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Non-Toxic Air Mattresses (Updated)

These days, when you need an extra bed, you’re more likely to pull out an air mattress than a sofa sleeper and for camping, the inflatable air mattress is apt to be found on most packing lists.

The problem, however, is that these days they are almost universally made with PVC, which outgasses harmful fumes long after that telltale “new mattress smell” has dissipated and can contain lead.

A few years ago, those of us who objected to breathing in toxic fumes may have had little recourse other than to forgo the luxury of an air mattress and lump it—but we now have a few options:

The Aerobed Pakmat: It’s PVC and phthalate-free and made of 100% eco-friendly materials. Uses a hand pump instead of batteries or electricity to inflate and only takes about 60 seconds plus it weighs only 5 lbs and stores right inside it’s pump case. FREE SHIPPING on Amazon.com.

The Aerobed Ecolite: Made from eco-friendlier TPU instead of PVC, the Ecolite is phthalate-free and comes with a rechargeable pump. Unlike the Pakmat, it comes in twin and queen sizes and is 40% lighter than PVC air mattresses. Personally, I’d still go for the Pakmat because I’ve had several air mattress pumps die on me over the years.

Kelty Sleep Eazy: Made of 70D nylon with a TPU laminate, and includes a standard coil for support. The PVC-free Sleep Eazy is also a breeze to inflate thanks to the 6-volt rechargeable pump, which includes both a car and wall charger for versatile use. And to ensure compact storage, the airbed comes with a Kelty Binto storage bin.

Lake Timber Top Rubberized Fabric Air Mattress: Back before PVC was so ubiquitous, air mattresses were made of rubberized fabric and were reputedly super durable, in addition to being far more eco-friendly than their PVC counterparts. This rubberized fabric air mattress is the equivalent of a twin or single air mattress at 30″ X 72″ and can also be used in the water. Comes with a repair kit and is eligible for FREE SHIPPING on Amazon.com

I also found companies in Canada, the UK and Australia that carry rubberized cotton air mattresses. I will link to them for our non-American readers and anyone who might be interested in  placing an international order:

Home Hardware: The store I searched is in Toronto (but they have many locations in Canada) and they carry several rubberized cotton air mattresses that seem reasonably priced.

Amazon UK: They carry a couple different options in rubberized cotton air mattresses by a company called Highlander.

Discount Camping: This Australian store carries three different sizes of rubberized cotton air mattresses.

Happy PVC-free sleeping!

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Hidden Dangers in Your Baby’s Nursery

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Eco-Friendlier Paper Straws

What:  Paper Straws

Features: Thick paper straws coated with food-grade wax to protect them from liquid. Yes, these are single-use items but if you are in a situation where you need straws and glass or steel straws are not an option (i.e. parties, large gatherings, house guests) this is a far better option than plastic straws, which are typically non-recyclable.

Green Factor: Biodegradable, compostable and made with food-grade soy inks

Bonus: Made in the USA by Aardvark Straws

Find It Here:  Amazon

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Great Green Gifts Under $21

Stainless Steel Straws

These stainless steel straws are practical, durable alternatives to plastic straws. They have all the functionality of the bendy disposable straws without the waste and they also look pretty cool!  Made of 18/10 stainless steel. $9.95 for set of 4.

Bonus: $4.95 flat rate shipping with code “BELLS”

Find It Here: Reuseit


Peopletowels

Did you know the average person uses between 2,400 and 3,000 paper towels a year? Tote these reusable alternatives to paper towels instead. Made from 100% certified organic Fair Trade cotton, these extra-absorbent and lightweight hand towels are made to curb your paper towel usage at the gym, work, in the car or in public facilities. Comes with their own bag for portability. Set of 2 for $16

Bonus: Printed with non-toxic dyes

Find It Here: Uncommon Goods


3D Garden Pinwheels

A modern spin on the traditional garden fixture, these stainless steel stunners add fun and style to your landscape. Designed in Germany. 2 sizes available for $16-$20

Find It Here:  Uncommon Goods

 

 

 

 

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Great Gifts: Electric Snow Thrower

What: Greenworks Electric Snow Thrower

Features: Is it time to clear snow in your neck of the woods? The Greenworks 12 amp electric snow thrower clears a 20-inch path at a depth of 10 inches and has a cord lock that holds an extension cord securely in place.

Green Factor: Zero carbon emissions and zero pollution because it doesn’t use gas. No smelly engine emissions, no trips to fill the gas can and no tune-ups!

Bonus: On sale for $159.99 with a fabulous 4 year warranty (twice the industry standard) plus FREE SHIPPING!

Find It Here:  Amazon

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Win: Luxury Organic Cotton Sheet Set

What: Organic cotton sheets

Features: Super soft 300 thread count sateen cotton sheets. The fitted sheet is designed to accommodate mattresses up to 10″ thick. Available in sable or heather white.

Green Factor: Certified to the most stringent set of standards by GOTS, the Global Organic Textile Standards, Essentia’s sheets are made from 100% certified organic cotton. Organic cotton, grown without pesticides, herbicides or chemicals, is by far the best option for bedding because you sleep directly on it for hours at a time.

