Great Green Gifts for Her

recycled materials green gym bagThe Everything Fits Gym Bag

•  100% recycled polyester with polyester mesh
•  Vented outside compartment to hold shoes wet items, shoes or towel

This eco-chic bag will keep a girl organized with its roomy interior featuring a zippered pocket, an elastic pocket and a key tether. Includes an easy-reach outside pocket for water bottle, inside and outside holsters for cell phone and MP3 player and bottom adjustable straps for your yoga mat (not included). 18″L x 8½”W x 13″H.

Bonus: Free shipping!

Find it Here:  Gaiam

The Organic Chocolate Pleaser Kit

A pleasing assortment of organic and fair trade Gourmet Chocolate Goodness from California. Rich Rainforest Dark Fudge, exquisite raw chocolate hearts and brittle, lots of mouth-watering gourmet chocolate bars, tasty chocolate bites, plus amazing Lavender Truffle Hearts!

Bonus: Made in the USA

Find it Here: Kate’s Caring Gifts


Organic Cotton and Hemp Infinity Scarf
With the feel of linen, the rich color of silk and the strength of hemp, this versatile organic scarf works for all occasions and brightens any outfit with texture and pop. 42″ long and available in ten colors.

Bonus: Machine washable

Find It Here: Sprigs




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Making Every Day Earth Day

I say this each year and 2011 is no different… Every day is Earth Day around here. Of course we like the idea of a special day to draw attention to our home planet and all the reasons we need to better care for it but it’s a 365 day-a-year job, folks. One day of acknowledging mother Earth and teaching the kids about what it means to love her isn’t enough. If we really want to save this planet, we need to incorporate all the things we all do and talk about on Earth Day into our everyday lives lives.

Of course, every little bit helps, but it helps a lot more when it’s a lifestyle change, particularly en masse, rather than an annual nod. That said, I’m asking everyone who reads this to think about one thing you don’t do regularly and turning it into something you do all the time.

It can be as simple as:

• no longer using plastic bags because you make a habit of bringing your own.

• buying only recycled toilet paper (This one is big folks…do you know how many virgin forests are mowed down for toilet paper every year? Trees=oxygen. Oxygen=life)

• packing yours or your kids’ lunches with reusable containers instead of disposable baggies. (This one saves money)

• carrying a reusable water bottle with you everywhere you go so you are less compelled to buy a plastic bottle of something when you get thirsty. (This one saves money, too)

These are just four examples of simple and relatively painless lifestyle changes that could make a huge difference if every person incorporated them into their lives. Commit to them and then reward yourself by bringing your reusable mug to Starbucks for some free coffee!

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A Gift of Hope

I know it’s two days before Christmas  but if you’re feeling the urge to make a difference this holiday season, I’ve compiled a few ways you can help people directly:

Heifer International is an organization that lets you (or a group of folks making smaller donations) buy gifts that will continue to help the recipients such as cows, sheep, bees, chickens, goats, trees etc. These gifts provide the recipients with eggs, wool, milk, honey, fruit and more plus proper training so that they can become self-reliant and in turn, sustain their families and communities for the long term.

Give Naked uses microdonations to help people in dire need of help. 100% of your donation will join the donations of others to fill an urgent need of a specific individual or family. If you like to know exactly how someone has been helped by your donation, Give Naked is a good choice.

Kiva is an organization that lets people make microloans of $25 to help entrepreneurs around the world, many of which are women, become self-sufficient. Loan repayment is part of the deal so when the loan has been satisfied, you will be repaid.  A small amount of money that many of us would spend on dinner out without a second thought could change someone’s life for the better and, for what it’s worth, Kiva was endorsed by Oprah on her 2010 Oprah’s Favorite Things show.

Bonus: If you give before January 1st, you can also take advantage of charitable deductions for the 2010 tax year!

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Giiv = Easy and Awesome

What: Giiv

Features: Enables you to give someone a gift (like a gift card) via text message or email. It’s GENIUS!

Green Factor: Think of how many plastic gift cards are purchased each year—millions! That’s a LOT of plastic. Giiv cuts out the plastic and just leaves the gift with no waiting, shipping or mailing—it really couldn’t be easier or greener!

