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Sierra Club Trails

sierra.jpgI’m not really an outdoorsy type. I mean, I love being outside, but by that I mean reclining on a chaise lounge under a patch of shade with a sweating Corona and a good book. And maybe a cheeseburger. So yeah, I’m not what you would call an outdoor enthusiast. Even so, I think the concept behind Sierra Club Trails is a very cool one. It’s a unique and interactive site; a wiki that’s not only a catalog of trails, but a source of information for several other activities, as well. Users can create profiles and connect with others, post pictures and chat on forums. And they can update trail posts with the latest happenings – the weather in the area or the trails’ condition, for example. So if I ever went for a hike (hey, it could happen…) on a trail that had been closed, I could go home, log on to Sierra Club Trails and update that trail’s status, for other hikers to see.

You don’t have to be at one with nature to enjoy Sierra Club Trails. The gallery is definitely worth a browse; some stunning photographs have been added already. There are also tips and advice for beginner hikers, and a blog, too. Think of it as social networking for hikers and outdoorsy types!

Find It Here: Sierra Club Trails

Reader Question About Cloth Diapers

We have many cloth diapering enthusiasts amongst our readers so we thought it would be helpful to have you all chime in on this reader question:

Hi, I’m new to cloth diapering and have no idea where to start or what would be best.  I was wondering if anyone could advise me on a good cloth diaper for an older child (almost 4) who doesn’t stay dry at night. He weighs around 37 lbs and is about 35 inches tall and wears a 6 in regular diapers, if that helps.

Thank you from a devoted reader!
Caroline

Giveaway ~ Adiri Natural Nursers

AdiriWith both my babies, finding a bottle they liked as well as my boobs was a challenge that involved multiple frantic trips, some in the wee hours of the night, to procure bottles that wouldn’t be flatly rejected by said babies. Even though I was breastfeeding, the bottle was key because HELLO? I needed rest; I needed my husband to be able to feed them so I didn’t go insane from sleep deprivation. With my son, we found exactly ONE type of bottle that he would take and I maintain to this day that he did because it was the only bottle that even remotely resembled a real breast.

Enter Adiri Natural Nurser…a bottle that really does resemble the real deal—I think if I’d had one of these gems at the get-go, we would have saved at least a Benjamin or two on all those other bottles that were used once, barely, and then cast aside by my tiny discriminating offspring. Not only are Adiri bottles the recipient of the iParenting Media Greatest Products of 2008 award and a Medical Design Excellence Award of 2008 winner, they’re more like a real breast than any other bottle. And equally, if not more impressive than fancy awards, is the fact that they’re BPA (bisphenol-A) and soft polycarbonate-free so you can bottle-feed without worry of giving your little one dangerous endocrine-disrupting chemicals at every meal. Toxic junk-free, award-winning and it mimics breastfeeding like no other bottle, reducing the dreaded nipple confusion… What’s not to love?

Find It Here: Adiri

Win It: We’re giving away Two Bonus Pack Adiri Natural Nurser Bottles (Slow Flow). Click here to fill out our simple entry form. Just enter AD07 as the giveaway name and provide the answer to this question: Name three other awards the Adiri has won. Enter by 8/5/09. $26 value. Open to residents of US and Canada. Winner to be notified by email. Contest Closed.

Print*Pattern*Paper

371492f3908430184f6cd5fe5e641ef8.jpgBuying things today is more than just the purchase. It’s about making smart choices—ones that aren’t harmful to the environment and you can feel good about, like buying from companies who are as committed to the earth as they are to their product. Take, for example, Print*Pattern*Paper, a handmade art and textile company that not only believes in environmental responsibility, but practices it, too.

Designer Rebecca Peragine takes the term ‘made from recycled materials’ to heart—all of her original prints are created from scrap materials. They’re packaged in biodegradable materials and Rebecca uses soy ink and recyclable materials and many, of her products are made in the United States using locally-sourced goods. Print*Pattern*Paper chooses to support smaller, local businesses, and donates both their images and designs to raise money for children and families around the world.

From wall art (prints and canvas), number cards, posters, cotton bags and stationery, Print*Pattern*Paper is original and stylish and philanthropic and totally ecoguilt-free—NO compromising required!

Find It Here: Print*Paper*Pattern

Bonus: Mention The Green Mom Review and receive 20% off your next purchase!

Wooly Baby

woolybaby.jpgOne of the perks of writing for The Green Mom Review is getting to drool over the awesome products we feature here. I’ve spent many an evening ogling web sites submitted for review, and last night was no exception. I spent a good amount of time over at the Wooly Baby web site, and am officially in LURVE with their slippers – not to mention the concept behind them.

In a stroke of recycling genius, Josie Marsh takes old sweaters and leather jackets and turns them in to the cutest, most practical little slippers I have ever seen. After she couldn’t find slippers for her baby that covered the ankle, Josie took matters in to her own hands. Her high-ankle slippers are made with felted wool, ensuring the slippers are dense, sturdy and warm. All-natural soap is used on the wool during the felting process, and the slippers’ bottoms are made from suede leather, resulting in a soft, non-skid sole.

Personally, I think Josie’s ankle-high creations are brilliant – I hail from Canada, a.k.a. The Great White North, where it’s cold. A lot. I’ve never seen high-top slippers that are handmade, cute and recycled to boot! Low-top slippers are also available for warmer climates, and Wooly Baby products are available in sizes ranging from six months to six years.

