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Action Alert: Toxic Susbtances

All children should be able to have a healthy start and yet too many are exposed to harmful chemicals in everyday products. The US is long overdue to modernize our chemical policies—it’s been OVER THIRTY YEARS. Thousands of new and unregulated chemicals have been created in that time and they’re all around us.

Our outdated system and weak chemical policies leave children exposed to countless toxic chemicals every day that put our families at risk for cancer, learning disabilities, infertility, and more. Tell Congress to get moving and update the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 (TSCA). The health and welfare for our most vulnerable citizens MUST be a priority.

Take action by clicking the link below and filling out the form to quickly send a personalized message to your Member of Congress and Senators based on your address. It couldn’t be easier and will only take a minute of your time. Thank you!

Take Action Now: MomsRising

Upcycled Awesomeness

What: Upcycled Designs

Features: Fun, funky, one of a kind kids wear that you won’t see anywhere else.

Green Factor: They reuse, refashion and upcycle clothing that would potentially end up in a landfill and give it a second life as cool clothing you can’t get at a big box store.

Bonus: Upcycled Designs accepts custom requests!

Find It Here: Upcycled Designs

This Little Piggy’s House

What: Cool cardboard playhouses

Features: The sturdy playhouses are made from 275 lb corrugated cardboard and boast fun, realistic architectural details. Made in the USA.

Green Factor: Made from 100% recycled cardboard and 100% recyclable.

Bonus: 5% of profits are donated to organizations that feed hungry children in the US and around the world.

Find It Here: This Little Piggy’s House

Giveaway Ending Today: Truly Organic Baking

Easy Liquid Soap Recipe

To make liquid soap by the half gallon the easy way, just follow this simple recipe that uses no dangerous ingredients or special equipment. Basically, this recipe changes hard soap into liquid (gel) soap with the addition of glycerin and water.

I’ve tried a number of liquid soap recipes from the internet that didn’t work and finally, out of frustration, devised my own. This is my own original recipe and it does work!

Easy Liquid Soap Recipe

This recipe makes just under half a gallon of general purpose liquid soap. It is best made in the evening, as it will need to cool overnight before the final stage of blending the soap.

Ingredients:

1 cup soap flakes or grated bar soap
2.5 quarts of water
1 tablespoon of glycerin

You will also need:

A large saucepan
A measuring cup and a tablespoon measure
A sealable glass jar, or an assortment of cleaned hand pumps or shampoo bottles
A stick blender, electric mixer or handheld egg beater

Method:

Mix soap flakes, water and glycerin together in a large saucepan over a low heat.
Read the rest of this entry »

Simple Shoes for Toddlers

What: Simple Shoes for toddlers

Features: Adorable toddler shoes that are stylish, character-free and washable!

Green Factor: Made with organic cotton, hemp, eco-certified suede, natural and recycled non-marking rubber and water-based glues. Simple also follows “Ethical Supply Chain” guidelines.

Bonus: Simple also makes earth/people-friendly shoes for infants, kids and adults.

Find It Here: Simple Shoes

This Week’s Giveaway: Truly Organic Baking

Thrift Score: My Funky Dishes

A few years ago, I’d read that some of the cheaper dinnerware produced in China was turning up with lead in it. I looked at my inexpensive and chipped (but very pretty) dinnerware and got a little concerned. Rather than spend a couple hundred dollars on what I really wanted, which was a set of lead-free Fiestaware for eight, I decided that until I could find something made in the US that was also not ugly or ridiculously expensive, I’d go with something simple and safe—glass.

I looked at a few department stores and didn’t find much in the way of glass and what I did find felt flimsy so I decided to check my local thrift stores. I didn’t find any complete sets but I did find tons of glass pieces in a variety of patterns and suddenly it hit me…I didn’t need a matching set at all—I would mix and match and have a funky, eclectic set of with everything I needed for a next to nothing. I picked out 8 dinner plates, 8 salad plates, 8 bowls and 8 saucers in a handful of patterns—bamboo, florals, vines, contemporary, lattice, and textured.