Bonus: You can use Giiv to donate to charities OR even regift a Giiv gift!

Find It Here: Giiv

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Tavern Puzzles

tavern puzzlesWhat: Metal disentanglement puzzles

Features: Tavern Puzzles are repro- ductions of a type of puzzle traditionally forged by blacksmiths to amuse patrons at country taverns and inns. All the puzzles are handcrafted and mechanical in nature; removal of the object piece does not rely on force or trickery, just brain power.

Green Factor: Free of plastic and batteries, Tavern Puzzles are made of solid steel and not likely to break so they can be enjoyed for generations to come.

Bonus: Tavern Puzzles come in multiple levels of difficulty so players can continue to be challenged!

Find It Here: ThinkGeek

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Green Gifts for Tweens and Teens

green gifts for teens and tweensTweens, they’re not little kids anymore but they’re not teens yet either, which is exactly what makes it so hard to find eco-friendly, non-toxic holiday gifts for this age—and actual teens are not much easier! I know I can’t be the only parent in this position so we’ve put together a mini tween/teen gift guide. Hope you find it helpful!

Digital Gifts: Digital media is here to stay and tweens/teens are all about it. Consider iTunes gift cards for a variety of digital media and Amazon.com gift cards for e-books that can be read on an iPad or digital book reader. For teens, check out a Netflix subscription so they can download movies right to their computers, phones, etc.

Lessons or Classes: Does your tween/teen have an interest in something specific like cooking, sports, photography, crafts, writing, art or dance? Give the gift of learning with pre-paid classes in their area of interest! My daughter is in interested in improving her tumbling skills for cheerleading so I’m considering a couple months of prepaid back handspring classes at a local gymnastics school.

Movie Gift Cards: Have you been to a movie recently? It’s no longer the el cheapo grande form of entertainment that it once was so a gift card to a movie theater chain in your area will be much appreciated by teens!

Non-Toxic Nail Polish Sets: Most girls love nail polish but conventional polishes and removers are full of toxic chemicals that can and do find their way into their developing bodies. Instead, consider a set of nail polish from ZOYA. It’s vegan friendly and free of chemical bad actors like toluene, formaldehyde, DBP (phthalates) and camphor. ZOYA offers a mindblowing 300 colors to choose from and has been awarded as the longest wearing natural nail polish by an independent panel in Women’s Health Magazine.

Arbor Skateboards and Snowboards: The Arbor Collective uses environmentally friendly, natural materials to produce snowboards, skateboards, and bamboo apparel. Even the basics are incredibly important to Arbor—they print on recycled paper only, use soy-based inks; recycle all office waste; and build out retail/office space and point of purchase displays with recycled and/or sustainable materials. Locate a retailer here.

Solar Lamp from IKEA: This funky Sunnan work lamp comes in a range of colors and best of all, it runs on solar power—a steal at $19.99!

Teens Turning Green Personal Care: Typically once the teen years hit, kids suddenly become a lot more interested in personal hygiene. Make sure they’re doing all that cleaning and scrubbing and deodorizing and moisturizing with safe, sustainable teen-approved products from Teens Turning Green

Upcycled Sweater: The cool thing about upcycled gifts like this sweater is that they are unique—every third girl at school isn’t going to be wearing the same thing! If that doesn’t suit her, do a search of “upcycle” at Etsy.com and see all the neat things that come up. Just make sure they’re non-toxic and eco-friendly!

Blank Nesting Dolls Kit: If you have an artistic, crafty tween/teen, these are super cool—blank nesting dolls created by Russian artisans that you can paint/design however you like. Imagine the possibilities! (Be sure to pick up some non-toxic waterbased paints and varnish if recipient doesn’t already have some).

Eco T-Shirts with Attitude: These cheeky certified-organic cotton tees are cool but probably better suited to the OLDER teen or young adult on your shopping list.

Dreambank: Does your tween or teen have a dream? Something special they want to do or achieve? Instead of giving them stuff, friends and family can contribute to their dream fund and do good at the same time because Dreambank contributes 10% of all net transaction revenue to six worthy charities.

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The Urban Picnic Box

What: The Urban Picnic Box

Features: This picnic “box” is made from cardboard and sports a retro boombox graphic. Inside is everything you need for a picnic except the food!