Find It Here: Wooly Baby

Babblebabies

jumper.jpgWouldn’t it be cool if there was a web site chock full of organic baby wares at wholesale prices? A site where each product has been researched and reviewed, with a wide selection of organic cotton and bamboo items at discount prices? (Basically, a web site that does all of the legwork, and finds the good stuff for you?)

As it happens, there is a site just like that and it’s called Babblebabies and you need to check it out if you’re looking for organic baby products like bedding, clothing and toys at really great prices.

Babblebabies offers unique products from organic brand names like Sckoon, Speesees, Bumkins, Generation Baby and more. The site is informative and easy to navigate, and the products are cute. Very cute. I’m quite taken with the jumpers (like the Speesees one above), and the Sckoon Organic Cotton toys are absolutely adorable—they’d make fantastic gifts and great lovies for little ones.

The folks behind Babblebabies are always looking out for new, organic products, and they want to hear about your favourite green companies. They’ve even got a Facebook page—post a picture of your wee one wearing gear from Babblebabies and receive a $5 discount. So what are you waiting for? Shoo!

Find It Here: Babblebabies

Reuse Those Shoes

reuse-a-shoe-logo.pngI know there may be a little eyerolling because Nike is this ginormous planetwide corporation and often times, those are not known for their eco-friendly practices but in this instance, Nike deserves props for their Reuse-a-Shoe recycling program.

What they do is collect old, unwanted athletic shoes (any brand) and grind them up to make surfaces for basketball courts, tracks, fields and playground surfaces for peeps all around the world. It’s a heck of a lot better than paving everything with nasty asphalt and certainly makes playgrounds safer for kids.

Additionally, reusing old athletic shoes decreases the need for virgin rubber and other materials which also decreases the environmental impact of using new materials. Since 1990, Nike has collected and re-purposed 23 million pair of shoes!

You can get involved by a) finding a recycling center and dropping your old shoes off (see map)  b) mailing them if you must (not as green) or c) setting up a recycling program in your community. Read here about how one mom, Lena, set up a shoe recycling program at her child’s school.

So yeah, gather up all those tired old shoes that are too stinky for Goodwill, too gnarly for consignment and give them Nike so they can give kids better places to play.

New Green Blood at TGMR

images.jpgI’m happy to announce we have two new writers joining us at The Green Mom Review. You have probably already read a few posts by Katherine, a former journalist who hails from the great white north (that’s Canada for those of you who didn’t watch Strange Brew obsessively in high school). I’m totally psyched that she will be regularly contributing to our feature posts and bringing a touch of class to the joint.

Also new is a column by Miss Britt, a mom from Florida who will be regaling us monthly with her humorous thoughts, observations and stories about trying to go green. You can read Miss Britt’s inaugural column over on our blog—be sure to give her some comment love!

Why I Never Use My Reusable Bags

Miss BrittI want to be greener.

I do.

Wait. Is ‘greener’ the proper term? More green? Less black? More eco-friendly? Less of a suffocating drain on the planet I live in and burden on my fellow man around me? Whatever. Greener.

I want to be greener.

And in some ways that comes very naturally for me. I am frugal by nature and nurture. The idea of waste kills me — whether it’s time, money, or an open slot on my shoe rack. I cannot stomach the idea of using more of anything than I have to. So when it comes to not wasting more resources than necessary, I am — or at least I should be — a pro.

So why, then, is it so hard for me to remember to bring my reusable grocery bags to the store with me?

I love using them. I love that I can fit an entire week’s worth of groceries into six reusable bags instead of twenty plastic bags. I love that this means less trips from the car to the house for my husband. I love that it is actually easier to carry heavy loads in a well constructed reusable bag than it is in those dang plastic bags that cut into your fingers if there is more than a bag of string cheese in them. I love that I no longer have an overflowing “plastic bag” bin in my laundry room — because there really are only so many things you can do with plastic Wal-Mart bags and my creativity cannot compete with my consumption. But mostly, I love how elitist and socially conscious I feel when the sixteen year old check out clerk comments on my pretty, pretty reusable bags.

Clearly, I care about the environment. Read the rest of this entry »

The Smiling Planet

wonderfullworld3popup.jpgWhen I was a teenager, my mother bought a bumper sticker for our car adorned with a cartoon Earth; across from it was the phrase LOVE YOUR MOTHER in big green letters. I loved that sticker – I thought it was such a clever play on words; a neat way to get such an important message across. I haven’t thought about it in years, but I was reminded of it while poring over the Smiling Planet’s web site earlier this week.

The Smiling Planet is a new green company that makes, among other things, the cutest earth-aware plates and placemats for kids I’ve ever seen. Not only are their plates are made from 100% recycled material, they’re completely recyclable, too. They’re toxin-free, dishwasher safe, stackable and scratch-free, and did I mention they’re really cute? Because they totally are. (They’re also priced right, which, as far as I’m concerned, is a real bonus these days.)

It’s not just plates and placemats that are available – the Smiling Planet boasts posters, books, t-shirts and onesies for children that send earth-friendly messages and are printed with water-based inks. All of the Smiling Planet’s merchandise is compliant with the Consumer Product Safety Information Act (CPSIA), and it’s all made in sunny California. The Smiling Planet is dedicated to reducing their carbon footprint while celebrating the world and her diversity, and that certainly shows in their (blissfully licensed character-free) designs.

Find It Here: Smiling Planet

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