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Let’s Talk Underwear

underwear.jpgDid you know that nearly nine million tons of clothing is dumped into America’s landfills every year? NINE. MILLION. TONS. That’s kind of mindblowing, no? Here’s another handy statistic for you… Each pound of recycled clothing saves 1.7 pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and we all know eliminating carbon emissions is something that needs to be done wherever and whenever possible. Fortunately, our friends at Ideal Bite have provided us with some excellent resources for  recycling something that you’ve probably never even thought about—your underwear!

  • Project Underwear is a program that collects new and gently used underwear to be distributed personally to poor children in third world countries like India, Ethiopia and Romania. For more details, please visit the Project Underwear website.
  • Goodwill and Salvation Army thrift stores and donation centers accept donations of clean underwear in good, wearable condition. Visit their websites for more detailed information on donations.
  • Patagonia Common Threads Garment Recycling would like you to send in or drop off your worn-out thermal underwear and other thermal clothing and Patagonia will turn them into NEW apparel. For details, visit the Patagonia website.

Green Machine

6.jpgI recently became the proud owner of a VitaMix 5200 high performance blender. Yes, I know…it’s a blender. Big deal, right? Well, I’m here to tell you that the VitaMix really is a big deal. For one thing, it’s about a hundred times sturdier than the last THREE blenders I’ve owned, all of which died premature deaths because they were basically el cheapo grande pieces of crap that were never intended to last more than a year or two.

I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s much greener to just buy quality the first time, especially since it’s not at all unusual for VitaMix machines to last upwards of 25 years. But that’s not all… The VitaMix does a ton of things that make a lot of other appliances in your kitchen obsolete.

Like? Let’s see… it blends fruits for fresh smoothies, cooks hot soup from scratch, makes low-fat ice creams, grinds healthy whole grains, makes fresh nut butters, kneads dough hands-free, juice whole fruits and vegetables, purees homemade baby food in seconds, creates lump-free gravies and sauces, crushes ice, chops cheeses both coarse and fine, mills gluten-free grains and beans, cooks scorch-free cheese sauces in minutes, grinds meat, churns fresh butter from cream and most impressive, it CLEANS ITSELF in minutes. God help me…I sound like an infomercial, don’t I?

Really, it does even more but I know you don’t have all day so let me just tell you that the container is made of Eastman Tritan copolyester which is virtually unbreakable as well as chemical resistant and best of all, contains no BPA—zero, nada, zilch!  So if you’re in the market for a blender that will last and you’re hoping to find something on the eco-friendly side, the VitaMix 5200 has the Green Mom stamp of approval.

Find It Here: Vita-Mix

Five Green Men to Love

brad_pitt_shirtless-1258-w180-h2000.jpgEverybody loves a hot star that supports a good cause! We’ve seen stars associated with AIDS, political campaigns, children’s hospitals, etc., and now it seems that everyone’s going green. The following  men have been involved from the beginning and have done a lot to bring attention to the environment:

Leonardo DiCaprio: Founded the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, which focuses on global warming and it’s environmental impact. He flies commercial airlines and sports a Toyota Prius. He recently auctioned off his $300,000 watch to benefit his charity.

Robert Redford: He’s been an activist for thirty years, bringing awareness to issues such as: the climate, condition of the Utah wilderness, and the many uses for solar energy. He’s recently slotted time on his Sundance Channel for eco-shows.

George Clooney: He’s fighting to change American’s dependence on oil, and involved in many of his friends’ environmental charities. He was the first person to own the Tango electric car.

Edward Norton: Norton comes from a family of environmentalists. He provides solar power technology to low income homes and hosts a National Geographic series on global environmental problems.

Brad Pitt: He has been actively involved in rebuilding New Orleans with environmentally friendly housing. He and Angelina live there with their children when they’re not traveling the world supporting other causes.

Author Patricia Wooster is the founder of the Project Organic Eating blog, where healthy eating meets affordability!

Give Dreams. Not Stuff.

header_dreambank_logo.jpgNow that the holiday season has passed it might be a good time reflect on how to make giving even more meaningful. So often, it seems that we are pressured to buy a lot of useless stuff that the recipients may not even want or need. What if we could give the perfect gift sans gift wrap; something that the person may actually really want?  Stay with me here—what if our dreams could come true?  Enter DreamBank, the ultimate gift registry.  In three easy steps you could be on your way to fulfilling a dream.  1) Think of a dream gift. 2) Post your dream gift. 3) Share your ultimate gift dream with friends and family.  And then tell them to do the same. So what is a dream gift? It could be anything! A quick search of the database finds one woman dreaming of a trip to Australia to visit her sister with breast cancer. Then there’s the couple that dream of owning their own home and the prospective parents close to adopting twins and in need of essential baby items. And finally, my personal fave—the person saving up for a new tattoo! Whether it’s something big, small, or just plain wild and crazy, isn’t giving the right gift better than giving 10 ho-hum gifts that will be regifted or tossed and ultimately forgotten? We think so! Along with helping people dream big, DreamBank gives 10% of all net transaction revenue to charities. Ten percent!  Now excuse me while I do a little dreaming myself…

Find it Here: DreamBank

Giveaway ~ Green to the Letter Valentine Kit!

valentine_small.jpgGet your kids involved in coloring their own Valentine’s Day Cards this year with Color ‘n Kids recycled Valentine’s Day Cards from Stubby Pencil Studio – our favorite place for eco-friendly kiddie arts and crafts supplies! With Valentine’s Day around the corner, we’re excited to be giving away a deluxe Stubby Pencil Studio Green to the Letter Valentine Kit with a whole slew of their eco-friendly art supplies including all of the items below:

  • 3 sets of Color ‘n Kids recycled Valentines
  • Set of 8 Washable Markers (25% recycled plastic)
  • Set of 16 Soy Crayons
  • Set of 12 Giant Color Pencils (reforested wood)
  • Set of 10 Graphite Pencils (recycled cedar)
  • Pencil sharpener

Win It! Win a Green to the Letter Valentine Kit, courtesy of Stubby Pencil Studio! Click here to fill out our simple entry form. Just enter VAL57 as the giveaway name and provide the answer to this question: What is one other type of Color ‘n Kids Cards from Stubby Pencil Studio (besides Valentines)? Open to US and Canadian residents only. Enter by 1/30/09. $55 value. Contest closed. Congrats, Tina S.!

Deal! Receive a free set of Color ‘n Kids Birthday Wishes with purchase from Stubby Pencil Studio using code “GMF09”. Expires 3/31/09.

Fun on the Run

yhst-83333507685311_2036_4572280.jpgDrinking on the go just became the “funnest” activity for my son. But then again, how could drinking from a flip-top, stainless steel Spiderman canteen with a pop-up straw NOT be fun for a little kid? His eyes practically jumped out of his head with excitement when he saw it for the first time and he hasn’t let go of it since. *I* love the fact that it’s stainless steel inside and out and free of BPA, PVC and phthalates. Add to that the fact that it’s virtually spill-proof and super easy to clean and you’ve got a winner in my book. If Spiderman’s not your thing, you can get these FUNtainer Straw Bottles (with matching insulated and equally fun! food jars)  in a bunch of different styles for boys and girls, such as princess and Cars patterns. The straw bottles keep contents cold for 12 hours; the food jar keeps food cold for 7 hours or hot for 5 hours. Both will keep kids having fun for a long, long time.

Find It Here: The Soft Landing

Deal! Receive 10% off at The Soft Landing with code “GMF109”. Expires 2/28/09.

NOTE: The straw for the Funtainer includes a small piece attached from the outside of the bottle, which can be a choking hazard for young children. If you’re shopping for a child 3 or under, please choose another product.

Green and Gifty Personalized Books

picture-1.pngBooks are wonderful gifts and as moms, we especially love, love, love them. We can’t ignore, however, that the book publishing industry uses a lot of paper which requires a lot of carbon-eating trees and uses a lot of nasty chemicals. That said, we think book exchanges and libraries rock when you want to read something and not necessarily buy it brand new. But—if you are going to buy a new book, say as a gift for a child, we think the personalized books from Little Bunny Press are completely adorable, as well as being more environmentally friendly than the average book because they are printed on 100% recycled paper that was manufactured using sustainable wind energy, which, of course we love. Of course, kids will think their Little Bunny Press book is super duper awesome simply because…they’re IN IT!

Find It Here: Little Bunny Press

Ten Foods That Don’t Need to Be Organic

While it would be ideal to have all the foods we eat be organic, we know that’s not always possible. Oftentimes, budgets dictate that we cannot buy everything in organic form and sometimes, certain organic foods simply aren’t available. That said, The Daily Green ran a helpful piece today on the foods  for which buying organic isn’t critical because their pesticide loads are among the lowest. Hopefully this will ease your mind a bit when you’re shopping for produce!

Here’s the list:
Read the rest of this entry »

Swaddled in Style

images1211.jpgCloth diapering has come a long way since the days of diaper pins and today’s mamas have it a quite a bit easier with all the various cloth diapering options – prefolds, all-in-ones, pocket, fitted… Personally, my favorite diaper covers are those that grow with your baby from birth to toddlerhood, like the new econappi from Swaddlebees. Because it comes with three sets of height-adjustment snaps on the outside, this diaper fits children from 8-35 lbs. That’s like three years of use out of one diaper! Made with hypoallergenic organic cotton velour on the inside (sooo soft!), the econappi can be used two ways – as a regular diaper cover with an absorbent organic cotton/hemp pad (included) on the inside or as a pocket diaper with the pad inserted in the pocket. Bottom line: this diaper is super soft, versatile, easy to use and comes in some really cute prints, like “pink lemonade” for girls and “blue summer” for boys. Those tired old bad-for-the-environment disposables ain’t got nothin’ on these babies when it comes to style!

Find It Here: Swaddlebees

Kiddie Loungewear

aboutimage.jpgSome of my favorite times with the kids are the lazy days when we just stay in, relax and hang-out playing together. And on those days, I’m all about wearing comfortable clothing, which for me, means nothing with buttons, zippers, etc. That’s why I am now in love with a new shop – Rattled – that specializes in simple, mix-and-match children’s pieces in a variety of colors. Made of 100% organic cotton under fair-wage practices, these pieces are ultra soft and totally lounge-worthy. Choose from hats, pants, onesies and tees (short and long-sleeved). Perfect for layering on colder days…or lounging and cuddling on any day.

Find it Here: Rattled

Win It! Win a short sleeve onesie and hat of winner’s size and color choice, courtesy of Rattled! Click here to fill out our simple entry form. Just enter SR43 as the giveaway name and provide the answer to this question: How does Rattled give back to the community? Open to US residents only. Enter by 1/19/09. $32 value. Contest closed. Congrats, Christina G.!

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