Green Factor: The Urban Picnic Box includes 4 compostable trays, 4 compostable large bowls, 4 compostable small bowls, 4 compostable utensil sets, 8 recycled napkins and one compostable trash bag.

Bonus: The Picnic Box comes in two other nifty designs and a replacement set for the inside components is available for just $10

Find It Here: Boxsal

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Finger Strings

What: Finger Strings book

Features: Spiral bound book that stays open so you can see the steps and learn super cool (and super retro) finger string games like Cat’s Cradle, Jacob’s Ladder and more.

Green Factor: Finger string games run on kid power, not batteries, so a book encouraging this kind of old-fashioned fun is definitely better for the planet. Also: It’s NOT a big hunk of plastic.

Bonus: The book comes with two strings!

Find It Here: Palumba or Amazon

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Cyber Monday Green Deals!

Natural Home:  50% off everything with coupon code MMEEMAB6 Expires midnight 11/29/10

Speesees:  30% off everything through 11/29/10

Sage Creek Organics:  25% off your order with coupon code THNKU52. Expires midnight 11/29/10

Ecomom: Save  33% off the entire store through November 29th with coupon code 33OFF

Tiny Artichoke:  35% off all orders with coupon code greencyber

Three Potato Four:  20% off any order with coupon code 3P4HOLIDAY. Expires midnight 11/29/10

Gretchen & Grace: 50% off any order with coupon code GIVETHANKS50 plus $5 flat rate shipping to US and Canada. Expires midnight 11/29/10

Gaiam:  15% off your order with coupon code AFCM15

Cybermonday.com:  Find great deals by searching with terms like “eco-friendly” and “sustainable”

Craftsbury Kids:  Save 10% with code G2010. Expires 12/06/10


Thanks to reader Jill for letting us know about these other great deals:

Get 25% off at Kate Quinn Organics, MobyWrap, BabyLegs,Chico Bags, Earth Mama Angel Baby, Babyfrenzy.com, and Happy Heiny by entering cyber8 at checkout—you can find links to all the aforementioned sites here! Expires midnight 11/29/10

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Recycled Sweater Stockings

What: Christmas stockings made from sweaters

Features: Bright, colorful 16 inch Christmas stockings that are personalized with a name.

Green Factor: They are made from recycled sweaters that would eventually end up in a landfill. Unlike the cheap, poorly-made-in-China stockings you’ll find at the big box stores, these one-of-a-kind gems are keepers!

Bonus: You can request a custom color palette.

Find It Here: Handmade Pretties

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WIN: Reusable Birthday Banners

What: Reusable happy birthday banners

Features: These festive 14 foot long banners are bright, colorful and reusable year after year!

Green Factor: Banners are reusable and made of felt instead of plastic like most banners you’ll find at the party superstore.

Bonus: Crafted by artisans in the socially responsible Aid to Artisans trade network

Find It Here: EcoPartyTime

Win It: We’ve partnered with EcoPartyTime to give away one 14 foot felt Happy Birthday banner to one randomly selected winner! Just leave a comment telling us which of the two 14 foot banners you like best and what other banners are offered by EcoPartyTime. Giveaway ends at midnight on 11/12/10; $32 value. Open to residents of the continental US only. Official Rules. Giveaway has ended. Congratulations to Cindi!

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.

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Great Green Gift for Father’s Day!

weather-radio.jpgWhat: Weather Radio by Etón

Features: Stuck on a Father’s Day gift this year? The Solarlink FR600 Weather Radio is about fifteen different things all rolled in to one. It’s a radio (tunes in to AM/FM and Shortwave frequencies, as well as all seven NOAA weather bands) and a USB charger (perfect for phones or small devices). It’s got a built-in flashlight, siren and a headphone jack; its digital display (including a 12-hour clock with an alarm, sleep timer and snooze button) is illuminated by an LED backlight.

Green Factor: Charging the FR600 is easy – not only is it outfitted with solar panels, it’s got a hand crank, too! (Can also be charged by using a rechargeable battery pack or a with an AC adapter)

Bonus: For each Red Cross product purchased, The Etón Corporation donates .49-$1.00 of the sale price to support The American Red Cross. Also…it’s NOT another tie :)

Find It Here: Etón

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