Find it Here: Essentia

Win It: We’ve partnered with Essentia to give away one set (queen, king or California king) of these awesome organic cotton sheets!

How: Click here to fill out our simple entry form. Just enter ES12 as the giveaway name and tell us three products (other than sheets) carried by Essentia AND how many chemicals are contained in the ordinary memory foam mattress— all of which can be found on Essentia’s web site.

Giveaway ends at midnight on 4/23/12; $299 value. Open to residents of US and Canada only. Official Rules. THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED. Congrats to Mary!

Extra Entries: To receive an extra entry, tweet about this giveaway (be sure to include @greenmomreview in your tweet) and fill out another entry form letting us know about your tweet (be sure to include YOUR Twitter name).

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Vinegar: Over 400 Various & Versatile Uses

What: Before chemicals were king, people used natural products like vinegar for cleaning, cooking, preserving and health. This book is a great resource for all the different ways you can use vinegar as a natural alternative to numerous chemical products.

Features: This comprehensive guide covers all types and uses of vinegar. Contains a full index and whimsical illustrations make the book informative and fun.

Green Factor: Any time you can use something natural instead of a potentially dangerous chemical, it’s green. This book gives you over 400 ways to do that.

Bonus: Using vinegar instead of expensive chemical-based cleaners also saves you money!

Find It Here: Vinegar: Over 400 Various, Versatile, and Very Good Uses You’ve Probably Never Thought Of

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Bamboo Owl Family Mobile

What: Funky, modern room decor by children’s artist, Lorena Siminovich

Features: From the non-profit, Petit Collage, these adorable owls are laser cut from bamboo plywood and handcrafted by adults with disabilities in San Francisco.

Green Factor: Made from sustainably harvested bamboo.

Bonus: These come in several motifs such as zoo, jungle and forest animals, elephant family and retro-style birdies.

Find It Here: Amazon.com or Jillybean Green

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Way Basics Table & Chair Set

way-basics-table-setWhat: Children’s table and chairs (comes in white and multi-colors)

Features: Sustainably made from zBoard recycled paper, each piece is sturdy yet super lightweight—62% lighter than particleboard furniture. It’s also water resistant and sets up in minutes without tools (looking at you, IKEA!)

Green Factor: Unlike particleboard, which is what most commonly available non-plastic children’s table sets are made of, zBoard is toxin, VOC and formaldehyde-free and uses environmentally friendly and recyclable water-based glues so there is no chemical outgassing in your home.

Additionally, zBoards are made almost entirely (99%) from post-consumer recycled paper and do not consume additional trees and the enormous amounts of water needed to make virgin paper. Way’s zBoard furniture is 100% recyclable

Bonus: Way is a carbon neutral company and a founding member of the Sustainable Furnishings Council. In addition to table sets, they make really cool bookshelves and modular cube storage systems.

Find It Here: Buy directly from Way Basics or buy from Amazon and get free shipping when you spend over $25

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Greener Entertaining

Parties are notorious for consumption and waste but there are things you can do to green your party and be kinder to the environment. Remember, going green is not an all or nothing proposition—do what you can and it’ll help in the long run.

Recycle: Don’t let a party keep you from recycling. Provide plenty of refuse containers for garbage and recyclables and label them so that it is clear what kind of waste goes in it. The best containers are those that require some action or thought on the part of the user, like lifting a lid, stepping on a pedal or opening a cabinet (trust me, I got a masters degree in this stuff).

This simple act forces your guests to think and notice your recycling sign. If you have these types of containers and label them correctly, you’ll limit misplaced items. If you don’t, just use any containers and label the heck out of it. You’ll still get misplaced items but it’s better than nothing. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Bamboo 3 Pod

What: Bamboo device charging station

Features: The Bamboo 3 Pod has three built-in slots to hold your cell phone, PDA, mp3 player or camera. The sliding front door allows you to conceal a 10″ or smaller power strip (not included) and all the charging cords in one area so you can avoid ugly cord spaghetti messes.

Green Factor: Made of sustainable, renewable bamboo. Also, using a power strip means there is only one thing to turn off when you’re not charging. Why turn it off? Because chargers are energy vampires that continue to draw power even when they’re not hooked up to anything!

Bonus: Can also be wall-mounted (drywall screws are included). We think it would make a great Father’s Day gift for the digital dad in your life!

Find It Here: Great Useful Stuff

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Ennovationz

What: Ennovationz.com

Features: Ennovationz is a web site that provides invaluable information and advice on how to save energy and money while living green.

Green Factor: Greening your home to save energy can be costly—there’s no way to sugarcoat that fact—but one of Ennovationz.com’s standout features is the rebate section. Plug in your zip code and it will return results about ways to get money back for making energy-saving investments in your home. I did it and I was amazed at all the changes we can make that will yield a rebate or a tax deduction.

Bonus: See how your energy usage compares with similar local homes, sign up for free utility bill analysis and monitoring or get personalized energy-saving recommendations.

Find It Here: Ennovationz

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