and recyclable. Wow, six yummy colors to choose from, totally non-toxic and recyclable, too… Color us impressed!

Find It Here:  BabyLife

Take Action: Consider signing this petition to call on the CEOs of the leading manufacturers of baby bottles to stop the use of the toxic chemical BPA (bisphenol-A).

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