I brought everything home, washed it and unceremoniously trashed all the old, chipped stuff. I put my “new” dishes away and have used them ever since. In that time, not one piece has chipped or broken. Once I realized how durable my funky, mismatched dinnerware was, I gave up looking for anything else. Best of all, though, is that it cost me less than twenty dollars for peace of mind that my stuff is lead-free.

The takeaway? Things don’t have to be new OR expensive to be awesome. Please feel free to share your favorite secondhand scores in the comments 🙂

Photo by Nancy Bea Miller

This Week’s Giveaway: Truly Organic Baking 

WIN: Truly Organic Baking

What: Certified organic baking mixes

Features: Truly Organic Baking mixes (muffins, scones, pizza dough, pancakes and banana bread) make baking tasty organic goodies easier than ever. They also offer a wider selection of mixes in club size, for food service and for private labeling. (Editors note: I’ve tried the banana bread mix and it’s delicious!)

Green Factor: All the Truly Organic Baking mixes are certified organic.

Bonus: Truly Organic Baking is a woman-owned and operated business and Women’s Business Enterprise certified.

Find It Here: Truly Organic Baking

Win It: We’ve partnered with Truly Organic Baking to give away 5 boxes of baking mix to one randomly selected winner! Just leave a comment telling us which three baking mixes you’re most interested in and name three places where you can buy Truly Organic Baking products. Giveaway ends at midnight on 09/27/10; $40 value. Open to US residents only. Official Rules. Giveaway has ended. Congrats to Sarah!

Extra Entries: Tweet about this giveaway (be sure to include @greenmomreview in your tweet) and note in a second comment that you tweeted the giveaway to receive an extra entry.

Green Bedrooms for Big Kids

paint2.jpgIf you’re like me and don’t have babies or toddlers in your household anymore, you may have heard the plea for a “not so babyish” room from an older child.

While we do focus a lot on things for babies and younger children here, that doesn’t mean big kids don’t also need special care when we re-do their bedrooms!

Here are some things to consider when updating your child’s bedroom:

Paint
Use No-VOC or natural non-toxic paints. No-VOC (or Zero-VOC) means “no volatile organic compounds” which really just means none of the toxic stuff that contributes to indoor air pollution and that you don’t want your child (or you!) breathing in for years to come. Natural and No-VOC paints are more typically more expensive than regular latex interior paint but for a bedroom, one gallon may be enough and it’s money well spent. No-VOC paints are available at most home improvement stores such as Home Depot and Lowes and you can find a list of natural non-toxic paint brands here.

Flooring Read the rest of this entry »

Your Garden Show

Wgardenshow.jpghat: An online community and social network for gardening enthusiasts.

Features: Set up a free account and begin sharing your gardening experiences, ideas, photos, videos, inspiration and more with other gardening enthusiasts. The site also includes a blog and a forum for gardening questions.

Green Factor: Gardening is an excellent way to introduce kids to ecology, nature, science and sustainability.

Bonus: Your Garden Show features a vast 6,000 vegetable database and a 5,900 ornamental database.

Find It Here: YourGardenShow.com

LeadCheck Home Test Kits

leadcheck kitWhat: Instant lead testing swabs

Features: Safe, rapid, sensitive, low-cost testing for leachable lead from any surface. In the majority of test situations results are obtained in less than thirty seconds.

Green Factor: Even in small amounts, lead is harmful and yet can still be found in so many places in the home such as mini-blinds, paint, ceramics, vinyl lunchboxes and bathtubs. There are more than a quarter of a million cases of lead poisoning each year—LeadCheck helps to identify these hazards .

Bonus: LeadCheck is the only lead test kit that is recognized by the EPA and can be purchased at most home improvement stores. LeadCheck also has test kits for detecting lead in drinking water or soil.

Find It Here: LeadCheck

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